Irving raising US$4 million for Japan gold exploration

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Irving Resources Inc. [IRV-CSE; IRVRF-OTC] said Thursday February 13 that it has arranged to raise US$4 million via a private placement with Newmont Goldcorp Corp. [NGT-TSX; NEM-NYSE].

Of that amount, US$3.6 million will be allocated towards exploration at the company’s Omu Project in Hokkaido, Japan. The remaining US$400,000 will be allocated towards an alliance between Irving and a Newmont affiliate which has been established to identify and exploit mineral exploration opportunities in Japan, a country that in recent years has not been renowned for its gold mining operations.

This is largely because the Japanese government ordered almost all of the country’s gold mines to close during World War II so that mining engineers could be redirected to base metal mines in support of the war effort. After the war, very few of the mines resumed production, resulting in a hiatus in exploration.

However, a combination of the global economic crisis and the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster in March 2011, created the need for economic stimulus.

Changes to the mining law in 2012 subsequently opened the door for foreign companies like Irving, which could not previously operate independently in Japan.

In May 2016, Irving incorporated a wholly-owned Japanese subsidiary company called Irving Resources Japan Godo Kaisha (GK), a move that enabled the company to acquire and hold exploration and mining rights in Japan.

Three months later, the Irving subsidiary secured the 2.98 km2 Omui mining license on the island of Hokkaido. To augment its land position, Irving has filed 55 prospecting licenses covering an additional 170.56 km2 of prospective ground encompassing the entirety of the northeast-trending Omu volcanic graben, host to multiple high-grade epithermal gold-silver veins exploited at the historic Omui and Hokuryu mines prior to World War II.

On November 5, 2019, Irving said it has encountered significant gold-silver mineralization while drilling on its Omu Gold Project.

In an update, the company said all eight widely-spaced drill holes in the Omu Sinter area of the project encountered significant gold-silver mineralization, including notable vein intercepts in seven of eight holes.

Irving has said it believes the Omu volcanic graben has the potential to host significant undiscovered high-grade veins. In April 2019, Newmont Goldcorp signalled that it shared that view by acquiring 3.7 million Irving shares for $2.16 a share, marking a total investment of US$6 million.

On Thursday, Irving said Newmont has given notice of its intent to exercise its rights to proceed with a US$4 million private placement. It said the private placement funds will be raised via the issuance of Irving common shares at a price equal to the volume-weighted average trading price for 30 trading days immediately prior to the date of Newmont giving its exercise notice.

Irving advanced on the news, rising 1.6% or $0.06 to $3.88. The shares are currently trading in a range of $1.50 and $4.60.

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