First-mover advantage in Japan, which is currently underexplored but has rich history of gold mining
Holds 24 projects across the three largest islands and has been drilling
A stable jurisdiction
What Japan Gold does:
After a flurry of acquisitions, the Vancouver-headquartered firm holds 24 gold projects within the major epithermal gold provinces of Japan across the country's three largest islands - Hokkaido, Honshu and Kyushu.
These three islands have at least six distinct epithermal gold provinces, which historically hosted 70 producing gold mines, including five with over 1 million ounce deposits. The firm's exploration licenses and applications cover at least 42 historically producing mines and workings.
Notably, the still-producing Hishikari mine on Kyushu is one of the world’s highest-grade gold mines and has churned out over 7.6 million ounces of gold between 1985-2018 at average gold grades of 30-40 grams per ton (g/t).
Major Newmont Goldcorp Inc (NYSE:NEM) holds a 16% strategic investment in Japan Gold. The company also holds five lithocap projects targeting copper-gold mineralization, as part of an strategic alliance with First Quantum Minerals Ltd (TSE:FM).
Japan Gold says it is operating in a stable and corrupt-free jurisdiction with an established regulatory framework and is advancing its projects in areas of underexplored terrain with known mineralization and limited competition.
Career geologist and 42-year veteran of Sumitomo Metal Mining, Takashi Kuriyama joined Japan Gold in 2017 as general manager responsible for exploration and in Ocrtober this year he was appointed senior officer.
How is it doing:
This year the firm has been busy with exploration, with plenty more to come. At the Ikutahara project on the island of Hokkaido, a phase 1, six-hole drill program kicked off in July this year, and so far the firm has completed three holes at the Kitano-o prospect, which has delineated a series of major structures including the graben margin on the eastern edge.
Detailed surveys, including controlled source audio-magnetotellurics (CSAMT), have also been completed, which has further refined drill targets.
In addition, four additional prospects at Ikutahara are being advanced. Namely, the Toge, Asada and Sakinzawa areas, which lie in the northern part of the Kitano-o gold district and the Ryuo prospect, which is in the northwest. Ryuo is due to be drilled in the first half of 2020 - a program which will use the new data to refine drill targets.
Meanwhile, at the Ohra-Takamine project on the island of Kyushu, drilling kicked off in late June. The first hole was completed and the second put on standby as the firm moved crews to Hokkaido.
On Kyushu, Japan has a new plan for next year, 2020. Namely - to complete a soil sample grid along with other work over the 3.5 km corridor which hosts the historic Ohra, Takamine and Urushi gold mines in a bid to refine drill targets and then to restart drilling.
The firm says it plans to release results on the two drill programs - at Ikutahara and at Ohra-Takamine - at the end of each phase when final assays and a thorough understanding of the program phase has been completed.
And last week the company said that the Japanese ministry of economy, trade and industry had granted it nine prospecting rights, over 2,900 hectares, over a historic gold district in northern Hokkaido - the Aibetsu goldfield in the Kitami region.
Aibetsu is home to three gold and mercury workings, the largest of which is the Tokusei gold mine, which reportedly produced around 38,000 ounces of gold and 474,000 ounces of silver between 1930 and 1943.
Japan Gold said it had identified numerous areas of anomalous gold in soil in the Tokusei mine extensions. It plans to investigate these anomalies as part of a drill program in 2020.
- Drilling and exploration results
- Start of 2020 programs
- More land acquisitions