THE 2017 field exploration program is under way at the Hokkaido gold prospects of Irving Resources. The company is exploring for high-grade epithermal precious metal vein mineralisation and initial efforts are focusing on the Omui mining concession and prospecting licence applications with the aim of better understanding the mineralised system.


Field work at one of Irving Resources’ properties on the island of Hokkaido.

Irving identified high-grade gold and silver vein mineralisation at Omui through a first phase sampling program conducted shortly after acquiring the property.

The new field program will include:

  • A detailed soil grid across the mining concession and surrounding areas looking for gold, silver and pathfinder element anomalism;
  • A close-spaced gravity and ground magnetics program to help identify potential mineralised faults; and
  • Various ground electrical surveys to better evaluate alteration and structure. Mitsui Mineral Development Engineering Co Ltd (MINDECO) is conducting this work, which will take approximately three months. Data from these surveys will drive future drill targeting.

Specialised stream sediment sampling using a technique called bulk leach extractable gold (BLEG) is being conducted over the greater prospecting licence area. BLEG sampling produces highly sensitive results that can help identify new mineralized areas.

Accompanying reconnaissance BLEG sampling, a team of Irving geologists is undertaking reconnaissance mapping and prospecting. This team has already identified several new areas of hot spring silica deposits, called sinter, and collected rock chip samples to determine if they are gold bearing.

Irving plans similar prospecting activities at its Utanobori, Rubeshibe, Eniwa and Sado projects later this year.

The company recently acquired the Eniwa project, which encompasses areas in or around the historic Koryu and Eniwa mines where high-grade epithermal gold-silver veins were exploited on a limited basis.

Irving filed applications for 20 mineral prospecting licences totaling 56.15sqkm covering a prospective area approximately 20km south of Sapporo. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Hokkaido Bureau accepted all applications, and a multi-step review is under way. 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 remained closed.

Irving holds five prospective precious metal projects in Japan, four on Hokkaido and one on Sado Island.

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