EXPLORATION & DEVELOPMENT

Bonanza grades, exploration target for Benz

DRILLING at junior explorer Benz Mining’s Eastmain gold project in Canada has delivered it the highest grade result from drilling to date, and a maiden exploration target.

Winter drilling at Eastmain

Winter drilling at Eastmain

While the company says its late 2021 diamond drilling program had delivered high-grades from all zones across the Eastmain system, and confirmed the Upper Horizon discovery between Kotak and the Mine Trend, but it is particularly pleased with its E Zone drilling.
 
The 2021 results have also allowed it to define an exploration target of between 2.5-3.9 million tonnes grading 5.7-7gpt for 460,000-880,000oz, based purely on areas drilled so far along the Mine trend.
 
Emerging discovery areas, such as the Nisto and Kotak Trend, Upper Horizon, and the gold hosted by the tonalite at E Zone are excluded from the exploration target.
 
The target is in addition to the existing Eastmain resource of 376,000oz grading 7.9gpt.
 
Encouragingly, a hole at the E Zone returned a bonanza 1m at 365.5 grams per tonne from 81m, the highest grade to date, part of a 100m by 100m infill drilling program.
 
Overall saw almost all holes completed last year returned mineralisation across the Eastmain system.
 
The E Zone is 3km south-east from the Eastmain mine portal, and 1km from the D Zone. It was discovered by Benz below glacial cover following a 2020 electromagnetic survey. 
 
It is considered geologically different from the Eastmain Mine system.
 
The blind discovery is mapped over a 700m by 600m area, to a depth of 350m, but remains open in multiple directions.
 
Other assays from the drilling included 6.6m at 9.8gpt from 644m, including 1.1m at 36.7gpt in the D Zone. 
 
The area had seen minimal drilling prior to Benz, as past explorers had generally been unsuccessful in following the Mine trend to the southeast in the 1980s.
 
CEO Xavier Braud said the company continued to deliver systematic, high-grade intercepts from its infill drilling, which bodes well for the planned resource update given the relatively wide spacing. 
 
Extensional drilling also helped grow other zones along the trend, such as 8.4m at 4.6gpt from 578m, including 1m at 26gpt at the C Zone.
 
Benz believes more mineralisation can be unlocked now it has proven the effectiveness of EM.
 
Its next drilling will target structurally-controlled high-grade shoots, based on a new geological interpretation prepared by ex-Bellevue Gold consulting geologist Marcus Harden.
 
Benz, which completed an ASX listing in late 2020, and is also listed on the TSX Venture Exchange, believes the neglected Eastmain area is a potential new mining district.
 
The area, in northern Quebec, which was discovered in 1970 by Placer Dome, and briefly hosted high-grade mining in the 1990s.
 
Resources entrepreneur Evan Cranston bought in via Konkera Corporate in early 2020 after Benz struggled to raise funds, seeing some similarities to the Bellevue project in Western Australia.
 
It also has the Ruby Hill lithium project to the west.
 
Benz's CHESS depository interests on the ASX were off 1% at A64c this morning, valuing it at $70 million.
 
The company has traded between 55-95c over the past year. 
 
It has had some $13 million in cash remaining last quarter.

 

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