Barrick (TSX: ABX) (NYSE: GOLD) and Japan Gold (TSX-V: JG) have kicked off their joint exploration program in the Asian country under an alliance formed in February, which seeks to uncover the nation’s gold mining potential.
The partnership, known as Barrick Alliance, will see the Canadian gold giant sole-fund a two-year initial evaluation phase of 28 out of the Japan Gold’s 30 projects in the country.
Barrick will also finance a third year of explorations on assets that meet its criteria.
Japan Gold said the alliance had formed an executive and a technical committee with representatives from both companies to lead the evaluation.
The junior noted the regional program includes stream sediment sampling and gravity surveys on the islands of Kyushu, Honshu and Hokkaido.
“The regional exploration program will assist the Barrick Alliance in evaluating the Japan Gold portfolio of projects to determine areas with anomalous gold showings and potentially fertile large structures,” chairman and chief executive officer, John Proust, said in the statement.
Exploration geologists and field assistants have already moved to Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan’s main islands, where they are undergoing 14-day self-isolation prior to beginning work.
The program will progress from the south to the north of the country and is anticipated to be completed within one year, with Japan Gold acting as the operator.