Drilling at Cortadera. Source: Hot Chili
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  • Hot Chili (HCH) releases assay results from drilling at the Cortadera deposit in Chile, which the company said expands its potential as an open-pit asset
  • The program focused on expanding the deposits three key porphyries and completing in-fill drilling to upgrade the current resource estimate
  • Drilling returned 156 metres at 0.4 per cent copper and 0.1 grams per tonne (g/t) gold, including 32 metres at 0.6 per cent copper and 0.2 g/t gold
  • The company has now launched a 20,000-metre program designed to test priority targets at the combined Cortadera-Productura deposits, known as the Costa Fuego Project
  • Shares in Hot Chili were up 4.42 per cent to $1.77 as of 2:11 pm AEDT

Hot Chili (HCH) has released assay results from last year’s drilling work at the Cortadera deposit in Chile, which the company said expands its potential as an open-pit asset.

Located immediately west of Hot Chili’s El Fuego copper deposits and 14 kilometres east of its Productura development, Cortadera consists of the Cuerpo 1, 2 and 3 targets, and boasts a maiden mineral resource estimate of 451 million tonnes at 0.46 per cent copper equivalent.

Roughly 46,000 metres of reverse circulation (RC) drilling in late-2021 focused on expanding each of those three porphyries and completing the necessary in-fill drill holes required to upgrade the resource estimate.

According to today’s announcement, initial results from Cuerpo 1 and 2 have confirmed wide intersections of copper and gold mineralisation, with some of the best yielding 156 metres at 0.4 per cent copper and 0.1 grams per tonne (g/t) gold from the surface. That log, in turn, included a higher-grade intersection of 32 metres at 0.6 per cent copper and 0.2 g/t gold.

To date, five drill holes have returned intercepts in excess of 0.3 per cent copper equivalent mineralisation. Notably, these occurred within a maximum depth of 36 metres, with the majority less than 10 metres downhole. Hot Chili said this mineralisation is predominantly within the “oxidised weathering zone” and that the recent campaign to delineate shallow resources has proven successful.

“It is pleasing to see further growth in Cortadera’s open pit potential with these new drill results and we look forward to announcing further results soon,” Managing Director Christian Easterday said.

“A resource upgrade this quarter and a combined pre-feasibility study in the third quarter will position Costa Fuego” — the combined Cortadera and Productura deposits — “as a production front-runner in the senior copper development space this year.”

With 2022 well underway, Hot Chili has now launched an initial 20,000-metre drilling program that will test several high-priority targets within the Costa Fuego Project. RC drilling began in late-December at the Productura central target, which sits immediately next to an already-established resource of 1.2 million tonnes of copper and 800,000 ounces of gold.

Three of eight RC holes have already been completed, and a number of diamond drill holes have been planned to build on the results once they’re received.

“In addition, we have kicked off our next phase of growth, with first drilling well underway across the first of several large exploration targets we will be testing this year, all capable of materially lifting the scale and economics of Costa Fuego even further,” Mr Easterday added.

Hot Chili said it’s fully-funded for the next 18 months and already has a pipeline of news to release over the next few weeks, including additional results from drilling at Cortadera, updates regarding a pre-feasibility study for Costa Fuego, plus drilling results from other deposits in Chile.

More specifically, the company is targeting a resource upgrade for Costa Fuego in the first quarter of this year, with the pre-feasibility study to be released in the third. Hot Chili is also looking to sign an off-take agreement with strategic investor Glencore in the next few months, under which the mining giant would purchase 60 per cent of the first eight years of production.

Shares in Hot Chili were up 4.42 per cent to $1.77 as of 2:11 pm AEDT.

HCH by the numbers
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