Hot Chili Goes From Cold To Warm In Hunt For An Economic Copper-Gold Deposit

Persistence in the Chilean coastal range is about to pay off handsomely for ASX-listed Hot Chili (ASX:HCH).

It has just reported a top-40 porphyry copper-gold hit at its recently optioned Cortadera project, near the iron ore mining town of Vallenar and 700km north of Santiago. It’s a game-changer, but first some history.

Hot Chili was brought to the market in 2010 with Chile’s low-altitude copper (and iron ore, uranium and some other things) as its focus by Kalgoorlie drilling company owner Murray Black as nonexecutive chairman and geologist Christian Easterday as managing director.

The Kalgoorlie gang has been patient and still owns 17%. Mid-tier and junior specialist Taurus Funds Management is on board with 14% and Chilean iron ore group CAP SA holds 9%. Sprott and Exploration Capital Partners have 14% between them.

That sort of register reflects the situation where, after knocking about in Chile for the best part of 10 years, Hot Chili had become one of the top-rated ASX-listed copper developers on the strength of its resource base of 1.5Mt copper and 1Moz gold at its Productora project, 700km north of Santiago.

But Productora has no been no game-changer by itself. Once valued by the market at $250m on Productora alone, Hot Chili sank as low as 1c a share in January ahead of wriggling up to the current 3.5c for a market cap of $35 million.

The wriggle upwards was triggered by the February option with the family company of a Chilean billionaire to acquire Cortadera, which sits 14km from Productora on the other side of the Pan American Highway.

Plus, the bulls are running on Highfields’ Spanish potash project after receipt of an environmental permit. Read more +

Barry Fitzgerald

About Barry Fitzgerald

Barry Fitzgerald has covered the resources industry for 30 years. His column highlights the issues, opportunities and challenges for small and mid-cap resources stocks - most recently penned his column for The Australian newspaper and before that, The Age.

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