Base metals hopeful Hot Chili is poised to disclose a maiden reserve for its flagship project, meeting another milestone towards a mooted $500 million development.
With its deadline for delivery expiring today, the WA group is expected to announce a first-up reserve at its Productora project in Chile of more than 420,000 tonnes of contained copper and in excess of 300,000 ounces of contained gold.
The reserve will be incorporated into a pre-feasibility study due for completion in the December half.
A scoping study delivered 14 months ago confirmed the potential for Productora, which also hosts molybdenum, to become a long-life, low cost producer.
The study was based on forecast production of about 220,000t a year of copper/gold concentrate from an ore throughput of 11 million tonnes.
Development costs were estimated at $500 million to $700 million.
The reserve would form part of an increased Productora resource which analysts estimate at more than one million tonnes of copper and 700,000oz of gold.
Hot Chili has been running hard with the deposit since listing in September 2010, with a more recent focus on improving grades.
The company's share price is off its year highs, closing 2Â¢ lower at 38Â¢ on Friday to capitalise the group at $132 million.