Benton Resources Corp.

Benton Resources Corp.

May 03, 2011 14:37 ET

Benton Advised That Coro Makes US$4 Million Payment to Lumina for San Jorge

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 3, 2011) - Benton Resources Corp. (TSX VENTURE:BTC) ("Benton") is pleased to announce that the Company has learned that Coro Mining Corp. ("Coro" or the "Company") has made its US$4 million payment to Lumina Copper Corp. ("Lumina") under the terms of their San Jorge purchase agreement. Benton currently holds approximately 41% of the issued and outstanding common shares of Coro. A portion of Coro's press release of earlier today is quoted below:

"Alan Stephens, President and CEO commented, "This payment to Lumina demonstrates our continued confidence in the San Jorge project and the outcome of the Environmental Impact Study ratification process. We understand that the review of the project by various committees of the Lower Chamber of the Provincial Legislature of Mendoza is nearing its end and that, once complete, the Chamber would be in a position to vote on the ratification. The timing of this vote may be affected by the elections to the Legislature, which take place in October 2011. As part of our commitment to the sustainable development of the project area, we have established a foundation to assist in the socioeconomic development of the Uspallata community, with emphasis on creation of new employment opportunities, as well as promoting micro businesses to become involved in developing the agricultural and eco-tourist potential of the large ranch on which the project is located."

San Jorge:

The San Jorge copper-gold project is located in Mendoza, Argentina. The Company completed an initial Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA"), in April 2008 which contemplated production of 39,500 tonnes of copper per annum and 39,000 ounces of gold per annum over a 16 year mine life. The deposit remains open to the west and at depth and using a $2.00 per pound copper and $600 per ounce gold price returned an after tax NPV of $220 million, with a capital expenditure of $277 million.

San Jorge has a measured and indicated sulphide resource of 2.15 billion pounds of copper and 1.44 million ounces of gold and an inferred sulphide resource of 1.28 billion pounds of copper and 0.8 million ounces of gold at a 0.2% copper cutoff. In addition, it has a measured and indicated oxide resource of 0.42 billion pounds of copper and 0.28 million ounces of gold at a 0.2% copper cutoff.

Under the terms of the option agreement, the Company has paid a total of US$7,500,000 in cash and issued a total of 1,000,000 shares and has the following payments outstanding; US$5,000,000 in May 2012, and US$5,000,000 in May 2013, less the aggregate deemed value of the 1,000,000 common shares of Coro previously issued. If, after May 10, 2011, the Company completes a Bankable Feasibility Study on either the Heap Leachable Copper Resources or the Sulphide Copper Resources, or a combination of both, the Company shall pay the balance of any amounts owing within six months from the date of completion of the Bankable Feasibility Study.

US$16,000,000 of the cash payments will be treated as an advance payment on either: (a) the obligation to pay $0.02 per pound on the mineable proven and probable copper sulphide reserves upon commencement of commercial production or (b) the obligation to pay $0.025 per pound on the mineable proven and probable heap leachable copper reserves upon commencement of commercial production. For any production of copper in excess of that derived from the total mineable, proven and probable heap leachable reserves and the mineable, proven and probable sulphide reserves the Company agreed to pay (i) $0.015 per pound of copper contained in ore processed by a mill, in excess of the total pounds of copper contained in the mineable, proven and probable sulphide reserves and (ii) $0.02 per pound of copper contained in ore placed on leach pads, in excess of the total pounds of copper contained in the mineable, proven and probable heap leachable reserves.

In addition, Coro will pay a net smelter return production royalty of 1.5% on all non-copper production from San Jorge.

Alan Stephens FIMMM, President and CEO of Coro, a geologist with more than 33 years of industry experience is the Qualified Person for Coro who has reviewed and approved the contents of this News Release. In respect of the PEA, it should be noted that mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability."

About Benton:

Benton is a Canadian based junior with multiple joint ventures and a diversified property portfolio in Gold, Nickel, Copper, and Platinum group elements. Benton currently has approximately $14.75 million in cash, owns approximately 55.4 million shares and 2.43 million warrants in Coro Mining Corp. (TSX:COP), holds approximately 348,000 shares of Stillwater Mining Company (NYSE:SWC), holds 782,500 shares in Marathon Gold Corp. (TSX:MOZ), holds 1.6 million shares in Puget Ventures (TSX VENTURE:PVS), holds 4 million shares of Mineral Mountain Resources Ltd. (TSX VENTURE:MMV), and holds 815,000 shares of Bell Copper Corporation (TSX VENTURE:BCU). Benton is currently in the process of spinning out the majority of its assets by a plan of arrangement into a new listed company in order to separate its 41.6% investment in Coro Mining from its cash, equities and exploration assets. Benton shareholders will receive a pro-rata interest in this new company at a ratio as yet to be determined and pursuant to regulatory approval.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of Benton Resources Corp.,

Stephen Stares, President

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.


Contact Information

  • Benton Resources Corp.
    Stephen Stares
    (807)475-7200 (FAX)

    Investor Relations
    Clair Calvert