Benchmark Metals Inc. [BNCH-TSXV; CYRTF-OTCQB; 87CA-FSE] shares rallied in active trading Friday July 26 after the company said it has been granted a five-year work permit for its Lawyers property in northern British Columbia.
The work permit was granted by the Government of British Columbia and is for exploration and drilling, the company said in a press release on July 25, 2019. The permit encompasses an expanded scope and scale to explore existing and new targets across the project area.
On Friday, Benchmark shares jumped 11.48% or $0.035 to 34 cents on active volume of 1.4 million. The shares are trading in a 52-week range of 16 cents and 40 cents.
The Lawyers property is located in the Toodoggone region of the Omineca Mining Division of B.C. and consists of 37 contiguous mineral claims. The claims cover 127 km2 of land that encompasses the Lawyers group of prospects, including the former Lawyers underground gold-silver mine and the Silver Pond group of prospects, and includes over 16 gold-silver mineral occurrences.
The property is situated 45 km northwest of Centerra Gold Inc.’s [CG-TSX; CAGDF-OTC] Kemess copper-gold mine, where underground development and construction is under way.
Exploration in the area began in the late 1960s and peaked in the 1980s, identifying numerous showings, prospects and deposits culminating in the development of the Lawyers gold-silver mine that operated from 1989 to 1992, producing 171,000 ounces of gold and 3.6 million ounces of silver.
Five underground developments remain in place, in addition to historical resources and new targets.
Benchmark said the Lawyers project is exhibiting geological similarities to world-class low sulphidation epithermal gold-silver mines located in the Patagonia region of Argentina. “Lawyers, Cerro Negro, and the Cerro Vanguardia gold-silver mines are all epithermal precious metal deposits hosted in Jurassic felsic volcanics,” Benchmark said.
The company recently announced a proposed 2019 exploration program at Lawyers. It said the drilling will focus on infill, step-out and deeper drilling to expand the current resources at [the] Cliff Creek and Dukes Ridge [zones] and establish new resources at the Phoenix and AGB zones.
The program is expected to include 14,000 to 25,000 metres of drilling, 2,000 to 3,500 soil samples, 600 to 1,000 rock samples, mapping and ground geophysics.
“After a thorough review of 2018 drilling and historical results that included infill sampling of previous drilling campaigns, we believe the Lawyers Trend has potential for near 5 million gold equivalent ounces,” said Benchmark CEO John Williamson. “The 2018 program expanded the Cliff Creek Zone to over 550 metres and the Dukes Ridge Zone to over 700 metre strike lengths, and mineralization remains open in all directions,” he said. “In addition, we have generated over six new large targets for drill testing.”
The five-year work permit allows for 50,000 metres of drilling at key areas, including the Cliff Creek, Dukes Ridge and Phoenix Zone, as well as 5,000 metres of drilling at new targets, including the AGB Zone.
In a June 7, 2019, press release, Benchmark said it was planning to raise $5 million from a non-brokered private placement offering of 11.1 million units priced at 45 cents per unit. It said each unit consisted of one common share and one half of a share purchase warrant. It said each whole warrant is good to buy one additional share at an exercise price of 55 cents per share for two years from the date of closing of the offering.
In the event that the common shares of the company trade at a closing price above 65 cents for a period of 10 consecutive trading days, then the company said it may deliver a notice to the warrant holders informing them that they must exercise their warrants within the next 30 days, otherwise the warrants will expire.