Benton Resources Inc.
TSX VENTURE : BEX

Benton Resources Inc.

March 07, 2016 12:01 ET

Benton Announces Positive Pea Results for the Cape Ray Gold Project in Newfoundland

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 7, 2016) - Benton Resources Inc. (TSX VENTURE:BEX) ("Benton" or "the Company") and its joint venture partner Nordmin Engineering Ltd. ("Nordmin"), are pleased to release the results of a positive preliminary economic assessment ("PEA") for their Cape Ray Gold Project, located approximately 20km northeast of Port aux Basque, Newfoundland. The results of the PEA include a pre-tax net present value ("NPV") at a 7% discount rate of $48.4 million with a pre-tax internal rate of return ("IRR") of 29% and a post-tax NPV at a 7% discount rate of $32.6 million with a post-tax IRR of 24%.

The PEA is based on the mineral resource estimate completed by Sibley Basin Group Ltd. in the National Instrument 43-101 report dated April 29, 2015 entitled "Mineral Resource Estimate Technical Report For The Cape Ray Property,04,41,51 and Windowglass Hill Deposits, Isle aux Morts Area, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada" and amended in this report.

Highlights from the PEA, with the base-case gold price of $1,200 (U.S.) per ounce and an exchange rate of $1.25CDN/USD, are as follows (all figures in Canadian dollars unless otherwise stated):

  • Pre-production Capital is $47.3 million with a contingency of $4.7 million included within the initial Capital. Pre-production is for a 2 year period.
  • Sustaining Capital of $33.7 million for the Life of Mine ("LOM").
  • Pre-tax NPV(7%) of $48.4 million and internal rate of return of 29%.
  • Post-tax NPV(7%) of $32.6 million and internal rate of return of 24%.
  • Pre-tax Net Revenue of $88.4 million over 6 year LOM.
  • Post-tax Net Revenue of $63.4 million over 6 year LOM.
  • Positive Cash-flow is realized in year 3.
  • 1,700,000 tonnes of mill feed averaging a combined 4.6 g/t gold and 4.8 g/t silver.
  • Mill operates at average tonnage of 851 tonnes per day.
  • Total production of 250,000 ounces of gold and 260,000 ounces of silver.
  • Gold recovery of 97% and Silver recovery 45%.

Stephen Stares, President and CEO of Benton stated "the receipt of a positive PEA demonstrating strong economics over the life of mine is a major milestone for Benton. We see numerous opportunities to further enhance the economics through additional studies and exploration with a high probability for resource expansion and good potential for new discoveries across the property. We will now focus on advancing the Cape Ray project toward prefeasibility through additional exploration, environmental permitting and further studies."

Benton recognizes that this is an undeveloped area of Newfoundland. As such, protecting the environment is of great importance. To facilitate the development of a sustainable project, Nordmin has experts on staff to complete the necessary studies required concerning environmental monitoring, assessment and permitting matters.

The Company has initiated work towards firming up costs and preparing a Feasibility Study. Apart from environmental baseline studies, hydrology monitoring, flora and fauna studies. A NI 43-101 technical report for Cape Ray PEA will be filed on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) within 45 days.

The reader should be cautioned that the PEA is preliminary in nature. It contains inferred mineral resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves. There is no certainty that the results of the PEA will be realized.

Resources:

All of the economics are completed on indicated and inferred categories of the resource model. A cut-off grade of 4.0 g/t Au was used for underground resources and a cut-off grade of 1.0 g/t Au was used for the open pit resources. Resource estimates by deposit are listed below:

RESOURCE SUMMARY TABLE
04 DEPOSIT 41 DEPOSIT 51 DEPOSIT WINDOWGLASS HILL DEPOSIT
INFERRED INDICATED INFERRED INDICATED INFERRED INFERRED
AU AG AU AG AU AG AU AG AU AG AU AG
GRADE TONNES GPT GPT TONNES GPT GPT TONNES GPT GPT TONNES GPT GPT TONNES GPT GPT TONNES GPT GPT
0.6 1,331,097 2.02 3.75 2,059,760 2.83 9.93 232,760 2.17 6.71 905,156 2.15 7.33 983,759 4.63 11.02 1,514,199 1.54 8.76
0.8 1,220,154 2.15 3.85 1,772,765 3.17 10.62 169,583 2.71 8.22 735,224 2.49 8.36 928,103 4.87 11.44 1,127,417 1.83 9.48
1.01 1,096,627 2.29 4.00 1,581,188 3.45 11.07 134,903 3.18 9.49 599,051 2.85 9.58 881,482 5.08 11.82 877,534 2.09 10.14
1.2 984,138 2.42 4.13 1,410,827 3.74 11.55 117,978 3.48 10.27 498,597 3.21 10.73 838,890 5.28 12.16 694,534 2.35 10.90
1.4 836,136 2.62 4.42 1,273,227 4.00 11.94 106,963 3.71 10.84 426,380 3.53 11.73 799,519 5.48 12.48 552,501 2.63 11.69
1.6 680,161 2.88 4.82 1,155,823 4.25 12.37 97,733 3.92 11.15 373,791 3.82 12.62 760,542 5.68 12.83 444,250 2.90 12.49
1.8 574,034 3.10 5.09 1,038,834 45.40 12.98 89,269 4.13 11.61 336,303 4.05 13.32 725,920 5.87 13.10 365,259 3.16 13.33
2.0 490,396 3.30 5.47 930,198 4.85 13.71 81,375 4.35 12.07 302,182 4.29 13.98 690,669 6.07 13.42 305,357 3.41 14.08
2.2 411,807 3.53 5.85 841,751 5.14 14.26 76,302 4.50 12.31 274,250 4.52 14.60 655,381 6.28 13.72 257,749 3.65 14.98
2.4 347,016 3.76 6.34 764,046 5.43 14.78 70,910 4.66 12.70 249,805 4.74 15.22 621,350 6.50 14.01 222,371 3.87 15.75
2.5 304,813 3.94 6.78 726,744 5.58 15.03 68,629 4.74 12.89 238,936 4.84 15.50 606,042 6.61 14.13 206,256 3.98 16.09
2.6 272,374 4.11 7.17 700,947 5.69 15.20 66,189 4.82 13.07 228,963 4.94 15.77 591,693 6.70 14.26 191,873 4.09 16.47
2.8 222,008 4.43 7.84 652,207 5.92 15.53 62,266 4.95 13.36 210,307 5.14 16.37 559,808 6.93 14.53 166,365 4.30 17.13
3.0 170,315 4.90 8.98 605,827 6.15 15.80 57,064 5.14 13.70 192,414 5.35 17.05 530,013 7.16 14.86 144,715 4.51 17.97
3.2 138,662 5.30 9.93 567,427 6.35 16.02 52,661 5.31 13.96 176,880 5.54 17.64 501,003 7.39 15.15 126,326 4.71 18.83
3.4 121,113 5.59 10.50 540,623 6.50 16.21 48,950 5.46 14.26 162,730 5.74 18.20 473,252 7.63 15.44 109,267 4.93 19.61
3.6 105,354 5.90 11.07 514,907 6.65 16.45 46,425 5.57 14.52 149,492 5.94 18.84 446,350 7.88 15.72 94,985 5.15 20.34
3.8 94,125 6.17 11.75 491,399 6.79 16.64 43,270 5.71 14.76 137,558 6.13 19.47 423,668 8.11 15.99 81,718 5.38 21.32
4.02 84,920 6.41 12.11 463,477 6.97 16.93 40,599 5.83 15.02 125,852 6.34 20.05 397,190 8.39 16.34 70,325 5.63 22.22
4.2 77,166 6.65 12.68 435,363 7.15 17.23 36,568 6.02 15.53 114,298 6.57 20.72 375,684 8.63 16.62 61,350 5.85 23.00
4.4 67,209 6.99 13.22 406,965 7.35 17.41 31,515 6.29 16.22 103,926 6.79 21.38 354,236 8.90 16.93 54,929 6.03 23.53
4.6 59,552 7.31 14.11 385,300 7.51 17.63 28,373 6.49 16.75 94,068 7.03 22.22 336,002 9.13 17.19 47,503 6.27 24.68
4.8 53,401 7.61 14.77 360,835 7.70 17.86 24,208 6.80 17.54 85,961 7.25 22.94 318,654 9.38 17.47 40,645 6.54 25.91
5.0 51,149 7.73 15.06 338,525 7.89 18.04 21,140 7.07 18.21 78,074 7.49 23.65 299,162 9.67 17.79 37,247 6.69 26.54
5.2 47,516 7.94 15.76 316,826 8.08 18.28 18,757 7.32 18.93 71,636 7.71 24.45 284,962 9.90 18.05 32,660 6.91 27.21
5.4 39,462 8.47 17.33 297,586 8.26 18.40 16,775 7.56 19.52 66,982 7.87 24.93 270,019 10.15 18.35 28,740 7.13 28.05
5.6 35,543 8.80 18.20 278,706 8.45 18.66 15,379 7.75 19.94 61,189 8.10 25.52 252,751 10.47 18.65 25,555 7.33 28.72
5.8 33,330 9.00 18.76 262,126 8.62 18.82 14,334 7.90 20.36 56,298 8.31 25.97 240,130 10.72 18.94 22,685 7.53 29.39
6.0 27,792 9.61 20.17 244,511 8.82 19.05 13,732 7.99 20.61 52,606 8.48 26.49 228,521 10.96 19.23 19,356 7.81 30.67
  1. Open Pit Cut-Off Grade
  2. Underground Cut-Off Grade

CAPE RAY COMBINED OPEN-PIT AND UNDERGROUND MINE KEY ECONOMIC ASSUMPTIONS AND RESULTS

Unit Value
Total mineralized rock mined kt 1,700
Gold grade g/t 4.6
Silver grade g/t 4.8
AuEq grade g/t 4.62
Gold recovery % 97
Silver recovery % 45
Gold price US$/oz 1,200
Silver price US$/oz 14
Payable gold metal oz 250,000
Payable silver metal oz 260,000
Total net revenue $m 378
Total capital costs (Project and Sustaining) $m 84.9
Overall Operating costs (total) $/t 120.3
Overall Operating costs (AuEq) US$/oz AuEq 647.6
Payback period years 3
Pre-tax cumulative net cash flow $m 57.6
Pre-tax NPV (7%) $m 48.4
Pre-tax IRR % 29
Post-tax NPV (7%) $m 32.6
Post-tax IRR % 24

Capital and operating costs:

The Cape Ray Project has been envisioned as a combined open-pit and underground mining operation. Open-pit and underground mining are anticipated to be completed by contract mining companies. The equipment will be supplied by the contractor that is awarded the work.

Grid electrical power will provide the majority of the electrical power to the project over the life of the mine. The work force is expected to come from the Isle aux Morts area for the operation of the Mill. The rest of the workforce will be the responsibility of the contractor.

TOTAL CAPITAL COST ESTIMATE:

Capital Expenditures
Sustaining Capital Expenditures by Deposit $
Pit 41 555,774
U.G. 04 16,526,047
Windowglass Hill 3,149,475
U.G. 51 9,617,191
Other Ore (41 U.G. / 51 Trench) 3,840,438
Pre-Production Capital
Permitting 2,718,306
Road Work 649,332
Overburden Removal 495,000
Surface Infrastructure - Open Pit/Mill 2,523,675
Ore and Waste Pads (3) - Mine & Mill 440,000
Dewatering/Trench/Sumps 275,000
Processing Plant 30,800,712
Tailings 3,520,000
Surface Equipment 825,000
Water Treatment Plants/Testing 2,035,000
Power Distribution to Mill 1,155,000
Working Capital 550,000
Engineering for Capital 802,224
Mine Closure (Paid by Asset Sales) 4,400,000
Total Capital Expenditures 84,878,174

Production and Processing:

Operations for the Cape Ray project is planned to have combined Open Pit and Underground Mining. Each deposit will be campaigned separately with use of contractors. The initial estimated mill feed will be 502,902 tonnes from 41 Deposit open pit operations. The underground mining operation at the 04 Deposit will produce 479,299 tonnes.

Once the 41 Deposit is completed, there will be a small underground resource below the pit containing the remaining potentially economic ore. The second open pit operation will produce 328,288 tonnes from the Windowglass Hill deposit. The 51 underground deposit will commence after the 04 Deposit is completed and will produce 347,144 tonnes.

The process plant includes conventional crushing, grinding, gravity, and whole ore cyanide leach. A gold and silver doré will be produced on site. Process reagents will be removed from the plant tailings prior to placement in a tailings management facility.

Mining Costs:

Cash Cost Summary Cost (C$) millions C$/tonne
Overall Global Mining Costs $205 $120
Open Pit and U.G Mine Costs $160 $94
Processing Costs $45 $26.4
G & A $0.8 $0.5

Qualified Persons and NI43-101 Disclosure:

The designated Qualified Persons for this news release within the meaning of National Instrument 43-101 ("NI 43-101") have reviewed and verified that the technical information contained herein is accurate and approves of the written disclosure of same.

Qualified Person Company
Alan Aubut, P.Geo Sibley Basin Group Geological Consulting Services Ltd.

About Benton Resources Inc. (TSX VENTURE:BEX)

Benton Resources Inc is a well-funded Canadian-based junior with a diversified property portfolio in Gold-Silver, Nickel, Copper, and Platinum group elements.

Clinton Barr (P.Geo.), V.P. Exploration for Benton Resources Inc., is the qualified person responsible for this release.

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

Stephen Stares, President

THE TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE HAS NOT REVIEWED AND DOES NOT ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS RELEASE.

The information contained herein contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable securities legislation. Forward-looking statements relate to information that is based on assumptions of management, forecasts of future results, and estimates of amounts not yet determinable. Any statements that express predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance are not statements of historical fact and may be "forward-looking statements."

Forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual events or results to differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation: risks related to failure to obtain adequate financing on a timely basis and on acceptable terms; risks related to the outcome of legal proceedings; political and regulatory risks associated with mining and exploration; risks related to the maintenance of stock exchange listings; risks related to environmental regulation and liability; the potential for delays in exploration or development activities or the completion of feasibility studies; the uncertainty of profitability; risks and uncertainties relating to the interpretation of drill results, the geology, grade and continuity of mineral deposits; risks related to the inherent uncertainty of production and cost estimates and the potential for unexpected costs and expenses; results of prefeasibility and feasibility studies, and the possibility that future exploration, development or mining results will not be consistent with the Company's expectations; risks related to gold price and other commodity price fluctuations; and other risks and uncertainties related to the Company's prospects, properties and business detailed elsewhere in the Company's disclosure record. Should one or more of these risks and uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described in forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned against attributing undue certainty to forward-looking statements. These forward looking statements are made as of the date hereof and the Company does not assume any obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances. Actual events or results could differ materially from the Company's expectations or projections.

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