Prospect, Active

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities As
Ore minerals gold
Gangue minerals quartz

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale CH
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-3
Latitude 67.5551
Longitude -148.2756
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy The Kelty prospect is in the pass at the head of the east fork of the McNett Fork and about 2.2 miles southwest of the junction of McNett Fork and Big Squaw Creek (which is called Squaw Creek on the USGS topographic maps). It is about 0.4 mile west of the center of section 32, T. 32 N., R. 3 W. The location is accurate.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Placer gold was discovered in the Chandalar area on Little Squaw Creek (CH039) in 1902 (Barker, and Bundtzen, 2004; Barker, 2007; Barker and others, 2009). By 1909, four quartz veins including the Mikado vein had been discovered and many more were located prior to WWI. Most of the important properties in the district were consolidated by William Sulzer from 1909 to 1941; the Mikado Mine was one of the prominent deposits of the Chandalar area and was included. Those properties were taken over in 1946 to form the Little Squaw Mining Company in 1959, which in turn became the Little Squaw Gold Mining Company in 1968. From 1967 to 1999, Little Squaw Gold Mining Company leased some of their Chandalar lode and placer ground for mining and/or exploration to a succession of companies, notably the Chandalar Gold Mining and Milling Company (1967-1971), Noranda Mining (1974-1976), the Chandalar Development Corporation (1980-1983), and Gold Dust Mines (1989-1999). There was some earlier small lode production from the district but the first documented gold produced from the lodes was 870 ounces produced from 1967 to 1971 from the Mikado and Summit mines by the Chandalar Gold Mining and Milling Company. Subsequently, Chandalar Development produced 8,169 ounces of lode gold from the Mikado and Summit Mines but recovery was poor. In 2003, Little Squaw Gold Mining Company and its direct descendent Goldrich Mining Company began an aggressive exploration program for lode and placer deposits over a large block of land that covers almost all of the known deposits in the Chandalar area and as of early 2010, that effort continued (Goldrich Mining Company, 2010).
The geology of the Chandalar area is dominated by a system of west-northwest-trending regional faults including a prominent thrust fault in the southern part of the district and a series of major high-angle faults through the center of the area (Bundtzen and Laird, 2009a, 2009b). These faults separate the rocks into two principal units, a west-northwest-trending Upper Plate unit about 3 miles wide in the center of the area and a Lower Plate unit to the north and south. The contact of the two units is a thrust fault on the south side of the Upper Plate rocks and a high-angle fault on the north side. Most of the Upper Plate rocks consist of Devonian upper-greenschist-facies metamorphic rocks, mainly carbonaceous schist; quartz-chlorite-muscovite schist, schist and phyllite derived from turbidites that comprise the Mikado Phyllite, metamorphosed calcareous sandstone, and quartz-muscovite schist. The Lower Plate rocks consist of Devonian, upper-greenschist- facies metamorphic rocks, mainly metamorphosed volcanic agglomerate, chlorite-rich tuffaceous schist, quartz-mica schist derived from mudstone, mica-quartz schist, and quartzite. Both the Upper and Lower Plate rocks are cut by irregular masses, dikes and sills of greenstone, metagabbro, and metadiorite of unknown age. Most of the mineral deposits in the Chandalar area are in the Upper Plate rocks and the deposits often are along the regional, steep-to-vertical, west-northwest-trending faults. There is an additional conjugate set of north-northeast-trending faults that offset the Upper Plate rocks and at least some of the mineralization may be localized at the intersections of the regional west-northwest-trending faults and the conjugate faults.
There is little information about the Kelty prospect. Maddren (1913) described it as an extension of the Eneveloe property (CH046). Dillon (1982) described it as steeply dipping (65SE) gold-quartz veins in schistose rock. In their extensive work on the Chandalar district beginning in 2004, Little Squaw Gold Mining Company and its successor Goldrich Mining Company visited the property. The Kelty deposit consists of a series of altered fault zones with thin quartz veins; samples contained minor gold values and anomalous arsenic. Soil from a mineral seep on the slope below contained 0.595 part per million (ppm) gold. Several small prospect pits that they identify as the Mercury, Caribou Gulch, and Caribou Gulch South are scattered for about a mile to the east along what is locally called Caribou Gulch. No vein material were identified at any of the pits although the fines from one pit contained 1.54 ppm gold. These scattered small deposits at the outer edge of the Chandalar mineralized area are probably similar in origin to the other gold-quartz veins in the Chandalar district. (e.g., the Mikado Mine (CH045). The gold veins in the Chandalar district are considered mesothermal (Barker and Bundtzen, 2004; Barker, 2006; Barker 2007; Barker and others, 2009) by comparison with similar deposits elsewhere and in consideration of fluid inclusion and oxygen and lead isotope studies of the Chandalar mineralization (Ashworth, 1984; Rose and others, 1988; Gacetta and Church, 1989).
Geologic map unit (-148.278334716964, 67.5547159672229)
Mineral deposit model Low-sulfide Au-quartz veins (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 36a).
Mineral deposit model number 36a
Age of mineralization Possibly Middle Cretaceous based on the assertion of Dillon (1982) that the gold-quartz veins of the central Brooks Range are that age. However, there is no definitive data for the age of the veins of the Chandalar area.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration None other than few scattered prospect pits. Visited by several industry and government geologists over the years but apparently no work beyond limited sampling.
Indication of production None
Reserve estimates None.
Production notes None.


MRDS Number A012555


Ashworth, (Lamal) Kate, 1984, Fluid inclusion study of the Eneveloe Vein, Chandalar Mining District: Private Report, Chandalar Development Associates, 8 pages (in files of the Goldrich Mining Company.
Barker, J.C., 2007, Chandalar Mining District, Annual Report of findings for 2006; Unpublished report for Little Squaw Gold Mining Company, 124 p. (On the Internet at, as of February 14, 2010).
Barker, J.C., Murray, R.B., Keener, J.O., and Martin, P.L., 2009, Evaluation of the Chandalar mining property: Unpublished report prepared for Goldrich Mining Company, 165 p. (on the Internet at, as of February 14, 2010).
Reporters J.M. Britton (Anchorage); D.J. Grybeck (Contractor, U.S. Geological Survey)
Last report date 4/2/2010