The Tertiary volcanic arc terrains of Japan host more than seventy significant historic producing gold mines, including five greater than 1 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 7.9 million ounces of gold between 1985-2020 at an average grade of 30-40 g/t Au 1 and is still producing today.
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 of interest from an epithermal gold prospectivity perspective.
Japan Gold’s project portfolio consists of 32 projects covering over 200,000 hectares on Japan's three largest islands, Hokkaido, Honshu, and Kyushu
Epithermal Projects: The projects in Hokkaido, Honshu and Kyushu, cover areas with historic gold production, and are prospective for high-grade epithermal gold mineralization.
Lithocap Project: One lithocap project in Kyushu is prospective for gold-rich porphyry intrusives.
Prospecting Rights Applications: The project portfolio comprises 693 accepted prospecting rights applications. Having prospecting rights applications accepted reserves the ground for Japan Gold and allows for surface exploration including mapping, geochemical sampling and geophysics.
Prospecting Rights: 89 of the applications have been granted as Prospecting Rights. This conversion allows for more advanced form of exploration, such as drilling. To date, 38 of the Prospecting Rights have been granted at the Ikutahara Project, 11 have been granted at the Ohra-Takamine Project, 4 have been granted at the Tobaru Project, 9 have been granted at the Aibetsu Project, 15 have been granted at the Ebino Project and 12 have been granted at the Kamitsue Project.
Mining Rights: The Kowa Project in Kyushu comprises 3 Mining Rights Licenses which facilitate more rapid permitting to support drilling and other more advanced exploration activities.
Following a comprehensive 2 1/2-year review, Barrick Gold Corporation has selected 6 projects from the initial portfolio to advance to the Second Evaluation Phase of the Alliance agreement and 4 more recently added project areas which continue to be evaluated under the Initial Evaluation Phase
Barrick Gold Corporation provides management support via the Barrick Alliance Executive Committee and technical support through the Barrick Alliance Technical Committee
Newmont Corporation has a joint venture right of first refusal on 2 projects and provides technical support through a Japan Gold/Newmont Technical Committee