First Quantum Minerals has discontinued an earn-in agreement with Japan Gold following the completion of an initial surface evaluation on the Eboshi, Kobui, Minamikayabe and Kamitsue lithocap projects in Japan.
First Quantum completed mapping and soil and rock sampling on all four projects and based on the results of a first-pass appraisal, including semi-detailed mapping, it decided that they did not meet its criteria.
Japan Gold believes that the Eboshi, Kobui and Kamitsue projects warrant further follow up, including geophysics and drilling to investigate their potential for porphyry mineralisation.
Japan Gold chairman and CEO John Proust said: “Despite the fact that their initial exploration findings did not fit their target criteria, Japan Gold believes in the potential of the projects and will promptly explore alternate partnerships to advance the Eboshi, Kobui, and Kamitsue Lithocap projects.
“Our objective is to evaluate existing and future early stage prospects with non-dilutive partnerships, where strategically advantageous.”
In October last year, Japan Gold and First Quantum Minerals entered into a binding letter agreement to explore the four prospective lithocap projects, which represent exploration targets for shallow-level epithermal gold and deeper porphyry copper-gold deposits.
As part of the agreement, First Quantum committed to manage and oversee a systematic surface exploration reconnaissance programme on each project before 30 June this year.
In order to further advance these projects and others throughout its portfolio, Japan Gold said it will continue to pursue various interested parties.
Proust further added: “Separately, our 2019 gold exploration programme is proceeding with drill programmes to commence in May at the Ikutahara Project and in June at the Ohra-Takamine Project.”