Hot Chili (ASX: HCH) is anticipating “significant” growth to high-grade resources at its Cortadera deposit within the Costa Fuego copper project in Chili, following its second highest grade interval from the deposit.
About 300m from the high-grade discovery hole at the Cuerpo 3 target, Hot Chili unearthed 410m at 0.6% copper equivalent (0.5% copper and 0.2g/t gold) from 440m.
Within this was an interval of 144m at 1% copper equivalent (0.8% copper and 0.3g/t gold) from 706m.
This comprised a higher-grade zone of 62m at 1% copper and 0.4g/t gold.
Another hole returned 750m at 0.7% copper equivalent (0.6% copper and 0.2g/t gold) from 204m, including 188m at 1.1% copper equivalent (0.9% copper and 0.4g/t gold).
Hot Chili managing director Christian Easterday said the results indicate Cortadera’s growth has “a long way to go”.
He added the 62m high-grade interval’s 1% copper grade exceeded the company’s previous estimates.
Costa Fuego project
Three rigs are currently operating at Cortadera with assays pending for 5,900m of drill core.
The company is targeting a major resource upgrade for the wider Costa Fuego project later this year.
Hot Chili’s Costa Fuego resource currently stands at 724Mt at 0.48% copper equivalent for 2.9Mt of copper and 2.7Moz of gold, 9.9Moz silver and 64,000t of molybdenum.
Cortadera contributes to the Costa Fuego resource with its maiden estimate of 451Mt at 0.46% copper equivalent for 1.7Mt of contained copper, 1.9Moz gold, 9.9Moz silver and 27,000t molybdenum.
Productora is the other key deposit within the project with its resource totalling 273Mt at 0.52% copper equivalent for 1.2Mt copper, 810,000oz gold and 36,400t molybdenum.
Mr Easterday said the company was poised to begin a pre-feasibility study on Costa Fuego, which he describes as the largest copper development of any ASX-listed emerging company since Equinox Minerals advanced Lumwana over 10 years ago.
He noted the pre-feasibility study would include the large high-grade copper inventory defined so far of 56.6Mt at 0.97% copper equivalent, with this now expected to grow “significantly”.
“Our combined Costa Fuego copper project is set to deliver on both scale and grade – at a time of increasing copper price and limited large-scale new copper supply opportunities in top-tier mining jurisdictions,” Mr Easterday added.