"Benchmark's drill-to-build philosophy is delivering the results to develop the Lawyers project into a world-class gold-silver mine," VP engineering Ian Harris said.
The estimate put the total indicated resource at 2.1 million ounces gold-equivalent, grading 1.62g/t, and inferred at 821,000oz at 1.58g/t Au-eq.
The resource, for the Cliff Creek, Dukes Ridge, Phoenix and AGB deposits, will form the basis of a preliminary economic assessment slated for later this quarter.
"This initial multimillion-ounce mineral resource has exceeded all expectations and has significant expansion potential with the planned 2021 drill programme," CEO John Williamson said.
The company's fully-funded 100,000m programme is expected to lead to a further resource update.
Benchmark is targeting permitting, a feasibility study and mining decision in 2022.
The company said in March it had the potential for a near-term cash position of about C$45 million, with circa $35 million in cash in addition to warrants and options totalling nearly $9 million (in the money).
It had raised $50.3 million in a more than doubled placement in September, after closing the third tranche at $1.30 per hard dollar unit.
Benchmark shares (TSXV: BNCH) have risen from 36c a year ago to a peak of $1.64.
They closed down 6.1% to $1.53 yesterday, capitalising it at $240 million (US$200 million).