Hot Chili turns up the heat in Chilean copper drilling onslaught | Ralph-Lauren

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ASX-listed Chilean copper player, Hot Chili has fired up a third drill rig to accelerate its recently commenced 40,000-metre follow-up diamond and RC drilling program at its massive Cortadera copper-gold discovery. Cortadera forms part of the Perth-based company’s proposed Costa Fuego porphyry copper-gold super hub project development in Chile about 600 kilometres north of the country’s capital, Santiago.

The additional drilling unit is peppering the 2.3km long, 1km deep Cortadera porphyry deposits known as Cuerpo 1, 2 and 3.

Hot Chili now has two diamond rigs drilling up a storm 24 hours a day as it eyes a mineral resource upgrade in the December quarter this year.

Management says the diamond drilling component of the 40,000m campaign is vectoring in on extensions to high-grade mineralised cores and will test the possibility of the two largest porphyries joining at depth.

RC drilling has also resumed at Cortadera North, a Cortadera “look-alike” target that spans about 2km immediately north of Cortadera.

Assay results remain pending for two wide visual intersections of porphyry mineralisation recorded in two deep diamond holes across extensions to the high-grade core at Cortadera’s main porphyry. They will no doubt be highly anticipated given the length of the intersections.

In the second half of last year, the company gave copper and gold market followers a taste of the size of its asset after releasing a mineral resource estimate for the entire Costa Fuego project.

Combined indicated and inferred mineral resource numbers for Costa Fuego came in at a whopping 724 million tonnes of ore grading an average 0.48 per cent copper equivalent for 2.87 million tonnes of contained copper, 2.72 million ounces of contained gold and 9.86 million ounces of silver.

Cortadera’s share of the gargantuan resource estimate is 451 million tonnes going 0.46 per cent copper equivalent for 1.66 million tonnes of contained copper, 1.91 million ounces of gold and 9.86 million ounces of silver.

The company’s Productora deposit chimes in with an imposing 273 million tonnes of ore at 0.52 per cent copper equivalent for 1.21 million tonnes of contained copper and 810,000 ounces of gold.

Hot Chili hopes to kick off a pre-feasibility study on the proposed combined development of a large-scale conventional copper-gold mining and processing proposition at the Costa Fuego project in the June or September quarters this year.

With the copper price near decade highs of more than US$9,000 per tonne and gold holding its head above US$1,800 an ounce, all eyes will be on the outcome of the company’s drilling campaign this year and whether it can elevate Costa Fuego to tier one status.

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