Barrick, Japan Gold step up southern exploration

John Proust, Japan Gold CEO and chairman at one of the company’s projects. (Image courtesy of Japan Gold.)

Barrick (TSX: ABX) (NYSE: GOLD) and Japan Gold (TSX-V: JG) have secured rights to 18 new prospecting areas that further extend their projects in the Asian country’s southern Hokusatsu Region.

The new licences extend the companies’ total coverage in the region to a total of 100,452.8 hectares, roughly 84% of prospective and explorable ground within the Southern Kyushu Epithermal Gold Province, Japan’s largest gold producing area.

They also expand Japan Gold’s Mizobe and Onoyama-Yamagano, located north of Mizobe-Onoyama, a project owned by the miner’s joint venture with Barrick, formed in February last year, known as the Barrick Alliance.

The joint company has focused on the past months on the Hokusatsu Region, which lies within the northern half of the Southern Kyushu Epithermal Gold Province and holds low-sulphidation epithermal deposits recording a combined production of over 11 million ounces.

Japan Gold’s portfolio now comprises of 202,926.2 hectares (2029.26 square km) of prospective ground across the country’s five major epithermal gold provinces within the three main islands of Kyushu, Honshu and Hokkaido.

Japan Gold has attracted interest from other majors, including Newmont (NYSE: NEM) (TSX: NGT), which has a 13% stake in the Vancouver-based junior.

The world’s no. 1 gold producer became involved with Japan Gold in 2018, when Goldcorp (now part of Newmont) provided financing. As part of the deal, Goldcorp was granted a joint venture right of first refusal on two projects, the Ohra-Takamine and the Ikutahara project.

Those assets are excluded from the Barrick Gold strategic alliance.

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