Japan Gold Corp has expanded its project portfolio in Japan after the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) accepted two new areas of prospecting applications. The two new application areas are in Hokkaido and comprise 5828 and 4901 hectares.

The company has also compiled the results of its 2016 regional exploration program at the Ikutahara project in north Hokkaido, to further define targets for the 2017 exploration program.

Of the two new application areas, one area immediately adjoins the Ikutahara project and a second, Hakuryu, is immediately south of Japan’s third largest gold mine, Konamai, which operated between 1917-1974 and produced over 2.3 million ounces of gold at an average grade of 6.4 g/t. Both application areas have been received by METI and Japan Gold now holds priority over these areas.

The new Hakuryu project is underlain by the same host geology as the Konamai mine. Eight historic gold workings are located within the applications based on the published government geological maps.

The new applications at the Ikutahara project are immediately south of the high-grade Ryuo prospect and west of the Kitano-o mine area. One historic gold occurrence is within the new applications and the area is underlain by the same Miocene-Pliocene geology as the rest of the Ikutahara project.

The company now has 148 prospecting rights licence applications accepted in northern Japan for a combined area of 49,150 hectares over 10 separate projects. Nine of these applications have been granted as Prospecting Rights.

Japan Gold received encouraging results from the 2016 regional exploration program at Ikutahara. Six geologists and support teams undertook a nine-week field program from October to December, completing prospecting, geological mapping, collecting stream sediment BLEG and fine fraction drainage samples and rock float and outcrop sampling over the majority of the project.

Located 20km southeast of the historic Konamai mine, Ikutahara hosts 16 historic gold mines and workings, including the Kitano-o mine (1924-43) which is reported to have produced 96,450 ounces of gold from mining of gold-bearing eluvium associated with sinter deposits and sub-sinter epithermal veins.

Japan Gold chairman & CEO John Proust said, “We are pleased to expand our ground holdings to a more dominant position in these highly prospective geological locations of Japan.

“We are also very encouraged by the results of our 2016 regional exploration program that highlights large coherent gold and gold-pathfinder anomalies over extensive drainage areas at the Ikutahara project.

“These results allow us to better focus ongoing detailed surface exploration work in this highly mineralised but under-explored belt of historic gold mines. We plan to do further detailed prospect mapping and surface geochemical surveys over priority targets, in conjunction with drilling testing on the high-grade Ryuo and Akebono veins in 2017.”

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