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Multi-Million-Ounce Gold/Silver Potential in BC’s Golden Horseshoe

Dave Jackson Dave Jackson, Stockhouse
2 Comments| November 17, 2020

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(Click image to play video)

Back in June, we introduced Stockhouse readers to a strong gold and silver exploration play in northwestern British Columbia. Fast-forward five months, and the Company continues to grow even stronger.

Benchmark Metals Inc. (BNCH) (TSX-V.BNCH, OTC:BNCHF, Forum) is an exploration-stage company focused on proving and developing the substantial resource potential of the Lawyer’s Gold-Silver project, located in BC’s historic and prolific Golden Horseshoe. The Company maintains a district size land position in the region and recently improved access from Prince George, upgrading three bridges on a network of sturdy roads.

The Company is now initiating the largest drill program in the region, focussing on aggressive new drilling where it sees potential to convert existing targets into a multi-million-ounce gold-silver mineral resource estimate. BNCH has initiated engineering and permitting towards a P-E-A for completion in 2021. Benchmark is advancing the gold-silver project to a mining decision. Of note, BNCH recently discovered new areas of near-surface mineralization near the heart of the Project which contains the areas of the near-term mineral resource.

Stockhouse Media’s Dave Jackson was joined by Benchmark’s President and Director, Jim Greig, via Zoom video call to discuss the Company’s latest operational updates, how he believes the Company has the potential to reach a $500 million market cap, and all things Stockhouse investors should know about Benchmark Metals Inc.

Transcription below:

SH: To start off with, Jim, and for our viewers that may be discovering your company for the first time, can you please give us a little background history about yourself and a brief overview of Benchmark’s operations?

JG: Well, I'd say the key to any successful endeavor is the team members and we host a number of older fellows like myself that have been around for over 20 years, but I've had quite a bit of success creating wealth for those associated with the company from new discoveries to production scenarios and also into production itself. There's several senior guys on the team, including myself, Jim, Greig, but also John Williamson, who is our chairman and perhaps our technical leader as well. John was an original founder and director at Kaminak Gold who, about five years ago, sold to Gold Corp for just over $500 million. So I think that the thesis on this is if you were to look at our biography and team members, we've all had success. We've all worked together before, but it's all about timing. And the timing right now in the mining cycle is to get early, especially with a company like Benchmark that's fully funded with near $50 million in the treasury.

SH: Well, that's a great segue into my next question. The big news just released…your recent drill results from the Cliff Creek zone at the Lawyers Gold-Silver Project. The results look very exciting. Can you please share the details with our listeners?

JG: Yeah, we just put out perhaps, which would be considered our best results to date, 128 meters of three grams gold equivalent. And that was in an area of the resource that hadn't been fully explored. It's an area that had seen limited drilling. And so we see potential here in the southern end of the Cliff Creek Zone to increase tonnage and increased grade and should provide a much more robust resource estimate when that comes out in early next year.

SH: Jim, you said that “This area is providing multiple new benefits that include more gold and silver than anticipated and at higher grades.” Realistically, and based on existing geological data, how good do you think the 20 kilometre Lawyers Trend zone really is and can actually be?

JG: I think this project has gold and silver anomalous features scattered across the entire property. They were mining here 30 years ago, but the difference back then is that they were mining these smaller, underground high grade portions. We'll fast-forward 30 years and the gold and silver prices have increased significantly. And so now we're looking at much larger, wider zones at surface that are now considered economic. We've outlined three areas that will contribute to a global resource estimate. But when we talk about this 20 kilometer long trend, we've outlined close to 10 new target areas that have never been drilled. And we think these are the opportunities for the company to bolt ahead. With new satellite deposits beyond this new resource area. So, you know, on a mining scenario, we hope to get to a mining scenario in three to five-year timeframe, but realistically speaking, this project looks very similar to something like Sierra Negro in Argentina, which is one of Gold Corp's largest mines.

You know, it's got a low salt sedation epithermal system that started out very similar as this, where you had some smaller operators mining high-grade slivers, and then a bigger operator came along, realized it had bulk tonnage, potential, and gold and silver spread across the entire package. And so geologically speaking were very similar, but also just on the new targets that we're developing and the existing resource that we will get to in Q1 of next year. This is a package that it's probably not going to be mined for 10 years, but has potential to be mined for over 20 years with some new discoveries.

SH: Jim, you’ve also announced that systematic exploration and drill targeting are continuing to add new areas to your project pipelines at Cliff Creek, Dukes Ridge and AGB resource targets. Can you update us on any new developments, especially at Dukes Ridge and AGB?

JG: Sure. So the there's three main zones in the heart of this package cliff Creek Dukes Ridge in AGB, and all three of those zones are very closely in close location to one another, which obviously had some benefits while you're mining…but they're expanding, they're open in all directions. And the golden silver actually lies at surface in open pitable type targets. And so, we've actually designed pit shells around those to help with our drilling that's in progress. And so those three areas will contribute all of the ounces on this next resource estimate. But that 20 kilometer trend these new targets that we're developing, they will have potential to add more ounces perhaps through drilling next year. So we've isolated areas that have never been drill- tested and in particular, we drilled two areas this fall and September -- one's called Marmot and the other's called Silver Pond. They are new discoveries for us. We have assays pending, but these are two good examples of areas that could contribute satellite pit ounces in later years. So we will drill those two zones in more detail next year. But in addition to that, we'll drill up to another half dozen other targets spread across the entire package.

SH: Can you discuss the long-term strategy for the company and how do you see the gold-silver exploration sector evolving, if not exploding, in this part of BC?

JG: Yeah, the long-term strategy is really I'll say a two year strategy and that is to get as much work done as we can within the start of a new mining cycle. This project's been sitting vacant for a number of years and has gone a couple cycles largely because it, it just didn't have the tech capital contributed towards it to advance it. So our plan here with near $50 million in the treasury is get to a mining decision by 2022. So this is a two year timeframe and involves several milestone events along the way. The two, the two largest ones would be a maiden bulk tonnage resource estimate in Q1 of next year, that'll be followed by a preliminary economic assessment. And then the following year, we will have an updated resource estimate and then leapfrog to a feasibility study. And then ultimately the feasibility studies where you make your decision to put shovels in the ground. But the best part of both the Benchmark story is we don't need to go back to capital markets to raise more money. We've already secured the capital required to do all the work in two years.

SH: It’s no secret, your share price has ascended nicely since late October – up nearly 50 percent! What do attribute this big jump to?

JG: I think we've been we've been putting out some very good results since the start of our drill program. This summer we still have four drill rigs turning. This will continue to early December. So dissemination of news is key. We put out news every seven to ten days. We keep our investors abreast of every move that we're making. But the other leap in the stock race is just simply the fact that we got very good support with the $50 million raise and that included submit big institutional support in the USA. Some institutions that in general, don't jump on a story such as ours until after a resource has been disseminated. So we saw firms like Vanek out of New York merch capital all contribute to this financial raise because they believed in the talent of the management, but also the results that we were putting forward on the gold-silver project.

SH: Can you elaborate on any upcoming news or milestones investors should look out for, more assay results, 43-101’s, partnerships, agreements, L-O-I’s, etc.?

JG: Well, because we've completed near 75,000 meters of drilling already, we’ll continue to drill for another few weeks into December assay results will continue to be presenting in published right through to the January timeframe. So I would anticipate seeing news, as I said, every seven to ten days…all based on assay results. And that should put us in a good favorable standing because the results that we put out over this near a 100,000 meters that we'll have completed and will all go towards the resource estimate in Q1 of next year. So there's a good six months of big frothy news events for new investors…that's what they should be looking for. Big news, that’s news events to build the story here.

SH: For our investor audience not familiar with the Golden Horseshoe mining jurisdiction, can you tell them a bit more them about it…pros and cons?

JG: So the, the Golden Horseshoe is a prolific and proven area in North-Central, British Columbia. It's essentially this wide golden horseshoe. It truly is golden, but it does contain copper and silver mines. And the margins of the Horseshoe are all filled with companies like Benchmark even the Kemess Gold-Copper Mine, which lies 45 kilometers away. And it's this large path that's surrounding a sedimentary basin, but the whole path are on the margins of this basin are filled with producing mines new discovery targets that have been found by other miners in the area. And they're all the same age rocks. So geologically speaking, what it says here is you can work in this area. You can permit a mine the age of the rocks that are such that it does produce good gold, silver and copper.

And the bigger part to this story for Benchmark is that we've got a world-class mine located 45 kilometers away from us. And in fact, we drive by this mine because we are connected to a good solid road network right to our site. The cons are well it's in Northern British Columbia. So you know, there's challenges in working in a colder climate but it can be done. And it's, it's proof in pudding here that there are mines producing. So the obstacles? Well, colder climate…but the pros are that you can permit it and build a mine in this area.

SH: What sets Benchmark apart from other junior mining companies in this space and what makes your business model attractive to investors?

JG: I think the key part here is that we have capital in the treasury to get this project to a mining decision. In two years, we do not need to go back to capital markets and do these stops and starts. We can continue and work right through a two-year period. The key here is to do as much work as possible as the cycles improving and deliver results, but with all the capital in the treasury needed to get this done. And that's, that's the difference here. We have a large land package. We have a multimillion announced resource estimate coming out within about a three to four month timeframe, and it's all covered and paid for with the capital sitting in the treasury.

SH: Jim, you say in your corporate deck that Benchmark is “overcoming adversity to deliver exceptional shareholder value.” What do you mean by this and can you tell our investor audience regarding revenue traction the current valuation of your stock and why it’s still a good value buy right now?

JG: The key here is that our management team has been through this before with other companies we've delivered. We've created enormous wealth for shareholders on other companies through good times and bad. And on this story, we are on the verge of mining sector return. Gold prices are at all-time highs as we speak, the silver prices are going to continue to increase and reach a ratio where they traditionally would be much higher. And on this project, it truly is gold and silver. So it's all about the team, as I mentioned earlier you know, bet on a team that has a track record of success.

SH: And finally, Jim, if there’s anything else you’d like to talk about that I’ve overlooked, please feel free.

JG: I think the, the key, the key points here are that it's still early stage for this company. There's still opportunities for enormous wealth to be delivered to shareholders who get into the story we're trading at approximately 150 million market cap. And if you were to look at my partner's company that he was involved in in the early days, Kaminak Gold, you know, that sold five years ago for $500 million. And I think Benchmark has a similar scope and scale to it where, you know, this company could quite easily get to a $500 million market cap in three to six months time provided we deliver on all the milestones.

For more information, visit https://benchmarkmetals.com/


FULL DISCLOSURE: This is a paid article produced by Stockhouse Publishing.6


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