Japan Gold Corp (CVE:JG) (OTCMKTS:JGLDF) has announced the start of a huge exploration program in Japan as part of the Barrick Gold Corp (NYSE:GOLD) (TSE:ABX) alliance, announced in February this year, to jointly explore, develop and mine properties in the country.
The junior company will be the operator of the work, which includes stream sampling and gravity surveys, and which will progress from the south to the north of Japan. It is expected to be completed within a year.
"The regional exploration program will assist the Barrick Alliance in evaluating the Japan Gold portfolio of projects to determine areas with anomalous gold showings and potentially fertile large structures," John Proust, Japan Gold's CEO said in a statement.
"This will enable focused exploration on highest priority areas to generate drilling targets. We are very pleased to be able to commence this important initiative with Barrick during the evolving COVID-19 pandemic," he added.
As announced earlier this year, the partnership between Japan Gold and Barrick spans 28 out of the firm's 30 projects in the country.
Barrick will sole fund a two-year initial evaluation of each project and potentially a three-year second phase if they meet the mining titan's criteria. There is a minimum total spend of US$3 million for each of the first two years of the alliance.
The program includes sampling of stream sediments for bulk leach extractable gold (BLEG) along with gravity surveys over the 1,521 square kolimetres covered by the alliance on the islands of Kyushu, Honshu and Hokkaido.
Referring to the current coronavirus pandemic and the company's response, Proust also noted in Tuesday's statement that the firm has "instituted strict prevention measures to protect our workforce and the local communities."
"Exploration geologists and field assistants have been gradually mobilized to Kyushu and have been exercising 14-day self-isolation prior to commencing work," he added.
Japan Gold also noted that the Barrick Alliance had formed two committees - an executive committee and a technical committee - to lead the country-wide evaluation, which include representatives from both companies.
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