PRECIOUS METALS

Barrick alliance boosts Japan Gold

Country-wide exploration plans

Staff reporter
 Japan Gold says it has acquired four compact diamond core drill rigs

Japan Gold says it has acquired four compact diamond core drill rigs

Under the deal, Barrick will sole-fund a two-year initial evaluation phase of each project and a third year on projects which met its criteria.

It could earn up to 51% of any project by sole-funding a prefeasibility study and 75% by completing a bankable feasibility study.

Japan Gold would act as manager although Barrick had the right to become manager of a project "at any time".

Barrick CEO Mark Bristow said Japan Gold had assembled an impressive portfolio of exploration tenements in the country's renowned epithermal gold provinces.

"We look forward to advancing our partnership by combining Barrick's technical and financial resources with Japan Gold's first mover advantage, to deliver new world class gold discoveries," he said.

The alliance comes less than a year since First Quantum Minerals bowed out of an earn-in option over four of Japan Gold's lithocap projects. 

One of these, Kamitsue, is among the projects named in the Barrick deal.

In conjunction with the alliance, Japan Gold acquired six new projects in southern Kyushu which are included in the 28.

"Japan is an ideal, underexplored, setting to make new large low sulphidation epithermal gold discoveries, building on the great success of the Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd.'s Hishikari gold mine," Japan Gold chairman and CEO John Proust said.

The junior said it would independently advance its other two projects, Ikutahara in Hokkaido and Ohra-Takamine in southern Kyushu, which were subject to existing agreements with a third party.

It had raised C$7.14 million (US$5.4 million) in August in an oversubscribed placement at 27c per unit.

Newmont currently holds 16% of Japan Gold after the major's now-merged Goldcorp had taken a 19.9% stake in the  explorer in December 2018. 

Japan Gold's shares touched a one-year high of 45c intraday and closed up 9.4% to 35c, to capitalise it at $49 million (US$37 million).

Barrick's shares also touched a one-year high intraday and closed up 3.3% to $29.30, to capitalise it at $52 billion (US$39 billion).

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