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Mineral exploration firm Japan Gold secured rights to 18 new prospecting areas in the Hokusatsu Region, the Southern Kyushu Epithermal Gold Province.

The new licences, which cover extensions to the Barrick Alliance, Mizobe and Onoyama-Yamagano projects, have been awarded following the acceptance of its applications by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).

The Hokusatsu Region of Southern Kyushu is said to be the country’s largest gold producing area with low-sulphidation epithermal deposits. It has produced more than 11 million ounces.

Japan Gold said that the new prospecting rights bring its total coverage in the Hokusatsu Region to a total of 100,452.8ha, representing approximately 84% of the prospective and explorable ground.

Of the 18 applications, the company sought approval for nine areas on the western side of the Onoyama-Yamagano project.

The areas cover the western flank of a gravity-high feature, which has been further defined by Japan Gold-Barrick alliance’s geophysical surveys.

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By GlobalData

Japan Gold said it secured approval for the nine new Mizobe West 2nd Extension applications located near the Mizobe project. It brings the Mizobe Project acreage to 7,579.5ha.

Japan Gold stated: “As the Barrick Alliance programs advance, we will continue to expand the portfolio based on the identification of key prospectivity indicators throughout the gold provinces of Japan.”

Japan Gold said its portfolio has been expanded to 202,926.2ha across the country’s five major epithermal gold provinces located within the islands of Kyushu, Honshu, and Hokkaido.

In September last year, Japan Gold, in alliance with Barrick, has acquired the Kanehana project in the Kitami province of north-east Hokkaido in Japan.

Spread across 12,431ha, the project comprises 40 new claims and covers seven historic gold mines.