Epithermal Gold

(All historical drilling, sampling and production data in this section of the website was found in the Metal Mining Agency of Japan database.)

Japan Gold has a total of seven separate project areas prospective for high-grade epithermal gold mineralization. Six of the projects are located on the island of Hokkaido, and one project is located on the island of Kyushu. All of the prospecting rights license applications covering these projects have been accepted for further government review. This reserves the ground for Japan Gold and allows for surface forms of exploration such as mapping, geochemical sampling and geophysics. To date, 23 of the 56 applications over the Ikutahara Project have been granted as Prospecting Rights authorizing the Company to commence more advanced exploration methods, including drilling.

Location of the Six Hokkaido Epithermal Gold Projects: 

Location of The Kamitsue Epithermal Gold Project on the island of Kyushu :

The Ikutahara Project

The 19,114 hectares Ikutahara Project  comprises 56 prospecting rights license applications, 23 of which have been granted as Prospecting Rights, in northern Hokkaido and covers 16 historical gold mines and workings.

Ikutahara is Japan Gold’s most advanced project. From October to December 2016, six geologists and support teams undertook a nine-week field program. The team completed prospecting, geological mapping, collecting stream sediment BLEG and fine fraction drainage samples and rock float and outcrop sampling over the majority of the initial 38 prospecting license application areas.

Japan Gold has prioritized the area surrounding the Ryuo mine as its first prospect, with the Akebono mine area as a second prospect, and the Kitano-o mine area as a third prospect. Japan Gold has commenced further detailed prospect mapping and surface geochemical surveys over priority targets, and intends to begin drilling testing on the high-grade Ryuo and Akebono veins in 2017.

Prospect #1 Ryuo Mine Area: The Ryuo mine was developed on six levels with veins up to 1.6 metres wide. Incomplete production records show more than 5,000 ounces of gold produced between 1938-1953, with grades averaging 8.9 g/t gold and 36 g/t silver. The Jinja vein measured 120m x 70m x 1m with an average grade of 13.99 g/t gold and 110 g/t silver, and the Shoei vein measured 200m x 90m x 1m with an average grade of 5.21 g/t gold and 132 g/t silver.

Prospect #2 Akebono Mine Area: Production records are not available for the Akebono mine, but a 200 metre exploration tunnel was developed between 1938-1940, with 25 metres of drift on vein. The average vein thickness was approximately 1 m, with average reported grades of 20 g/t gold and 550 g/t silver and individual samples up to 1.2 metres at 446 g/t gold and 376 g/t silver.

Prospect #3. Kitano-o Mine Area: The Kitano-o mine was the district’s first major producer, with an estimated 96,450 ounces of gold mined at an average grade of 5.9 g/t gold between 1924-943 from mining of gold-bearing eluvium associated with sinter deposits and sub-sinter epithermal veins within rhyolitic volcanic rocks. Within the central part of the project area the Kitano-o, Showa and Ikutahara mines represent a unique style of ‘high-level’ gold mineralization. Sinter deposits generally represent the surface expression or outflow of epithermal vein systems developing at depth. The Company will be exploring for such vein zones that may lay at depth beneath these high-level deposits; and depth and strike extensions of the numerous other vein targets.

Ikutahara Project Area – Historical Mines

The Aibetsu Project

The Aibetsu Project comprises 22 accepted applications (7,034 hectares) in northern Hokkaido. Five historic epithermal gold / silver and mercury mines are located within the Aibetsu Project area. The Aibetsu Project area includes the Tokusei mine, which produced 38,580 ounces of gold and 472,620 ounces of silver between 1930-1942¹. The Metal Mining Agency of Japan completed an extensive work program over the Tokusei area, including detailed mapping, soil sampling and surface sampling, and discovered high grades from several drainages over an area of 1 km x 1 km. The Metal Mining Agency of Japan also completed five diamond drill holes for a total of 3,300 metres with a peak result of 0.95 metres @ 69 g/t gold and 263 g/t silver 2, at about 300 meters and 450 meters below surface respectively.

Within the pre-existing 9 applications, the Company plans to infill and extend southwards, from previous MMAJ mapping and soil geochemical sampling completed over the Tokusei mine area, to define new drill targets. Soil sampling is expected to commence in mid-June 2017. 

1Watanabe, 1996. Genesis of Vein-hosting Fractures in the Kitami Region, Hokkaido, Japan. Resource Geology, v46(3), pp 151-166, 1996.
2Metal Mining Agency of Japan, Geological Survey Report for Fiscal Year 2002, North Hokkaido Area.


Aibetsu Project Area  

The Sanru Project

The Sanru Project comprises 35 accepted applications (11,269 hectares) immediately adjacent to the historic Sanru gold mine, which was the second largest producer in Northern Hokkaido. The Sanru mine produced approximately 215,410 ounces at an average grade of 7.4 g/t gold and more than 1.4 million ounces of silver. The Sanru structure and several other parallel structures host six gold occurrences and are included under the application.

The Numanoue Project

The Numanoue Project comprises four accepted applications (1,296 hectares) approximately 8 kms east of the Konomai mine, which produced 2.3 million ounces of gold. The Numanoue mine itself produced approximately 35,365 ounces @ 8 g/t gold and more than 2.6 million ounces @ 815 g/t silver. Japan Gold believes that additional exploration potential remains at the Numanoue deposit and in the area, and intends to follow up with additional exploration.

The Hakuryu Project

The Hakuryu Project comprises 15 accepted applications (4,901 hectares) approximately 1.5 kms south of the Konomai mine, which produced 2.3 million ounces of gold. Eight historic gold working are located within this project. It is underlain by the same host geology as the Konamai mine which consists of the Konamai Formation sedimentary rocks which are cut by Late Miocene andesite and rhyolite subvolcanic intrusions. 

The Buho Project

The Buho Project is one 328-hectare accepted application located in southwest Hokkaido. The Buho prospect is a vein hosted by high-level alteration on the flank of the Akaigawa inner caldera. There are numerous other precious and base metal occurrences in the area of the caldera complex. Previous drilling by Austpac Resources intersected a north-south vein 140 metres below the main ridge with 3.5 metres @ 220 g/t gold and 42 g/t silver, including 0.9 metres @ 72.5 g/t gold and 65 g/t silver.

The Kamitsue Project

The Kamitsue Project comprises 12 accepted applications (4,069 hectares) approximately 10 kms southeast of the Taio mine, Northern Kyushu's largest gold mine which produced 1.2  million ounces of gold. Kyushu hosts two other plus million ounce gold producers, the currently producing Hishikari mine with 8.5 million ounces of gold at a grade of 47.3 g/t and the Kushikino mine which produced 1.8 million ounces of gold at a grade of 6.7 g/t  between 1914-74 in the southern part of the island. 

Detailed surface exploration was completed over the Kamitsue area and reported by the Metal Mining Agency of Japan (MMAJ) in the early 1990’s. The Company has inspected several localities with historic workings dating back to the early 1900’s, however no production data is recorded. Regional alteration mapping and soil geochemical sampling reported by the MMAJ covers a 7km by 4km area at Kamitsue. This work identified two distinct coincident clay-alteration / geochemical anomalies including a 5.5km by 1.5km east-west trending zone with anomalous gold, silver, arsenic, antimony and mercury and a smaller 1.5km by 0.5km zone with anomalous gold, silver, arsenic and mercury.

Considering the size of the defined anomalies at Kamitsue, and the other significant gold deposits throughout Kyushu, the Company feels the area has significant merit for further exploration and will commence follow up surface exploration later this year.