Hot Chili has appointed John Hearne as executive studies manager to lead the company’s Costa Fuego copper-gold pre-feasibility studies (PFS).

The Costa Fuego Hub (Cortadera, Productora and El Fuego projects) has a combined mineral resource of 724Mt at 0.48% copper equivalent for 2.9Mt copper, 2.7Moz gold, 9.9Moz silver and 64kt molybdenum.

And Hearne said the company completed a PFS on Productora in 2016 and since then they have brought in and developed the Cortadera project.

“The next step is to bring in that Cortadera resource and complete a PFS with a combined Productora and Cortadera operating hub,” he said.

“I expect this will be released late next year, and then the next step after that is a definitive feasibility study (DFS) and then to build it.

““We’re in a really good position in a prospective area to set up a central processing hub and develop out from there.”

Extensive experience in open cut and underground

The company said Hearne’s appointment significantly strengthens Hot Chili’s (ASX:HCH) executive management team by adding expertise in managing all facets of mining projects from early-stage studies through to full scale operations for both underground and open cut mines.

And Hearne has definitely earned his stripes – as a mining engineer with more than 35 years’ experience from production roles to executive directorships.

He has previously worked with mining and consulting companies including Snowden, Wood (Amec Foster Wheeler), Coffey Mining, BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP), North Ltd, Henry and Walker, and Mount Isa Mines.

Emerging major copper miner in Chili

“It’s an undeveloped copper project in a prospective environment, and Chili has a good record of large-scale copper developments with a variety of overseas investors,” Hearne said.

Plus, there’s the added advantage that it’s one of the big projects which isn’t owned by a major.

“Most of the biggest projects of this scale are owned by the majors rather than the juniors, so there’s a lot more flexibility in how we operate,” Hearne said.

“And there’s a lot of good open pit ore that allows for easy initial development while we access the underground potential.”




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.