Japan Gold Corp.’s leadership team has long recognized Japan’s prospectivity for gold, silver and copper. When Japan’s mining laws were changed in 2012 to re-activate the mining industry, Japan Gold moved quickly to review historical data and identify key exploration targets and was the first foreign exploration company to apply for prospecting licenses.
The Tertiary volcanic arc terrains of Japan host 76 known past producing gold mines, including five one-million-plus-ounce gold deposits. This includes one of the world’s highest-grade gold mines, the Hishikari mine on the island of Kyushu. The Hishikari mine produced 7.4 Moz of gold between 1985-2017 at an average grade of 30-40 g/t Au and is still producing today.
Despite a history of significant gold production and known mineral occurrences, Japan is regarded as largely underexplored.
Project Area Selection
Japan Gold has completed an extensive review of the Metal Mining Agency of Japan database, which includes detailed and relevant information about historical drilling results and mine production. Based on a desktop review of historical gold production and Japan’s extensive geoscientific database, Japan Gold pinpointed areas that are very compelling from a geological perspective.
The company has grown its portfolio to 210 prospecting rights applications accepted on Japan's three main islands, Hokkaido, Honshu, and Kyushu for a combined 69,505 hectares over 17 projects. The applications cover areas with known gold occurrences and a history of mining. Having prospecting rights applications accepted reserves the ground for Japan Gold and allows for surface forms of exploration such as mapping, geochemical sampling and geophysics.
To date, 23 of 56 applications over the Ikutahara Project, and the nine applications covering the Eboshi Project have been granted as Prospecting Rights. This allows for more advanced form of exploration, such as drilling.
Thirteen of the 17 project areas target high-grade epithermal gold deposits.
Four of the 17 project areas target areas of gold-bearing advanced argillic alteration lithocaps, which could indicate the presence of a porphyry mineral environment.
Japan Gold Exploration Projects
From October to December 2016, six geologists and support teams undertook a nine-week field program, completing prospecting, geological mapping, collecting stream sediment BLEG and fine fraction drainage samples and rock float and outcrop sampling over the majority of the Ikutahara Project.
Results of the Ikutahara exploration program highlighted large coherent gold and gold-pathfinder anomalies over extensive drainage areas within the Ikutahara Project area. These results have been compiled to further define targets for additional detailed prospect mapping and surface geochemical surveys in conjunction with drill testing over priority targets.
A drilling permit has been granted for the Akebono prospect at the Ikutahara Project. The initial scout drilling program will include up to six holes totalling up to 1000 metres of diamond drilling and will aim to confirm and extend historic high-grade underground sampling to define the potential for high-grade shoots in the Akebono vein system. The drilling program is expected to continue into late December with results anticipated in February 2018.
Japan Gold has generated additional compelling drill targets by building on existing data with detailed surface mapping, geochemical-sampling and geophysics focussing on high grade epithermal veins in and around historic mines and workings. The Company will seek to rapidly progress these targets to the permitting phase so that they can be drill tested in 2018.
To support these efforts the Company owns three compact, portable diamond core drill rigs and has signed a contract with Sumiko Resources Exploration & Development Co., Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd., to manage and operate its drilling programs in Japan.