Final results from Hot Chili’s (ASX: HCH) drilling program at Cortadera in Chile have extended known mineralisation at the copper project.
Hot Chili is targeting a large bulk copper operation, with drill results to date revealing thick intersections with low-grade copper and gold.
The company’s final diamond drill hole of 2019 has returned 92m at 0.5% copper and 0.2 grams per tonne gold to end of hole at the Cuerpo 3 target.
It was drilled along the northern extent of the largest porphyry of the Cortadera discovery.
Reverse circulation drilling at the project also uncovered a higher-grade interval of 20m at 1% copper and 0.2g/t gold from 102m.
Hot Chili has compiled and modelled all the data from the 2019 campaign, which has confirmed mineralisation at Cortadera remains open.
The company stated it now believed the potential resource size for Cortadera has now more than doubled since its announcement to acquire the asset in February last year.
“The existing discovery zone at Cortadera is now considered capable of growing toward a tier one classification [with more than] 5 million tonnes of contained copper on its own,” Hot Chili stated.
“Cortadera is considered a premier discovery that looks set to position Hot Chili in 2020 with one of the largest copper-gold inventories in the hands of a junior listed company globally,” the company added.
An expansion diamond drilling program is underway at the project, with first assays anticipated in the coming weeks.
Hot Chili noted the results will feed into a “much larger first resource estimate than originally planned” at the project.
Cortadera copper-gold project
Drilling last year unearthed a 972m intersection grading 0.5% copper and 0.2g/t gold at the project. The hole was drilled at Cuerpo 3 and included a higher-grade interval of 412m at 0.7% copper and 0.3g/t gold from 436m.
Other results since acquiring the project have included 334.1m at 0.5% copper and 0.2g/t gold from 654m to end of hole.
Hot Chili claims the results at Cuerpo compare favourably to the reserve grade of several large tonnage underground mines worldwide, including Newcrest’s Cadia East in Australia (0.3% copper and 0.47g/t gold) and Lundin Mining’s Candelaria operation in Chile (0.85% copper).
By mid-morning, Hot Chili’s shares were trading at $0.031 – up almost 7%.