The Hishikari epithermal gold-silver deposit, one of the world's richest gold mines, is in northeastern Kagoshima on Kyushu Island, southwest of Japan (Figure 1). The area is characterized by volcanic activity, ranging from the active Sakurajima and Kirishima volcanoes to local hot springs.

Although gold prospecting in the area dates from 1750, it formerly was intermittent and small scale. The major deposits currently being developed were not discovered until geophysical surveys were applied to the area. They played an important role in the 1981 discovery and subsequent development of the mine.

Regional geologic mapping and reconnaissance geophysical surveys...

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