The world is going electric, and that electricity needs to be stored and transported. Copper is a significant player in the electric future, but we might not have enough to go around. The mining industry needs to look decades ahead, but few major new copper mines will be entering production after 2023. Meanwhile, copper demand is expected to double by 2050. Will supply double by then as well? Considering that the past ten years have only added 500,000 tonnes (a 2 percent increase) to annual copper production, it's not likely.
Chile is currently the largest copper producer in the world. The South American country is home to several major players in the copper industry. However, much of the country’s copper rests in the Andes Mountains, making it difficult to reach and at a significant altitude. High altitude mining presents several challenges, largely by introducing the potential for altitude sickness and presenting engineering challenges that result in increased capital costs. That’s one reason why the coastal plain hosting Costa Fuego in Chile is intriguing — it rests in the foothills of the Andes, at low elevation, and is an ideal location to construct a major project to make a significant contribution to annual copper production.
Hot Chili (ASX:HCH,TSXV:HCH,OTCQX:HHLKF) is a senior exploration and development mining company with a consolidated copper asset on the Chilean coastline. The company is completing a Pre-feasibility Study (PFS) to progress development of its Costa Fuego Copper Project towards a decision to mine. Hot Chili collaborates with high-net worth companies and investors worldwide, including securing an offtake agreement with the copper giant Glencore (OTC:GLEN) after they became the largest shareholder, buying a 9.99 percent stake in Hot Chili six months ago.
In our recent interview, Managing Director Christian Easterday said, “We've been a one of the largest exploration companies in Chile for the better part of a decade. In the last three years, since we announced the option on the Cortadera deposit, we have established our consolidation story, and built the company into the largest copper developer on the ASX. We are one of a handful of senior copper developers available globally," When talking about the scale of the project, he added, “It’s an inground value of somewhere around USD 80 billion, where we are looking to build a multi decade project with annual cash flows in excess of US$1 billion.”
The company’s Costa Fuego Project is known for its Indicated Resource of 2.8 million tonnes of copper and 2.6 million ounces of gold, as well as an Inferred Resource of 0.6 million tonnes of copper and 0.4 million ounces of gold . Hot Chili has recently completed a 47,000 meter resource definition drilling program and updated the Mineral Resource Estimate as a key step in its ongoing Pre-Feasibility Study. The asset is ideally located with respect to infrastructure:
the planned concentrator is only 55 kilometers away from a significant port and seawater pipeline intake (permit granted), and 18 kilometers from a major power substation,
the deposits are split by the dual-lane PanAmerican Highway and are 17 kilometers from a significant mining town, while also being shielded from sight by hills.
After more than a decade of exploration, Hot Chili has invested over 422,000 meters of drilling across Costa Fuego and the project is poised to declare its production credentials.
Hot Chili is led by an experienced management that imparts confidence in its ability to become a major player in the copper industry. Christian Easterday, CEO and Managing Director, is a exploration geologist and leader with 20 years of experience working in top-tier companies worldwide. Grant King, COO, is a mining engineer with over 20 years of experience in the mining industry, including 10 years consulting in tier-1 engineering firms. Jose Ignacio Silva, Country Manager in Chile and Chief Legal Counsel, combines his 15 years of global legal experience with Chief Geologist Andrea Aravena, who has more than 14 years of experience in the Chilean mining industry, and leads the field team to effectively and efficiently deploy capital into the ground. Finally, John Hearne is the Executive Studies Manager and deploys his 35 years of mining engineering in partnership with Resource Development Manager Kirsty Sheerin to advance Costa Fuego towards production. Along with additional experts, such as Dr Steve Garwin (Chief Technical Advisor), Dr John Beeson (Lead Structural Geologist) and Elizabeth Haren (Resource Development), the management team has all the right skills to lead Hot Chili to success.
- Hot Chili is a senior exploration and development mining company with a consolidated-project focus in a copper-rich region in the Chilean coastline.
- The company is in the late exploration stages and is currently completing a pre-feasibility to move forward on its path to production.
- Hot Chili has secured opportunities with investors and companies worldwide, including a significant investment and offtake agreement with Glencore.
- Costa Fuego, the company's project, has an indicated estimate of 2.8 million tonnes of copper and 2.6 million ounces of gold. It is also within close proximity of a port and major highway.
- An experienced management team is leading the company towards becoming a major player in the copper industry.
Costa Fuego Copper-Gold Project
The company’s Costa Fuego project is the consolidation of two large deposits, the Cortadera porphyry copper-gold deposit and the Productora copper-gold deposit, along with the small, high-grade deposit at San Antonio. The low-altitude project is in the coast region of Chile and has immediate access to robust power and transportation infrastructure. The company is currently completing a pre-feasibility and additional testing on high-priority projects as it moves towards production.
- Significant Indicated Deposits: The Mineral Resource Estimate for the asset has 2.8 million tonnes of indicated copper an average grade of 0.46% and 2.6 million ounces of indicated gold at 0.10 g/t.
- Largest ASX-Listed Deposits. Hot Chili presently has one of the largest undeveloped copper and gold deposits of any ASX-listed company.
- Two Significant Deposits: The Productora and Cortadera make up the bulk of the Costa Fuego project, presenting abundant opportunities for future production. The Cortadera deposit remains open at depth and drilling is presently underway.
Nicole Adshead-Bell - Non-Executive Chairman
Dr. Nicole Adshead-Bell is a geologist with a deep understanding of the mining industry from over 25 years of bridging the gap between the technical, corporate (Executive and Director), institutional investor and investment banking segments of the business – within an ESG framework. Her career includes CEO of ASX-listed Brazilian gold producer Beadell Resources (prior to its acquisition by Canadian/US listed Great Panther Mining Ltd); Director of Mining Research at Sun Valley Gold LLC (a SEC-registered precious metals focused fund); and Managing Director, Investment Banking, Haywood Securities ( Canadian independent investment dealer. While at Haywood she was involved in ~20 public transactions including streaming, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures and raising ~C$1.8Bn in equity/convertible financings. More recently she established Cupel Advisory Corp. to focus on investments and advisory services in the mining sector. Dr Adshead-Bell has over 15 years of cumulative public board experience including exploration, development, operating and royalty companies listed in Canada, USA, Australia and the UK. Dr. Adshead-Bell has PhD in structural/economic geology from James Cook University where she also completed her geology undergraduate and honors degrees. She is currently a Non-Executive Director of TSX listed Altius Minerals Corp., a diversified royalty company focused on sustainability related global growth trends including copper, battery metals (lithium, nickel, cobalt), clean iron ore, potash and renewable electricity generation and ASX listed Matador Mining Ltd, a junior exploration/development company focused on advancing its Cape Ray Gold Project in Newfoundland, Canada.
Christian Ervin Easterday – Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director
Chrstian Easterday is a geologist with over 20 years’ experience in the mineral exploration and mining industry. He holds an Honors Degree in Geology from the University of Western Australia, a Masters degree in Mineral Economics from Curtin University of Technology and a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Curtin’s Graduate School of Business. Mr Easterday has held several senior positions and exploration management roles with top-tier gold companies including Placer Dome, Hill 50 Gold and Harmony Gold, specializing in structural geology, resource development and mineral economic valuation. For the past five years, Mr Easterday has been involved in various aspects of project negotiation drawing together his commercial, financial and project valuation skills. This work has involved negotiations and valuations covering gold, copper, uranium, iron ore, nickel, and tantalum resource projects in Australia and overseas. Mr Easterday is a Member of The Australian Institute of Geoscientists. Easterday has not held any directorships in any public listed company in Australia in the last three years.
Grant King - Chief Operating Officer
Grant King has 20+ years of experience in the mining industry, including underground contract mining, production roles, work in the mining software sector, and consulting internationally for the past 12 years. Grant has expertise in project valuation and management, ore reserve estimation, mine planning in both underground and open-pit realms. Grant’s project experience ranges from small-scale narrow-vein deposits to large-scale massive sub-level open stops and block caving; from the cost constraints of nickel/gold to the ventilation issues of an underground uranium and high-altitude mining. He has built mining process models and has trained engineers and geologists in the breakdown of technical processes and the application of software. Grant has completed a Masters in Mineral Economics where he has developed exhaustive financial models, including quantifying the Mineral Resource Rent Tax in Australian iron ore, applying the Chilean fiscal regime to copper mining projects and predicting share value accretion from simulated, multiple-asset addition, decision trees for investment funds. His most recent economic endeavor involves optimizing project sizing using variable discount rate financial models.
Dr. Allan Trench - Non-Executive Director
Dr. Allan Trench is a geologist/geophysicist and business management consultant with over 28 years experience across a broad range of commodities. His minerals sector experience spans strategy formulation, exploration, project development, and mining operations. Dr. Trench holds degrees in geology, a doctorate in geophysics, a Masters degree in Mineral Economics, and a Masters degree in Business Administration. He currently acts as an independent director to Pioneer Resources Ltd, commenced 5 September 2008, Enterprise Metals Ltd, commenced 3 April 2012 and Emmerson Resources Ltd, which commenced 3 March 2015. Dr Trench has previously worked with McKinsey & Company as a management consultant, with Woodside Petroleum in strategy development and with WMC both as a geophysicist and exploration manager. He is an Associate Consultant with international metals and mining advisory firm CRU Group and has contributed to the development of that company’s uranium practice, having previously managed the CRU Group global copper research team. Dr Trench maintains academic links as a Professor at the University of Western Australia (UWA) Business School and also a research professor at the Centre for Exploration Targeting, UWA.
Roberto de Andraca Adriasola - Non-Executive Director
Mr de Andraca Adriasola is a business manager with 25 years’ experience in the financial and mining business. Over the last five years he has been working in the main Iron Ore and Steel Producer in Chile, CAP S A. He also oversaw the construction of the first desalination plant dedicated 100% to producing water for mining companies in the north of Chile. Mr de Andraca Adriasola has finance experience working at Chase Manhattan Bank, ABN Amro and Citigroup, working both in Chile and in New York and holds an MBA from the Adolfo Ibanez Business School of Chile. He is a director of Puerto Los Losas, a port in the Atacama Region of Chile. He was elected to the board of directors of CAP S.A. on April 18th 2017, until that date he held the position of VP of Business Development.
Randall-Nickson - Non-Executive Director
Randall Nickson has more than 36 years of global experience in the mining industry, including 14 years based in Chile devoted to copper exploration. His career includes work across a range of base and precious metals, bulk commodities and energy. He holds an honours degree in Geological Engineering and a Masters degree in Business Administration. Mr Nickson is currently engaged as an independent consultant to the exploration sector, specializing in business development, commercial advisory, and business evaluations. Prior to that he spent 16 years with BHP, where he worked in a variety of senior technical, exploration management and business development roles while based in Chile, Brazil and Australia. He is a member of the Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada. Nickson has not held any directorships in any public listed company in Australia in the last three years.
Mark Jamieson - Non-Executive Director
Mark Jamieson is currently General Manager of Resource Engineering for Glencore’s global copper asset group leading technical support and governance in geology, mine engineering and asset optimization for development projects, operations and JV’s. Mark brings 20+ years of technical and project experience in open pit and underground operations, including sub-level and block cave mines with Newcrest, MMG and Barrick Gold across Australia, Africa, South East Asia and South America. Mark holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in Geotechnical Engineering from RMIT University, and a Masters of Engineering Science in Mining Geomechanics from The University of New South Wales. Mark’s appointment follows Glencore’s investment to acquire a 9.99% shareholding in Hot Chili through the Company’s A$40 million capital raising, as announced to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on 6th August.
Penelope Beattie - Company Secretary & Chief Financial Officer
Penelope Beattie is a Chartered Accountant with 20 years of experience in corporate and financial services in Africa, Europe, and Australia. She joined the Hot Chili team in November 2021.
José Ignacio Silva - Country Manager & Chief Legal Counsel
José Ignacio Silva gained his law degree at the University of Chile and studied Masters in International Business Law at the University College London. He has more than 10 years’ experience in litigation, commercial and mining law, and business negotiations and in Tier 1 law firms in Chile. Mr Silva has also completed 2 years’ work experience in London, UK in Financial Fraud at the Serious Fraud Office, where his team successfully prosecuted a high level case of corruption of foreign officials. Mr Silva has been working with Hot Chili since July 2009 and in 2011 became Chief Legal Counsel. He is responsible for mining rights acquisitions, mining consolidation, deal negotiations, and business development among other things, working directly with the board of Hot Chili.
Andrea Aravena - Geology Manager, Chile
Andrea Aravena is a geologist from Universidad de Concepción, Chile that has over 13 years of experience working in Chile´s mining and exploration industry. She has also completed further studies in project and operational management in Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Before joining Hot Chili, she worked 4 years as a mine/exploration geologist in open pit and underground gold operations for Yamana and Minera Dayton companies. Ms. Aravena joined Hot Chili in 2011 as a senior geologist and has worked extensively supervising and running Productora, El Fuego and more recently Cortadera exploration drill programs, managing the field team and company contractors, ensuring compliance to the company standard operating procedures. Ms. Aravena was contributory to the completion of Productora Pre-Feasibility study and continues supporting legal and environmental permitting for the current company operations.
John Hearne - Executive Studies Manager
A mining engineer by profession, John has over 35 years’ of experience spanning production roles to executive directorships with leading mining and consulting companies including Snowden, Wood (Amec Foster Wheeler), Coffey Mining, BHP Billiton, North Ltd, Henry and Walker, and Mount Isa Mines.
John’s experience includes technical, supervisory and management roles at all stages of the mining lifecycle.
John has experience managing all facets of mining projects, from early-stage studies through to full-scale operations, for both underground & open cut operations.
Kirsty Sheerin - Resource Development Manager
Kirsty is a Resource Geologist with over 13 years’ experience in the mining industry, including underground gold mining and international consulting in resource geology.
She has worked previously as a Senior Resource Geologist for Northern Star Resources and Principal Geology Consultant for OreTeck Mining Solutions.
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