THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 08/16/13 -- Benton Resources Inc. (TSX VENTURE: BEX) ("Benton" or "the Company") is pleased to announce that it has executed an option agreement (the "Agreement") with Platinum Group Metals Ltd. (TSX: PTM) ("PTM") on the Company's recently acquired Mealy copper-nickel-platinum-palladium project (the "Project") in Labrador. The Agreement allows PTM to earn a 71% interest in the Project by paying the Company $51,000 on the effective date of the Agreement (the "Effective Date") and by incurring an aggregate of $2.4 million in exploration expenditures on the Project as follows:
i. $300,000 on or before the date which is 12 months from the Effective Date; ii. a further $300,000 on or before the date which is 24 months from the Effective Date; iii. a further $400,000 on or before the date which is 36 months from the Effective Date; iv. a further $1.4 million on or before the date which is 48 months from the Effective Date.
Upon completion of the prescribed cash payment and exploration expenditures, PTM will earn a 71% interest in the Project at which point a joint venture will be formed between the Company and PTM. Benton will retain a 1% NSR on the Project and PTM will be the operator of the Project while it holds a majority interest.
Stephen Stares, Company President and CEO commented, "We are very pleased to be working with Platinum Group Metals Ltd. once again. We look forward to completing the airborne survey and following up with detailed ground work on this exciting new prospect in an underexplored area in Labrador. By executing this agreement with steady annual work commitments, Benton shareholders can expect regular exploration results at no cost to the treasury."
The Mealy Project covers 261 square-kilometres of the Mealy Lake mafic intrusion and is contiguous to Altius Minerals Corp.'s ("Altius") 256 square-kilometre Natashquan property, both located approximately 140 kilometres southwest of Churchill Falls in Labrador. The Mealy Project covers the same mafic intrusive rock that hosts Altius' recently announced new Ni-Cu-Co-PGE discovery. Altius has entered into a joint venture agreement with Anglo American ("Anglo") whereby Anglo has the option to earn a 66-per-cent interest in the project through expenditures of $20-million over a five-year period. Exploration highlights from Altius' Nastashquan discovery include "2.68g/t combined Pt, Pd and Au (grab) - 6.14% Cu and 388ppb Pt - 1.04g/t combined Pt, Pd, Au and 1.06% Cu over 1.30m (channel) - 1.04 g/t combined Pt, Pd, Au and 3.92% Cu over 1.00m (channel) - 2.49g/t combined Pt, Pd and Au and 1.07% Ni (grab) - several grab samples greater than 7% Cu - soil samples up to 26,000ppm Cu" (http://altiusminerals.com/projects/natashquan).
The Mealy Lake mafic intrusion was identified from historic work completed by the Newfoundland and Labrador Geological Survey. The main intrusive is approximately 45 kilometres long and 25 kilometers wide and is Late Paleoproterozoic in age with local fresh crosscutting mafic to ultra-mafic rock. The disseminated to massive sulphide mineralization found to date displays cumulate textures indicative of primary magmatic type Cu-Ni-PGE deposition within the mafic to ultra-mafic intrusive.