Hot Chili Ltd’s (ASX:HCH) (OTCMKTS:HHLKF) central copper hub, Costa Fuego, which combines all three of its projects – Cortadera, Productora and San Antonia – is set to become amongst the largest copper mineral resources along the Chilean coastal range.
The latest impressive drill results from Cortadera Copper-Gold Discovery continues its impressive run of drill results, pointing towards a significant upgrade to the recently released 451 million tonne maiden copper-gold mineral released in October 2020.
Expansion drilling of the Cortadera resource has seen wide intersections being recorded from extensional drilling of the main porphyry (Cuerpo 3) and the second-largest porphyry (Cuerpo 2).
The results continue to underpin the company’s view that Cortadera is rapidly growing toward a potential Tier 1 copper discovery in its own right.
First Commercial Cash Flow
Lease mining and processing activities at the Productora copper-gold deposit are expected to ramp-up following receipt of mine plan and final permitting approvals for the underground mine.
The approval will greatly help lease mining operations and the commencement of first commercial cash flow to Hot Chili through its agreement with Chilean government agency ENAMI, the state minerals company which manages mining tenements.
Hot Chili will update on production as well as discussions to potentially expand the lease mining and processing agreement with ENAMI, within the coming month.
The company looks forward to releasing further drill results from its phase three drill program at Cortadera, once assay results are received.
This will include diamond drill results for CRP0053D (Cuerpo 2), CRP0052D (Cuerpo 3 – currently drilling) and updates on first-pass drilling being undertaken at Cortadera North over the coming weeks.
Hot Chili is working closely with its drilling contractor to plan for the start of accelerated drilling operations in a safe manner, given ongoing COVID restrictions and challenges in the Vallenar region.
The company expects to provide an update once this is implemented.
The company is on track to complete a maiden resource estimate for its San Antonio high-grade satellite deposit located 4 kilometres from Cortadera.
Hot Chili is also planning an extensional drilling program along the San Antonio to Valentina corridor in 2021.
High-grade resource additions and a resource upgrade at Cortadera aim to grow Costa Fuego into a Tier-1 copper resource base in 2021.
Significant drill results for CRP0032D
Ongoing expansion drilling at its Cortadera discovery returned a significant drill intersection from a 282 metres extension of diamond hole CRP0032D, located along the NW extent of the Cortadera resource.
The hole had previously ended in mineralisation, leaving the NW margin of Cuerpo 3 open.
CRP0032D recorded an end-of-hole drill result of 373 metres grading 0.4% copper and 0.1 g/t gold from 648 metres down-hole, including 130 metres grading 0.5% copper and 0.2 g/t gold.
This new result further extends the strike and depth extent of Cuerpo 3, indicating a substantial tonnage addition to the recently announced maiden Cortadera resource.
It has also completed an 890 metres diamond drill hole (CRP0041D) 400 metres northwest of diamond hole CRP0032D.
Proximal halo alteration in association with low-grade copper mineralisation was intersected in an along-strike target position predicted by the four-dimensional geological model.
Information from CRP0041D will greatly assist in designing the next extensional hole along the northwest margin of Cuerpo 3 and confirms a 400 metres zone of extensional potential remains to be tested.
Hot Chili is completing a 1,200 metres diamond drill hole (CRP0052D) across the southeast extension of Cuerpo 3, which also remains open. CRP0052D is at a down-hole depth of about 360 metres and has just entered mineralisation.
The last hole completed by Hot Chili across the SE margin of Cuerpo 3 recorded a strong drill intersection in diamond hole CRP0040D, comprising 542 metres grading 0.5% copper and 0.2 g/t gold from 328 metres, including 218 metres grading 0.7% copper and 0.2 g/t gold.
First diamond drill hole (CRP0053D)
Hot Chili has completed its first diamond drill hole (CRP0053D) below Cortadera’s Cuerpo 2 porphyry, which tested further depth extensions and the potential for Cuerpo 2 to host a high-grade core, similar to that seen at Cuerpo 3.
CRP0053D was terminated at a depth of 843.9 metres after recording a broad 500 metres zone of mineralised porphyry between 284 metres and 785 metres down-hole depth.
Mineralisation between 284 metres and 785 metres down-hole depth comprises a visual estimate of 0.3%-2.5% chalcopyrite contained as fine dissemination and in association with 1% to 8% B-vein abundance.
Once all assay results have been received for CRP0053D, Hot Chili will incorporate this data into its integrated four-dimensional geological model to optimise the design of a second diamond hole below Cuerpo 2.
Assay results for CRP0053D are pending and have been assigned priority turnaround.
Cortadera North first-pass drilling
It is also advancing well with its first-pass reverse circulation (RC) drill program across the exciting 2 kilometres long Cortadera North target zone.
To date, two deep RC drill holes have been completed and a third RC drill hole is underway.
RC drilling is operating in parallel with pre-collar drilling at Cortadera and at this stage, is being undertaken on a two week-on, two week-off basis.
The first two deep RC holes (CRP0054 and CRP0055) are along 700 metres long traverse across a large surface molybdenum soil geochemical anomaly at Cortadera North.
Both drill holes have recorded encouraging proximal alteration and low-level pyrite mineralisation towards the end-of hole.
Minor copper-oxide mineralisation (copper oxide clays between 17 metres and 37 metres depth) has also been recorded in the third RC drill hole (CRP0056), which is underway and at a depth of approximately 90 metres.
Hot Chili plans to complete the remaining eight holes, including CRP0056, and await receipt of all results prior to moving to a follow-up drill program in the New Year, which may involve further RC drilling and targeted diamond tails from certain first-pass RC drill holes.
Results for the two completed Cortadera North holes are pending.