Benton Advised that Clean Air Metals Announces a PEA of the Current and Escape PGE-Cu-Ni Deposits of the Thunder Bay North Project, with Post-Tax NPV(5) of C$378m, IRR 29.8%

Thunder Bay, Ontario--(Newsfile Corp. - December 1, 2021) - Benton Resources Inc. (TSXV: BEX) ("Benton") is pleased to announce it has been advised that Clean Air Metals Inc. ("Clean Air") has announced results from an independent Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) that was completed for its Thunder Bay North Platinum Group Element (PGE) - Copper (Cu) - Nickel (Ni) Project near Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. The PEA was prepared by Nordmin Engineering Ltd. ("Nordmin") of Thunder Bay, Ontario, and includes provision for a stand-alone milling complex and waste storage facility to process mill feed from both the Current deposit and the Escape deposit, part of the Thunder Bay North Project Mineral Resource Estimate.

PEA highlights include:

  • The Project has a pre-tax net present value (NPV) of $425.0 million, and after-tax NPV of $378.4 million, at a 5% discount rate.
  • The pre-tax internal rate of return (IRR) is 31.1%, and the after-tax IRR is 29.8%.
  • The capital payback is 2.4 years from start of production.
  • Revenue's average $239.8 million per year from sale of PGE and Copper mineral concentrates.
  • Total mined metal production over a 10-year mine life based on the present resource base is expected to be 629 k oz Platinum, 618 k oz Palladium, 111 M pounds Copper, 57 M pounds Nickel, 38 k oz Gold, 850 k oz Silver, or 2,886 k oz PtEq.
  • 65.2% of total mineral production occurs in the first 5 years.
  • Operating margin of 59% in the first 5 years and Life-of-Mine Operating margin of 53%.
  • The Project is located in close proximity to key infrastructure near the City of Thunder Bay, Canada.
  • Base case economics were calculated using a 2-yr trailing average metal price deck.

Readers are advised that Clean Air has not made a production decision at the Thunder Bay North Project and there is no guarantee that a production decision will be made or that the production rates at the Thunder Bay North Project will be achieved. There are currently no Mineral Reserves for the Thunder Bay North Project. The information reported in the PEA for the Project is preliminary in nature and includes Inferred Mineral Resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as Mineral Reserves. Inferred Mineral Resources are based on limited geological evidence and sampling. The tonnage and grade of Inferred Mineral Resources have significant uncertainty as to their existence and as to whether they can be mined economically. There is no certainty that results for the PEA for the Project will be finally realized.

Readers are encouraged to view the announcement in its entirety at:

Executive Chair of Clean Air Jim Gallagher, P.Eng. stated: "The initial PEA for the Thunder Bay North Project brings together two previously independent deposits into one mining plan which is relatively low risk, low capital, quick to production and generates robust financial metrics. Given the significant potential upside with continued exploration drilling along the known conduits and with the already identified massive sulphide targets we believe that this PEA is a minimum base case that Clean Air Metals will continue to attempt to de-risk towards prefeasibility."

CEO of Clean Air Abraham Drost, P.Geo., stated that "the PEA sets a mine plan that allows the Company to move forward with several de-risking objectives. These include:

  • converting mine plan-impacted unpatented mining claims to mining leases;
  • engaging with regulators toward early commencement of the mine permitting process;
  • continuation of the environmental impact studies (EIS) led by Englobe/DST Engineering;
  • commencement of prefeasibility technical studies including optimization and tradeoffs around mining, metallurgy and mill design; and
  • negotiation of Impact and Benefit agreements with affected First Nations and Métis."

Stephen Stares, President and CEO of Benton stated: "Within a very efficient time frame, the Clean Air team has systematically advanced these deposits into a very exciting and prospective production scenario. Benton couldn't be more pleased with their progress to date and anticipates more positive developments ahead as they continue to de-risk the project and demonstrate its robust economics. As a significant shareholder of Clean Air and underlying royalty holder, we feel this equity stake offers our shareholders significant value through Benton's exposure to a quality development opportunity that is being advanced by a first-class team of mining industry professionals. We wish them success on the road ahead."

Benton continues to hold approximately 24.6 million shares in Clean Air Metals Inc. In addition, Benton retains a 0.5% net smelter return royalty from production on the Escape Lake portion of the project and a 0.5% net smelter return royalty from production on any mineral claims comprising the original Thunder Bay North portion of the project on which a net smelter royalty has not previously been granted.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Benton Resources Inc.,

"Stephen Stares"
Stephen Stares, President

About Benton Resources Inc.

Benton Resources Inc. is a well-funded mineral exploration company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol BEX. Following a project generation business model, Benton has a diversified, highly-prospective property portfolio in Gold, Silver, Nickel, Copper, and Platinum Group Elements and currently holds large equity positions in other mining companies that are advancing high-quality assets. Whenever possible, BEX retains Net Smelter Return (NSR) royalties for potential long-term cash flow. Benton has also recently entered into a 50/50 strategic alliance with Sokoman Minerals Corp. (TSXV: SIC) through three large-scale joint venture properties including Grey River Gold, Golden Hope and Kepenkeck in Newfoundland that are now being explored.

For further information, please contact:

CHF Capital Markets
Cathy Hume, CEO
Phone: 416-868-1079 x 251

Benton Resources Inc.
Stephen Stares, President & CEO
Phone: 807-475-7474

Twitter: @BentonResources
Facebook: @BentonResourcesBEX
LinkedIn: @BentonResources


The information contained herein contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable securities legislation. Forward-looking statements relate to information that is based on assumptions of management, forecasts of future results, and estimates of amounts not yet determinable. Any statements that express predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance are not statements of historical fact and may be "forward-looking statements."

Forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual events or results to differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation: risks related to failure to obtain adequate financing on a timely basis and on acceptable terms; risks related to the outcome of legal proceedings; political and regulatory risks associated with mining and exploration; risks related to the maintenance of stock exchange listings; risks related to environmental regulation and liability; the potential for delays in exploration or development activities or the completion of feasibility studies; the uncertainty of profitability; risks and uncertainties relating to the interpretation of drill results, the geology, grade and continuity of mineral deposits; risks related to the inherent uncertainty of production and cost estimates and the potential for unexpected costs and expenses; results of prefeasibility and feasibility studies, and the possibility that future exploration, development or mining results will not be consistent with the Company's expectations; risks related to gold price and other commodity price fluctuations; and other risks and uncertainties related to the Company's prospects, properties and business detailed elsewhere in the Company's disclosure record. Should one or more of these risks and uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned against attributing undue certainty to forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof and the Company does not assume any obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances. Actual events or results could differ materially from the Company's expectations or projections.

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