Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)-listed mineral exploration company Hot Chili has executed an option agreement with Bastion Minerals to fully acquire the Cometa Project in Chile.

Located near Hot Chili’s Costa Fuego Copper-Gold Project in the coastal range of the Atacama Region, Cometa spans around 56km² and is situated roughly 15km south-east of Costa Fuego’s planned operating centre.

The area is contiguous with Hot Chili’s existing properties in the region.

Historical exploration work on the Cometa Project, conducted by Bastion Minerals and other explorers, has identified several targets with potential for breccia-hosted and iron oxide-copper-gold mineralisation.

These findings were based on surface mapping, soil and rock sampling, and ground geophysics.

Should the exploration efforts at Cometa yield successful results, the company may be able to process any future mineral resources at these planned facilities, as outlined in Hot Chili’s June 2023 Preliminary Economic Assessment.

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In a statement, Hot Chili said: “Execution of the option follows successful due diligence and is another step in Hot Chili’s consolidation strategy for the Costa Fuego copper project.”

As per the agreed terms, Hot Chili made a non-refundable cash payment of $100,000 (A$65,829) to Bastion upon grant, to be followed by a $200,00 payment in 12 months to keep the option in good standing.

Bastion will secure $2.4m in the event of the option being exercised within 18 months of the grant, or $3m if the option is exercised within 30 months of the grant.

The deal consideration can be paid completely in cash or through a 50-50 ratio of cash and ordinary Hot Chili shares.

In November last year, Hot Chili signed option agreements for acquiring full interests in Marsellesa and Cordillera in Chile’s Atacama region.        

The two mines are situated near Hot Chili’s Costa Fuego copper-gold project.