Vancouver-based junior Japan Gold and its alliance partner Barrick Gold have started regional-scale geophysical-gravity surveys in the Hokasatsu region, which is located in the largest gold-producing region in Japan.
As part of the alliance’s work, regional work programmes have started on 14 projects in the Hokusatu region.
A regional work programme involving the collection of bulk leach extractable gold (BLEG) and rock chip samples have been completed on eight projects to date, covering a combined area of 33 506 ha.
From this group of projects, a total of 426 BLEG samples and 379 rock chip samples have been collected and are being dispatched for analysis to ALS laboratories in Perth and Vancouver, Japan Gold says in an exploration update.
Another component of the regional programmes is the collection of semi-detailed geophysical-gravity data, which has already started in southern Kyushu. Increasing the detail of gravity data in the district will assist in mapping of regional structures and basement doming known to be intimately associated with gold mineralisation in the region, the company notes.
Japan Gold has applications and prospecting rights covering 93 290 ha, or about 77% of prospective, explorable ground in the Hokasatsu region.
The Barrick alliance was formed on February 28. In terms of the agreement, Barrick will sole fund a two-year initial evaluation phase of each project and also a three-year second evaluation phase on projects that meet the major’s criteria.
Barrick Gold CEO Mark Bristow said earlier this year that the major’s project generator teams are looking further afield for its next tier-one and tier-two discoveries and that Japan is of particular interest to the major. He noted that while Japan hosted one of the world’s highest-grade gold mines, it had seen no modern exploration.
The Hishikari mine has produced 7.8-million ounces to date, at an average grade of 30 g/t to 40 g/t.