Benton updates exploration plans for 2008
Thunder Bay, Ontario: Benton Resources Corp. ("Benton" or the "Company") is pleased to announce exploration plans for the 2008 field season on Benton's projects.
Benton has signed a Letter Agreement to enter into an Option and Joint Venture Agreement ("OJVA") with Marathon PGM Corporation (Marathon) in respect to the eastern portion of Benton's 100% owned Bermuda Property, now named the Bamoos/Claw Lake/Four Dam Property ("the BCF Property"). The BCF Property covers 2249 hectares and is located to the north along strike and contiguous to the Marathon PGM-Cu Project. Under the terms of the OJVA Benton will allow Marathon to earn a 60% interest in the BCF Property through work, stock issue and cash payments (see BTC NR Jan 2008). Marathon has planned an aggressive work program to start in early April.
On the western portion of the Bermuda Property, Benton continues to hold a 100% interest in the Area 41 Zone and the historical Sally and Wullie Lake Deposits. Benton is planning an extensive drill program starting in late April to delineate the Area 41 zone which has been traced for more than 900 meters in drilling and has previous drill intersections of up to 1.27 gpt TPM (Pt+Pd+Au) and 0.28% Cu over 57.5 meters (SL-06-01). The Company will also further test surface showings on the Sally Lake deposit area.
KINGURUTIK LAKE PROPERTY
Benton's joint venture partner, Teck Cominco Limited, has recently completed an airborne geophysical survey over the remaining portions of the large Kingurutik Lake nickel property located in Labrador, north of the Voisey's Bay nickel-copper-cobalt mine. Teck Cominco is operator of the joint venture and interpretation of the survey is pending.
Linecutting and pulse electromagnetic surveys (currently awaiting interpretation) have just been completed on the Goodchild nickel project located north of Marathon, Ontario. Diamond drill testing of priority targets is expected to commence in June. The Goodchild project is host to several nickel showings with grab samples assaying up to 12.6% nickel (obtained by Falconbridge/Xstrata personnel during late 2006 field season). Stillwater Mining Company is earning into the property through a Participation Agreement with Benton. Benton will remain operator of the project for the first three years of the agreement.
At the Hope Brook gold project, all existing drill holes have been compiled and a 3d model of the mine area has been completed. Several high priority targets have been identified. The focus of early summer exploration and drilling programs will be to focus on these target areas, including the 240 Zone, which is located approximately 1.0 km southwest of the Hope Brook Deposit. Historical drill intersections on the 240 Zone include 5.43 gpt Au over 15 meters (CE-383A), 7.08 gpt Au over 5.8 meters (CE-240) and 3.88 gpt Au over 41 meters incl. 5.82 gpt Au over 12.0 meters (CE-246). A large 20 man camp is currently being permitted and this summer's work plans are moving forward rapidly. Airborne geophysics will start within a week which will help in targeting further mineralized areas on the property.
Benton and Pacific Northwest Capital Corp. (PFN) have formed a joint venture to actively explore for nickel in the Swayze Greenstone Belt, located 60 kilometers west of Timmins, Ontario. Three large blocks of ground located in Tooms Heenan and Kenogaming Townships have been either staked or optioned and compilation of these areas is ongoing. On the Tooms property, which hosts several historical nickel showings including the Granges Showing (drill intersections of up to 0.55% Ni over 7.6 meters including 1.6% Ni over 1.6 meters), and the Tooms Ni Showing, (drill intersections of up to 0.63% Ni over 7.3 meters including 1.6% Ni over 0.88 meters (MNDM Assessment Files), an airborne VTEM survey is planned for mid May, with ground follow-up work planned for the summer. Work programs including prospecting and mapping will also be completed in early summer on the Heenan and Kenogaming properties.
The recent diamond drill program on the Bark Lake property has been completed which tested numerous ground geophysical responses. All split core samples have been submitted to Accurassay Laboratories of Thunder Bay, Ontario. The results will be released when received and compiled.
A diamond drill program has commenced on the Armit Lake property. The program is designed to test numerous targets as defined by ground geophysical surveys (MaxMin, magnetics, induced polarization) associated with mineralized surface showings grading up to 4.17% nickel, 1.24% copper and 25.4 g/t gold (see BTC NR March 18, 2008). Split core samples are sent to Accurassay Laboratories on an ongoing basis throughout the drill program. The results of the drilling will be released as they are received and compiled.
SAGANAGA /Q9 GOLD
Given the high price of gold and the grade of the last drill hole completed on the project (20.0m grading 5.36 gpt gold) the company considers the property to be of exceptional value. In addition Benton has discovered a new zone named the Megan vein. Recent limited selective grab samples taken during snow cover on new logging roads in the area show significant grades of up to 8.16 gpt gold and 124.85 gpt Ag (7 samples ranging from 9 to 8163ppb averaging 2700ppb Au and 1 to 124.85ppm averaging 49.35ppm Ag). This vein will be subject to spring trenching and mapping. The company has received all reports from Teck Cominco Limited who was joint-ventured with Benton until last year, and has now identified several extensive high priority lithogeochemical anomalies to follow up with. Coincidentally, the Megan Vein area coincides with one of these targets identified by Teck's ground work.
An airborne geophysical survey is currently underway on Benton's Rim Property located south west of the Voisey's Bay Mine in Labrador. The new data will be merged with the more recent historical archived airborne and used to focus initial exploration efforts (prospecting, stratigraphic mapping) during the upcoming field season prior to selecting diamond drill targets.
Benton is currently pursuing joint venture opportunities for the remaining projects in the Company's portfolio.
About Benton Resources Corp:
Benton Resources Corp. is a mineral exploration company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol BTC. Benton's aggressive and experienced management team is focused on base and precious group metal exploration. The Company's diverse property portfolio includes Canadian projects which are highly prospective for gold, uranium, platinum, palladium, nickel, and copper. Benton Management believes due to the current market conditions the Company is extremely undervalued. The Company currently has approximately $20 million in working capital and a highly prospective property portfolio.
Clinton Barr (P.Geo.), V.P. Exploration for Benton Resources Corp., is the qualified person responsible for this release.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Benton Resources Corp.
Stephen Stares, President
THE TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE HAS NOT REVIEWED AND DOES NOT ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS RELEASE. Forward-looking statements in this release are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform act of 1995. Investors are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties.