Hot Chili testing highlights potential for single copper development in Chile
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Special Report: Initial metallurgical test work at Hot Chili’s Cortadera and San Antonio projects returned excellent copper recoveries of between 89 to +95 per cent.
Importantly, the sulphide test work results confirmed that all three of the company’s projects in Chile – including the Productora project that is undergoing lease mining – are compatible and can be incorporated into a single development.
Hot Chili (ASX:HCH) says that this compatibility will allow the newly named Costa Fuego copper development to use a single conventional processing facility.
Flotation test work of samples from the flagship Cortadera project found that copper recovery increased as the fineness of the grind increased.
Testing of the high grade sample recovered more than 95 per cent of the copper with recleaning producing a concentrate grading 28 per cent copper while the low grade sample recovered 89 per cent of the copper and produced a concentrate grading 22 per cent copper.
This result is encouraging given that exploration to date has identified a thick high-grade coppe and gold core at the project.
Additionally, recovery of copper minerals, gold and molybdenum at Cortadera is similar to results from Productora.
Preliminary recovery estimates for other payable metals at Cortadera include gold (56- 60 per cent), molybdenum (83-90 per cent) and silver (37-59 per cent), indicating that Hot Chili could enjoy significant credits from these commodities.
Testing of a single run-of-mine sample from the San Antonio underground mine recovered 95 per cent copper and produced a concentrate grading 25 per cent copper.
Preliminary recovery estimates for other payable metals at San Antonio include molybdenum (88 per cent) and silver (69 per cent).
Hot Chili says the next phase of test work will be directed towards grind size optimisation, cleaner flotation and locked-cycle test work.
This will be followed by an assessment into the commercial grades of copper concentrates that may be produced from Cortadera and San Antonio.
Exploration drilling, resource workstreams and scoping studies are also currently underway.