SOURCE: Benton Resources Corp.

April 16, 2007 15:13 ET

BENTON RESOURCES CORP. (BTC, BTC-WT) and STILLWATER MINING CORP (SWC) Enter Into Equity Financing and Participation Agreement on the Goodchild Ni-Cu-PGE Project

THUNDER BAY, ON -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 16, 2007 -- Benton Resources Corp. (TSX-V: BTC) ("Benton") is pleased to announce that it has entered into a Participation Agreement (the "Agreement") with Stillwater Mining Company ("SWC") whereby SWC has the exclusive right to earn up to an initial 50% interest in the Goodchild and South Goodchild Ni-Cu-PGE projects (collectively the "Goodchild Project"). SWC can earn the 50% interest by completing three separate financings into Benton in the aggregate amount of C$6.0 million dollars over a three-year period. Each financing will be priced at a 50% premium to the 20-day trailing average of Benton's share price prior to the completion of each of the three financings. SWC will have the right to take their interest to 70% by incurring a further $24.0 million in exploration or completing a feasibility study on the Goodchild Project, which ever first occurs. Benton will remain as operator for the first three years during the initial period of the Agreement.

The specific terms of the Agreement, which are subject to regulatory approval, are as follows:

To earn a 50% interest in the Goodchild Project, SWC must complete the following financings at a 50% premium to the 20-day rolling average of Benton's market share price to be determined immediately prior to the completion of each financing:

Upon signing: A C$1.6 million private placement of which C$600,000 is to be spent on the Goodchild Project and credited to SWC's initial earn-in requirements. This financing will occur immediately and has been priced at C$1.24 per share.

First year anniversary: A C$2.0 million private placement of which C$1 million is to be spent on the Goodchild Project and credited to SWC's initial earn-in requirements.

Second year anniversary: A C$2.4 million private placement of which C$1.4 million is to be spent on the Goodchild Project and credited to SWC's initial earn-in requirements.

Upon fulfilling the requirements to earn an initial 50%, SWC and Benton shall form a 50/50 joint venture (the "Joint Venture") for the further development of the Goodchild Project subject to SWC's right to earn a further 10% interest in the Joint Venture (to 60%) by directly funding an additional C$4 million in exploration expenditures over the following two year period.

Provided it earns a 60% interest in the Joint Venture, SWC will have the right to earn a further 10% interest in the Joint Venture (to 70%) by directly funding over the following three year period an additional C$20 million in exploration expenditures or the completion of a Feasibility Study, whichever occurs first.

At Benton's sole election, following completion of the Feasibility Study, Benton may cause SWC to arrange total project financing for placing the Goodchild Project into commercial production by granting SWC an additional 5% interest in the Goodchild Project (to 75%). In such case, SWC would be reimbursed for Benton's proportionate share of the financing from 80% of Benton's share of net revenue from the Goodchild Project with interest at the prime rate of the Royal Bank of Canada plus 1%.

Benton is extremely pleased to have entered into the Agreement with SWC. The significant premium to Benton's share price that SWC will be required to pay on the C$6 million of financings reflects the potential of the Goodchild Project to host a Ni-Cu-PGE deposit of economic proportions. Benton is currently planning a detailed airborne survey to be flown in the near future and an aggressive summer exploration program.

The Goodchild Project is located approximately 15 kilometres north of Marathon, Ontario and is host to several nickel showings with grab samples assaying up to 6.72% nickel (Falconbridge/Xstrata personnel). The large ultramafic intrusion measures approximately 5 by 8km and has numerous untested airborne electromagnetic anomalies detected from a survey completed almost 20 years ago. Benton will keep their shareholders updated on developments at the Goodchild Project as exploration moves forward.

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

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

"Stephen Stares"
Stephen Stares, President

THE TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE HAS NOT REVIEWED AND DOES NOT ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS RELEASE. Forward-looking statements in this release are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities.

Contact Information

  • For further information contact:
    Stephen Stares
    3290 Willard Ave
    Thunder Bay, ON
    P7E 6J7
    Phone: (807)475-7474
    Fax: (807)475-7200
    www.bentonresources.ca