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 7.6 million ounces of gold between 1985-2018 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 that are very compelling from a geological perspective.
Japan Gold’s project portfolio consists of 17 projects covering 71,529 hectares on Japan's three largest islands, Hokkaido, Honshu, and Kyushu.
Epithermal Projects: Twelve of the projects, in Hokkaido and Kyushu, cover areas with historic gold production, and are prospective for high-grade epithermal gold mineralization.
Lithocap Projects: Five of the projects, in southern Hokkaido, northern Honshu and northern Kyushu, cover areas with gold occurrences and broad advanced-argillic lithocaps, indicating the potential presence of porphyry copper-gold mineralization.
Prospecting Rights Applications: The project portfolio comprises 216 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: 68 of the applications have been converted to Prospecting Rights. This conversion allows for more advanced forms of exploration, including drilling. To date, 23 of the Prospecting Rights have been granted at the Ikutahara Project, 9 have been granted at the Eboshi Project, 5 have been granted at the Ohra-Takamine Project, and 4 have been granted at the Tobaru Project for a total of 23,464 hectares.
1Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. website.