Canadian junior Japan Gold reported on Friday that base metals miner First Quantum would not proceed with an agreement to earn into four of its exploration properties in Japan, following the completion of an initial surface evaluation on the lithocap projects.
The four projects evaluated comprise Eboshi, Kobui, Minamikayabe and Kamitsue.
Based on the results of a rapid first-pass appraisal, including semi-detailed mapping and broadly spaced soil and rock sampling, First Quantum indicated that these projects did not fit its target criteria, Japan Gold stated.
In the case of Kamitsue, the project had a higher weighting towards gold prospectivity than copper.
Nevertheless, Japan Gold stated that it was encouraged by the early-stage data generated by First Quantum and that it believed that three of the projects – Eboshi, Kobui and Kamitsue – warranted further investigation.
"We thank First Quantum for the work completed on the lithocap projects and appreciate their positive endorsement of the technical and logistical skills of the Japan Gold team as operators of their programme. Despite the fact that their initial exploration findings did not fit their target criteria, Japan Gold believes in the potential of the projects and will promptly explore alternate partnerships to advance the Eboshi, Kobui, and Kamitsue lithocap projects,” commented chairperson and CEO John Proust.
Japan Gold’s share price took a knock on Friday, with the company losing 25% of its value on the TSX-V, closing at C$0.19 a share.