In Japan, Irving is focused on identifying high-silica, high-grade epithermal Au-Ag veins that could potentially be suitable for use as smelter flux in the many operating base metal smelters throughout the country. Recovery of precious metals occurs during the smelting and refining process.
In August 2016, Irving’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Irving Resources Japan GK, (IRV Japan) secured the 2.98 sq km Omui mining license on the island of Hokkaido, Japan. To augment its land position, IRV Japan has filed 55 prospecting licenses covering an additional 170.56 sq km of prospective ground encompassing the entirety of the northeast-trending Omu volcanic graben, host to multiple high-grade epithermal Au-Ag veins exploited at the historic Omui and Hokuryu mines prior to World War II. Irving believes the Omu volcanic graben has potential to host significant undiscovered high-grade veins.
At Utanobori, about 30 km northwest of Omui, IRV Japan has filed 38 prospecting licenses covering 121.55 sq km in an area where historic samples of epithermal veins reportedly contain very high grades of silver (+1,000 gpt) and lesser gold.
At Rubeshibe, approximtely 60 km southeast of Omui, IRV Japan has filed 56 prospecting licenses covering 188.8 sq km in an area where epithermal Au-Ag veins appear associated with late-stage rhyolite domes that have intruded intermediate and felsic volcanic rocks belonging to a broad volcanic graben.
At Eniwa, approximately 20 km south of Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan, IRV Japan has filed 20 prospecting licenses covering 56.15 sq km around the historic Koryu and Eniwa mines, both of which exploited high-grade epithermal Au-Ag veins.
In early 2019, IRV Japan filed 15 prospecting licenses covering 48.50 sq km at Shimokawa, an area prospective for hot spring epithermal gold mineralization, located approximately 25 km SW of Omu. In addition, IRV Japan also filed 25 prospecting licenses totaling 84.42 sq km near the town of Engaru, Hokkaido.
Acceptance of prospecting applications at Omu, Utanobori, Rubeshibe, Eniwa, Shimokawa and Engaru was granted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Hokkaido Bureau, and a multi-step review for final approval has begun. Mitsui Mineral Development Engineering Co., Ltd. (MINDECO) is assisting Irving throughout this process.
At Sado Island, a small island west of Honshu Island, Japan, IRV Japan has been granted 25 prospecting licenses covering 86.53 sq km by the METI, Kanto Bureau. Sado Island is host to the Sado Kinzan gold mine (Mitsubishi Materials Corporation) and around 30 smaller mines.