Lawyers Gold-Silver Project

The Lawyers Project Is Located In The Prolific ‘Golden Horseshoe’

The Lawyers Property covers 144 km2 of highly prospective rocks in the northeastern region of the prolific metal-endowed Stikine Terrane, British Columbia, Canada. Magmatic events in Stikine during the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic were the driving source for the development of mineralizing porphyry and epithermal systems. On both the east and west sides of the Bowser Basin the same magmatic and mineralizing events are recognized (Logan and Mihalynuk, 2014), forming an arch of gold and polymetallic mineralization; which is depicted herein as the ‘Golden Horseshoe’ which includes the Golden Triangle (Figure 1).

Figure #1 – Map of the Golden Horseshoe

The Lawyers Project straddles an important stratigraphic horizon between rocks of the Upper Triassic Stuhini Group and Lower Jurassic Hazelton Group that define an important geological unconformity with many of the deposits in the Golden Horseshoe concentrated along it. The project is also located in a proven and profitable mining jurisdiction, only 45 km northwest of the Kemess gold-copper mine (Figure 2). The Golden Horseshoe provides a visual context for the mines, discoveries and common geology of the Golden Triangle and Toodoggone regions, which forms a prolific metalliferous arch that includes the Quesnel and Stikine terranes.

Figure #2 – Project map with local infrastructure

Project History

Exploration on the Lawyers property and the surrounding area began in the late 1960s and peaked in the 1980s, identifying numerous showings, prospects and deposits culminating in the development of the Lawyers gold-silver mine that operated from 1989-1992 and produced 171,200 oz gold and 3.6 million oz silver over the 4-year period. The deposit was never fully mined, or the surrounding area thoroughly explored for gold-silver mineralization. An estimated $50 million in infrastructure remains on the property, including year-round road access.

1980 vs 2020

At the heart of the Laywers Trend is the structurally controlled Cliff Creek, Dukes Ridge, Phoenix, and AGB zones that are located within a large 5 km by 8 km radiometric anomaly that is coincident with potassic alteration, associated with a low-sulphidation epithermal system (Figure 3). The limited historical underground production at the AGB and Cliff Creek zones targeted the high-grade veins associated with this large epithermal system. However, recently acquired data, geological compilation, and reinterpretation has revealed significant potential to add gold and silver ounces within these zones and across the entire mineralizing system. New drill results are providing previously unrecognized bulk-tonnage, near-surface intercepts that envelope the higher-grade intervals of gold and silver mineralization. These results are from within the footprint of the historically mined areas, but also include significant gold-silver intercepts along strike, and at depth. The surface expression of the mineralization is coincident with pervasive potassic alteration, large gold-in-soil anomalies, and anomalous rock and trench results.

Select high-grade drilling intercepts from the Lawyers Trend include:

259.76 g/t Au & 3,320.3 g/t Ag over 3 m*

108.36 g/t Au & 911.2 g/t Ag over 7 m*

86.06 g/t Au & 583.83 g/t Ag over 7 m*

52.02 g/t Au & 846.44 g/t Ag over 3 m*

12.67 g/t Au & 143.39 g/t Ag over 28 m*

Select bulk-tonnage drilling intercepts from the Lawyers Trend include:

6.96 g/t Au & 254.70 g/t Ag over 57.9 m*

5.76 g/t Au & 128.65 g/t Ag over 33.53 m*

4.06 g/t Au & 409.06 g/t Ag over 40.9 m*

3.78 g/t Au & 82.40 g/t Ag over 35.0 m*

2.68 g/t Au & 82.57 g/t Ag over 36.5 m*

*Drill hole length

** Based on limited information from historical mine level plans and ore block models parts of the results above have been mined. However, both high-grade and bulk-tonnage drill intercepts and surface mineralization extend beyond the known workings and the system remains open along strike and at depth.

Stratigraphy

The Lawyers property is predominantly underlain by a shallow northwest-dipping sequence of volcanic and sedimentary rocks of the Lower Jurassic Toodoggone Formation (Figure 3), part of the Hazelton Group that is exposed throughout the prolific metal-endowed Stikine Terrane. The Toodoggone Formation can be divided into upper and lower volcanic cycles as illustrated on the simplified stratigraphic column in Figure 4. The Lawyers property is predominantly underlain by lower cycle rocks comprised of thick sequences (>300 m) of dacitic and andesitic tuffs and flows. These volcanic strata erupted concurrently with the development of deeply rooted faults that focused both magmatism and mineralization (Figure 3). Magmatism is expressed as the Black Lake intrusive suite that outcrops in the southern region of the property (Diakow et al., 1993). Locally Asitka and Takla Group rocks are exposed along the margins of the Black Lake intrusive and are in part fault bounded. Similar relationships are often observed in the southern Toodoggone and spatially associated with porphyry style mineralization, including at Kemess.

Localized conglomerates and volcaniclastics within the lower cycle are confined within blocks dropped by steeply dipping syn-volcanic faults and can potentially be used as a vector towards epithermal mineralization. The entire Toodoggone Volcanic sequence is unconformably overlain by the younger Sustut sediments.

Figure #3 – Geological map of the Lawyers property and accompanying cross sections showing the relationship between structure, stratigraphy and epithermal mineralization across part of the central Lawyers Trend.

Figure #4 – Simplified stratigraphic section for the Lawyers project and the broader Toodoggone region. The different types of intrusive rocks, mineralization, and the time period for which they span is illustrated on the right side of the diagram.

Structure

The lawyer’s property has undergone a relatively simple brittle deformation history of syn-volcanic graben development and subsequent strike-slip deformation. The most dominant structural features on the property are a series of well-developed NW-NNW (310-340°) striking faults that are subvertical to steeply SW or NE dipping. They typically show evidence of normal displacement with localized, late, strike-slip reactivation. These are the oldest structures on the property and represent syn-volcanic growth faults that formed during Lower Jurassic extension and block faulting.

The orientation and characteristics of the mineralized zones within the Lawyers Trend are consistent with the development of robust hydrothermal systems within a pre-existing NW-NNW trending fault and fracture system. This system is likely reflecting the original volcanic basin geometry, and these structures acted as a conduit for fluids to migrate and precipitate metals. The NW structures and associated mineralization are locally offset by E-W and SW-NE trending strike-slip faults, typically with less than 10 metres of displacement. The structural relationships observed in outcrop and drill core are also observed in the magnetic data, providing numerous new exploration targets.

Alteration

Volcanic strata on the property are only very weakly altered and original textures are generally well preserved. Narrow localized zones associated with mineralization in the main zones do show intense silicification and potassic alteration. While a variety of alteration is observed across the property, ranging from a massive advanced argillic zone north-west of Cliff Creek to the strong quartz-sericite-pyrite alteration concentrated along structures in the Marmot area. The alteration, variation and zonation suggest that the epithermal mineralization on the Lawyers property was part of a large-scale hydrothermal system.

2021 Initial Bulk-tonnage Mineral Resource Estimate

On May 14, 2021 Benchmark Metals announced the results of an initial bulk-tonnage Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for its Lawyers Gold-Silver Project. A total of 696 drill holes totaling 123,101.2 metres collectively from the Cliff Creek, AGB, Dukes Ridge and Phoenix Zones (Figure 5) were used in the MRE completed by P&E Mining Consultants Inc. (P&E). 

Highlights include:

  • Indicated Mineral Resource of 2.1 million ounces grading 1.62 grams per tonne (g/t) gold equivalent (AuEq), as per Table 1;
  • Inferred Mineral Resource of 821,000 ounces grading 1.58 g/t AuEq;
  • The Mineral Resource is amenable to both open pit and underground mining methods;
    • Pit constrained (open pit)
      • Indicated – 2.05 M oz AuEq
      • Inferred – 595 k oz AuEq 
    • Out of Pit (potential underground below the pit at Cliff Creek)
      • Indicated – 48 k oz AuEq
      • Inferred – 226 k oz AuEq 
  • The Mineral Resource shows excellent continuity and consistency, demonstrated by increasing AuEq cut-off grades having marginal impact on the pit constrained AuEq ounces as demonstrated in Table 2;
  • The MRE will form the basis of a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) expected to be completed in late Q2 2021, and; 
  • All of the zones remain open and Benchmark is fully funded for its upcoming 100,000 metre drill program

The effective date of the MRE is May 11, 2021-22 and a Technical Report on the Lawyers project will be filed on the Company’s website and SEDAR within 45 days of this news release. 

Table #1: Lawyers Initial Mineral Resource Estimate (1-7)

Pit Constrained Mineral Resource @ 0.5 g/t AuEq Cut-Off
Resource Area Classification Tonnes k Au

g/t

Ag

g/t

AuEq g/t Au

k oz

Ag

M oz

AuEq
k oz
Cliff

Creek

Indicated 30,008 1.18 36.6 1.58 1,134 35.4 1,525
Inferred 12,875 0.95 24.4 1.22 393 10.1 505
Dukes Ridge Indicated 2,618 0.91 34.1 1.29 77 2.9 109
Phoenix Inferred 964 0.83 25.9 1.12 26 0.8 35
AGB Indicated 7,340 1.27 45.5 1.77 300 10.7 419
Inferred 1,132 1.13 33.0 1.50 41 1.2 55
Total Indicated 39,966 1.18 38.1 1.60 1,511 49 2,053
Inferred 14,971 0.96 25.1 1.24 460 12.1 595
 

Total Out of Pit Mineral Resource @ 2.0 g/t AuEq Cut-Off

Classification Tonnes k Au

g/t

Ag

g/t

AuEq g/t Au

k oz

Ag

M oz

AuEq

k oz

Total

(Cliff Creek + AGB)

Indicated 333 3.24 110.1 4.45 35 1.2 48
Inferred 1,232 4.03 152.3 5.71 160 6 226
 

Total Mineral Resource

Resource Classification Tonnes k Au

g/t

Ag

g/t

AuEq g/t Au

k oz

Ag

M oz

AuEq

K oz

Area
All Indicated 40,299 1.19 38.7 1.62 1,546 50.2 2,101
Inferred 16,203 1.19 34.7 1.58 620 18.1 821
  1. Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability. The estimate of Mineral Resources may be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, title, taxation, socio-political, marketing, or other relevant issues. There is no certainty that Mineral Resources will be converted to Mineral Reserves.
  2. The Inferred Mineral Resource in this estimate has a lower level of confidence than that applied to an Indicated Mineral Resource and must not be converted to a Mineral Reserve. It is reasonably expected that the majority of the Inferred Mineral Resource could be upgraded to an Indicated Mineral Resource with continued exploration.
  3. The Mineral Resources in this news release were estimated in accordance with the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM), CIM Standards on Mineral Resources and Reserves, Definitions (2014) and Best Practices Guidelines (2019) prepared by the CIM Standing Committee on Reserve Definitions and adopted by the CIM Council.
  4. Mineral Resource estimation parameters were as follows:
    1. Total database of 696 drill holes with 77,175 assays
    2. 65 mineralized domains
    3. 5m x 5m x 5m block model
    4. One metre capped composites
    5. Inverse distance cubed grade interpolation for Indicated used minimum of three composites from two holes
    6. Bulk density of 2.67 t/m3
    7. Average respective Indicated and Inferred classification search ranges of 35m and 65m 
  5. Metal prices used were US$1,600/oz Au and US$20/oz Ag and 0.80 FX with process recoveries of 90% Au and 83% Ag. A C$24/tonne process cost and C$5 G&A cost were used. The Au:Ag ratio was 90:1.
  6. The constraining pit optimization parameters were C$3/t mineralized and waste material mining cost and 50-degree pit slopes with a 0.50 g/t AuEq cut-off.
  7. The out-of-pit parameters were at a C$100/t mining and $15/t sustaining development cost. The out-of-pit Mineral Resource grade blocks were quantified above the 2.0 g/t AuEq cut-off, below the constraining pit shell and within the constraining mineralized wireframes. Out–of-Pit Mineral Resources selected exhibited continuity and reasonable potential for extraction by the long hole underground mining method. 

Figure #5 – Figure illustrating the Cliff Creek, AGB, Dukes Ridge and Phoenix block models, $1600/oz AuEq modeled open pits and the expansion potential of the zones.

Table #2: Sensitivity analysis of grade and tonnage at varying pit-constrained AuEq cut-off grades at the Cliff Creek, AGB, and Dukes Ridge & Phoenix deposits. 

Zone Class Cut-off Tonnage Au Contained  Au Ag Contained AuEq Contained
Cliff Creek   AuEq g/t k g/t Au k oz g/t Ag M oz g/t Au Eq k oz
Indicated 1 14,742 1.82 862 60.5 28.6 2.49 1,179
0.90 16,666 1.70 908 55.6 29.8 2.31 1,237
0.80 19,004 1.57 958 50.9 31.1 2.13 1,301
0.70 21,841 1.44 1,011 46.1 32.3 1.95 1,369
0.60 25,380 1.31 1,070 41.4 33.8 1.77 1,443
0.50 30,008 1.18 1,134 36.6 35.4 1.58 1,525
0.40 36,274 1.03 1,205 31.8 37.1 1.38 1,615
0.35 40,207 0.96 1,242 29.4 38.0 1.29 1,662
0.30 44,853 0.89 1,280 27.0 38.9 1.19 1,711
0.20 55,950 0.75 1,348 22.7 40.8 1.00 1,799
Inferred 1.0 5,354 1.51 259 40.1 6.9 1.95 335
0.90 6,219 1.40 280 37.1 7.4 1.81 362
0.80 7,312 1.29 303 34.0 8.0 1.67 392
0.70 8,737 1.18 330 30.8 8.6 1.52 426
0.60 10,470 1.07 359 27.7 9.3 1.37 462
0.50 12,875 0.95 393 24.4 10.1 1.22 504
0.40 16,375 0.82 433 20.9 11.0 1.05 554
0.35 18,512 0.76 453 19.4 11.5 0.98 580
0.30 20,847 0.70 472 17.9 12.0 0.90 604
0.20 26,438 0.60 506 15.3 13.0 0.76 649
DR_PX Indicated 1 1,122 1.48 53 54.7 2.0 2.08 75
0.90 1,292 1.37 57 50.9 2.1 1.94 80
0.80 1,501 1.26 61 47.0 2.3 1.78 86
0.70 1,773 1.15 65 42.9 2.4 1.63 92
0.60 2,146 1.03 71 38.4 2.6 1.46 100
0.50 2,619 0.91 77 34.1 2.9 1.29 109
0.40 3,238 0.80 83 29.9 3.1 1.13 117
0.35 3,634 0.74 86 27.8 3.2 1.05 122
0.30 4,084 0.68 89 25.8 3.4 0.97 127
0.20 5,144 0.58 95 21.9 3.6 0.82 135
Inferred 1.0 426 1.23 16 36.5 0.5 1.63 22
0.90 494 1.15 18 34.7 0.6 1.54 24
0.80 578 1.08 20 32.8 0.6 1.44 26
0.70 682 1.00 21 30.4 0.7 1.33 29
0.60 814 0.91 23 28.3 0.7 1.22 32
0.50 964 0.83 26 25.9 0.8 1.12 35
0.40 1,148 0.75 27 23.5 0.9 1.01 37
0.35 1,265 0.70 28 22.3 0.9 0.95 38
0.30 1,396 0.66 29 21.0 0.9 0.89 40
0.20 1,702 0.57 31 18.5 1.0 0.78 42
AGB Indicated 1 3,892 2.02 253 62.9 8.0 2.72 340
0.90 4,355 1.87 262 59.6 8.3 2.53 354
0.80 4,906 1.72 271 56.1 8.8 2.34 369
0.70 5,533 1.58 280 52.7 9.4 2.16 384
0.60 6,320 1.43 290 49.2 10.0 1.97 400
0.50 7,340 1.27 300 45.5 10.7 1.77 419
0.40 8,620 1.12 309 41.6 11.5 1.58 437
0.35 9,454 1.04 314 39.4 12.0 1.47 447
0.30 10,489 0.95 320 37.0 12.5 1.36 458
0.20 13,464 0.76 331 31.5 13.6 1.11 481
Inferred 1.0 541 1.89 32 41.8 0.7 2.35 40
0.90 613 1.74 34 40.6 0.8 2.18 43
0.80 707 1.57 35 39.1 0.9 2.01 45
0.70 854 1.38 37 37.1 1.0 1.79 49
0.60 988 1.25 39 35.2 1.1 1.64 52
0.50 1,132 1.13 41 33.0 1.2 1.50 55
0.40 1,311 1.02 42 30.7 1.3 1.35 57
0.35 1,421 0.95 43 29.5 1.3 1.28 58
0.30 1,560 0.88 44 28.1 1.4 1.19 59
0.20 1,934, 0.74 45 24.9 1.6 1.01 62

 

The 2021 drill program will consist of approximately 100,000 m of drilling, of which 50,000 m will be for Mineral Resource definition drilling to both expand current Mineral Resources and to upgrade the current Inferred Mineral Resources to Measured & Indicated classifications for inclusion in an anticipated Feasibility Study in 2022 (Figures 6-8). In addition to expanding the Mineral Resource zones at depth and along strike, a regional exploration program will consist of ~50,000 m to drill test and expand existing and new discovery targets (Figure 9). The regional program has potential to add gold-silver ounces in an updated Mineral Resource Estimate for 2021. The effective date of the MRE is May 11, 2021-22 and a Technical Report on the Lawyers project will be filed on the Company’s website and SEDAR within 45 days of this news release.

Figure #6 – Longitudinal section illustrating the expansion potential and 2020 drill intercept highlights within the AGB zone. 

Figure #7 – Longitudinal section illustrating the expansion potential and 2020 drill intercept highlights within the Cliff Creek zone.

Figure #8 – Cross-sectional views illustrating the planned resource expansion and classification drilling as well as potential for expansion at the AGB, Cliff Creek, and Dukes Ridge deposits.

Figure #9 – Figure illustrating peripheral targets to the resource zones that will be further drill tested during the 2021 exploration program. 

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.

Michael Dufresne, M.Sc., P.Geol., P.Geo., an independent director of the Company, also serves as a Technical Advisor and is the Qualified Person, as defined by National Instrument 43-101, responsible for reviewing and approving the technical content of all materials publicly disclosed by Benchmark, including the contents of this website.

Projects

Sign Up for Updates

Menu