Benton and Sokoman Confirm First High-Grade Lithium Discovery in Newfoundland at the Golden Hope Project

Composite grab sampling returns 2.37% Li2O

Thunder Bay, Ontario--(Newsfile Corp. - September 16, 2021) - Benton Resources Inc. (TSXV: BEX) ("Benton") and Sokoman Minerals Corp. (TSXV: SIC) (OTCQB: SICNF) ("Sokoman") (together, "the Alliance") are pleased to announce analyses for 35 of 58 follow-up samples from the recently discovered swarm of Lithium-bearing pegmatite dikes on the Golden Hope Joint Venture Project in southwestern Newfoundland. The 35 grab and chip samples were collected over a 1 km2 area over the swarm of poorly-exposed pegmatite and aplite dykes. The follow-up sampling has confirmed that the pegmatites carry significant Lithium values, the first significant occurrence of Lithium documented in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

  • 31.4% of the samples gave values >1% Li2O
  • The Lithium-bearing samples were taken over a poorly-exposed pegmatite swarm covering 1 km2
  • Additional results are pending (23 samples) along a 1 km strike of pegmatites
  • Lithium, Beryllium, Cesium, Rubidium and Tantalum values were located 2 km to the west of the initial discovery

Of the 35 samples, 11 gave values greater than 1% Li2O with three greater than 2% Li2O, and a high of 2.37% Li2O. The dominant Lithium-bearing mineral appears to be spodumene (LiAl(SiO3)2) which occurs as clusters of elongated prismatic crystals up to 5-cm-long in a grey-white matrix of glassy quartz and feldspar and a pale-green to white mica (see photo of sample 361716). Multiple samples from the aplite dikes give highly-anomalous Cesium (17 ppm to 508 ppm Cs), Rubidium (226 ppm to 1310 ppm Rb) and Tantalum (5 ppm to 179 ppm Ta), typical of evolved pegmatite swarms. Samples 361715-718 were a series of 0.5 m2 composite samples from the discovery outcrop that measures 10m x 3m and is 100% pegmatite. The dike margins are overburden covered and actual width of the dike is not known. All other samples were taken over the broader mineralized area. The following table gives the results for the composite samples and other higher-grade Li values from the area.

Summary of Significant Results (>500 ppm Li)
SampleLi ppm*Conversion% Li2O
3617151.10%2.1532.37
36171684502.1531.82
36171770302.1531.51
36171855502.1531.19
36172599502.1532.14
36172640802.1530.88
71710232402.1530.70
7171031.01%2.1532.17
71710452902.1531.14
71710571902.1531.55
71710664502.1531.39
71710733902.1530.73
7171107342.1530.16
71711110802.1530.23
71711272402.1531.56
71711384102.1531.81

 
* Li shown as ppm except where noted as %

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Spodumene crystals in Sample 361716 (1.82% Li2O)

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The Alliance also discovered high-grade Beryllium values with 2 grab samples grading >5000 ppm Be, with others ranging from 6 ppm to >5000 ppm Be, with associated anomalous Lithium, Cesium, Rubidium and Tantalum values. These samples, mineralogy unknown, are located approximately 2 km to the west of the Li discovery, providing further evidence that it is an evolved pegmatite system. Additional samples, taken up to 1,000 m along strike, have been submitted for analysis and are pending.

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Map outlining Golden Hope Project Pegmatite Sampling

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Samples were submitted to Actlabs in Ancaster, Ontario for analysis by Sodium Peroxide Fusion ICPOES + ICPMS.

Benton's President and CEO Stephen Stares states: "The discovery of this new Lithium, Beryllium, Cesium, Tantalum and Rubidium mineralization in Newfoundland continues to show the Island's vast potential. Although this is the first discovery of Lithium in Newfoundland, the geological environment and setting to discover these types of large systems have already been proven and discovered in the Appalachian belt. This includes the important deposits held by Piedmont Lithium Inc in the Carolinas, eastern US, as well as the geologically equivalent Avalonia Project being advanced by Ganfeng Lithium in the Caledonides of Ireland. Benton and Sokoman will use these deposits for synergies and modeling as we advance this new discovery towards drilling."

Sokoman's President and CEO Tim Froude adds: "We are very pleased to have unequivocally verified high-grade Lithium mineralization at Golden Hope, the first such significant occurrence in Newfoundland. While still early days, significant Lithium mineralization in similar geological settings, elsewhere in the greater Appalachian belt, bodes well for the potential of this discovery to be of significance to our shareholders. While continuing to explore the pegmatites for Li and associated elements, the claims were originally staked for gold and we are presently processing and merging our recently-flown airborne data with pre-existing data to highlight gold targets on the 750 sq km property."

The Alliance has completed a 5,709 line-km Heliborne, High-Resolution, Aeromagnetic & Matrix Digital VLF-EM Survey, flown by Terraquest Ltd. The survey will provide the structural/ lithological setting to help identify gold-bearing structure extensions, as well as any unrecognized structures including those potentially related to the Lithium-bearing pegmatites.

QP

This news release has been reviewed and approved by Timothy Froude, P.Geo., President and CEO of Sokoman Minerals Corp., and Nathan Sims, P.Geo., Senior Exploration Manager for Benton Resources Inc., both the 'Qualified Person' under National Instrument 43-101.

COVID-19 Protocols

To ensure a working environment that protects the health and safety of the staff and contractors, Sokoman and Benton are operating under federally and provincially mandated and recommended guidelines during the current COVID-19 alert level.

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 (optioned to Trans Canada Gold Corp.) 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, that is targeting Dalradian-type orogenic gold mineralization similar to the Curraghinalt and Cavanacaw deposits in Northern Ireland, and Cononish in Scotland. The company also recently entered into 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.

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, 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 x251
Email: cathy@chfir.com

Sokoman Minerals Corp.
Timothy Froude, P.Geo., President & CEO
Phone: 709-765-1726
Email: tim@sokomanmineralscorp.com

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

Website: www.bentonresources.ca, www.sokomanmineralscorp.com
Twitter: @BentonResources, @SokomanMinerals
Facebook: @BentonResourcesBEX, @SokomanMinerals
LinkedIn: @BentonResources, @SokomanMinerals

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