• Hot Chili is the only company in the Atacama region holding most necessary permits/licences to provide desalinated water supply to Huasco valley
  • HCH has now submitted second maritime concession application to support a potential multi-user, water network for the Huasco valley area
  • Both raw seawater and desalinated water could be provided by a potential water network
  • HCH’s water assets to be transferred to a new, wholly owned water company


Special Report: Tier 1 copper-gold mine developer Hot Chili is expanding its horizons beyond traditional mining ventures with a focus on water infrastructure in Chile’s Atacama region – where water scarcity is a major challenge.

Hot Chili (ASX:HCH) is developing its flagship Costa Fuego copper-gold project, where 24 months of extensive drilling has confirmed the endowment of a 798Mt at 0.45% copper equivalent for 2.9Mt copper, 2.6Moz gold and 12.9Moz silver – with 68,000t of molybdenum to boot.

While the Costa Fuego project plans to utilise raw seawater, HCH sees an opportunity to build a water company focused on desalination operations along the Huasco coastline where major iron ore and copper mining projects exist and water scarcity is the current reality.


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Water network location and significant iron ore and copper projects in the region. Pic supplied: (HCH)


Beyond Costa Fuego: HCH is establishing a water company

Aligning with the Chilean Government’s push for multi-user desalination networks in the Atacama, HCH’s proactive approach positions it to address the critical challenge of water scarcity for new mining projects.

A water supply concept study released in February confirmed the potential for a large-scale, multi-user desalinated water network serving the entire Huasco Valley.

It’s now submitted a second maritime concession application to establish a multi-user network there and is preparing to transfer its water assets, including permits and land access, to a new water company under its control.

HCH says the application is crucial for developing this large-scale water supply, which aims to deliver up to 3,700L/s in the long term in the region and is the culmination of over a decade of permitting efforts for HCH’s Costa Fuego project.


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Location of the second maritime application for seawater intake and desalination. Pic supplied: (HCH)


Hot Chili executive VP José Ignacio Silva says water scarcity is a critical issue for projects in the Atacama, where Costa Fuego is surrounded by existing and potential mine developments.

“Hot Chili is the only company holding most of the necessary permits required to provide desalinated water to the Huasco valley – a prolific region for potential new global copper supply needed to support global electrification and decarbonisation,” Silva says.

“Securing these assets has involved over a decade of commitment. Socially and environmentally, multiclient and multipurpose water infrastructure is the new reality.”

A water supply business case study is underway and engagement with potential customers, infrastructure partners, and government regulators is ongoing.



This article was developed in collaboration with Hot Chili, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.