Hot Chili on fire as year draws to a close
Hot Chili is on fire at its Cortadera project in Chile, finishing off the year in style with a suite of impressive copper and gold hits for the second time in as many weeks. The Cupero 2 prospect has again delivered, with an 80m drill hit going 0.8% copper, 0.3g/t gold and 3.8g/t silver, right from surface. This includes an impressive, higher grade, 26m intersection grading 1.7% copper and 0.7g/t gold from just 54 metres depth.
The Perth based company has now confirmed the presence of these high grade zones at the Cupero 1, 2 and 4 prospects, with the copper and gold mineralisation starting from surface, or pretty close to it at all prospects, over a currently defined zone of about 2 kilometres
The latest results from the first of 13 new RC drill holes follow on from the recent world-class drill hit of 972 meters grading 0.5% copper and 0.2 grams per tonne gold, again, right from surface.
Within the same hole, a “smaller” high grade zone of 412m went 0.7% copper and 0.3 grams per tonne gold.
That 412m intersection was also running silver and molybdenum credits at around 1.5 grams per tonne silver and 59 parts per million molybdenum.
Porphyry deposits around the world seldom grade over 1% copper, however, their sheer scale tends to make them economically lucrative. Cortadera is shaping up in its own right amongst tier-1s such as Newcrest’s remarkable Cadia East porphyry-copper mine in NSW.
Hot Chili’s Cupero prospects 1, 2 and 4 have an average recorded high-grade zone to date ranging from 0.7 to 1.3% copper and 0.3 to 0.7 grams per tonne gold – these numbers compare pretty well against Newcrest’s Cadia East’s mine reserve grades of 0.3% copper and 0.47g/t gold.
Cadia East occupies a mineralised porphyry that is 2.5km in length, 600m wide and down to a depth of around 1,900m.
Newcrest recently reported a 341m interval grading 0.93% copper from Cadia-Ridgeway, adjacent to Cadia East. The entire operation has around 30 years of mine life left and is still expanding through exploration.
To give Cortadera further context, the Cascabel copper-gold project in Ecuador has a mineral resource of 8.4 million tonnes of copper grading 0.41% and 19.4 million ounces of gold grading 0.29g/t.
Cascabel has prospects that have been delivering comparable widths to Hot Chili’s Cuerpo 3, with reported “bonanza” intercept widths averaging out to 958.4m grading 0.9% copper and 0.7g/t gold.
Porphyry copper-gold deposits are the giants of the mineral world and it seems that Hot Chili now has one of their very own to wrangle.
Managing Director Christian Easterday recently said: "In little over 9 months, we have transformed the growth trajectory for our Company and outlined what could become the world’s next Tier-1 copper-gold discovery.”
Hot Chili snapped up Cortadera in February this year, a project that lay adjacent to its Productora and El Fuego copper assets in central Chile. The plan at Cortadera was to prove it up to be at least as big as Productora, with a view to dramatically changing the development economics of both projects.
Productora boasts an impressive resource of 5 million tonnes of copper and about 1 million ounces of gold.
In March of 2016, Hot Chili polished off the Productora pre-feasibility study that shows an initial 11-year mine life, processing 17 million tonnes of ore per annum at 0.43% copper.
The rigs are still turning for Hot Chili over the holiday period and the company says it will be intensifying its drilling activities in the new year.
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