Benchmark Metals (TSX-V: BNCH) - Rapidly Growing Gold & Silver Project with Catalysts Imminent
In this interview, we sit down with Benchmark Metals President Jim Greig to cover the key aspects of the Company and review some of Benchmark's latest impressive drill results at its flagship Lawyers gold & silver project.
2020 was a challenging year for many companies, but in Jim's words, it was a banner year for Benchmark. The Company's share price appreciated significantly on the back of impressive drill results and they were able to raise over $50M in a heavily oversubscribed financing that saw significant institutional participation, including from legendary gold and silver bug Eric Sprott, Merk Capital, Van Eck Capital and Franklin Templeton (all this despite not having a resource estimate out at the time). Benchmark conducted over 87,000 meters of drilling in 2020, the results of which will be compiled into a maiden NI 43-101 compliant mineral resource estimate, expected around the end of March or early April, 2021. The most recent results, which we discuss in this interview, feature highlight intercepts of 186 m of 1.66 g/t gold-equivalent. Importantly, as Jim mentions, Benchmark has shown that grades tend to increase with depth and the size of the mineralized zones is increasing significantly, which can rapidly build tonnage.
Benchmark's Lawyers project is located in northern British Columbia, Canada, about 45 km NW of Centerra Gold's Kemess copper / gold mine and in the same Stikine Terrane that hosts many other well known BC mines such as Newcrest's Red Chris Mine and Pretium's Brucejack Mine. The company has performed infrastructure upgrades and the Laywers project now features year-round road access for vehicles weighing up to 60 tonnes. There is also an airstrip capable of servicing large aircraft 13 km to the SE.
Lawyers saw brief underground mining operations from 1989 to 1992 . By contrast, Benchmark envisions the project as open pit operation. Lawyers features three main mineralized zones over a combined strike length of 2.6+ km that will be part of the pending mineral resource estimate: the large Cliff Creek zone, the Duke's Ridge zone, and the AGB zone. All of these areas are open at depth for expansion as well as along strike, and expansion drilling will be part of the planned 100,000 meters of drilling in 2021. Benchmark also has several areas it considers highly prospective for exploration drilling, including the Marmot and Marmot East areas, which have seen only minimal drilling to date and will get more attention in 2021. The Company believes Marmot has potential to be another Cliff Creek and could add significant future gold and silver ounces in the future to the overall project mineral resource.
With respect to future catalysts, following the release of the maiden resource estimate at Lawyers due within only weeks, Benchmark is expecting to publish a Preliminary Economic Assessment in late Q2 / early Q3 of 2021, followed by a Feasibility Study in 2022 that will lead to a mining decision on the project. Engineering, metallurgical, permitting and environmental programs are already in progress to support these initiatives. Management at Benchmark believes the company is fully funded through to its Feasibility Study and a production decision in 2022 from existing cash in the treasury and expected proceeds from warrant and option exercises.
00:00 - Introduction & Company Overview
05:17 - Review of Latest Drill Results
09:32 - Exploration Block Model Target
12:26 - Review of 2020 Drilling & Remaining Unreported Holes
17:23 - Silver Pond Discussion
20:40 - 2021 Drilling Plans and Priorities
25:40 - Issues with Labs & High-Grade Re-assaying
27:56 - Overall Strategy: How Big is Big Enough?
32:29 - Capital Requirements & Cash Position
36:59 - End Game: Buyout or Become a Producer?
39:24 - Institutional Support from Last Financing
43:04 - Share Price Performance
45:06 - Future Capital Raises Needed?
46:43 - Key Hires & First Nations Relationships
50:09 - Peer Group Comparison
53:42 - Plans for Getting the Story Out
56:18 - Closing Remarks / Catalysts Timeline
Benchmark Metals currently trades on the Toronto Venture Exchange under the symbol BNCH, and on the OTCQX marketplace under the symbol BNCHF.
Benchmark Metals website: https://www.benchmarkmetals.com/
You can also contact Jim Greig directly by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Originally filmed on March 5th, 2021