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Gold Standard

Mine, Undetermined

Alternative names

Blue Jay
Lakeview
Lower Gold Standard
Lone Jack
Alaska
Free Gold

Commodities and mineralogy

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale CR
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-1
Latitude 55.6514
Longitude -132.0041
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy The Gold Standard Mine has a long and complex history dating back to before 1900. The workings are in two distinct areas that were part of the same claim group. Managerially and operationally they were always were tied together and they share the same geology. There is an 'upper', early set of workings (in the Craig C-1 quadrangle); the upper workings are about 0.3 mile northwest of the 'lower', younger workings (in the Ketchikan C-6 quadrangle) which consist of several glory holes undercut by a long adit. The coordinates are for the lower workings which are just back from the shoreline about 1.3 miles northwest of the the north end of Forss Island in Helm Bay. The location is near the northeast corner of section 12, T. 72 S., R. 87 E. Figure 46 of Maas and others (1995) shows the location of the upper and lower workings and Figure 47 has detailed maps of the lower workings.

Geologic setting

Geologic description The original discovery in 1897 on what was to become the Gold Standard mine was at the so-called upper workings about 0.3 miles back from the sea shore, when 17 claims were staked over the property. The gold occurred near or at the surface, either as a creek placer or as a residual deposit over a quartz vein, or both (Brooks, 1902, Maas and others, 1995; Roppel, 2005). Some pans were said to contain up to $100 in gold and 120 ounces of gold was soon recovered. A small arrastre using a water nozzle to move the ground into it was built and by the end of the 1898 season the upper workings had produced $20,000 (almost certainly in gold at $20.67 per ounce). The discovery aroused considerable interest and in 1898, the Alaska Gold Standard Mining Company was incorporated. By the fall of 1899, a camp had been built, a 5-stamp mill powered by a Pelton wheel was in operation at the upper workings, a tram was built to the coast, and the workings consisted of a 260-foot tunnel from a 50-foot shaft. The mill began operating in December 1899 and by April, 1901, 2,430 tons of ore had been run through it with a net yield of $10,540. There was very little work in the upper workings from 1902 to 1906. By 1907, depending on the source $150,000 or $75,000 had been invested in the property with a return of only $35,000. There was intermittent activity from 1902 to 1914, mainly changes in the principals of the company. Several leasers examined or did some work on the upper workings, and several mining companies examined the property. In 1914, a new slate of officers was in place and interest shifted to what would become the lower workings, where three holes were diamond. drilled. In 1921, a leaseholder took out $28,000 (almost certainly in gold) from 2 tons of material in a rich pocket in the lower workings; larger bodies of lower-grade material were also identified. In 1922, a 1,600-foot tunnel was started under what would become two glory holes that were the focus of mining by several leasers from 1922 to the start of WWII. Detailed production records are not available but the ore was processed in the old 5-stamp mill that was moved from the upper workings to a mill site near the sea shore.

Maas and others (1995, p. 192) did considerable sample and mapping of the mine, especially the lower workings (Figure 47), as part of a Bureau of Mines regional mineral assessment. They also reported that the adit at the lower workings was sampled by private interests in 1993 but the gold values were subeconomic.

The rocks in the vicinity are are andesitic and basaltic metavolcanic rocks that are gradationally interbedded with flysch like metasedimentary rocks (Berg and others, 1988, p. 18). The strata were regionally metamorphosed to greenschist-grade phyllite and semischist in Late Cretaceous time (Brew, 1996, p. 27). The premetamorphic age of the strata is uncertain. Berg and others (1988, p. 17) report that they closely resemble Jurassic to Cretaceous strata nearby on Gravina Island.

According to Brooks (1902) and Wright and Wright (1908), the mineralization at the upper workings consisted of two sets of quartz veins in metamorphosed greenstone and greenschist. One set, typified by the principal vein, is parallel to the schistosity of the host rocks. It strikes about N25W and dips 60E and varies from 6 inches to 6 feet thick. The other set consists of gash veins that extend from the main vein; they also strike about N25W but dip 60-75 SW. The veins are faulted and there is considerable gouge along the footwalls. The veins are mainly quartz with subordinate chlorite and calcite. Free gold occurs in the veins with minor pyrite, tetrahedrite, and galena; the telluride tetradymite is reported in the gash veins. The ore is free milling and was said to run about $5 to $15 per ton in gold (at $20.67 per ounce). Bittenbender and others (1993) and Maas and others (1995) sampled the upper workings. The average content of their samples, taken along 40 meters of vein that averages 0.73 meter thick, was 3,713 parts per billion (ppb) gold. A sample across 0.43 meters of the 'Folwarzny vein' contained 5,500 ppb gold.

The Lakeview prospect described by Maas and others (1995) is about 0.1 mile west of the upper workings of the Gold Standard Mine. The deposit is probably similar. The average gold content of samples taken over a length of 550 feet of a vein that averages about 20 inches wide was 3,103 ppb. The only workings are trenches and prospect pits.

The mineralization of the lower workings is similar in character and orientation to that of the upper workings. The walls of the veins are well defined by slickensides, with gouge on the footwall side and by a seam filled with calcite carrying free gold along the hanging wall. Locally, the wallrock next to the veins is bleached and impregnated with pyrite (Maas and others, 1995, p. 183). Maas and others (1995, table 25) collected numerous samples in the lower workings, they averaged 10.4 parts per million (ppm) gold, 99 ppm copper, 7.4 ppm lead, 48 ppm zinc, 2.3 ppm tellurium, and 9.6 ppm tin. Two samples of quartz contained 8.12 and 8.71 ppm gold, and the gold content in several samples of pyritic schist was 17.0 and 35.9 ppm. The sampling by Maas and others (1995, p. 184) shows a distinct northward plunge to the ore zone, which is cut off by a fault that strikes NE and dips 45SE. The continuation of the ore zone past this fault has not yet been determined.

Fluid inclusion studies of quartz vein material from several of the Helm Bay lodes suggest that the veins formed at temperatures and pressures consistent with conditions during the Late Cretaceous greenschist-grade regional metamorphism (Maas and others, 1995, p. 184).

Geologic map unit (-132.005784061917, 55.651037373708)
Mineral deposit model Low-sulfide gold-quartz vein (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 36a).
Mineral deposit model number 36a
Age of mineralization The quartz veins cut country rocks that may be as young as Cretaceous or as old as Paleozoic.
Alteration of deposit Locally, the wallrock next to the veins in at least the lower workings is bleached and impregnated with pyrite (Maas and others, 1995).

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration The original discovery in 1897 on what was to become the Gold Standard mine was at the so-called upper workings about 0.3 miles back from the sea shore, when 17 claims were staked over the property. The gold occurred near or at the surface, either as a creek placer or as a residual deposit over a quartz vein, or both (Brooks, 1902, Maas and others, 1995; Roppel, 2005). Some pans were said to contain up to $100 in gold and 120 ounces of gold was soon recovered. A small arrastre using a water nozzle to move the ground into it was built and by the end of the 1898 season the upper workings had produced $20,000 (almost certainly in gold at $20.67 per ounce). The discovery aroused considerable interest and in 1898, the Alaska Gold Standard Mining Company was incorporated. By the fall of 1899, a camp had been built, a 5-stamp mill powered by a Pelton wheel was in operation at the upper workings, a tram was built to the coast, and the workings consisted of a 260-foot tunnel from a 50-foot shaft. The mill began operating in December 1899 and by April, 1901, 2,430 tons of ore had been run through it. There was very little work in the upper workings from 1902 to 1906. By 1907, depending on the source $150,000 or $75,000 had been invested in the property with a return of only $35,000. There was intermittent activity from 1902 to 1914, mainly changes in the principals of the company. Several leasers examined or did some work on the upper workings, and several mining companies examined the property. In 1914, a new slate of officers was in place and interest shifted to what would become the lower workings, where three holes were diamond. drilled. In 1921, a leaseholder took out $28,000 (almost certainly in gold) from 2 tons of material in a rich pocket in the lower workings; larger bodies of lower-grade material were also identified. In 1922, a 1,600-foot tunnel was started under what would become two glory holes that were the focus of mining by several leasers from 1922 to the start of WWII. Detailed production records are not available but the ore was processed in the old 5-stamp mill that was moved from the upper workings to a mill site near the sea shore.

Maas and others (1995, p. 192) did considerable sample and mapping of the mine, especially the lower workings (Figure 47), as part of a Bureau of Mines regional mineral assessment. They also reported that the adit at the lower workings was sampled by private interests in 1993 but the gold values were subeconomic.

Indication of production Yes; small
Reserve estimates None.
Production notes Maas and others (1995, p. 192) estimate that the combined production from the lower and upper Gold Standard mines from about 1898 to 1941 was 310 kg or more of gold, and 33 kg or more of silver. The production figures for the lower workings alone are not available. Judging from the assay values and the extent of the workings, the production from the upper and lower workings may have been about equal.

References

MRDS Number A010113
References
Berg, H.C., Elliott, R.L., and Koch, R.D., 1988, Geologic map of the Ketchikan and Prince Rupert quadrangles, southeastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Mineral Investigations Series Map I-1807, 27 p., scale 1:250,000.
Bittenbender, P.E., Maas, K., Still, J.C., and Redman, E.C., 1993, Mineral investigations in the Ketchikan mining district, Alaska, 1992--Ketchikan to Hyder areas: U.S. Bureau of Mines Open-File Report 11-93, 86 p.
Brew, D.A., 1996, Geologic map of the Craig, Dixon Entrance, and parts of the Ketchikan and Prince Rupert quadrangles, southeastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-2319, 53 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000.
Brooks, A.H., 1902, Preliminary report on the Ketchikan mining district, Alaska, with an introductory sketch of the geology of southeastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1, 120 p.
Brooks, A.H., 1915, Mineral resources of Alaska; report on progress of investigations in 1914: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 622, 380 p.
Brooks, A.H., 1922, The Alaska mining industry in 1920: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 722-A, p. 1-74.
Bufvers, John, 1967, History of mines and prospects, Ketchikan district, prior to 1952: Alaska Division of Mines and Minerals Special Report 1, 32 p.
Chapin, Theodore, 1916, Mining developments in southeastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 642-B, p. 73-104.
Clautice, K.H., Gilbert, W.G., Wiltse, M.A., and Werdon, M.B., 1994, Geology of the Helm Bay area, portions of the Craig C-1 and Ketchikan C-6 quadrangles, southeastern Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Public-Data File 94-41, 1 sheet, scale 1:63,360.
Cobb, E. H., 1978, Summary of references to mineral occurrences (other than mineral fuels and construction materials) in the Craig quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 78-869, 262 p.
Eberlein, G.D., Churkin, Michael, Jr., Carter, Claire, Berg, H.C., and Ovenshine, A. T., 1983, Geology of the Craig quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 83-91, 52 p.
Gehrels, G.E., and Berg, H.C., 1992, Geologic map of southeastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Investigations Series Map I-1867, 1 sheet, scale 1:600,000, 24 p.
Maas, K.M., Bittenbender, P E., and Still, J.C., 1995, Mineral investigations in the Ketchikan mining district, southeastern Alaska: U.S. Bureau of Mines Open-File Report 11-95, 606 p.
Roehm, J.C., 1938, Preliminary report of Gold Standard group, Helm Bay, Cleveland Peninsula, Alaska: Alaska Territorial Department of Mines Property Examination 120-6, 6 p.
Roppel, Patricia, 2005, Striking it rich! Gold mining in southern Southeastern Alaska: Greenwich, Connecticut, Coachlamp Productions, 286 p.
Smith, P.S., 1914, Lode mining in the Ketchikan region, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 592-B, p. 75-94.
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, F.E., and Wright, C.W., 1906, Lode mining in southeastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 284, p. 30-54.
Wright, F.E., and Wright, C.W., 1908, The Ketchikan and Wrangell mining districts, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 347, 210 p.
Reporters D.J. Grybeck (Port Ludlow, WA)
Last report date 3/4/2008