Mr. John Williamson reports
BENCHMARK DRILLS 30 G/T GOLD AND 1,361 G/T SILVER OVER 2.95 METRES AT AGB ZONE AND EXTENDS THE STRIKE LENGTH TO NEARLY 400 METRES
Benchmark Metals Inc. has had continued drilling success at the Amethyst Gold Breccia (AGB) zone. Drilling intersected two discrete zones of mineralization in 19AGBDD007, including an upper zone of 1.10 grams per tonne gold and 41.62 g/t silver over 42.15 metres of core length and a high-grade lower zone of 30.2 g/t gold and 1,361 g/t silver over 2.95 metres of core length. Benchmark also reports encouraging results 200 metres along strike to the south in 19AGBDD002, which yielded 1.16 g/t gold and 30.56 g/t silver over 67 metres of core length. The results have expanded the AGB zone to a drill-indicated strike length of nearly 400 metres and vertical depth of 170 metres. The Lawyers project is situated in the Stikine terrane of Northern British Columbia, Canada, and falls within the prolific, mineral-endowed Golden Horseshoe.
John Williamson, chief executive officer, commented: "Drilling at AGB continues to yield fantastic results below and along strike from the historical mining. Our drilling is demonstrating strong continuity of the mineralizing system beyond its previously known extents and identifying historically unrecognized bulk-tonnage potential, representing a significant opportunity to add gold and silver ounces to the Lawyers project."
SELECTED RESULTS FROM 19AGBDD007 AND 19AGBDD002
Hole From To Gold Silver AuEq* Interval**
(m) (m) (g/t) (g/t) (g/t) (m)
Upper zone 19AGBDD007 122.00 164.15 1.10 41.62 1.62 42.15
including 122.00 130.00 3.61 26.83 3.94 8.00
and 137.00 138.00 1.72 364 6.27 1.00
and 158.00 160.00 3.07 98.9 4.31 2.00
Lower zone 19AGBDD007 230.05 233.00 30.2 1,361 47.21 2.95
within 230.05 245.00 6.01 282.62 9.55 14.95
19AGBDD002 52.00 119.00 1.16 30.56 1.55 67.00
including 66.00 78.00 1.84 34.47 2.27 12
*Gold equivalent (AuEq) calculated using 80:1 gold to silver ratio.
**Intervals are core length. True width is estimated between 80 to 90 per cent of
Visual results from all six of the drill holes remaining to be assayed at AGB indicate that mineralization remains open along strike to the south, north and at depth -- potentially increasing the strike length to greater than 550 metres and extending mineralization to approximately 200 vertical metres, significantly deeper than historical drill depths. A total of 2,749 metres were drilled in 10 holes at AGB during 2019, representing the first subsurface exploration of AGB since the Cheni mine closure in 1992.
Drill hole 19AGBDD007 was designed to test the continuity of the known mineralization at depth, below the historical workings and 60 metres along strike from 19AGBDD001 (see press release Sept. 20, 2019). This drill hole is a significant stepout from historical drill holes, both laterally (80 m) and vertically (80 m), extending mineralization at depth to over 170 metres below surface and the mineralization remains open. Drilling encountered 1.5 m of underground development on the lowest mined level, but immediately entered the high-grade mineralization once through the workings, including 47.21 g/t AuEq over 2.95 metres of core length. Intersecting such high-grades in the immediate vicinity of workings further bolsters Benchmark's notion that AGB was not thoroughly explored and developed during operation of the Cheni mine.
The mineralized zone intersected in 19AGBDD007 is a multiphase hydrothermal breccia composed of at least three episodes of chalcedony and at least two episodes of mineralized quartz-hematite veining. Crosscutting relationships in the veining suggest timing of the mineralizing event(s) are bordered by brecciating chalcedony. The mineralized veins contain abundant fine- to medium-grained sulphides (acanthite, sulfosalts, chalcopyrite, and pyrite) and native gold, silver and electrum. The banded textures of the mineralized veins indicate open-space crystallization and may explain the presence of coarse gold and silver. Potassic alteration occurs throughout this zone. The mineralizing system at AGB is controlled by a steeply dipping north-northwest-trending fault zone that delineates a discrete magnetic break. Bedrock mapping in the region has identified similar structures northeast of the main AGB trend that share the same magnetic characteristics and remain to be thoroughly tested.
Drill hole 19AGBDD002 was designed to test shallow mineralization between the historical workings and channel samples, which returned 5.13 g/t gold and 20.79 g/t silver over 27.03 metres of core length from previous and recent confirmatory sampling. This hole was drilled 200 metres south of 19AGBDD007 and 175 metres north of the historical channel sample. The 1.55 g/t AuEq over 67 metres of core length reported from 19AGBDD002 represents another intersection of bulk-tonnage grade and widths previously unrecognized during the 1980s to 1990s exploration at the Lawyers project. This intersection starts at shallow depths along a steep-sided hill making the mineralization potentially amenable to open-pit mining methods.
Geoscience B.C. in collaboration with the University of British Columbia -- MDRU recently released a report on the highly prospective epithermal and porphyry mineral deposits of the underexplored Toodoggone mineral district. They recognized that historical work in the region had focused on specific styles of mineralization and on high-grade ore zones, such as the partially mined component of the AGB zone, overlooking the larger mineralization potential. This project evaluated the AGB, Cliff Creek and Silver Pond zones from the Lawyers property, among others within the broader region to help reconstruct the shape and depth of a possible larger, continuous mineralizing system. Thus far, Benchmark's drilling results from the AGB zone are indicative of this larger mineralization potential that exists, with broad intercepts of 1.62 g/t AuEq over 42.15 metres of core length from 19AGBDD007 (upper zone) and 5.01 g/t AuEq over 25 metres of core length from 19AGBDD001. The discovery of significantly greater widths of mineralization at AGB enhances the potential to add significant resources to this zone, along with similar results at the adjacent Cliff Creek zone (see Aug. 16, 2019, news release).
The results produced by Benchmark thus far, coupled with the Geoscience B.C. study above, add credence to the idea of larger, continuous mineralized systems at the Lawyers project. As it relates to AGB, the broad mineralized zones intersected in drill holes 19AGBDD001, 002 and 007 will be further tested with the much-anticipated results of 19AGBDD009 and 010, which were drilled underneath the aforementioned historical channel results of 5.13 g/t gold and 20.79 g/t silver over 27.03 metres of contiguous channel length. These holes could help establish a 550-metre strike length of broad gold-silver mineralization at shallow levels along the hillside, representing a readily accessible target for potential future open-pit extraction.
Quality assurance and control
Results from samples were analyzed at ALS Global Laboratories (geochemistry division) in Vancouver, Canada (an ISO 9001:2008-accredited facility). The sampling program was undertaken by company personnel under the direction of Rob L'Heureux, PGeol. 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 (plus 10 g/t Au). Analysis by four-acid digestion with 48-element ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry) analysis was conducted on all samples with silver and base metal overlimits reanalyzed by atomic absorption or emission spectrometry. Rock chip samples from outcrop/bedrock are selective by nature and they may not be representative of the mineralization hosted on the project.
The technical content of this news release has been reviewed and approved by Michael Dufresne, PGeol, PGeo, a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.
About Benchmark Metals Inc.
Benchmark is a Canadian mineral exploration company with its common shares listed for trading on the TSX Venture Exchange in Canada, the OTCQB Venture Market in the United States and the Tradegate Exchange in Europe. Benchmark is managed by proven resource-sector professionals, who have a record of advancing exploration projects from grassroots scenarios through to production.
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