17/12/2020 - 16:39

Hot Chili drills high-grade Cortadera porphyry

17/12/2020 - 16:39

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Hot Chili’s ongoing drilling program has identified a second high-grade copper-gold core to its Cortadera porphyry in southern Chile. The latest results from the discovery include an extensive 248m intercept grading 0.4 per cent copper and 0.1 grams per tonne gold, hosting 32m at 0.6 per cent copper and 0.3 grams per tonne gold, from 446 metres down-hole.

RC pre-collars being drilled at the Cortadera discovery in central Chile. Credit: File

Hot Chili’s ongoing drilling program has identified a second high-grade copper-gold core to its Cortadera porphyry discovery in central Chile. Development drilling across the company’s Costa Fuego project area continues to produce some hugely impressively results from Cortadera including an extensive 248m intercept grading 0.4 per cent copper and 0.1 grams per tonne gold, including 32m at 0.6 per cent copper and 0.3 grams per tonne gold, from 446 metres down-hole.

The latest drill results from Hot Chili come in the wake of the company’s recent $25.6 million capital raising with the copper developer now knee deep in in its third phase of drilling across its massive porphyry copper-gold discovery. The current exploration program at Costa Fuego includes diamond drilling on the main Cortadera porphyry, including the Cuerpo 2 and Cuerpo 3 discoveries and maiden drilling across the Cortadera North target, just 2km north of the main Cuerpo porphyries.

Diamond drill hole CRP0053D was emplaced below the Cuerpo 2 porphyry body and returned the above-mentioned intercept as part of a wider interval registering an incredible 613.9m grading 0.3 per cent copper and 0.1 g/t gold from 220m down-hole. Analysis of the core and assay data indicates this drill hole has delineated a second high-grade core within the Cuerpo 2 deposit, with previous drilling returning 42m at 0.8 per cent copper and 0.4 g/t gold from 206m and 64m at 0.6 per cent copper and 0.1 g/t gold from 360m down-hole.

The drilling within the intrusive porphyry core at Cuerpo 2 shows an increase in the intensity of the porphyry “B-veins”, with a corresponding increase in the grade of both the copper and gold mineralisation within the ore system. This association bodes well for the rapidly evolving drilling program at Cortadera. Hot Chili is now putting the finishing touches on a further three pre-collars for diamond drilling to plumb the depths of Cuerpo 2 and test the potentially lucrative gap between the Cuerpo 2 and 3 discoveries.

Elsewhere at Cortadera, a deep hole to test the south-eastern extensions to Cuerpo 3 is nearing completion, returning another monolithic 500m wide intercept showing an abundance of B-veins and between 0.5 and 3 per cent of copper sulphide in the drill core. Samples from this drill hole are being prepared for submission to the laboratory.

An additional diamond hole is also underway at Cuerpo 3, with a target depth of 1000m, whilst two extra pre-collars are also being emplaced to facilitate ongoing exploration.

Hot Chili’s staggering Costa Fuego porphyry copper-gold project lies on Chile’s coastal strip, 600km north of the country’s capital of Santiago and just 50km inland from the port of Los Lasas. The project is home to a trifecta of porphyry discoveries including the Cortadera, Productora and San Antonio ore bodies. Cumulatively, these three titans host an eye-catching endowment of base and precious metals that tip the scales at 2.9 million tonnes of copper, 2.7 million ounces of gold and 9.9 million ounces of silver.

The global resource inventory at Costa Fuego project weighs in at 724 million tonnes at 0.48 per cent copper, 0.12 g/t gold and 0.7 g/t silver making it one of only two major copper discoveries in the last decade – the other discovery being Rio Tinto’s Winu deposit in Western Australia.

Hot Chili’s Costa Fuego project also boasts enviable access to infrastructure including power, a nearby port and critically, a seawater pipeline to supply much-needed water to the region.

The region also plays host to ENAMI’s Vallenar copper processing facility which lies just 15km north of the company’s Productora mine. Hot Chili has recently amended its processing agreement with ENAMI, now taking up the remaining processing capacity at the mill and potentially charging up its cash flow as it heads into 2021.

With the company now ramping up underground mining operations at the high-grade Productora deposit, the exploration group are driving their drill heads hard into the depths of  the Andean mountains. Hot Chili would seem to have its hands full as it charges into the new year however, if its success throughout this year is anything to go by, Costa Fuego may just be the gift that keeps on giving for many years into the future.

 

Is your ASX listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

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