Drilling across the recently consolidated western extension to Hot Chili’s Cortadera copper-gold resource area in Chile has confirmed the presence of the fourth porphyry.

The first assay result from the stage one drilling returned a 120m intercept grading 0.5% copper equivalent from a down-hole depth of 22m to end of hole that includes a higher grade core of 18m at 1.3% copper equivalent from 32m (LCD0001).

This is similar in tenor to the results from the historical twin holes drilled by Antofagasta Minerals in 2005 and is potentially very significant as the new porphyry (Cuerpo 4) appears to be very similar in size to the giant Cuerpo 3 porphyry.

Adding further interest for Hot Chili (ASX:HCH), the drilling also returned a wide intercept of mineralised porphyry below the Cuerpo 1 porphyry, which confirms significant resource expansion potential.

Assays are currently pending for this intercept.

Significant discovery

While Cortadera has already proven to be one of the most significant porphyry discoveries by ASX-listed explorers, the confirmation of the fourth porphyry and the intersection of porphyry mineralisation below Cuerpo 1 is a very clear sign that there’s more to find.

This could further enhance the company’s plan to develop the broader Costa Fuego hub, which already has high confidence Measured and Indicated Resources of 725Mt at 0.47% copper equivalent across the Productora and Cortedera deposits.

Hot Chili ASX HCH
Location of the porphyry deposits at Cortadera. Pic: Supplied.

Big porphyry potential

Hot Chili first picked up the ground covering Cuerpo 4 in November last year, a move that presented the potential to add a second major porphyry where historical drilling returned intersections of up to 128m at 0.5% copper equivalent from 28m including 16m at 1.3% copper equivalent, it also doubled Cortadera’s strike length from 2.3km to 4.1km.

This was quickly followed by the acquisition of further rights through a government-run public auction which covered the western extension of the discovery and increased the prospective strike length to 5.2km.

Sulphide mineralisation at Cuerpo 4 is primarily hosted within an early and intra-mineral stage tonalitic porphyry with sericite-chlorite-biotite alteration and up to 7% A-B porphyry vein abundance, which is typical of higher grade sulphide porphyry mineralisation at Cortadera.

Results for a further eight reverse circulation drill holes are pending.

Deeper Cuerpo 1 mineralisation

Hole CORMET001, which was originally drilled to a depth of 350m in April 2022, was extended to a depth of 611m and recorded a 70m intersection of visually identified sulphides in mineralised porphyry from a down-hole depth of 350m.

Visually identified sulphide mineralisation comprised 1 to 3% chalcopyrite as disseminations and in association with pyrite and 2 to 10% A-B porphyry veining were noted within the hole in early-stage and intra-mineral host porphyry.

Assays are pending and a further four drill holes have been added to test below the highest grade sulphide zone of Cuerpo 1, which remains open at depth for resource expansion.

Expanded drilling

Hot Chili’s first pass 6,000m drill program in 2023 is testing five new porphyry targets following the inclusion of additional targets at Cortadera North and Cuerpo 1.

To date, the company has drilled 10 holes totalling 3,300 and has another 15 holes totalling 2,700m left to go.

A second pass 4,000m drill program will begin once results from the firs pass program are reviewed.




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.