Yakataga (between Cape Yakataga and White River)

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 60.0583
Longitude -142.3224
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy This beach placer mine area is the 7-mile long segment of the present Gulf of Alaska beach from Cape Yakataga to the mouth of White River. The map site is the approximate midpoint of this beach segment. The location is accurate. It was 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 (see BG005; Miller, 1971). The gold in the Yakataga area, naturally concentrated in heavy-mineral accumulations by storm waves, is fine and flat. 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) processed 94 samples from 51 locations, including some raised beaches, along this segment of the Yakataga shoreline. Spiral concentrates from these samples contained less than 0.028 grams (64 samples) to 0.790 grams gold per ton (one outlier sample was reported to contain 12.219 grams of gold per ton), 0.34 to 1.65 percent titanium, and 95 to 2029 ppm zirconium. Heavy-mineral concentrates from five samples (3.91 to 7.47 weight percent of the original samples) contained 0.001 to 0.031 percent magnetite, 0.106 to 0.232 percent ilmenite, 0.193 to 0.629 percent garnet, 0.001 to 0.032 percent rutile, and 3.32 to 7.22 percent other minerals. Flotation concentrates from two samples contained 7.253 and 15.86 grams of gold per ton, 0.008 and 0.0085 gram platinum per ton, and 0.017 and 0.056 gram of 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 (-142.324210807901, 60.057823047535)
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 (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.

References