- On May 2021, Sokoman and Benton formed a strategic JV partnership (“the Alliance”) on a 50/50 sharing basis, staking a large district-scale project consisting of 3,146 claims (78,650 hectares) accessed by the Burgeo Highway in Southwestern Newfoundland.
- Covers extensions of two major structures linked to significant gold prospects and deposits in southern Newfoundland.
- Rock units and structures on the Property are also related to those associated with new orogenic gold discoveries in central Newfoundland, including Sokoman’s 100%-owned Moosehead Project and New Found Gold’s Queensway Project.
- Area is host to at least two significant gold deposits including the past-producing Hope Brook Gold Mine (First Mining - Big Ridge Gold) and the advanced Cape Ray Project (Matador Mining).
- Property covers the NE extension of Hope Brook structure which cuts rock units correlated with rocks further NE in the central Newfoundland Gold Belt.
- Property extremely underexplored, despite known occurrences of gold, the presence of unsourced till, soil and stream sediment geochemical anomalies (> 5000 ppb Au), and the first-order commonalities and linkages between southern and central Newfoundland.
- Phase 1 Winter Drilling Program (5 holes - 1,025 m) returned 0.95% Li2O over 8.40 m from 47.8 m to 56.2 m, including 1.76% Li2O over 0.8 m.
- Phase 2 Drilling Program (18 holes – 3,073 m) was completed in 2022. Assay results of 13 out of 18 holes returned significant intersections including a 25 m-thick, spodumene-rich dyke, that carry significant grades (5.50 m at 1.16% Li2O) within a wider intersection of 20.82 m averaging 0.60% Li2O from 46.00 m downhole in drill hole GH-22-15.
Golden Hope Project – Kraken Pegmatite Field (Sokoman – Benton Joint Venture)
During the summer of 2021 reconnaissance gold exploration program at Golden Hope, the Alliance discovered a swarm of lithium-bearing pegmatite dykes, now named the Kraken Pegmatite Field with two of three initial samples returning grades of 1.95% Li2O and 0.49% Li2O. This is believed to be the first discovery of significant lithium mineralization on the island of Newfoundland. In the fall of 2021, the Alliance conducted a multi-phase prospecting, mapping, and sampling program over a 0.85 km x 2.2 km area and further confirmed this discovery with many assays yielding lithium values greater than 1% Li2O and the best sample grading 2.37% Li2O.
The Alliance completed detailed geological mapping and a high-resolution drone survey that includes imagery, Lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) to assist in the mapping and targeting of the dyke system. The Alliance also completed a 5,709 line-km Heliborne High-Resolution Aeromagnetic & Matrix Digital VLF-EM Survey flown by Terraquest Ltd. These surveys will enhance our understanding of the structural/lithological setting and help identify gold-bearing structure extensions, as well as any unrecognized structures including those potentially related to the lithium-bearing pegmatites.
Following receipt of all the data accumulated during the latter portion of 2021, including the outstanding sample assays, it was compiled and interpreted with the objective of undertaking an initial drilling program on the Kraken dyke swarm as soon as possible in 2022.
The Kraken Pegmatites are highly evolved, pegmatite swarms similar to the geological environment and setting of other large systems in the Appalachian belt, including the important deposits held by Piedmont Lithium Inc. in the Carolinas, eastern US, as well as in the geologically equivalent Avalonia Project being advanced by Ganfeng Lithium in the Caledonides of Ireland.
The Alliance completed its first drilling program (winter drilling program) consisting of 1,025 m of drilling with its first hole’s assay values ranging from 0.08% to 1.76% Li2O reflecting variations of spodumene content, and the presence of occasional barren wall rock or quartz vein inclusions, averaging 0.95% Li2O over 8.40 m from 47.8 m to 56.2 m (see the press release dated March 24, 2022). The winter drilling program and trenching program had located a significant swarm of lithium-rich pegmatite dykes flanking the regional Bay d'Est Fault. Important structural information was obtained in the drilling showing the dykes, at least in the Discovery Dyke area, are relatively flat-lying.
Following the first phase of drilling, in early July 2022, the Alliance started the second drilling program consisting of 18 holes (3,073 m), having focused on the East Dyke – about 600 m to the east of the Kraken Discovery Dyke. The assay results of 13 out of 18 holes have been received, returning multiple holes cutting numerous dykes with multiple sections grading in excess of 1.00% Li2O. The East Dyke is a spodumene-rich dyke exposed for >10 m (still open) with grab sample grades of 1.93% Li2O. Drilling has confirmed the East Dyke to be part of a swarm of shallow-dipping dykes, including a 25 m-thick spodumene-rich dyke, that carries significant grades (5.50 m at 1.16% Li2O) in a much wider intersection of strong lithium grades including 20.82 m at 0.60% Li2O from 46.00 m downhole in drill hole GH-22-15. Hole GH-22-15 cut three significant spodumene-rich dykes that remain open to depth and along strike. Recent prospecting results include a 1.29% Li2O grab sample from what is believed to be the westward extension of the East Dyke 100 m west of current drilling (see the press release dated October 18, 2022).
On November 17, 2022, the Alliance released the discovery of a high-grade cesium-rich dyke with grab samples assaying up to 1.56% Cs2O (cesium oxide), 0.4% Li2O (lithium oxide), 0.022% Ta2O5 (tantalum oxide), and 0.30% Rb2O (rubidium oxide). This is the first high-grade cesium mineralization recorded on the Island of Newfoundland. The cesium-rich dyke is approximately 5 m – 6 m wide and has been traced for approximately 100 m along strike to where it disappears under overburden in both directions. The dyke is located approximately 12 km northeast of the Kraken lithium discovery. Following this recent discovery, Phase 3 drilling will start immediately on the Kraken main dyke and the western extension areas where prospecting samples have given values >1% Li2O. Approximately 20 holes are planned. (See press release dated November 17, 2022).