Hot Chili’s Cortadera could be an absolute mammoth with another big target uncovered
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Special Report: Hot Chili already had some idea its Cortadera copper-gold project in Chile was going to be big, but it looks as if it could be even bigger still.
Historical information has revealed a large target lying immediately north of Cortadera that was recognised by previous exploration but never drill tested.
The target, named Cortadera North, is about 2km long and 1km wide and is showing early key similarities, including similar footprint size and signature, to Cortadera.
Earlier this year Hot Chili (ASX: HCH) managed to pull off the deal of a lifetime – and the company’s “best kept secret” – to secure the acquisition of the previously privately owned major copper-gold discovery.
Now the company is rapidly advancing towards its dream of taking two Tier 2 discoveries and combining them to create one potentially massive Tier 1 deposit.
While the company knew the Cortadera project was a lucrative find, Hot Chili wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it is proving to be.
“We started to appreciate that the deposit was a lot larger than what we had first thought,” managing director Christian Easterday told Stockhead previously.
“The first extensional hole hit a very wide intersection of mineralised porphyry a lot further north than what we expected, and we realised the shape of the main porphyry was oriented differently, which of course opened up the growth potential for that large porphyry centre.”
The world’s largest, most profitable copper mines are open pit porphyry deposits and enable a project to be developed as a low to mid‐cost operator over a very long potential mine life.
Not wasting a second
Naturally Hot Chili wants to find out quickly just how big this new deposit could be and is now planning an expansion drilling program.
This new find means the company now has four key areas of growth for Cortadera.
The first is the extension of the existing porphyry centres — Cuerpo 1, 2 and 3 — and definition of any significant high-grade zones as confirmed at Cuerpo 3.
The other areas include the addition of a fourth porphyry deposit, Cuerpo 4; potential for all four Cuerpo deposits to join at depth along a 2km strike; and the potential for a second 2km long porphyry target zone, Cortadera North.
Hot Chili also plans to review other nearby targets prior to the start of follow-up exploration and expansion drilling.
Diamond drilling will begin in the coming weeks, focused initially on the new high-grade zone discovered at the main porphyry, Cuerpo 3.
Hot Chili drilling recently delivered a record 750m hit that included 188m at close to 1 per cent copper and 0.5 grams per tonne of gold.
That intercept ranks in the top 50 copper-gold porphyry hits ever recorded globally.
Porphyries typically range from 100 million to 5 billion tonnes, but at lower grades of between 0.2 per cent and less than 1 per cent copper.
In this case, hitting a grade of 1 per cent copper is considered high-grade.