Benton Resources Corp.

Benton Resources Corp.

March 29, 2011 09:00 ET

Benton to Spin Out Assets to Shareholders

THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 29, 2011) - Benton Resources Corp. (TSX VENTURE:BTC) ("Benton" or "the Company") is pleased to announce that it is initiating a process of separating its investment in Coro Mining Corp. ("Coro") from substantially all of its other assets and activities. It is anticipated that this will be implemented by a spin out of the majority of Benton's projects, cash and equity investments (other than Coro) into a new exploration company ("Newco"). After the spin out is completed Benton's assets will consist of 55.4 million common shares of Coro (representing approximately 41.6% of the issued capital of Coro), 2.43 million share purchase warrants of Coro exercisable at $0.50, one 43-101 compliant project and a cash balance in a yet to be determined amount sufficient to maintain ongoing operations and objectives. Benton's ongoing exploration activities will thereafter be carried out through Newco.

Benton's current market capitalization is approximately $77 Million, which is significantly below the market value of its equity holdings in other listed companies. Moreover, the market is attributing no value to Benton's current cash position of approximately $12.6 million or its extensive property portfolio and joint ventures with companies such as Teck Resources and Rio Tinto Exploration. This substantial disconnect between the underlying value of Benton's assets and its stock market valuation has prompted Benton to propose the spin out to its shareholders in order to maximize the value of its cash, equities and exploration assets as well as to unlock the value of its holding in Coro. Benton is currently working with its financial advisors Stifel Nicolaus Weisel and has retained Canadian taxation advisors in order to determine a separation of the Company's assets and share ratio for the spin out that achieves optimal tax efficiency and fairness. This share ratio, which is expected to result in a pro-rata distribution to Benton's shareholders, will be announced as soon as it has been determined. The spin out transaction will be completed pursuant to a plan of arrangement and remains subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals.

Stephen Stares, Company President and CEO commented "It is unfortunate that the current share price is not reflecting the fair value of identifiable cash and equity positions in Benton. Benton is an exploration company with strategic properties in mining-friendly jurisdictions, many of which have joint venture partners sharing the risk and expense associated with exploration. This transaction will ideally unlock the value of our strong treasury and property portfolio that our shareholders deserve". 

In addition Benton would like to provide an update on its current and ongoing exploration programs. Drilling has commenced on Benton's Shebandowan Gold project testing newly discovered gold showings associated with coincidental induced polarization chargeability anomalies identified from a recently completed geophysical survey. Gold values ranging from 0.05gpt to 13.0gpt have been obtained from surface grab samples and 6-8 drill holes will test these promising target areas.

Benton has also started a drill campaign with its Australian joint venture partner Glory Resources on its Onion Lake property located 40kms north of Thunder Bay. The program is designed to test various magnetic anomalies in search for copper-nickel-platinum-palladium mineralization similar to the recent discovery made by Magma Metals several kilometres along strike to the east.

Drilling has also commenced on the Long Range joint venture project in west central Newfoundland with joint venture partner Buchans Minerals Corporation. Several holes are planned to test and follow up on the Portage Zone Ni-Cu zone and the Range Cu zone discovered last year. The Company will release results of these programs as soon as data is received and compiled.

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. The Company currently has approximately $12.6 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).

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