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.1
Despite being a first-world country with a rich history of gold mining, there has been very little gold exploration in Japan since World War II when gold mining was suspended due to a government moratorium on gold mining at that time. When the Japan Mining Act was amended in 2012 for the first time allowing foreign mineral companies the ability to hold exploration and mining permits, Japan Gold was the first company to seize this opportunity.
Japan Gold 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.
Japan Gold’s project portfolio consist of 17 projects covering 69,505 hectares on Japan's three main islands, Hokkaido, Honshu, and Kyushu.
Epithermal Projects: Thirteen of the projects, in Hokkaido and Kyushu, cover areas with known gold occurrences and a history of mining, and are prospective for high-grade epithermal gold mineralization.
Lithocap Projects: Four of the projects, in southern Hokkaido and northern Honshu, cover areas of known gold occurrences and gold-bearing lithocaps, which could indicate the presence of porphyry mineralization.
Prospecting Rights Applications: The project portfolio comprises 210 accepted prospecting rights applications. 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.
Prospecting Rights: 32 of the applications have been granted as Prospecting Rights. This allows for more advanced form of exploration, such as drilling. To date, 23 of the Prospecting Rights have been granted at the Ikutahara Project and 9 have been granted at the Eboshi Project.
1Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. website.