First-mover advantage in Japan, which is currently underexplored but has rich history of gold mining
3,000-metre drill program set to start at Ikutahara project in May
Holds 17 projects in Japan across the three largest islands
Strong funding to continue expansion of the drill program and the next phase of exploration
Who is Japan Gold?
Japan Gold Corp (CVE:JG) (OTCMKTS:JGLDF) is a Canadian mineral exploration company with gold projects in Japan. The company holds 17 projects, for a combined area of 715.29 sq km across the three largest islands of Japan: Hokkaido, Honshu and Kyushu.
Twelve of the 17 projects are focused on targeting high-grade gold mineralization that lie in historic mining districts. Goldcorp Inc (TSE:G) holds a 19.9% strategic investment in the company and with a focus on two projects, which will be drilled in 2019. Japan Gold also holds five lithocap projects targeting copper-gold mineralisation, as part of an strategic alliance with First Quantum Minerals Ltd (TSE:FM).
In the case of Japan Gold, the saying "the early bird gets the worm" is apt. The company was the first exploration company permitted to operate in Japan, with its roots stretching back to 2013.
In 2012, the Japan Mining Act was amended in a significant way: allowing foreign mining companies the ability to hold exploration and mining permits. Andrew Rowe, Japan Gold's vice president exploration, moved quickly to review historic data and identify new exploration targets. The company formed a subsidiary in December 2013.
Japan Gold 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.
Today, Japan Gold’s exploration licenses and applications cover more than 40 historically producing mines and workings.
How is it doing?
Japan Gold is gearing up for its 2019 drilling program, which is kicking off in May. In March, the company expanded its operational drilling capabilities by moving a fourth rig into the country this week.
The company has also bolstered its team, adding six additional expatriate drilling personnel to support its Kyushu-based operations. Welltech LLC, an established Japanese drilling service company, is managing the drill program.
Three rigs will focus on the Ikutahara project where an initial 3,000 metre drilling program is scheduled to start in May. The most recent rig will operate at its Kyushu projects with a 2,100-metre program will start in June.
"This fourth drill rig and the additional experienced drilling personnel are significant steps towards accelerating the company's projects in Kyushu and Hokkaido,” said CEO John Proust.
Japan Gold also has its eyes set on pushing forward a number of other projects, including continuing detailed prospect work and pushing compelling drill targets to the permitting phase at its Aibetsu Project.
At its Hakuryu and Sanru Projects, it plans to complete mapping and geochemical surface sampling to identify drilling targets.
The company has completed several financing rounds, notably its December 2018 C$6.65 million strategic financing with Goldcorp Inc., RCF Opportunities Fund LP, and two Japanese funds managed by a global investment manager.
Japan Gold has 'first-mover advantage' in country says CEO
Japan Gold has spent years getting to this point, and says the upcoming drill campaign is the culmination of a lot of hard work.
"We've been in Japan sinze 2012. We've done a lot of legwork to get to where we are now. We've built this portfolio and this group and now we're actually going to hit a card and we're going to be using the drill as the ultimate tool for exploring and identifying the new resources in Japan," says Proust. "We're very excited about this."
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