Yakataga (west of Cape Yakataga)

Mine, Probably inactive

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au; Ti
Other commodities Cr
Ore minerals chromite; gold; hematite; ilmenite; magnetite; native copper; rutile
Gangue minerals amphibole; garnet; monazite; pyroxene; sphene; zircon

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale BG
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale A-4
Latitude 60.0747
Longitude -142.4561
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy This beach placer mine area is the first 2 miles of the present Gulf of Alaska beach west of Cape Yakataga. The coordinate location is the approximate midpoint of this beach segment. The location is accurate. It is included in locality 5 of Cobb (1972 [MF 373]; 1979 [OF 79-1246]).

Geologic setting

Geologic description

The placer gold in Yakataga-area beaches was discovered in 1897 or 1898,and small-scale mining started in 1899 (Maddren, 1914). Rocker and sluice operations continued to WW II. Drill prospecting of raised beaches occurred after WW II (Thomas and Berryhill, 1962), as did sporadic attempts at small-scale mining. Most of the post-WW II mining was west of Cape Yakataga on this segment of the beach (Miller, 1971). The gold in the Yakataga area, naturally concentrated in heavy-mineral accumulations by storm waves, is fine and flat. The other heavy minerals include amphibole, garnet, chromite, native copper, hematite, magnetite, pyroxene, rutile, sphene, ilmenite, zircon, and probably some monazite (Maddren, 1914; Thomas and Berryhill, 1962; Foley and others, 1995).
The iron and titanium oxide contents of reconnaissance samples of beach sand from the Yakataga area were reported by Thomas and Berryhill (1962). These samples contained as much as 6.2 pounds of iron per ton but mostly less than 2 pounds of iron per ton. Their titanium oxide content was less than 2 pounds per ton in the magnetic fraction and as much as 7.3 pounds, but mostly less than 2 pounds per ton in the non-magnetic fraction.
Foley and others (1995) collected 32 samples at 18 locations, including some raised beaches, along this segment of the Yakataga shoreline. Spiral concentrates from these samples contained less than 0.028 grams (16 samples) to 0.903 grams of gold per ton, 0.52 to 2.32 percent Ti, and 243 to 7683 ppm Zr. A heavy-mineral concentrate from one of these samples (4.79 weight percent of the original samples) contained 0.51 percent magnetite, 0.230 percent ilmenite, 2.519 percent garnet, 0.053 percent rutile, and 1.90 percent other minerals. Flotation concentrates from two samples contained 0.198 and 14.787 grams of gold per ton, 0.056 and less than 0.003 gram platinum per ton, and 0.037 and 0.042 gram palladium per ton. The placer gold in the Yakataga beaches may be derived from reworking of marine-glacial deposits of the Cenozoic Yakataga Formation (Reimnitz and Plafker, 1976).
Geologic map unit (-142.457916472808, 60.0742145295297)
Mineral deposit model Placer Au-PGE (Cox and Singer, 1986, model 39a)
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Quaternary.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Small-scale rocker and sluice operations took place from 1899 to WW II. Drill prospecting of raised beaches occurred after WW II (Thomas and Berryhill, 1962), as did sporadic attempts at small-scale mining. Most of the post-WW II mining was west of Cape Yakataga on this segment of the beach (Miller, 1971).
Indication of production Yes; small
Production notes A part of the 15,000 to 16,000 total ounces of gold produced in the Yakataga district was recovered from this area. Mining after WW II produced a small amount of gold, perhaps less than 100 ounces, from this segment of the Yakataga beach.

References