Benchmark Metal’s is the 100% owner of two mineral claims and two mineral leases that includes the Butterfly Lake (Dune) Deposit (Canada Mining Lease 3362) in Nunavut, Canada. The property is favourable for iron formation hosted gold mineralization similar to the nearby Lupin gold mine. The claim and lease areas have been previously subjected to substantial exploration programs including diamond drilling which has resulted in the discovery of the Butterfly Lake deposit and associated estimation of non-NI43-101 compliant (Historic) gold resources by Cominco and Echo Bay Mines. The Butterfly lease lies on land for which the Inuit control surface and subsurface rights. However, because the original claims were staked prior to completion of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, mineral rights for the lease have been grandfathered and remain with the Crown.
Inco originally explored the Butterfly Lake area for iron formation-hosted gold in the early 1960’s, as part of their assembled land position surrounding the Lupin showing. The immediate area remained little explored until 1985, when Aber Resources Ltd partnered with Cominco as operator, under took an Aerodat airborne geophysical survey that included the Butterfly Lake Property. Follow-up gridding, ground geophysics and drilling led to the 1987 discovery of the Dune gold deposit. By 1990, Cominco estimated the Dune resource at 110,000 tonnes grading 20g/t. This resource does not meet current CIM guidelines and definitions for resources and as such is considered to be historic in nature and should not be relied upon. In 1993, Echo Bay Mines took an option contingent on Echo Bay bringing the deposit into production by 1998. Echo Bay concentrated on defining an open pittable near surface resource and identified a “reserve” of 10,000 recoverable ounces (at an open pit mining cost of $370/ounce). The Echo Bay Reserve does not meet current CIM guidelines and definitions for resources or reserves and is therefore considered historic in nature and should not be relied upon. Additional work and development by Echo Bay and others was cancelled in 1997 due to declining gold prices.
It is noted that the cutoff grade used for defining the potential extent of significant mineralization was at 5 grams per tonne (g/t) gold. Most of the drilling and historical results were at surface to a depth of approximately 50 meters. The gold occurrences at the Contwoyto Gold Project remain open at depth, width and strike. Potential exists to expand existing mineralized zones and for the discovery of new zones. Benchmark drilled the Dune Deposit in 2017 and reported:
- 14.43 grams per tonne gold (“g/t Au”) over 4 meters (m) core length in hole 17CEI002; including 18.23 g/t Au over 3m core length; 24.65 g/t Au over 2m and 38.8 g/t Au over 1m core length;
- 6.83 g/t Au over 5m core length in hole 17CEI003; including; 8.79 g/t Au over 3.82 core length m; 11.5 g/t Au over 2.82m core length and 20.6 g/t Au over 1m core length; and
- 2.19 g/t Au over 9m core length in hole 17CEI001; including 5.12 g/t Au over 3m core length.
Selected Historical core length drill intersections include:
- DDH 87-13, 4.86m at 63.09g/t gold (Cominco Ltd.)
- DDH 93-01, 4.55m at 20.11g/t gold (Echo Bay Mines)
- DDH 94-11, 5.55m at 12.70g/t gold (Echo Bay Mines)
- DDH 95-05, 7.70m at 11.78g/t gold (Echo Bay Mines)
Near term exploration plans include IP ground geophysics and core drilling to validate historical results and step-out drilling to target new gold zones.
Michael Dufresne, M.Sc., P.Geol., P.Geo., an independent director of the Company, also serves as a Technical Advisor and is the Qualified Person, as defined by National Instrument 43-101, responsible for reviewing and approving the technical content of all materials publicly disclosed by Benchmark, including the contents of this website.