Drilling operations have been ongoing for five days, with one RC rig and diamond drill rigs to be added imminently as Hot Chili ramps up its fully funded 30,000m expansion drilling program at Costa Fuego.

Right now, Hot Chili (ASX:HCH) says initial drill testing is focussed on satisfying the company’s remaining 3,000m drill commitment with Antofagasta Minerals to acquire key leases lying along the western extension of Cortadera.

Once this has been completed, the drill bit will move across to several porphyry targets within HCH’s consolidated landholdings, where most of the planned drilling is being directed toward exploration and mineral resource growth.


The centrepiece

Cortadera is the centrepiece of Costa Fuego, with the Indicated Mineral Resource for Costa Fuego currently standing at 725 Mt grading 0.47% CuEq for 2.8 Mt copper and 2.6 Moz gold.

The Inferred Mineral Resources comprises 202 Mt grading 0.36% CuEq for 0.6 Mt copper and 0.4 Moz gold.

Given HCH’s significant advance on its Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) for Costa Fuego (over 80% complete) and high indicated categorisation of the current Mineral Resource (82% indicated), the copper developer is focused on up-scaling Costa Fuego’s resource base and potential study scale towards a 150,000tpa copper production profile.


Upcoming mineral resource update and PFS

A mineral resource update for Costa Fuego is planned to be completed in the second half of 2023 and will include drilling from the current 30,000m programme as well as significant drilling undertaken across Costa Fuego since the beginning of 2022.

The Costa Fuego PFS is expected to be completed in the second half of 2024.

HCH is well funded with ~A$26 million in treasury following a recent investment agreement with Osisko Gold Royalties for US$15 million.



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.