KALGOORLIE (miningweekly.com) - Initial estimates for ASX-listed Hot Chili’s Productora project, in Chile, have suggested a capital spend of between $400-million and $600-million to support a 60 000 t/y operation.
Speaking at the first day of the Diggers and Dealers conference, Hot Chili MD Christian Easterday said the company had undertaken a hybrid scoping study at the start of this year, investigating a base-case concept ten-million-ton-a-year operation, over a 20-year life-of-mine.
“Early numbers are in, and what I can say is that the project is positioning itself towards the top end of the first quartile for capital intensity for these types of projects, and it is certainly lining up to around half of the capital costs of other projects coming into this space in the copper market.”
Easterday said that the company was also focused on tripling the current resource estimate at Productora to between 280-million and 320-million tons of copper, grading between 0.5% and 1.4%. The increased resource would underpin the development studies, he added.
Easterday told delegates on Monday that the company had until the end of 2013 to make a final investment decision on the Productora project, adding that the firm was on track to meet this deadline.
Hot Chile recently secured the final critical lease for its flagship Productora project, marking the end of a four-year consolidation effort and opening the door for the development of the central pit.
The developer has now started design and drilling programmes to assess direct extensions to the central resource within the newly secure lease area.
However, Easterday said on Monday that the Productora project was only the seed asset in Hot Chili’s production aspirations, with the company looking to add to the tenement area post first production in 2016.
Ultimately, Hot Chili was looking to produce some 150 000 t/y of copper product.