Benton Resources to Acquire High Grade PGM Deposits: Panoramic's Thunder Bay North Deposit and Rio Tinto's Escape Lake Discovery

Highlights:

  • High-grade, near-surface Platinum Group Metals (PGM) deposits with a historic resource.

  • Excellent infrastructure, with a paved highway and established logging roads.

  • Drilling highlights on the 30,000 hectare Thunder Bay North (TBN) Property include historic high-grade intercepts of 46.65 m @ 10.1 g/t Platinum+Palladium+Gold (5.267g/t Pt + 4.555g/t Pd + 0.324g/t Au) with 1.62% Copper+Nickel (1.154% Cu + 0.465% Ni), incl. 13.0 m @ 33.2 g/t Pt+Pd+Au (17.305g/t Pt + 14.817g/t Pd + 1.061g/t Au) and 4.91% Cu+Ni (3.755% Cu + 1.308g/t Ni), incl. a spectacular intercept of 2.6 m @ 97.9 g/t Pt+Pd+Au (52.769g/t Pt + 41.538g/t Pd + 3.630g/t Au) and 14.9% Cu+Ni (11.599% Cu + 3.289% Ni) in drill hole BL 10-197.

  • Drilling highlights on the 220 hectare Escape Lake Property include 121.6 m @ 2.49 g/t Pt+Pd+Au (1.04g/t Pt + 1.37g/t Pd + 0.07g/t Au) and 0.86% Cu+Ni (0.52% Cu + 0.34% Ni), incl. 33.4 m of 7.28 g/t Pt+Pd+Au (3.01g/t Pt + 4.08g/t Pd + 0.19g/t Au) and 2.26% Cu+Ni (1.49% Cu + 0.77% Ni) in drill hole 12CL0009, and 162 m @ 1.42 g/t Pt+Pd+Au (0.61g/t Pt + 0.76g/t Pd + 0.06g/t Au) and 0.47% Cu+Ni (0.28% Cu + 0.19% Ni), incl. 40.67 m 4.5 g/t Pt+Pd+Au (1.92g/t Pt + 2.48g/t Pd + 0.18g/t Au) and 1.26% Cu+Ni (0.89% Cu + 0.36% Ni) in drill hole 11CL0005.

Thunder Bay, Ontario--(Newsfile Corp. - July 2, 2019) - Benton Resources Inc. (TSXV: BEX) ('Benton' or 'the Company') today announced that it has executed two separate binding purchase agreements with Rio Tinto Exploration Canada Inc. ('RTEC') (the 'RTEC Agreement') and Panoramic Resources ILimited ('PAN') (the 'PAN Agreement') (together the "PGM Project").

Stephen Stares, President and CEO, stated: "Our team has been searching for an exciting PGM project in the market that possesses what we feel are essential project qualities: a high-grade, near-surface deposit containing a historical resource and located near existing infrastructure in a mining-friendly jurisdiction. These projects satisfy those criteria. Coupled with the high-grade discovery drilling completed at Escape Lake, the Company feels that the opportunity to delineate further resources exists. Located only 50 km from the Company's office in Thunder Bay, the projects are well-situated to aggressively move them forward. In addition, the projects lie approximately 60 km south of North American Palladium's (NAP) Lac des Illes Mine and 10 km east of NAP/Transition Metals' Sunday Lake Intrusion."

Thunder Bay North

The TBN Project contains the Current, Bridge and Beaver zones of which the following Historical Estimates* are defined:

Historical Estimate:


Resource

Tonnage
Grade
Contained Metal
Pt (g/t)
Pd (g/t)
Rh (g/t)
Au (g/t)
Ag (g/t)
Cu (%)
Ni (%)
Co (%)
Pt-Eq (g/t)
Pt (oz, 000) Pd (oz, 000)
Pit Constrained
Indicated 8,460,000 1.04 0.98 0.04 0.07 1.5 0.25 0.18 0.014 2.13 283 267
Inferred 53,000 0.96 0.89 0.04 0.07 1.6 0.22 0.18 0.014 2 2 2
Underground
Indicated 1,369,000 1.65 1.54 0.08 0.11 2.6 0.43 0.24 0.016 3.67 73 68
Inferred 472,000 1.32 1.25 0.06 0.09 2.1 0.36 0.19 0.011 2.97 20 19
  10,354,000                   377,000oz Pt 355,000oz Pd

*Historical Estimate from Thomas, D. et al. 2011: Magma Metals Limited, Thunder Bay North Polymetallic Project Ontario, Canada, NI 43-101 Technical Report on Preliminary Assessment

Mineral Resources at the Thunder Bay North project are considered by Benton to be historic in nature. No qualified person as defined by NI 43-101 has done sufficient work for Benton to classify the historical estimates at Thunder Bay North as current. The Company believes that the historical estimates at both deposits can be used as a guide in determining future exploration drilling and the Company will need to undertake a comprehensive review of available data which may include further drilling to verify the historic estimates at either property in order to reclassify them as current mineral resources. The Company's QP has verified the data but no resampling of core or any other tests on the analytical procedures has been performed by the Company to-date. Verification of results will be a top priority for Benton.

Escape Lake

The 220 hectare Escape Lake property is located within the TBN Project claim block and along the interpreted conduit system which contains/controls the Pt-Pd-Base Metal mineralization on the TBN Project. RTEC staked the Escape Lake block in 2006 and performed successive rounds of limited diamond drilling between 2010 and 2012, the results of which until now had not been released publicly. These programs yielded impressive drill intercepts highlighted by drill holes 12CL0009 and 11CL0005. High-grade intercepts from these programs over a 1 km strike length are presented in the table below:

 Hole   From   To   Interval   Au (g/t)   Pt (g/t)   Pd (g/t)   Cu (%)   Ni (%) Au+Pt+Pd  (g/t) Cu+Ni  (%)
08CL0001 280.1 340.4 60.30 0.02 0.17 0.19 0.06 0.13 0.37 0.191
  362.5 373.4 10.90 0.09 1.05 1.21 0.46 0.23 2.346 0.697
incl 367.4 371.9 4.50 0.15 1.80 2.10 0.77 0.36 4.05 1.133
10CL0002 259.8 313.4 53.60 0.01 0.11 0.13 0.05 0.12 0.247 0.165
10CL0003 205.5 232.8 27.30 0.10 1.15 1.30 0.43 0.22 2.543 0.655
incl 223.5 228 4.50 0.15 2.13 2.46 0.76 0.45 4.747 1.21
10CL0004 366 402.5 36.50 0.02 0.22 0.29 0.11 0.12 0.531 0.233
  385.5 399.5 14.00 0.03 0.39 0.52 0.19 0.14 0.939 0.33
  389.98 399.5 9.52 0.04 0.50 0.66 0.24 0.15 1.205 0.39
11CL0005 306.5 468.82 162.32 0.06 0.61 0.76 0.28 0.19 1.425 0.473
  387 461.4 74.40 0.11 1.20 1.52 0.56 0.26 2.834 0.828
  387 427.67 40.67 0.18 1.92 2.48 0.89 0.36 4.576 1.256
  387 415 28.00 0.22 2.44 3.18 1.11 0.41 5.849 1.5233
  399.25 406 6.75 0.46 5.33 6.86 2.36 0.69 12.65 3.055
11CL0007 391.5 431.22 39.72 0.16 2.10 2.74 0.92 0.49 5.007 1.41
incl 394.3 405.11 10.81 0.18 3.38 4.62 1.60 0.93 8.171 2.532
11CL0008 387.93 427.33 39.40 0.25 2.64 3.31 1.13 0.41 6.195 1.544
incl 399 407.33 8.33 0.62 6.46 7.84 2.68 0.74 14.909 3.422
12CL0009 391.01 512.65 121.64 0.07 1.04 1.37 0.52 0.34 2.491 0.859
  391.01 424.4 33.39 0.19 3.01 4.08 1.49 0.77 7.281 2.262
12CL0010 300 394.5 94.50 0.02 0.17 0.19 0.07 0.13 0.382 0.202
  388.5 394.5 6.00 0.13 0.89 0.97 0.37 0.17 1.994 0.532
12CL0011 378 408 30.00 0.22 1.56 1.84 0.63 0.23 3.609 0.865
  383.9 405 21.10 0.25 1.82 2.17 0.74 0.26 4.241 1.005
12CL0012 387.36 438.11 50.75 0.12 1.41 1.81 0.69 0.39 3.344 1.082
15TB0007 152 175.7 23.70 0.02 0.20 0.23 0.08 0.08 0.451 0.161
  189.55 277 87.45 0.02 0.19 0.20 0.08 0.10 0.409 0.178
15TB0009 162.82 226 63.18 0.02 0.18 0.20 0.07 0.08 0.39 0.152
15TB0010 179.1 253.5 74.40 0.04 0.50 0.56 0.21 0.15 1.099 0.359
  240 244.5 4.50 0.10 1.25 1.33 0.51 0.24 2.68 0.753
15TB0011 186.5 255 68.50 0.04 0.44 0.53 0.18 0.14 1.004 0.321
  207.95 217.12 9.17 0.10 1.26 1.61 0.55 0.30 2.962 0.854
16TB0012 282 302.25 20.25 0.02 0.13 0.21 0.07 0.09 0.351 0.164
16TB0014 204 231 27.00 0.01 0.15 0.19 0.06 0.09 0.347 0.155
  225 228.55 3.55 0.05 0.47 0.61 0.19 0.09 1.127 0.28
16TB0015 297.08 301 3.92 0.06 0.55 0.72 0.27 0.12 1.326 0.397
16TB0017 212.2 225 12.80 0.02 0.14 0.19 0.06 0.07 0.343 0.133
16TB0018 285 390.76 105.76 0.02 0.15 0.17 0.06 0.13 0.34 0.188
incl 360 372 12.00 0.07 0.59 0.68 0.23 0.17 1.343 0.394
16TB0021 213.2 266.05 52.85 0.01 0.16 0.18 0.07 0.12 0.351 0.188
16TB0023 240.42 261.91 21.49 0.03 0.31 0.38 0.13 0.14 0.72 0.272
  240.42 252 11.58 0.04 0.47 0.57 0.21 0.17 1.079 0.378


Note: Reported intercepts are core lengths may not be true widths.

A map of the PGM Projects and drill hole locations can be viewed on the Company's web site. In addition, the Company has made available its updated corporate presentation covering these prospective PGM Projects on its web site at www.bentonresources.ca.

Purchase Agreements

Pursuant to the RTEC Agreement, Benton will purchase a 100% interest in RTEC's Escape Lake property for $6 million CAD (the "Escape Lake Purchase Price"), subject to obtaining financing and receipt of regulatory approval. The Company is to obtain commitments for $4 million of the Escape Lake Purchase Price within 90 days of execution of the RTEC Agreement and closing of the acquisition and payment off the $6 million Escape Lake Purchase Price is to take place within 10 days of securing financing. RTEC will retain a 1% Net Smelter Royalty ('NSR') on the Escape Lake portion of the PGM Project.

Under the PAN Agreement, the Company will acquire PAN's wholly-owned Canadian subsidiary, Panoramic PGMs Canada Ltd., which holds the Thunder Bay North Project (the 'TBN Project') for $9 million CAD. The Company will have 60 days upon signing to complete a final purchase and sale agreement plus an additional 60 days to obtain financing and receive all requisite regulatory approvals for the transaction. Upon signing the final purchase and sale agreement, Benton will pay PAN a $250,000 deposit which will be offset against the purchase price. The TBN Project has an existing 3% NSR on a number of claims located within the claims package.

Closing of the purchase of the PGM Project is also contingent upon both RTEC and PAN mutually releasing each other from all future obligations from the earn-in with option to joint venture agreement that was in place.

Benton is currently considering several strategic options for financing that best serves shareholders of the Company and aggressively moves the PGM Project forward.

QP

Nathan Sims (P.Geo.), Senior Exploration Manager for Benton Resources Inc., the 'Qualified Person' under National Instrument 43-101, has approved the scientific and technical disclosure in this news release and prepared or supervised its preparation.

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

"Stephen Stares"
Stephen Stares, President

About Benton Resources Inc.

Benton Resources is a well-funded Canadian-based project generator with a diversified property portfolio in Gold, Silver, Nickel, Copper, and Platinum group elements. Benton holds multiple high-grade projects available for option which can be viewed on the Company's website. Most projects have an up-to-date 43-101 Report available.

Parties interested in seeking more information about properties available for option can contact Mr. Stares at the number below.

For further information, please contact:

Stephen Stares, President & CEO
Phone: 807-475-7474
Email: sstares@bentonresources.ca

CHF Capital Markets
Cathy Hume, CEO
Phone: 416-868-1079 x231
Email: cathy@chfir.com

Website: www.bentonresources.ca
Twitter: @BentonResources
Facebook: @BentonResourcesBEX

THE TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE HAS NOT REVIEWED AND DOES NOT ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS RELEASE.

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.

To view the source version of this press release, please visit https://www.newsfilecorp.com/release/46025

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