Benchmark Metals (TSXV: BNCH; OTC: BNCHF) recently signed a new agreement with the Tahltan Central Government (TCG) that establishes collaborative processes to support the engagement of the TCG in Benchmark’s Lawyers gold-silver project in north-central British Columbia.
Specifically, the agreement ensures that the TCG can meaningfully participate in all aspects of the exploration program at Lawyers and the associated economic benefits.
According to Benchmark, this agreement represents an important step towards developing a strong collaborative relationship with TCG and advancing the gold-silver project. It is a key component towards social license for mine permitting and is intended to form the basis of a larger agreement when the project advances towards regulatory approvals for an operational mine, the company said.
The Lawyers property is host to a historic mine that operated from 1989-92, during which it produced 171,200 oz. of gold and 3.6 million oz. of silver. However, the deposit was never fully mined, nor was the surrounding area thoroughly explored. There is an estimated C$50 million ($39.5m) in infrastructure remaining at the site, including a year-round access road.
Exploration along the Lawyers trend has delineated four mineralized zones – AGB, Cliff Creek, Dukes Ridge and Phoenix – that still remain open for expansion, in addition to over 20 new target areas. Drilling to date has yielded near-surface intercepts that demonstrated the project’s bulk tonnage potential.
An initial bulk-tonnage mineral resource estimate by Benchmark showed total indicated (in pit and out of pit) metal content of 1.5 million oz. gold and 50.2 million oz. silver (40.3 million tonnes grading 1.19 g/t gold and 38.7 g/t silver).
Benchmark’s current plan for its flagship project this year is to complete a feasibility study.