Mineral exploration firm Japan Gold, in alliance with Barrick Gold, has announced that it has acquired the Kanehana project in the Kitami province of north-east Hokkaido in Japan.

The project, which is spread across 12,431ha, comprises 40 new claims and covers seven historic gold mines.

It adjoins the west side of Japan Gold’s Ikutahara project.

Barrick Gold and Japan Gold announced their alliance in February, known as the Barrick Alliance, to jointly explore, develop and mine certain gold mineral properties and mining projects.

The province is known to host numerous historic gold mines, including the Konomai mine, which produced 2.35 million ounces (Moz) grading 6.4 gram per tonne (g/t) gold and 40Moz of silver prior to its closure in 1974.

The Konomai mine is the third-largest gold mine in Japan.

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Under the joint venture, Japan Gold and Barrick Gold completed bulk leach extractable gold (BLEG) and rock chip sampling over eight of the several Barrick Alliance projects in the Southern Kyushu Epithermal Gold Province within the Hokusatsu region of Japan.

Japan Gold has expanded its portfolio to reach a total of 31 projects across Japan’s three largest islands, Hokkaido, Honshu, and Kyushu. The alliance with Barrick covers 28 of those projects.

Last month, Japan Gold and Barrick Gold moved forward with exploration activities in the Kitami region as part of their joint efforts to explore the country’s gold mining potential.

In May, Japan Gold and Barrick Gold announced plans to jointly explore and develop certain gold mineral properties and mining projects in Japan.