Hot Chili says it is working to develop a copper project of a size not seen on the ASX in more than a decade, on the back of hitting a 144m intersection at 1% copper equivalent during drilling at its Cortadera copper-gold porphyry discovery.

The latest results from Hot Chili’s (ASX:HCH) drilling at the project returned a bevy of highlights for the company, including the second-best high grade interval reported at Cortadera 300m from the project’s discovery hole, and the overall demonstration of strong mineralisation across the northern flank of the main porphyry.

The drill hole CRP0088D returned a broad intersection of 410m grading 0.6% copper equivalent (0.5% copper, 0.2 grams per tonne gold) from 440m downhole, with the last 144m at 1% copper equivalent (0.8% copper, 0.3g/t gold) reported to 850m.

Grades were recorded as high as 2% copper and 0.7g/t gold within the high-grade zone.

CRP0088D from 768m-770m, where assays returned 2% copper, 0.7g/t gold, 4.1g/t silver and 751ppm molybdenum.

Assays remain pending for the remainder of the hole – from 850m to 1434m – meaning there could well be more to come.

The discovery hole at Cortadera intersected 188m at 1.1% copper equivalent (0.9% copper, 0.4g/t gold) at around the same vertical depth as CRP0088D, within a broader intersection of 750m at 0.7% copper equivalent (0.6% copper, 0.2g/t gold) from 204m depth.

The mineral resource for Cortadera is currently 56.6 million tonnes grading 0.97% copper equivalent – a figure which Hot Chili expects to expand significantly ahead of a prefeasibility study on the company’s combined 724Mt Costa Fuego project.

A size unparalleled

Hot Chili managing director Christian Easterday said the new drill results suggested Cortadera’s growth had a long way to go.

“It is an exciting time for our company ahead of our prefeasibility and resource upgrade,” he said.

“Cortadera continues to deliver exceptional widths of copper and gold, with the new result recording some 62m grading 1.0% copper and 0.4g/t gold, much higher grade than we had estimated in that area of the main porphyry.

“Our combined Costa Fuego copper project is set to deliver on both scale and grade – at a time of increasing copper price and limited large-scale new copper supply opportunities in top-tier mining jurisdictions.”

Easterday highlighted the fact that the company would soon begin a prefeasibility study into what is now the largest copper development of any ASX-listed emerging company since Equinox Minerals took its Lumwana copper project to production more than a decade ago.

Equinox was dual-listed in Toronto, and ultimately acquired by Barrick Gold in 2011 for $7.1 billion.

HCH is progressing towards dual-listing in the Canadian market this year.

Three drill rigs are currently in operation across five shifts a day at Cortadera, and 5900m of assay results are pending.

Reverse circulation drilling is set to recommence at Cortadera North in the coming fortnight.

Porphyries joined

Meanwhile, a new porphyry zone located between Cuerpo 1 and Cuerpo 2 has been discovered during extensional drill testing.

That porphyry zone is around 500m in strike length, 60m wide, extends from surface, and confirms that all Cortadera’s porphyry centres are connected over 2.3km of strike extent.

Results from the first four holes at the new discovery include 56m at 0.4% copper and 0.1g/t gold from 40m, including 20m at 0.7% copper and 0.2g/t gold.

Results for eight shallow holes completed across the near-surface position of the discovery are pending, and deeper testing of the zone will begin in the coming months.




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.