Benton recently completed an option agreement with Kennecott Canada Exploration Inc., a wholly own subsidiary of Rio Tinto on Benton’s 100% owned South Sibley Nickel-PGM project. The South Sibley project is located in Dorion and McTavish Townships, approximately halfway between Thunder Bay, ON and Nipigon, ON. Under the terms of the agreement KCEI can earn a 60% interest by incurring $1.5 million in expenditures and paying Benton $100,000 cash on or before December 31, 2013. After the initial earn-in Kennecott has the option to increase their interest to 70% by incurring a further $3.0 million on the property by December 31, 2015 after which they can increase their interest to 80% by incurring a further $5.75 million by December 31, 2017. Kennecott has the right to form a joint venture with Benton after fulfilling the requirements of the option agreement to earn either 60, 70, or 80 percent interest.
The South Sibley property is one of Benton’s largest land packages in Northwestern Ontario. 44 Claims (634 units) were acquired by staking and option agreement with Ken Fenwick (6 Claims). The property is located in Dorion and McTavish Townships, approximately halfway between Thunder Bay, ON and Nipigon, ON. The property lies in NTS map sheets 52 A/10 & 52 A/15. The claims which comprise this property are listed below.
During 2006, the Sibley Basin experienced a staking rush by various companies searching for unconformity type, uranium deposits. Historical showings in the area displayed U3O8 values as high as 18% (Canyon Showing along Black Sturgeon fault – now protected as park land). Benton was a large player in this staking rush and was able to acquire 4 major claim blocks. The South Sibley block quickly became Benton’s focus after prospecting on the property identified many interesting, anomalous zones.
Benton Resources has since completed an extensive work program to determine priority targets for a 2009 drill program. In 2007, the company flew both an Airborne Magnetic (phase I) and Radiometric Survey (phase II). This was followed by linecutting and trenching within the “Goodmorning Lake” claims where prospecting and historical showings proved that this is an area of interest. It seems that the northwest Goodmorning Lake Fault is a conduit or pathway for uranium deposition as there are occurrences along the length of this fault. Samples taken within and around the two trenches (excavated on the fault) assayed up to 1.01% U3O8.
Benton expanded its land position to the south of the property in 2007 and recently completed a Phase III Airborne survey that included both Magnetic and Radiometric data collection. A small geochemical (soil) survey has also been completed and results are pending.
Based on the work completed to-date, Benton has identified multiple drill targets and is excited to take this property to the next stage.
The South Sibley property lies on the margin of the Lake Nipigon Sedimentary Basin. The Nipigon Basin is considered to have a very similar geological setting to that of Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin which hosts the world's highest grading uranium deposits. Excellent geological potential combined with significant historic uranium occurrences have led geologists to view the Nipigon Basin as highly prospective for new uranium deposits.
Benton’s highly prospective ground covers coincident radiometric and lake sediment anomalies associated with Sibley Group Proterozoic-aged sediments that coincide with underlying structures in the Archean-aged basement granites, a setting similar to the uranium-rich Athabasca Basin. Historical exploration in the area has uncovered numerous showings of uranium, copper, and iron oxide (hematite) suggesting the potential exists for Olympic Dam type deposits.
The South Sibley property is also contiguous with Magma Metals’ Thunder Bay North property where recent drilling intersected up to 61.7m of 5.61g/t Pt + Pd. Their claim block lies near the boundary between the Archaean granite-gneiss-greenstone terrain to the southwest and the Proterozoic Nipigon Plate to the northeast.
Benton’s property has potential for numerous types of mineralization. It is necessary to complete a number of exploration drillholes to determine property stratigraphy, depth to unconformity and thickness of hematite breccia within the Goodmorning Lake fault.