Hot Chili has commenced drilling at its very prospective looking El Fuego copper targets in Chile, with assay results due shortly. The program is testing extensions of shallow, high grade copper lodes at the historical San Antonio and Valentina mines. The company has initiated underground mapping and sampling at San Antonio and recently completed regional reconnaissance mapping and sampling.
ASX listed Hot Chili has commenced its maiden RC drill program at the San Antonio prospect, part of its emerging El Fuego copper project in Chile.
The 4,000m program began last week and will encompass drilling at the San Antonio mine area and the Valentina mine area 6km to the north.
The drilling program will initially test extensions of the shallow, high grade copper lodes at both properties, which have never undergone any modern exploratory-type drill targeting.
The company also reported that underground face-sampling and geological mapping at the San Antonio mine had commenced.
Results from a second campaign of regional mapping and reconnaissance sampling south of San Antonio are expected in coming weeks, ahead of the first assays from the ongoing drilling program.
Hot Chili also announced that it had executed a formal option agreement with the lease owners of the Valentina mine, to earn a 90% interest in the landholding over a 4 year period.
The high-grade San Antonio and Valentina copper mines lie within 20km of the company’s large-scale Productora copper project, that contains a sizeable lower-grade ore reserve of 167 million tonnes grading 0.43% copper and 0.1g/t gold.
Hot Chili is earning into the San Antonio, Valentina and Lulu copper mining areas – collectively the El Fuego project – with the intention of securing higher grade regional copper feedstocks to support future development of the flagship Productora project.
Regional exploration and collation of historical copper production data for the San Antonio and Valentina mine areas has revealed the potential for these prospects to host significant tonnages of higher-grade copper mineralisation.
Historically, the San Antonio mine lease has produced about 2 million tonnes grading approximately 2% copper and 0.3g/t gold.
The identification of new shallow copper mineral resources at these grades, with potential economic extraction via open cut mining methods, looms as a possible game-changer for Hot Chili in Chile.
The company will be hoping the story begins to bear fruit over the coming weeks and months, as the drilling program progresses.