Benton Completes Option and Joint Venture Agreement with Marathon



    THUNDER BAY, ON, March 13 /CNW/ - Benton Resources Corp ("Benton",
BTC:TSX.V) is pleased to announce that it has completed the Option and Joint
Venture Agreement on the Bamoos Lake - Claw Lake - Four Dams ("BCF") Property
with Marathon PGM Corporation ("Marathon", MAR:TSX)

    
    Highlights:

    -   the planned Main Zone pit outline has been expanded by approximately
        200 m to the north
    -   this added resource, as well as the definition of additional
        resources encountered in the in-fill drilling on the Main Zone has
        the potential to add years to the life of mine, or to encourage a
        higher through-put rate than presently being considered
    -   Marathon now expects the definitive feasibility study to be completed
        by Q3 of 2008
    -   the BCF Property adds 4 mineralized zones and a large untested area
        with potential magnetite-hosted PGM mineralization
    

    "We have just increased the mine life by eliminating the boundary pillar
and adding tonnage to the Main Zone. This is a win-win situation for both
Marathon and Benton as we continue to build Canada's next PGM mining
district," commented Phillip Walford, Marathon's President and CEO.

    BCF Property Drilling
    ---------------------

    An 8-10,000 m drilling program will commence on the BCF property at the
north end of the Marathon Main Zone within the next two weeks. The objectives
are to create a resource by a combination of in-fill drilling and exploration
holes along strike and down dip of known mineralization. This new resource
will be added to the Main Zone resource as part of the ongoing definitive
feasibility study. An additional program of prospecting, trenching and channel
sampling will begin over the Magnetite and Claw Lake zones in May. Exploration
of the Magnetite Zones on the BCF Property is of particular interest as it is
on-strike from Marathon's PGM-bearing Magnetite Zones to the south. No
resources have been developed on the BCF Property.

    Current Drilling
    ----------------

    Marathon has completed a total of 11 holes comprising 2,600 metres so far
in the 2008 drilling season. This program is specifically designed to close
drilling gaps and increase measured and indicated resources. Many of these
gaps are in fact are more strongly mineralized than interpreted in the last
resource estimation to the point of surpassing the modeled expectations.
Drilling to date has been very positive, as multiple intersections of the high
grade W-horizon have been discovered outside of the current resource pitshell.

    Option Terms
    ------------

    Under the terms of the OJVA, Marathon has the option to earn a
60% participating interest in the BCF Property by (i) issuing Benton
120,000 common shares on signing of the OJVA, subject to regulatory approval;
(ii) completing work expenditures of $1.5 million per year during the first
four years of the OJVA and an additional $2 million on or before the fifth
anniversary and; (iii) making cash payments of $500,000 per year on or before
the anniversary date of the OJVA for the first three years (for a total
$1.5 million).
    During the earn-in period, all work will be supervised and carried out by
Marathon. After Marathon has issued the 120,000 shares, made the $1.5 million
cash payments and spent the $8 million, Marathon will have "earned in" to 60%
of the JV.
    During the earn-in period Marathon may mine up to 200 metres north of its
property into the BCF Property. If Marathon mines any part of the BCF Property
prior to the JV, Marathon will receive all revenue and (i) pay all costs, (ii)
pay all royalties due from the BCF Property, and (iii) pay an additional 2%
NSR royalty to Benton.
    After the JV is formed, Marathon will be operator and any ore that is
discovered on the BCF property will be mined and processed by Marathon at its
facilities. Under the JV agreement, Marathon will charge the JV for all
direct, indirect and overhead costs including a charge to recover its capital
costs as well as a 4% management fee.
    Clinton Barr (P.Geo.), V.P. Exploration for Benton Resources Corp., is
the qualified person responsible for this release.

    About Benton Resources Corp:

    Benton Resources Corp. (the "Company") is a mineral exploration company
listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol BTC. Benton's aggressive
and experienced management team is focused on base and precious group metal
exploration. The Company's diverse property portfolio includes Canadian
projects which are highly prospective for gold, uranium, platinum, palladium,
nickel and copper. The Company currently has approximately $20 million in
working capital.

    On behalf of the Board of Directors of Benton Resources Corp.
    "Stephen Stares"
    Stephen Stares, President

    THE TSX VENTURE EXCHANGE HAS NOT REVIEWED AND DOES NOT ACCEPT
    RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ADEQUACY OR ACCURACY OF THIS RELEASE.

    Forward- looking statements in this release are made pursuant to the safe
    harbor provisions of the Private Securities.





For further information:

For further information: Stephen Stares, 3290 Willard Ave, Thunder Bay,
Ontario, P7E 6J7, Phone (807) 475-7474, Fax (807) 475-7200,
www.bentonresources.ca; Investor relations: First Canadian Capital Corp.,
Daniel Boase, Phone (416) 742-5600, Toll Free: 1-866-580-8891; In U.S.A: The
Windward Agency, Kelly Boatright, Phone (704) 588-8600

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