Dawson

Mine, Active

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Ag; Au; Cu; Pb
Other commodities As; Sb
Ore minerals chalcopyrite; galena; gold; pyrite; sphalerite
Gangue minerals quartz

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale CR
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale B-3
Latitude 55.4705
Longitude -132.70527
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy The Dawson Mine is named on the USGS 1:63,360-scale topographic map. It is about 0.1 mile north of the center of section 7, T. 74 S., R. 84 E. The workings extend south to just north of the Hollis-Klawock road. Herreid and Rose (1966, figure 3) provide a map of the workings. Several early geologists, notably Wright and Wright (1908), and Roppel (2005), combine their descriptions of the Dawson and the Harris River (CR098) Mines because for much of their history they shared the same ownership. They have different histories, however, and are are described separately in ARDF.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Much of the history of the mines near the mouth of the Harris River was compiled by Roppel (2005). The first claims were staked in 1899 but soon allowed to lapse. The property was restaked in 1905 as the Julia claims, which covered an uncertain area but certainly the area that included what was to become the Harris River Mine (CE098) and then or later probably the area to the north that included what became the Dawson Mine.
The early workings on these claims was concentrated at the Harris River Mine (CE098) and its mill along the Harris River that was in operation until about 1929 by the Kasaan Gold Mining Company. In 1930, the company was reorganized as the Kasaan Mining Company and what were then called the Handy claims were leased to Wendell Dawson who shifted the mining about a half mile north of the Harris River Mine to what is now called the Dawson Mine. Dawson mined intermittently until 1952. There apparently was no further mining at the Harris River Mine. The Dawson mine was restaked in 1976, and from 1979 to 1981, MAPCO, Inc. explored the property and drilled several holes. Discovery Gold Explorations, Inc. drilled 5 holes in 1984 and several more holes in 1985 (Harris, 1985). The drilling defined a resource of 43,800 tons of ore averaging about 1 ounce of gold per ton. In 2008, the Dawson Mine is being explored under an agreement between Full Metals Minerals and Altair Ventures Inc. (Altair Ventures, Inc., 2008; Full Metal Minerals, 2008). and they drilled 3 holes in 2007.
Herreid and Rose (1966) mapped the rocks in the vicinity of the Dawson Mine as graywacke, banded siltstone and argillite with minor slate, limestone, and phyllite. They are part of the Descon Formation of Silurian and Ordovician age (Eberlein and others, 1983; Brew, 1996).
The deposit consists of quartz veins and stringers that generally strike about N35E and dip northwest at about 28 degrees (Smith, 1914; Mertie, 1921; Roehm, 1936 [PE 119-2]; Wilcox, 1938 [119-5]). The veins are in a zone 2 to more than 6 feet thick. Most of the value is in free gold that occurs along contacts between quartz stringers and slate; minor amounts of sulfides including pyrite, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, and galena are disseminated in the veins and country rocks. Pyritized, fine-grained felsic dikes parallel and crosscut the veins. Two principal veins were mined, the Freegold and Humboldt. Only the Freegold vein was mined; it extends for about 210 feet along strike but it is segmented by several near-horizontal faults.
In the 1980s and 1990s, a considerable area was stripped and trenched just north of the Hollis-Klawock road (D.J. Grybeck, unpublished field notes, 1984 and 1991). Three veins, 10-24 inches thick, were exposed that dip west at about 26-55 degrees. The veins are in deformed black shale with graphitic partings; the footwalls for up to several feet from the veins are highly sheared gouge zones. The veins contain up to 1 percent sulfides, mainly pyrite and sphalerite. Three short(?) adits were driven on the veins in this area. In the 1990s, a road had been cleared to the older workings and mill site to the north. About 200 feet higher in elevation, there were several drill sites in the vicinity of the old workings and the mill. Several selected samples of quartz vein material from dumps at the old mill site contained up to 1,000 parts per million (ppm) silver, 700 ppm arsenic, 3,000 ppm copper, 1,000 ppm antimony, more than 1 percent zinc, and 59 ppm gold, but most values were much lower.
Maas and others (1991) sampled most of the accessible workings. Their samples had a wide range of values, but several of the quartz veins contained 0.3 to more than 5 ounces of gold per ton, up to several ounces of silver per ton, and lead, zinc, and copper values that reflect as much as 1 to 2 percent sulfides in the veins.
In the 1930s, the Dawson mine was developed by 2 short crosscut tunnels and at least 150 feet of underground workings. In 1938, Roehm (1936 [PE 119-2]) reported that about $22,000 in gold (at $35 per ounce?) had been produced since 1933; the ore ran about $20 to $30 in gold per ton. Wilcox (1938 [PE 119-5]), who may have been describing the Harris River Mine (CR098) to the south, indicated that the total production was about $16,000 to $17,000 in gold (at $35 per ounce?). His samples assayed up to about $30 in gold per ton across 5 feet. Maas and others (1995) indicate that the Dawson Mine operated intermittently from the 1930s to 1952, with a total production of nearly 10,000 ounces of gold, 7,000 ounces of silver, and minor lead and copper. There was a small mill on the property.
As of 2008, the Crackerjack mine and several nearby properties are being explored under an agreement between Full Metals Minerals and Altair Ventures Inc. (Altair Ventures, Inc., 2008; Full Metal Minerals, 2008, CJ property). The drilled 3 holes on the veins at the Dawson Mine as well as two holes at the Hollis tunnel near the Crackerjack mine (CR101) and three holes at the Crackerjack mine itself to test the mineralization along a belt several miles long. Some of the notable mineralized intercepts cut in the drilling at the Dawson mine included 2.05 meters that contained 9.56 grams of gold per tonne and 76.7 grams of silver per tonne.
Geologic map unit (-132.706916984324, 55.4701438985503)
Mineral deposit model Gold-quartz vein (Cox and Singer, 1986, model 36a).
Mineral deposit model number 36a
Age of mineralization Unknown, other than that the veins are in Silurian or Ordovician black shale and graywacke.
Alteration of deposit None specifically mentioned, although the felsic dikes that cross the veins commonly are bleached and altered.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration
Much of the history of the mines near the mouth of the Harris River was compiled by Roppel (2005). The first claims were staked in 1899 but soon allowed to lapse. The property was restaked in 1905 as the Julia claims, which covered an uncertain area but certainly the area that included what was to become the Harris River Mine (CE098) and then or later probably the area to the north that included what became the Dawson Mine.
The early workings on these claims was concentrated at the Harris River Mine (CE098) and its mill along the Harris River that was in operation until about 1929 by the Kasaan Gold Mining Company. In 1930, the company was reorganized as the Kasaan Mining Company and what were then called the Handy claims were leased to Wendell Dawson who shifted the mining about a half mile north of the Harris River Mine to what is now called the Dawson Mine. Dawson mined intermittently until 1952. There apparently was no further mining at the Harris River Mine. The Dawson mine was restaked in 1976, and from 1979 to 1981, MAPCO, Inc. explored the property and drilled several holes. Discovery Gold Explorations, Inc. drilled 5 holes in 1984 and several more holes in 1985 (Harris, 1985). The drilling defined a resource of 43,800 tons of ore averaging about 1 ounce of gold per ton. In 2008, the Dawson Mine is being explored under an agreement between Full Metals Minerals and Altair Ventures Inc. (Altair Ventures, Inc., 2008; Full Metal Minerals, 2008, CJ property) and they drilled 3 holes in 2007.
Indication of production Yes; small
Reserve estimates Discovery Gold Explorations, Inc. drilled 5 holes in 1984 and several more holes in 1985 (Harris, 1985). The drilling defined a resource of 43,800 tons of ore averaging about 1 ounce of gold per ton.
Production notes In 1938, Roehm (1936 [PE 119-2]) reported that about $22,000 in gold (at $35 per ounce?) had been produced at the Dawson Mine since 1933; the ore ran about $20 to $30 in gold per ton. Wilcox (1938) indicated that the total production was about $16,000 to $17,000 in gold (at $35 per ounce?). His samples assayed up to about $30 in gold per ton across 5 feet. Maas and others (1995) indicate that the mine operated intermittently from the 1930s to 1952, with a total production of nearly 10,000 ounces of gold, 7,000 ounces of silver, and minor lead and copper.

References

MRDS Number A010163

References

Altair Ventures, Inc., 2008,CJ property, geology and drill results: http://www.altairventuresinc.com/projects/crackerjack/geology.aspx (as of May 1, 2008).
Barnett, John, and Clough, Al, 2000, CJ Gold prospect, Prince of Wales Island, Alaska (abs.): Alaska Miners Convention, Oct. 30- Nov. 4, Anchorage, Abstracts, p. 19-20.
Full Metal Minerals, 2008 (CJ property): http://www.fullmetalminerals.com/s/CJ.asp (as of May 1, 2008).
Harris, Mark, 1985, Old Dawson gold mine holds surprises: exploration under way on Prince of Wales: Alaska Construction and Oil, v. 26, no. 11, p. 28-30.
Mitchell, J.R., 1982, A proposal for exploration at the Dawson gold mine, Prince of Wales Island, southeast Alaska, 23 p. (Unpublished report held by the Bureau of Land Management, Mineral Information Center, Juneau, Alaska.)
Mitchell, J.R., 1986, Phase 3 exploration report for the Dawson gold mine, Prince of Wales Island, southeastern Alaska: Discovery Gold Explorations, Ltd., 37 p. (Unpublished report held by the Bureau of Land Management, Mineral Information Center, Juneau, Alaska.)
Roppel, Patricia, 2005, Striking it rich! Gold mining in southern Southeastern Alaska: Greenwich, Connecticut, Coachlamp Productions, 286 p.
Reporters D.J. Grybeck (Port Ludlow, WA)
Last report date 3/4/2008