Hot Chili has unveiled a maiden ore reserve at its Productora project in Chile, of 90.5 million tonnes (Mt) grading at 0.48% of copper, 0.11g per tonne of gold and 172 parts per million (ppm) molybdenum.
The first open pit ore reserve is anticipated to contain 433,000t of copper, 308,000oz of gold and 15,500t of molybdenum.
Hot Chili said that the maiden ore reserve underpinned a substantial initial mine life of about nine years, which may increase during the year.
The mineral resource estimate at Productora has also increased to more than 1Mt of contained copper and 675,000oz of gold.
The maiden ore reserve will allow the company to complete Productora's pre-feasibility study later in the year, with a decision to mine targeted for late 2015.
The company noted that it is also continuing its advanced negotiations on a joint infrastructure agreement with its project partner, Compañía Minera del Pacífico.
Hot Chili chairman Murray Black said the announcement of the first ore reserve for Productora marks a major milestone in the growth and development of a low-cost, bulk-tonnage Chilean copper mine.
"We intend to grow the mine life significantly during 2014 through targeted drilling and deliver a robust pre-feasibility study. The opportunity to add a copper oxide operation to the front-end of our planned sulphide operation is also a new and exciting development," Black said.
Productora currently has a resource of some 214.3Mt grading at 0.48% copper, 0.1g per tonne of gold and 138ppm of molybdenum for 1Mt of contained copper, 675,000oz of gold and 29,000t of molybdenum.
Image: View looking south-east over the southern extent of the planned central pit development at Productora. Photo: courtesy of Hot Chili.