Edmonton – September 9, 2021 – Benchmark Metals Inc. (the “Company” or “Benchmark“) (TSX-V: BNCH) (OTCQX: BNCHF) (WKN: A2JM2X) – is pleased to announce that more than 41,000 metres of drilling has been completed with 6 drill rigs currently operating at its ongoing resource expansion program and advancement of new regional targets on its flagship Lawyers Gold-Silver Project, located within a road accessible region of the prolific Golden Horseshoe area of north-central British Columbia, Canada. The Company is nearing completion of a comprehensive geological reconnaissance program consisting of rock and soil sampling, mapping, and geophysics; resulting in a significant expansion to its robust database that will provide further opportunities to outline new potential on highly prospective zones that remain open.
As a result of the Regional Exploration Program the Company has generated the new ‘Black Lake’ copper gold-silver zone located within the southern portion of the project. The systematic exploration work has identified the Black Lake target as being highly prospective for copper-gold-silver mineralizing systems. Results from the 2021 exploration program at Black Lake has identified east-northeast and northwest mineralized corridors extending over 500 metres in strike-length, with rock grab samples assaying up to 1.25 grams per tonne (g/t) Au, 137 g/t Ag, and 829 parts per million (ppm) Cu (Figure 1). These results verify the presence of copper-gold systems within the same regional host rocks known to host copper-gold porphyries such as the Kemess Mine located ~45 kilometres to the southeast.
Figure 1: Black Lake corridor overlying ground magnetic geophysical survey
*AuEq calculated using an 80:1 silver to gold ratio
John Williamson, CEO commented, “The discovery of new copper-gold-silver mineralization on the project demonstrates the effectiveness of our methodology to consistently identify new and highly prospective zones for targeted systematic exploration. The 2021 regional exploration program has been very successful in outlining the grassroots potential of these large new target areas and verifies the robust nature of a variety of mineralizing systems that exist across the +20 kilometre Lawyers Trend.”
Black Lake Exploration Target
Initial exploration at the Black Lake target, located ~6 kilometres to the south of the Cliff Creek resource zone (Figure 2), has identified mineralized corridors trending to the northwest and northeast with rock grab and soil samples indicating gold, silver, and copper mineralization. The Black Lake zone provides new grassroots opportunities to explore for copper-gold mineralizing systems within the Late Triassic Takla Group volcanic rocks and Black Lake intrusives that are located within the southern portion of the Lawyers project; these units are known to host the Kemess Copper-Gold Mine ~45 kilometres along-trend to the southeast. Within the Black Lake target zone are the highly prospective Black Lake Alteration Corridor, R3 Stockwork, and Fern Gully zones which remain open.
The Black Lake Alteration Corridor consists of several meter-scale sulphidized massive quartz veins occurring as spaced-out ribs over a width of +60 metres, extending along a northwest trend for ~500 metres. Mineralization within Takla Group volcanics was extensively sampled along this trend which sub-parallels a contact with Black Lake intrusive units. Significant rock grab samples within this prospect include assays up to 2.97 g/t Gold Equivalent (*AuEq) and 810ppm Cu.
The R3 Stockwork zone trends east-northeast for 100 metres along-strike and consists of an intense hydrothermal breccia which extends over an area +45 metres wide. Just to the north of the hydrothermal breccia is an exposed zone of intensely silicified pyrite-rich volcanic rocks, containing banded veins that host chalcopyrite mineralization. Significant rock grab samples within this prospect include assays up to 1.31 g/t AuEq.
Silicified volcanics and stockwork veining exposed at the Fern Gully zone suggests mineralization extends ~500 metres along-strike to the west-southwest of the R3 zone; supported by the 2021 ground magnetic and soil sampling surveys. Veining and mineralization at Fern Gully was also observed within Black Lake intrusives that are proximally located to the south. Significant rock grab samples within this prospect include assays up to 783ppm Cu.
Airborne VTEM geophysical and radiometric survey (in progress)
An airborne VTEM geophysical and radiometric survey is currently underway spanning the southern half of the Lawyers Gold-Silver Project, which includes the Black Lake target (Figure 3). This survey will allow for improved identification and targeting of electromagnetic (EM) and potassic anomalies associated with porphyry and epithermal mineralization. Targeting EM and potassic anomalies has been proven effective within the northern portion of the project with a number of new gold occurrences identified at surface as well as coincident soil anomalies.
Figure 2: Lawyers gold-silver project zones overlying AuEq soil contour map
Figure 3: Figure illustrating zones overlying current and planned VTEM geophysical survey
The Company has experienced significant delays for assay results due to high industry demand across Canada and the Golden Horseshoe region. Assay results are taking 8-12 weeks for completion. Benchmark is beginning to be receive initial drillhole results and will commence releasing assay results as they become available.
Drilling (as of September 4th)
- 18,067 m drilled at the Cliff Creek Deposit
- 12,867 m drilled at the AGB Deposit
- 3,300 m drilled at the Duke’s Ridge Deposit
- 2,734 m drilled at Marmot
- 525 m drilled at Marmot East
- 900 m drilled at M-Grid
- 1370 m drilled at Silver Creek
- 790 m drilled at Silver Pond Clay
Geophysics (as of September 4th)
- VTEM airborne geophysical survey in progress
- Ground magnetics/VLF is nearing completion at the Arctic E-Grid, infill at 50 metre spacing will then be conducted over areas of interest until end of September
Soil and Rock Sampling (complete)
- 1,038 rock samples collected
- Majority of rock samples collected over the Silver Pond North, Marmot East, and Black Lake discovery and exploration targets
- 2,736 soil samples collected
- Majority of prospect soil samples collected over Silver Pond North, Marmot East, Black Lake, Round Mountain, and Kodah discovery and exploration targets
Quality Assurance and Control
Results from samples were analyzed at ALS Global Laboratories (Geochemistry Division) in Vancouver, Canada (an ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accredited facility). The sampling program was undertaken by Company personnel under the direction of Rob L’Heureux, P.Geol. A secure chain of custody is maintained in transporting and storing of all samples. Gold was assayed using a fire assay with atomic emission spectrometry and gravimetric finish when required (+10 g/t Au). Analysis by four acid digestion with 48 element ICP-MS analysis was conducted on all samples with silver and base metal over- limits being re analyzed by atomic absorption or emission spectrometry. Rock chip samples from outcrop/bedrock are selective by nature and may not be representative of the mineralization hosted on the project.
The technical content of this news release has been reviewed and approved by Michael Dufresne, M.Sc, P.Geol., P.Geo., a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.