Following a prolonged exodus of junior mining companies from Indonesia after the 1997 Asian economic crisis, Southern Arc saw a unique window of opportunity. In 2005, acting quickly with a regionally-experienced management team, Southern Arc became the first Canadian junior exploration company since 1997 to return to Indonesia and established a prominent exploration presence in the country.
Southern Arc replicated that strategy in 2015 by applying for 27,153 hectares of mineral prospecting licenses in Japan, over eight distinct project areas. Japan has a long history of mining and hosts many one-million-plus-ounce gold deposits, including Hishikari, one of the world's highest-grade gold mines. Despite a history of significant gold production and known mineral occurrences, however, Japan is largely unexplored. Southern Arc was the first foreign exploration company to apply for prospecting licenses. In September 2016 Southern Arc sold its Japanese-focused subsidiary for a 42.9% interest in Japan Gold.
Southern Arc concentrates on acquiring and exploring areas on which there has been previous exploration activity. Southern Arc also focuses its activities in areas with established infrastructure.
Southern Arc acquired its West Lombok property in 2005 in an arrangement that left Southern Arc with all of Newmont's drill core and exploration data in exchange for Newmont retaining a 2% net smelter royalty on the property, which Southern Arc can buy at any time for $1 million. Southern Arc started detailed surface exploration activities and diamond drilling on West Lombok in May 2006, drilled more than 40,000 metres on the property, and completed a resource estimate for the project in July 2013.
In August 2013 Southern Arc acquired a 26% interest in Eagle Hill Exploration, which owned the high-grade Windfall Lake Gold Project in Quebec, Canada. Working with Dundee Corporation, Southern Arc advanced Eagle Hill through a number of successful drilling campaigns and completion of a Preliminary Economic Assessment for the Windfall Lake project. Eagle Hill was bought out by Oban Mining Corporation (re-named Osisko Mining) in August 2015 for a 258% premium to market, leaving Southern Arc with a substantial investment in Osisko Mining with both shares and warrants.