Hot Chili continues to spice up Chilean copper project
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Special Report: Another hole, another exceptional result. Hot Chili’s Cortadera project is increasingly looking like a standalone copper resource.
Evidence continues to mount for the presence of a vertically extensive high-grade core at depths within Hot Chili’s (ASX:HCH) Cortadera copper-gold project in Chile.
The fifth deep hole at the Cuerpo 3 main porphyry intersected a shallower intersection of 168m grading 0.4 per cent copper and 0.1 grams per tonne (g/t) gold from 44m and an intersection of 334.1m at 0.5 per cent copper and 0.2g/t gold from a depth of 654m.
Notably, the deeper intersection includes a higher-grade zone of 54.1m at 0.7 per cent copper and 0.2g/t gold at the end of hole.
This is a neat follow-up to the fourth hole, which intersected 264m at 0.4 per cent copper and 0.2g/t gold from a depth of 52m and 150m at 0.6 per cent copper and 0.3g/t gold from a depth of 484m that included a higher grade zone of 82m at 0.8 per cent copper and 0.4g/t gold from 496m.
Given that porphyry-style copper mines can be economic from copper concentrations as low as 0.15 per cent, the extremely thick intersections that Hot Chili continues to find could enshrine Cortadera as one of Chile’s most significant copper porphyry discoveries in the past decade.
The company said the latest result added to the list of holes across the northern extent of Cuerpo 3 that were beginning to outline a large, vertically-extensive core to the high-grade zone.
And there is more news coming; the final diamond drill hole at Cuerpo 3 recorded 970m of mineralised and strongly mineralised porphyry from surface with assay results to be released soon.
Drilling of the first expansion hole, which is testing the northern extension of Cuerpo 3 is also well advanced.
Additionally, Hot Chili plans to drill a further eight to 10 holes to expand the size of the two largest porphyries at Cortadera (Cuerpo 2 and 3) and test whether these porphyries join at depth.
This will support the estimation of a first resource at the project, which is expected in the first half of 2020.
While Cortadera was originally acquired as a bulk tonnage, open pit mine to complement its production hub development, centred around the nearby Productora copper project, the company said the results to date look likely to outline a large standalone copper resource that could anchor its ambitions to establish a major copper production hub on Chile’s coastline.
Managing director Christian Easterday told Stockhead last month that Cortadera had upscaled itself several times and was shaping up to become “something pretty unique and a company maker in its own right now”.
Further highlighting the project’s potential, BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) recently entered into an agreement to increase its stake in SolGold from 11.1 per cent to 14.7 per cent.
SolGold is the majority owner and operator of the giant Cascabel porphyry copper-gold project in Ecuador, which Cortadera has been compared to on more than one occasion.
Meanwhile, Veritas Securities has placed a Speculative Buy recommendation and pinned a 7.5c price target on Hot Chili in its latest research report on the company, well above HCH’s current price of 3.3c.
The broker also predicted that Cortadera would have a resource target of 500 million tonnes of sulphide ore.