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Mineral Resources On-Line Spatial Data

CrystalMine, Undetermined
Record SD005 - View this location using [Google Earth] or [Google Maps]
Commodities and mineralogy
Main commoditiesAu
Other commoditiesCu
Ore mineralschalcopyrite; gold; pyrite
Gangue mineralsquartz
Geographic location of the site
Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scaleSD
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scaleD-6
Latitude57.9701
Longitude-133.79362
Nearby scientific dataFind additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracyThe Crystal Mine is about about 0.5 mile east-northeast of where it is shown on the USGS 1:63,360-scale topographic map. The mine is actually about 0.3 mile west-northwest of the center of section 17, R.45 S. R., 72 E. The mine workings are shown on figure D-221 of Redman and others (1989).
Geologic setting of the deposit
Geologic descriptionThe Crystal Mine was discovered in 1895 and in 1901, a ten-stamp mill was installed (Spencer, 1906; Redman and others, 1989). By 1905, there were 1,000 feet of underground workings and about 1,210 ounces of gold had been mined. In 1909, the mill processed about 750 tons of ore. Work continued intermittently until 1925. When operations ceased, the mine had 2,350 feet of underground workings, 5 stopes, and a 175-foot upper adit with a stope. There are no production data after 1905 but some additional amount of gold was produced.

The deposit at the Crystal Mine is a quartz vein that lays along a low-angle fault. The fault is 1 to 10 feet thick and cuts amphibolite near the Snettisham ultramafic complex. The fault strikes S30-50E and dips 8-35E. The quartz vein undulates and varies in character along the plane of the fault. Where the fault does not contain quartz, it consists of sheared and altered amphibolite. Orange-weathering calcite is common as stringers and as a major component of the fault zone. Much of the fault contains a few inches to 10 feet of quartz. Some portions of the vein may have up to 60 percent silicified amphibolite associated with the quartz; some portions may be entirely quartz. Gouge zones 1 to 4 inches thick are common in the vein structure. The amphibolite host rock is commonly silicified and chloritized for 1 inch to 2 feet from the vein. The vein contains numerous open spaces which are often filled with quartz and calcite crystals up to 6 inches long. Pyrite is common in the quartz and may comprise up to 60 percent of the vein. Locally pyrite cubes up to 2 inches across are common and Spencer (1906) reported euhedral gold crystals growing on the pyrite. The Smithsonian Institution had or has on display a stunning cubic, pyrite crystal from the Crystal Mine that is about 3 inches on a side and has abundant terminated crystals of gold growing on the surface of the pyrite (Donald Grybeck, personal observation, 1983). Chalcopyrite is the only other sulfide and it is rare.

Based on similarity with other gold deposits in the Juneau Gold Belt, the mineralization at the Crystal Mine is probably about 54 to 56 Ma and the hydrothermal fluids were generated by metamorphic processes. (Goldfarb and others, 1997).

Redman and others (1989) collected 45 samples of the vein. A weighted average of the samples is 7.2 parts per million gold across an average width of 1.7 feet. They calculated an indicated resource of 9,000 tons of material with 0.21 ounce of gold per ton.

Geologic map unit(-133.79535788849, 57.9697648214222)
Mineral deposit modelGold-quartz vein in amphibolite.
Age of mineralizationBased on similarity with other gold deposits in the Juneau Gold Belt, the mineralization at the Crystal Mine is probably about 54 to 56 Ma and the hydrothermal fluids were generated by metamorphic processes. (Goldfarb and others, 1997).
Alteration of depositThe amphibolite host rock is commonly silicified and chloritized for 1 inch to 2 feet from the vein.
Production and reserves
Workings or explorationThe Crystal Mine was discovered in 1895 and in 1901 a ten-stamp mill was installed (Spencer, 1906; Redman and others, 1989). By 1905, there were 1,000 feet of underground workings and about 1,210 ounces of gold had been mined. In 1909, the mill processed about 750 tons of ore. Work continued intermittently until 1925. When operations ceased, the mine had 2,350 feet of underground workings, 5 stopes, and a 175-foot upper adit with a stope. There are no production data after 1905 but some additional amount of gold was produced.
Indication of productionYes; small
Reserve estimatesRedman and others (1989) collected 45 samples of the vein. A weighted average of the samples is 7.2 parts per million gold across an average width of 1.7 feet. They calculated an indicated resource of 9,000 tons of material with 0.21 ounce of gold per ton.
Production notesIn 1909, the mill processed about 750 tons of ore. Work continued intermittently until 1925. There is no production data after 1905 but some addition amount of gold was produced.
References in other databases and published literature
MRDS NumberA013318
Primary referenceRedman and others, 1989
References
Berg, H.C., and Cobb, E.H., 1967, Metalliferous lode deposits of Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1246, 254 p.
Brooks, A.H., 1913, Mineral resources of Alaska, report on progress of investigations in 1912: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 542, 308 p.
Brooks, A.H., 1923, The Alaska mining industry in 1921: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 739-A, p. 1-50.
Gehrels, G.E., and Berg, H.C., 1992, Geologic map of southeastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Investigations Map I-1867, 24 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:600,000.
Goldfarb, R.J., Miller, L.D., Leach, D.L., and Snee, L.W, 1997, Gold deposits in metamorphic rocks in Alaska, in Goldfarb, R.J., and Miller, L.D., eds., Mineral Deposits of Alaska: Economic Geology Monograph 9, p. 151-190.
Knopf, Adolph, 1911, Mining in southeastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 480-D, p. 94-102.
Knopf, Adolph, 1912, The Eagle River region, southeastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 502, 61 p.
Martin, G.C., 1920, The Alaska mining industry in 1918: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 712-A, p. 1-52.
Redman, Earl, 1988, History of the mines and miners in the Juneau gold belt: Juneau, Alaska, privately printed, 294 p.
Redman, E.C., Maas, K.M., Kurtak, J.M., and Miller, L.D., 1989, Bureau of Mines Mineral Investigations in the Juneau Mining District, Alaska, 1984-1988, Volume 2--Detailed mine, prospect, and mineral occurrence descriptions, Section D, Juneau Gold Belt Subarea: U.S. Bureau of Mines Special Publication, 424 p.
Spencer, A.C., 1904, The Juneau Gold Belt: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 225, p. 28-42.
Spencer, A.C., 1906, The Juneau Gold Belt, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 287, 161 p.
Stone, D., and Stone, B., 1980, Hard rock gold--The story of the great mines that were the heartbeat of Juneau: Vanguard Press Inc., 86 p.
Thorne, R.L., and Wells, R.R., 1956, Studies of the Snettisham magnetite deposit, southeastern Alaska: U.S. Bureau of Mines Report of Investigation 5195, 41 p.
Wright, C.W., 1907, Lode mining in southeastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 314, p. 47-72.
Wright, C.W., 1908, Lode mining in southeastern Alaska, 1907: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 345-B, p. 78-97.
Wright, C.W., 1909, Mining in southeastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 379-B, p. 67-86.
Wright, F.E., and Wright, C.W., 1905, Economic developments in southeastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 259, p. 47-68.
Wright, F.E., and Wright, C.W., 1906, Lode mining in southeastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 284, p. 30-54.
Database entry and update information
ReportersDonald Grybeck (U.S. Geological Survey)
Last report date10/8/2004
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