Japan Gold Corp has been granted 23 of its 56 prospecting rights licence applications over the Ikutahara Gold Project in Northern Hokkaido, Japan. The Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industry (METI) granted the applications.

The 19,114-hectare Ikutahara project comprises 56 prospecting rights licence applications covering 16 historic gold mines and workings. Twenty-three applications, covering 8033 hectares, including the high priority Akebono target, have been granted as prospecting rights.

Granting of these rights authorises the company to commence more advanced exploration methods, including drilling.

Detailed mapping and geochemical sampling completed at the Ikutahara project in 2016 identified high priority targets for further testing.

Detailed drill plans will now be lodged to prepare drilling permits on high-priority targets. The company’s first drill program will commence at the Akebono target immediately upon receipt of the permits.

Japan Gold’s chairman and CEO John Proust said, “The granting of prospecting rights at the company’s most advanced project is a key milestone for Japan Gold and its shareholders.

“We are very pleased to be granted our second set of prospecting rights in Japan and look forward to receiving our drilling permits to further test high-priority targets at Ikutahara.”

The remaining 33 applications at the Ikutahara project have been accepted by METI, authorising the company to continue an active surface exploration program while the applications are further processed.

It is expected that another block of applications covering the Ryuo, Kitano-o, Ikutahara, Showa and Chitose mines will be granted as prospecting rights later this year.

Akebono is one of the 16 historic mines and workings reported within the Ikutahara project area that were mostly mined between the early 1920s to the government imposed closure of gold mines in 1943.

A review of the extensive government geological database showed highly encouraging sample results from an underground exploration development on the Akebono vein with spectacular high gold and silver grades including 1.2 metres @ 446 g/t gold and 376 g/t silver.

Surface mapping and sampling completed late last year by the company indicates the main northeast trending Akebono vein is up to 4 metres wide with 600 metres open ended strike-length traced from the alignment of workings, sporadic vein outcrops, subcrops and vein float.

Other veins up to 30cm wide were mapped with E-W trends reflecting the potential of a larger complex vein system that requires further definition and show that the Akebono target has exciting exploration potential.

Nine other historic mines lie within the granted licences some of which had prospecting and exploration work programs carried out on them late last year. These include the Saroma, Taiho and Taihoku mines.

Detailed mapping and surface sampling has already commenced this season to better define these areas of mineralisation for drill targeting. Detailed surface work will also focus on the other significant targets that lie within the application areas still under review by METI.

Targets here include the high-grade Ryuo mine area; the Kitano-o mine reported to have produced 96,450 ounces of gold from gold-bearing eluvium associated with sinter deposits and sub-sinter epithermal veins; and the Ikutahara, Showa and Chitose mine areas.

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