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Cortadera delivers impressive drill results for Hot Chili
5 minute read
Hot Chili Ltd (ASX:HCH) has released impressive first results from its drill program across the Cortadera copper-gold porphyry discovery in Chile, while management also confirmed its intention to expand plans for further exploration.
As a backdrop, on February 22, 2019, Hot Chili executed a formal Option Agreement to acquire a 100% interest in Cortadera.
Cortadera is a privately-owned, major copper-gold porphyry discovery located along the Chilean coastal range, where historical world-class discovery drill results have only recently been publicly released by Hot Chili.
In early April, the company commenced a confirmation drilling programme comprising 17 holes for approximately 5000 metres of reverse circulation (RC) drilling.
The drilling aims to confirm and extend areas of surface enrichment and wide, higher-grade, copper-gold sulphide mineralisation, which had not previously been closed off by 23,000 metres of historical diamond drilling.
Results provide early validation
Hot Chili’s chairman Murray Black was buoyed by early results, and in pointing to their strategic significance in terms of the company’s view of Cortadera as a major new copper-gold discovery he said, “Results announced today are the first step in Hot Chili’s validation of Cortadera as a major copper-gold discovery, that has the potential to be transformative for the company.
“Under a combined development scenario, Cortadera and Productora look likely to underpin a globally significant new copper development on the coastal range of Chile, virtually unrivalled in size, location and infrastructure advantage by our peers.”
Importantly, Cortadera lies only 14 kilometres from Hot Chili’s large-scale Productora copper development and adjacent to the high grade El Fuego satellite copper projects.
As indicated below, it is ideally positioned in terms of creating a ‘hub and spoke’ mining operation with multiple sources of feed being processed through a central facility.
Alternatively, given the potential size of some of the individual deposits there could also be justification for additional processing plants.
Wide copper sulphide mineralisation intersected
Deep RC drilling is currently being completed across the main porphyry (Cuerpo 3) where previous diamond drilling had recorded wide copper sulphide intersections which remained open up-dip, down-dip and laterally.
Some of the more impressive intersections included 864 metres at 0.4% copper and 0.1g/t gold from 62 metres down-hole, 406 metres grading 0.4% copper and 0.2g/t gold from 276 metres down-hole and 198 metres at 0.6% copper and 0.2g/t gold from 652 metres down-hole.
The latter indicates that deeper drilling may sector higher grade mineralisation, and the upcoming introduction of complementary diamond drilling (DD) could reveal some promising results.
Several deep RC drill holes completed across Cuerpo 3 have ended in mineralisation at the limit of RC depth penetration which is approximately 350 metres down-hole.
Management is now extending these RC holes with DD tails and it is expected that RC drilling will be complete within the coming week.
Diamond drilling commenced two days ago and will operate over the coming weeks to complete the company’s initial confirmation phase of drilling at Cortadera.
High gold-copper ratio suggest robust gold credits
Hot Chili’s drilling programme has been underway for approximately four weeks, targeting each of the three porphyries that comprise the Cortadera discovery.
Initial shallow RC drilling has been completed across two of Cortadera’s porphyry centres (Cuerpo 1 and 2) with current deep RC drilling focused across the main porphyry (Cuerpo 3) within the two kilometre long discovery zone as indicated above.
Hot Chili completed four shallow RC holes across Cuerpo 2 to confirm the presence of wide copper and gold mineralisation intersected by previous diamond drilling, and each hole recorded extensive copper and gold from surface.
Surface intercepts included 122 metres grading 0.6% copper and 0.3 grams per tonne gold and 118 metres grading 0.5% copper and 0.3 grams per tonne gold.
Black said, “These results confirm the potential for Cortadera to host significant zones of higher grade copper associated with chalcocite enrichment in the near-surface profile of the deposit.
“Results from the four RC drill holes at Cuerpo 2 also highlighted very strong gold enrichment in the near-surface profile.
“The high gold-copper ratio of approximately 0.5 being recorded in previous drilling as well as Hot Chili’s confirmation drilling is very positive for the presence of a substantial gold credit in any early-stage development that may be considered.”
The first of several RC drill holes directed towards Cuerpo 1 porphyry also recorded a wide intersection of 144 metres at 0.5% copper and 0.1 grams per tonne gold from surface.
The result provides confidence in the use of RC drilling at Cortadera as a more cost-effective drilling technique to utilise for future exploration of the shallower portions of the discovery.
Consequently, this will have a positive impact on Hot Chili’s future studies regarding the project’s commercial viability and economic returns.
Recent results could well provide share price momentum, and with management releasing information in relation to assays currently being analysed over the coming weeks there is scope for further upside.