Benton and Sokoman Announce Updates on Newfoundland Joint Venture Projects Golden Hope and Grey River

Additional High-Grade Cesium Assays from Hydra Dyke at Golden Hope: Gold Mineralization Expanded at Grey River

January 16, 2023 7:12 AM EST | Source: Benton Resources Inc.

Thunder Bay, Ontario--(Newsfile Corp. - January 16, 2023) - Benton Resources Inc. (TSXV: BEX) ("Benton") and Sokoman Minerals Corp. (TSXV: SIC) (OTCQB: SICNF) ("Sokoman") together, (the "Alliance") are pleased to report final assay results from the recently discovered cesium-rich dyke ("Hydra Dyke" or "Hydra") on the Golden Hope Joint Venture Project, as well as final drill results from a successful Phase 2 drilling campaign at Grey River; both projects are located in southwestern Newfoundland.

Golden Hope Joint Venture Project

Initial grab sampling at Hydra, the cesium +/-lithium/tantalum/rubidium-rich dyke discovery 12 km northeast of the Kraken Pegmatite (lithium) Dyke Swarm, returned a high value of 1.56% Cs2O (cesium oxide), along with 0.4% Li2O (lithium oxide), 0.022% Ta2O5 (tantalum oxide), and 0.30% Rb2O (rubidium oxide) (see news release dated November 17, 2022). Follow-up channel sampling returned a 1.2 m channel sample averaging 8.76% Cs2O, 0.41% Li2O, 0.025% Ta2O5, and 0.33% Rb2O (see news release dated December 1, 2022). Results from the full suite of samples, which include additional high-grade cesium values, as well as significant values in lithium, rubidium, and tantalum, are summarized below.

Hydra Dyke - 2022 Channel Sampling Highlights

  1. – 2.00 m @ 0.457% Cs2O, 0.156% Li2O, 0.023% Ta2O5, and 0.17% Rb2O

  2. – 1.20 m @ 0.854% Cs2O, 0.157% Li2O, 0.021% Ta2O5, and 0.30% Rb2O
    incl. 0.40 m @ 1.94% Cs2O, 0.081% Li2O, 0.025% Ta2O5, and 0.08% Rb2

  3. – 4.00 m @ 0.834% Cs2O, 0.117% Li2O, 0.013% Ta2O5, and 0.12% Rb2O
    incl. 0.50 m @ 5.13% Cs2O, 0.258% Li2O, 0.007% Ta2O5, and 0.21% Rb2O

  4. – 1.70 m @ 0.264% Cs2O, 0.095% Li2O, 0.022% Ta2O5, and 0.073% Rb2O

  5. – 1.20 m @ 8.76% Cs2O, 0.405% Li2O, 0.025% Ta2O5, and 0.33% Rb2O
    *incl. 0.40 m @ 13.57% Cs2O, 0.316% Li2O, 0.012% Ta2O5, and 0.38% Rb2O
    *Previously released

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Golden Hope Project - Drill Collars

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The five channel samples gave values from 0.264% to 8.76% Cs2O (full-length averages), with significant lithium, rubidium, and tantalum, over lengths ranging from 1.2 m to 4.0 m. The 5 m - 6 m wide dyke is partially exposed on a hill slope which allowed a 15 m x 15 m area of the dyke to be sampled, has been traced 100 m along strike to where it disappears under overburden in both directions. Winter weather has prevented further work at the Hydra discovery, but regional soil geochemical surveys have been ongoing and will continue through the winter. In the meantime, assays are expected within three to four weeks from the recently completed 11 holes (1,606 m) in the Phase 3 drill program focused on the Kraken Discovery Dyke and East Dyke areas. The East Dyke prospect is located less than a kilometre east of the Kraken Pegmatite Dyke Swarm. Three holes, GH-22-25 to GH-22-27 were drilled on the new Killick discovery, believed to be an extension of the East Dyke, intersecting multiple, near surface, spodumene-bearing dykes with GH-22-25 intersecting eight pegmatite dykes ranging from 0.8 m to 11.2 m thick (drilled thickness; true thickness uncertain at this time) with spodumene noted over an 8.8 m interval. Hole GH-22-26, drilled 35 m behind GH-22-25, also cut multiple spodumene-bearing dykes with drilled thicknesses ranging from 0.8 m to 10.5 m, with spodumene noted over the entire 10.5 m section. Hole GH-22-27, drilled along strike 30 m to the north of holes 25 and 26, cut two pegmatite dyke zones of 14.2 m and 2.95 m thick with spodumene noted over 12.83 m of the 14.2 m interval, and the entire length of the 2.95 m interval.

At the Kraken Pegmatite Dyke Swarm, eight (8) more holes were drilled to test the main Kraken Discovery Dyke and westward along trend to test sub-crop and surface mineralization. Most holes encountered spodumene-bearing pegmatite dykes ranging from 0.5 m - 5.25 m thick including Hole GH-22-28, which intersected three dyke zones with intersections of 2.12 m to 10.97 m core length and Hole GH-22-35, a 25 m undercut south of the discovery hole, GH-22-01, intersected several pegmatite dyke zones including a 5.25 m spodumene-bearing dyke. At Kraken West, drilling tested an area of sub-crop mineralization however the bedrock source remains unidentified and a high-priority target.

Results from a soil geochemistry program, 3.5 km to 5.2 km east of the Kraken Discovery Dyke, have outlined highly anomalous lithium and tantalum anomalies located along strike. These high-priority targets will be investigated as soon as the weather conditions allow.

Moving forward, a minimum 5,000 m program is being planned and will commence once all results are received and compiled and weather permits. The Alliance continues to be impressed with the rate of discovery in this new lithium district and looks forward to the future exploration success of this exciting lithium project located in the mining-friendly province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

QA/QC Protocols

Rock and core samples are submitted to SGS Canada Inc. in Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland for preparation and then sent to the SGS Canada Inc. analytical laboratory in Burnaby, British Colombia. All samples submitted were taken or saw-cut by Sokoman personnel and delivered in sealed bags directly to the Grand Falls-Windsor prep lab by Sokoman personnel. SGS Canada Inc. (SGS) is an accredited assay lab that conforms to the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025. Samples are analyzed using SGS's GS_IMS91A50 method that delivers a 56-element package utilizing sodium peroxide fusion, ICP-AES, and ICP-MS analytical techniques. All reported assays are uncut. Soil samples were collected by Sokoman/Benton personnel utilizing a standard Dutch-auger collecting B Horizon soil where possible. Where B was not present, the material collected was noted. The soil samples were sent to Eastern Analytical Ltd., in Springdale, NL, for Li, Ta, Sn, and Nb assaying by a four-acid digestion and analyzed by ICP-OES. Eastern Analytical Ltd. in February 2014 achieved ISO 17025 accreditation (for more details on the scope of accreditation visit the CALA website).

Grey River Project

The Grey River project is located on the south coast of Newfoundland approximately 30 km east of the town of Burgeo. The project is host to widespread, and locally high-grade, gold mineralization associated with a >10 km long quartz/silica body, bounded by sedimentary units, dipping steeply to the north. Gold occurs in the quartz/silica body in zones of extensive veining and silica containing 2%-20% disseminated and stringer pyrite. Historic grab samples, and grab samples taken by Sokoman and Benton personnel (see press release dated September 2, 2021), have given gold values ranging from 5 ppb to 225 g/t Au and drilling has confirmed the gold mineralized zones as locally extensive and high-grade, including previously released assay values from GR-21-01 that include 50.13 g/t Au over 0.35 m. Previous workers have compared the gold mineralization at Grey River to the high-grade Pogo gold mine in the Tintina district of Alaska. The Pogo mine, to the end of 2019, produced 3.9M oz gold at 13.6 g/t Au (Northern Star Resources, November 22, 2021).

The 14-hole, 3,350 m, 2022 Phase 2 drilling, has returned multiple intersections of gold mineralization in drill holes covering 6.9 km of strike length with the mineralization remaining open in all directions. The results are highlighted in the table below:

DDH # Length m Az. Dip Target   From (m) To (m) Length m* Au (g/t)
GR-22-06 188 180 -45 Down Dip of GR-21-01 comp 47.57 49.27 1.70 1.140
          comp 131.80 133.80 2.00 1.570
          incl 131.80 132.30 0.50 3.620
GR-22-09 209 180 -45 Easterly extension of main silica zone   27.00 28.00 1.00 1.190
GR-22-10 107 170 -45 Historical Au trend – 200-500 ppb grabs   10.80 11.80 1.00 0.440
GR-22-11 218 360 -45 Historical Au trend – 200 -500 ppb grabs   149.00 150.00 1.00 0.504
           and 151.80 152.25 0.45 0.474
           and 203.00 203.50 0.50 0.505
           and 203.50 204.00 0.50 0.426
GR-22-13 281 190 -45 Widest part of main silica zone   63.00 64.00 1.00 3.217
           and 255.00 255.93 0.93 0.458
GR-22-14 179 190 -45 EM anomaly within main silica zone   107.00 108.00 1.00 1.182
GR-22-15 275 180 -45 Historic Au trend and 2021 follow-up   57.93 58.33 0.40 0.827
           and 111.57 112.44 0.87 0.680
           and 117.75 118.90 1.15 1.296
           and 258.75 259.00 0.25 0.349
GR-22-16 272 180 -45 Historic Au trend and 2021 follow-up   76.63 77.65 1.02 1.572
           and 130.13 130.45 0.32 0.842
GR-22-17 383 180 -45 Historic Au trend and 2021 follow-up   153.70 154.60 0.90 0.781
GR-22-19 270 175 -45 Historic grab 301 ppb Au   158.82 160.03 1.21 0.61
           and 172.35 173.60 1.25 1.918


* Core lengths - believed to be 70-90% of reported lengths.

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2021 Program highlights (previously reported)

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The 2022 drill program has demonstrated both lateral and vertical continuity of gold mineralization and has intersected anomalous gold values up to 1.7 km east of the 2021 drilling with holes GR-22-06, GR-22-09, and GR-22-19 all intersecting anomalous gold values.

Noteworthy of the Grey River project is:

  • Gold mineralization in 19 holes over a 6.9 km strike length
  • Host - silica zone remains open to the east, west, and to depth - broad zones remain untested
  • 2022 drilling shows lateral and vertical continuity of gold-bearing zones
  • Gold zones in multiple drill holes with grades up to 50.13 g/t Au

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Grey River Property. Gulch Cove area drill collar locations. 2021 (white) & 2022 (black)

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Grey River Property. East zone drill collar locations. 2021 (white) & 2022 (black)

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An intensive data review including historical exploration is ongoing and a 2023 program will be proposed in the coming weeks. A preliminary assessment of airborne magnetic data has already identified a series of northwest-trending structures that may have not been recognized previously, several of which appear spatially associated with gold mineralization, which has not been either drill tested or prospected.

Stephen Stares, President and CEO of Benton stated: "The Golden Hope Project continues to deliver exceptional new discoveries and results. I'm extremely excited and encouraged that we have located more high-grade LCT-type pegmatites and I'm confident we will make more new discoveries as we continue with our aggressive exploration plans. The Grey River Project continues to demonstrate that it is host to a large gold system and targeting the higher grades will be key to unlocking its true value. The Alliance will continue to evaluate all data in hopes of vectoring in on the higher-grade controls and this summer's work program will be aimed towards that goal."

Timothy Froude, P.Geo., President and CEO of Sokoman stated: "The results from the Hydra LCT (Li/Cs/Ta) dyke at Golden Hope confirm our initial results and we look forward to expanding the footprint of the mineralization at the nearest opportunity. The discovery of Hydra took place just as winter settled in so the earliest we expect to be back on site is early spring. While still very early stage there may be an opportunity to drill test the showing during the next phase of drilling at Kraken, the lithium dyke swarm 12 km southwest of Hydra. While we are waiting for the assays from the recently completed 1,606 m drill program at Kraken, we will continue with geochemical (soil) sampling once winter conditions allow for safe travel on snowmobile. Grey River remains a project of high potential. I have worked on very few projects where almost every hole has intersected gold mineralization over such a wide area. We know there are high grades to be found, we have proven that, however, the drilling to date has been largely reconnaissance in scope therefore there is plenty of room to hide zones of high grade on the property. The recent recognition of a series of northwest-trending structures may be the key we have been looking for and these structures will be the focus of work this spring. Drilling plans will be put forth after those targets have been assessed and modelled."

Analytical Techniques / QA/QC

Samples, including duplicates, blanks, and standards, were submitted to Eastern Analytical Ltd. in Springdale, Newfoundland for gold analysis. All core samples submitted for assay were saw cut by Sokoman personnel with one-half submitted for assay and one-half retained for reference. Samples were delivered in sealed bags directly to the lab by Sokoman personnel. Eastern Analytical Ltd. is an accredited assay lab that conforms to the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025. Samples with possible visible gold were submitted for total pulp metallics and gravimetric finish. All other samples were analyzed by standard fire assay methods. Total pulp metallic analysis includes: the whole sample is crushed to -10 mesh; then pulverized to 95% -150 mesh. The total sample is weighed and screened to 150 mesh; the +150 mesh fraction is fire assayed for Au, and a 30 g subsample of the -150 mesh fraction is fire assayed for Au; with a calculated weighted average of total Au in the sample reported as well. One blank and one industry-approved standard for every twenty samples submitted is included in the sample stream. Random duplicates of selected samples are analyzed in addition to the in-house standard and duplicate policies of Eastern Analytical Ltd. All reported assays are uncut.


This news release has been reviewed and approved by Stephen House, P.Geo., VP Exploration of Benton Resources Inc., and Timothy Froude, P.Geo., President and CEO of Sokoman Minerals Corp., both a "Qualified Person" under National Instrument 43-101.

About Benton Resources Inc.

Benton Resources is a well-financed 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 of gold, silver, nickel, copper, platinum group elements, and most recently, lithium and cesium assets. In addition, it currently holds large equity positions in other mining companies that are advancing high-quality assets. Whenever possible, BEX retains net smelter return (NSR) royalties with potential long-term cash flow.

Benton also is a 50/50 partner in a strategic alliance with Sokoman Minerals Corp. through three large-scale joint venture properties, including Grey River Gold, Golden Hope, and Kepenkeck in Newfoundland.

About Sokoman Minerals Corp.

Sokoman Minerals Corp. is a discovery-oriented company with projects in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The company's primary focus is its portfolio of gold projects: flagship, 100%-owned Moosehead, Crippleback Lake, and East Alder (optioned to Canterra Minerals Corporation) along the Central Newfoundland Gold Belt, and the district-scale Fleur de Lys project in northwestern Newfoundland, which is targeting Dalradian-type orogenic gold mineralization similar to the Curraghinalt and Cavanacaw deposits in Northern Ireland, and Cononish in Scotland. The company is also a 50/50 partner in a strategic alliance with Benton Resources Inc. through three large-scale joint venture properties including Grey River Gold, Golden Hope and Kepenkeck in Newfoundland. Sokoman now controls independently and through the Benton alliance over 150,000 hectares (>6,000 claims - 1,500 sq. km), making it one of the largest landholders in Newfoundland, Canada's newest and rapidly-emerging gold districts. The company also retains an interest in an early-stage antimony/gold project (Startrek) in Newfoundland, optioned to White Metal Resources Inc., and in Labrador, the company has a 100% interest in the Iron Horse (Fe) project that has Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) potential.

Mineralization hosted on adjacent and/or nearby properties is not necessarily indicative of mineralization hosted on Alliance properties.

For further information, please contact:

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

Sokoman Minerals Corp.
Timothy Froude, P.Geo., President & CEO
Phone: 709-765-1726

CHF Capital Markets
Thomas Do, IR Manager
Phone: 416-868-1079 x 232

Twitter: @BentonResources, @SokomanMinerals
Facebook: @BentonResourcesBEX, @SokomanMinerals
LinkedIn: @BentonResources, @SokomanMinerals


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 Alliance's expectations; risks related to gold price and other commodity price fluctuations; and other risks and uncertainties related to the Alliance's prospects, properties and business detailed elsewhere in the Alliance'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 Alliance 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 Alliance's expectations or projections.

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