Irving Resources’ wholly-owned subsidiary, Irving Resources Japan GK, has recently acquired the Eniwa Gold Project in Hokkaido, Japan. Eniwa encompasses areas in or around the historic Koryu and Eniwa mines, both of which exploited high-grade epithermal gold-silver veins on a limited basis.

Irving recently filed applications for 20 mineral prospecting licences totalling 56.15sqkm covering a prospective area approximately 20km south of Sapporo.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Hokkaido Bureau has accepted all applications, and a multi-step review now begins for final approval. Mitsui Mineral Development Engineering Co Ltd (MINDECO) is assisting Irving throughout the process.

The Koryu and Eniwa mines closed abruptly in 1943 due to the Gold Mine Closure Act. Koryu mine saw brief periods of mining and exploration activity in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970-80s, but Eniwa mine remained closed.

Veins at both mines are hosted by Miocene and Neogene volcanic and sedimentary rocks and are associated with local structural doming believed related to underlying magmatic intrusions, a possible source of mineralisation. Banded quartz-adularia veins with ginguro, a Japanese term for dark grey bands of fine-grained silver and gold-rich minerals, characterise mineralisation.

Precious metal-rich, silica-rich veins are the focus of Irving’s exploration strategy in Japan where such material is routinely utilised as smelter flux by the numerous base metals smelters throughout the country.

Irving decided to apply for prospecting licences at Eniwa based on historic references highlighting un-mined mineralised veins within the historic mines and in surrounding areas as well as stream sediment gold data, rock chip geochemical data, whole rock oxigen isotopic data and airborne magnetic data conducted by the Metal Mining Agency of Japan between 1995 and 2002.

All of these references suggests the extent of anomalous geochemistry and alteration extends well beyond these mine sites. The anomalous areas remain un-drilled.

With Eniwa, Irving now holds five highly prospective precious metal projects in Japan, four on the island of Hokkaido - Omui, Utanobori and Rubeshibe - and one on Sado Island. Irving plans reconnaissance level prospecting and sampling at Eniwa later this year.

At its Omui Gold-Silver Project, Irving recently entered into a long-term lease of surface rights. According to the terms of the lease, Irving has paid approximately JPY6.5 million cash (approximately C$79,000) for access to 86.9 hectares for the initial five years. The lease is a five-year term and can automatically be extended for up to three additional five-year periods. These surface rights are considered critical for Irving to proceed with mining work.

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