Edmonton – November 22, 2019 – Benchmark Metals Inc. (the "Company" or "Benchmark") (TSX-V: BNCH) (OTCQB: CYRTF) (WKN: A2JM2X) – Benchmark is pleased to report continued drilling success from the Amethyst Gold Breccia (AGB) Zone. Drilling intersected two discrete zones of mineralization in 19AGBDD007 including an upper zone of 1.10 g/t gold and 41.62 g/t silver over 42.15 metres of core length and a high-grade lower zone of 30.2 g/t gold and 1,361 g/t silver over 2.95 metres of core length (Table 1). Benchmark also reports encouraging results 200 metres along strike to the south in 19AGBDD002 which yielded 1.16 g/t gold and 30.56 g/t silver over 67 metres of core length. The results have expanded the AGB Zone to a drill indicated strike length of nearly 400 metres and vertical depth of 170 metres. The Lawyers Project is situated in the Stikine Terrane of northern British Columbia, Canada, and falls within the prolific, mineral endowed ‘Golden Horseshoe’.
John Williamson, CEO commented, “Drilling at AGB continues to yield fantastic results below and along strike from the historical mining. Our drilling is demonstrating strong continuity of the mineralizing system beyond its previously known extents and identifying historically unrecognized bulk tonnage potential, representing a significant opportunity to add gold and silver ounces to the Lawyers Project.”
Table #1. Selected results from 19AGBDD007 and 19AGBDD002
Upper Zone 19AGBDD007
Lower Zone 19AGBDD007
*Gold equivalent (AuEq) calculated using 80:1 gold to silver ratio.
**Intervals are core-length. True width is estimated between 80 to 90% of core length.
Visual results from all six of the drill holes remaining to be assayed at AGB indicate that mineralization remains open along strike to the south, north, and at depth – potentially increasing the strike length to greater than 550 metres and extending mineralization to approximately 200 vertical metres, significantly deeper than historical drill depths. A total of 2,749 metres were drilled in 10 holes at AGB during 2019, representing the first subsurface exploration of AGB since the Cheni Mine closure in 1992.
Figure #1 – Map of 2019 drilling at the AGB Zone with structural geology and ground magnetics within the Lawyers Trend.
Drill hole 19AGBDD007 was designed to test the continuity of the known mineralization at depth, below the historical workings and 60 metres along strike from 19AGBDD001 (see press release September 20, 2019). This drill hole is a significant step-out from historical drill holes, both laterally (80m) and vertically (80m) (Figures 1 and 2), extending mineralization at depth to over 170 metres below surface and the mineralization remains open. Drilling encountered 1.5 m of underground development on the lowest mined level, but immediately entered the high-grade mineralization once through the workings, including 47.21 g/t AuEq over 2.95 metres of core length. Intersecting such high-grades in the immediate vicinity of workings further bolsters Benchmark’s notion that AGB was not thoroughly explored and developed during operation of the Cheni Mine.
Figure #2 – Simplified cross-section of 19AGBDD007 and 008 (results pending) depicting the lateral and vertical stepout from historical drilling at the AGB Zone within the Lawyers Trend.
The mineralized zone intersected in 19AGBDD007 is a multiphase hydrothermal breccia composed of at least three episodes of chalcedony and at least two episodes of mineralized quartz-hematite veining. Cross-cutting relationships in the veining suggest timing of the mineralizing event(s) are bordered by brecciating chalcedony. The mineralized veins contain abundant fine to -medium grained sulphides (acanthite, sulfosalts, chalcopyrite, and pyrite) and native gold, silver and electrum. The banded textures of the mineralized veins indicate open space crystallization and may explain the presence of coarse gold and silver. Potassic alteration occurs throughout this zone. The mineralizing system at AGB is controlled by a steeply dipping north-northwest trending fault zone (Figure 1 and 2) that delineates a discrete magnetic break. Bedrock mapping in the region has identified similar structures northeast of the main AGB trend that share the same magnetic characteristics and remain to be thoroughly tested.
Drill hole 19AGBDD002 was designed to test shallow mineralization between the historical workings and channel samples which returned 5.13 g/t gold and 20.79 g/t silver over 27.03 metres of core length from previous and recent confirmatory sampling (Figure 3). This hole was drilled 200 metres south of 19AGBDD007 and 175 metres north of the historical channel sample. The 1.55 g/t AuEq over 67 metres of core length reported from 19AGBDD002 represents another intersection of bulk-tonnage grade and widths previously unrecognized during 1980-1990s exploration at the Lawyers Project. This intersection starts at shallow depths along a steep-sided hill making the mineralization potentially amenable to open pit mining methods.
Geoscience BC in collaboration with the University of British Columbia – MDRU recently released a report (link to report) on the highly prospective epithermal and porphyry mineral deposits of the underexplored Toodoggone mineral district. They recognized that historical work in the region had focused on specific styles of mineralization and on high-grade ore-zones, such as the partially mined component of the AGB zone, overlooking the larger mineralization potential. This project evaluated the AGB, Cliff Creek, and Silver Pond zones from the Lawyers Property, among others within the broader region to help reconstruct the shape and depth of a possible larger, continuous mineralizing system. Thus far, Benchmark’s drilling results from the AGB zone are indicative of this larger mineralization potential that exists, with broad intercepts of 1.62 g/t AuEq over 42.15 metres of core length from 19AGBDD007 (upper zone) and 5.01 g/t AuEq over 25 metres of core length from 19AGBDD001. The discovery of significantly greater widths of mineralization at AGB enhances the potential to add significant resources to this zone, along with similar results at the adjacent Cliff Creek zone (see August 16, 2019 news release).
The results produced by Benchmark thus far, coupled with the Geoscience BC study above, add credence to the idea of larger, continuous mineralized systems at the Lawyers Project. As it relates to AGB, the broad mineralized zones intersected in drill holes 19AGBDD001, 002, and 007 will be further tested with the much-anticipated results of 19AGBDD009 and 010, which were drilled underneath the aforementioned historical channel results of 5.13 g/t gold and 20.79 g/t silver over 27.03 metres of contiguous channel length. These holes could help establish a 550 metre strike length of broad gold-silver mineralization at shallow levels along the hillside, representing a readily accessible target for potential future open pit extraction (Figure 3).
Figure #3 –AGB showing the underground workings with 2019 drilling and rock grab results on draped drone imagery. The reported zones of 19AGBDD001 and 007 lie under the historical workings whilst results from 19AGBDD002 represent near-surface gold-silver mineralization south and downslope of historical mining. Benchmark awaits the results of 19AGBDD009 and 010.
Quality Assurance and Control
Results from samples were analyzed at ALS Global Laboratories (Geochemistry Division) in Vancouver, Canada (an ISO 9001:2008 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 overlimits re-analyzed by atomic absorption or emission spectrometry. Rock chip samples from outcrop/bedrock are selective by nature and they 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.
About Benchmark Metals Inc.
Benchmark is a Canadian mineral exploration company with its common shares listed for trading on the TSX Venture Exchange in Canada, the OTCQB Venture Market in the United States, and the Tradegate Exchange in Europe. Benchmark is managed by proven resource sector professionals, who have a track record of advancing exploration projects from grassroots scenarios through to production.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
s/ “John Williamson”
John Williamson, Chief Executive Officer
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