Australian mineral explorer Hot Chili has entered option deals to acquire 100% interests in Marsellesa and Cordillera, two historical copper mine areas in the Atacama region of Chile.

These two privately owned mines are located close to Hot Chili’s Costa Fuego copper-gold project.

Although there has been historical mining for shallow copper oxide and copper sulphide, they were not previously drill-tested.

Marsellesa is a laterally extensive mine area with a length of 400m and a width of 200m. The mine workings expose several shallowly dipping, strata-bound, copper mineralisation zones.

Cordillera is a smaller mine located 1km from Marsellesa. Its mine workings expose outcropping porphyry copper mineralisation.

Hot Chili is planning to conduct first-pass reverse circulation (RC) drilling at the mines in the coming week, after completing drilling at its Corroteo exploration target.

The Marsellesa and Cordillera mines, along with an option to acquire the Cometa project announced in August 2023, add a pipeline of opportunities and additional options to discover new mineral resources, the company noted.

For the Marsellesa mine, Hot Chili’s subsidiary, Sociedad Minera La Frontera (Frontera), signed an agreement with Hermanos Pefaur, which holds a 100% interest in the mine.

As part of the agreement, Hot Chili will earn an option to acquire the complete stake in the project by paying a non-refundable cash payment of $100,000 (A$153.985) after the option has been granted.

A second non-refundable cash payment of $100,000 will be made within 12 months from the grant of the option.

The third tranche of a $150,000 non-refundable cash payment will be made 24 months from the option being granted.

The option can be exercised within 36 months after making a final non-refundable cash payment of $1m.

Hermanos Pefaur will also be granted a 1% net smelter royalty (NSR). Hot Chilli will have the right of first refusal to buy back the NSR.

For the Cordillera mine, Frontera reached an agreement with Mr Arnaldo Del Campo (ADC), which holds a 100% interest in the mine.

Frontera agreed to pay ADC a $100,000 non-refundable cash payment upon the granting of the option. The second tranche will comprise a $200,000 non-refundable cash payment within 24 months of the option grant.

The option can be exercised within 48 months from the date of granting the option by making a final non-refundable cash payment of $3.7m.

ADC has also been granted a 1% NSR over any of the material extracted and a 1.5% NSR over any of the material extracted from open-pit operations.