Special Report: Hot Chili has secured crucial sea-water extraction rights that are essential for a large-scale conventional copper-gold operation at its Costa Fuego development hub.

The award comes after a rigorous seven-year application process and represents a significant development for the company as it is now one of the few copper developers in Chile with a Maritime Concession for water.

Notably, it enhances Hot Chili’s (ASX:HCH) social licence to operate as the concession ensures that it will be able to operate without using ground water.

The water rights mean that Costa Fuego, which includes the flagship Cortadera project and the Productora project, now has even greater “green” credentials as it adds to the existing infrastructure footprint, proximity to the largest solar projects in Chile and clean, arsenic-free concentrate.

It also represents a major step in establishing an infrastructure-ready major coastal copper development which can leverage from a central processing and combined infrastructure approach.

No desalination plant is required as metallurgical test work to date has achieved strong metal recoveries using sea water processing.

Pre-feasibility studies completed in 2016, which only considered Productora, had modelled the extraction of seawater via a 62km buried water pipeline from the coast to the project.

This pipeline design will now be increased and extended to Cortadera as the new operating centre for the combined Costa Fuego hub.


Costa Fuego copper-gold hub

Hot Chili’s Costa Fuego hub currently hosts a contained resource of 2.9 million tonnes of copper, 2.7 million ounces of gold, 9.9Moz of silver and 64,000t of molybdenum.

More than half of this is contained within Cortadera, which has a resource of 1.66Mt of copper, 1.9Moz of gold, 9.86Moz of silver and 27,300t of molybdenum.

The company recently raised $25.6m to fund an aggressive 40,000m drill campaign at Cortadera next year.

Ongoing drilling at the project recorded further exceptional widths of porphyry mineralisation.

Upcoming results such as the first diamond hole at Cuerpo 2 porphyry at Cortadera, which had intersected a broad, 500m zone of mineralisation and the current diamond hole at the main Cuerpo 3 porphyry that is drilling to a planned depth of 1,200m to test its southeast extension, are expected to add further to the project’s already rich resources.


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.