Benton Resources Inc. (TSX VENTURE:BEX) ("Benton" or "the Company") is pleased to announce that the Company and its joint venture partner Nordmin Engineering Ltd. ("Nordmin") have now completed 5000m of diamond drilling in 29 holes on the Cape Ray Gold project located on the Cape Ray Fault in Southwest Newfoundland. To date more than 480 samples have been cut and sent for assay with another 240 samples remaining to be cut and submitted. Nordmin is earning up to a 50% interest in 4 of the 6 deposits (see Benton PR January 20, 2015) owned by Benton by completing various work programs and project milestones as well as carrying Benton to a full feasibility study and arranging 50% of project financing to production.
In March of this year the companies released the results of a positive preliminary economic assessment ("PEA") for their Cape Ray Gold Project (see PR March 07, 2016). The results of the PEA include a pre-tax net present value ("NPV") at a 7% discount rate of $48.4 million with a pre-tax internal rate of return ("IRR") of 29% and a post-tax NPV at a 7% discount rate of $32.6 million with a post-tax IRR of 24%. The reader should be cautioned that the PEA is preliminary in nature. It contains inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. The current drill campaign will help bring some of the inferred resources into indicated which will help with the confidence level of the project as we move towards the feasibility study.
Within the past number of weeks, a staking rush has occurred in Newfoundland with over 5,000 claim units staked by various parties including Altius Minerals, Metals Creek Resources, Sokoman Iron, Prospector Shawn Ryan, along with many others. The staking is concentrated on the Cape Ray Fault zone and the Rogerson Lake Conglomerate, which is interpreted to be a north east extension of the auriferous zone which is host to Benton's six Cape Ray gold deposits. Marathon Gold's Valentine Lake deposits (over 1 million oz Au), Benton's Staghorn project and Altius Minerals' Wilding Lake project all occur along this trend and Altius has lead the staking rush, adding claims throughout the belt and in most cases tying directly along strike from Benton's projects.
On September 20, 2016, Altius Minerals announced the discovery of widespread and high-grade gold occurrences, including the Alder zone, on their Wilding Lake Project, northeast of Marathon's Valentine Lake deposits. The discoveries are described by Altius as follows:
"Mineralization at the Alder Zone occurs as coarse, free gold in association with chalcopyrite, rare scheelite, and gold-silver telluride, in association with tourmaline bearing quartz veins. One hundred and seven cut channel samples collected to date from outcrop in trenches have yielded uncut gold values ranging up to 13.9 g/t over 4.0 m, 5.4 g/t over 3.6 m, and 49.3 g/t over 4.6 m (including 279 g/t gold over 0.9 m). Several additional gold occurrences in outcrop and float have also been discovered by reconnaissance prospecting along trend up to 3.5 km away from the Alder Zone. Also, two initial grab samples from a recently exposed pyrite-bearing shear zone occurrence named Jigger, located 15.2 km to the northeast, have returned results of 8.4 and 19.7 g/t gold in grab samples."
Stephen Stares, Company President and CEO stated "this is a very exciting time for the island of Newfoundland and for Benton Resources. In the last few weeks, a major staking rush has occurred on a trend that Benton's team has long recognized as being highly prospective for good gold deposits. During the last downturn in the mining industry, Benton had the foresight to acquire an excellent asset in the Cape Ray project containing a proven gold resource along the Cape Ray structure and we remain well positioned by having multiple projects on this important structure. Benton and Marathon currently possess the most advanced projects along this gold trend and our team looks forward to advancing the Cape Ray deposits toward development".
In addition the company would like to announce that it has terminated its option with Element 79 Capital Inc. (Element) on its Abernethy gold project located in NW Ontario. Element was unable to fulfill the terms under the agreement (See PR dated February 25, 2015). Benton now retains 100% interest in Abernethy.