Jumbo

Mine, Inactive

Commodities and mineralogy

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale MC
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-5
Latitude 61.5229
Longitude -142.8511
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy The Jumbo mine is in the cirque at the head of Jumbo Creek (MacKevett, 1970 [GQ 899]). It is at an elevation of about 5,800 feet, 3,000 feet west-northwest of Bonanza Peak (elevation 6983), and 3,400 feet northeast of elevation 5467. The mine is shown on the McCarthy C-5 quadrangle (1993 edition) in about the center of the N1/2 of section 15, T. 4 S., R. 14 E. of the Copper River Meridian. This is locality 92 of MacKevett (1976) and it is included by Cobb and MacKevett (1980) under the name 'Kennecott Copper Corp.'.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

The Jumbo, Erie (MC083), Mother Lode (MC090), and Bonanza (MC093) mines, all on the ridge between McCarthy Creek and Kennicott and Root Glaciers, produced significant amounts of high-grade copper ore when they were operated by Kennecott Copper Corporation between 1911 and 1938. These mines developed several different orebodies but their underground workings were interconnected. Together they produced 4 million metric tons of ore with a grade of 13 percent copper. The estimated 536,000 tons of copper recovered was accompanied by the recovery of about 100 tons of silver (MacKevett and others, 1997). No other metals were of economic importance in these orebodies.
Bateman and McLaughlin (1920) and Lasky (1929) provide important descriptions of the geology, mineralogy, and structure of these deposits. Cobb and MacKevett (1980) refer to the many Federal government publications, dating from the time of the Bonanza discovery in 1900, that contain information about them. MacKevett and others (1997) provide an excellent synthesis and interpretation of the structure, stratigraphy, economic geology, and geochemistry of these deposits. This record largely summarizes information provided by MacKevett and others (1997).
The Jumbo mine produced 1,366,600 tons of ore containing 14.28 percent copper. The largest orebody, the Jumbo vein, produced 507,000 tons of ore containing 12.05 percent copper. The ore was worked from 20 levels between elevations of 1,036 and 1,755 meters.
The Jumbo and other nearby orebodies are localized in the lower part of the Upper Triassic Chitistone Limestone. The base of the mineralization was usually about 15 to 45 meters stratigraphically above the contact of the Chitistone Limestone with the underlying Upper Triassic Nikolai Greenstone. The development of intertidal carbonate facies with stromatolites, bacterial mats, gypsum, and anhydrite in the lower Chitistone Limestone is one important control on the development and location of the orebodies.
Steep, northeast-trending fissures up to 300 meters long are another important control on the location of the major orebodies. These fissures show minor displacement of bedding in the Chitistone Limestone and localize breccia and transgressive dolomite alteration. The breccia zones, thought by MacKevett and others (1997) to be early collapse breccia along solution-enlarged fissures, laterally envelop the orebodies and extend stratigraphically upward above them.
The main Jumbo vein averaged about 110 meters in height, was between 0.6 and 18 meters in width, and can be followed along its northeastward-plunging base for more than 450 meters (Bateman and McLaughlin, 1920). The orebodies strike about N 40-60 E and dip near vertical. The massive ore near the base of the Jumbo vein was exceptionally high-grade. The orebody is bordered by copper-bearing disseminations and veinlets except at its base. The highest grade zone peripheral to the Jumbo vein contained 0.5 to 2.5 percent copper over a length 40 meters. Several splays to the Jumbo vein, subparallel veins, bedding-parallel veins to 0.3 meters thick, and small masses measuring about 10 by 15 meters in plan and 15 meters high had minor production.
Typically the large high-grade copper deposits of the area, like the Mother Lode vein, contain many minerals in the Cu2S-CuS system. Chalcocite and djurleite are abundant along with minor amounts of covellite, bornite, chalcopyrite, digenite, anilite, luzonite, idaite, malachite, azurite, chalcanthite, and orpiment. Other minerals reported by Bateman and McLaughlin (1920) in minor or trace amounts, include tennantite, antlerite, sphalerite, galena, pyrite, and copper arsenates. Enargite reported by Bateman and McLaughlin was not identified by MacKevett and others (1997).
Although the Chitistone Limestone-hosted, copper-rich ores are mostly chalcocite and djurleite, remnant clots of earlier minerals allow the determination of the mineral paragenesis. Early pyrite, now found only in traces, was replaced by chalcopyrite, which in turn was replaced by bornite and minor covellite. Temperatures of sulfide deposition fell during these stages from near 200 to 150 degrees centigrade. The main-stage ore minerals, chalcocite and djurleite, made up 95 percent of the ore and were deposited at temperatures of 90 +/- 10 degrees centigrade. Later, oxidized ore fluids overwhelmed reductants in the host rock and chalcocite was partly replaced by anilite and covellite and finally by malachite and azurite.
The common alteration at the Jumbo and other Chitistone Limestone-hosted, high-grade copper deposits in the area is transgressive dolomitization. Dolomite replacement is approximately coincident with the breccia zones that laterally surround the orebodies and extend vertically above them. The replacement dolomite is coarser and lighter gray than the original dolostone and it lacks any evidence of bedding (Armstrong and MacKevett, 1982; MacKevett and others, 1997). Some Jumbo breccias contain ore minerals cementing limestone and dolomite, but calcite cement is common. A few breccias contain stratified, generally reddish, sandy, limy material.
The mineralogy and geochemistry of the high-grade copper deposits combined with fluid inclusion and stable isotope data, indicate that the high-grade copper ores were deposited by reactions between oxidized copper-rich brines which moved through Nikolai Greenstone and sulfur-rich fluids derived from the thermal reduction of gypsum in the presence of organic matter in the lower part of the Chitistone Limestone. The migration of the oxidized copper-rich brines to the site of deposition is thought to have accompanied regional deformation and low-grade metamorphism in the Late Jurassic or Early Cretaceous (MacKevett and others, 1997). Related copper-bearing minerals were deposited in the underlying Nikolai Greenstone at about 112 Ma (Silberman and others, 1980).
Geologic map unit (-142.853181338077, 61.5224643600129)
Mineral deposit model Kennecott-type copper deposit (after MacKevett and others, 1997)
Age of mineralization Cretaceous? The migration of the oxidized copper-rich brines to the site of deposition is thought to have accompanied regional deformation and low-grade metamorphism in the Late Jurassic or Early Cretaceous (MacKevett and others, 1997). Related copper-bearing minerals were deposited in the underlying Nikolai Greenstone at about 112 Ma (Silberman and others, 1980).
Alteration of deposit The common alteration at the Jumbo and other Chitistone Limestone-hosted, high-grade copper deposits in the area is trangressive dolomitization. Dolomite replacement is approximately coincident with the breccia zones that laterally surround the orebodies and extend vertically above them. The replacement dolomite is coarser and lighter gray than the original dolostone and it lacks any evidence of bedding (Armstrong and MacKevett, 1982; MacKevett and others, 1997). Some Jumbo breccias contain ore minerals cementing limestone and dolomite, but calcite cement is common. A few breccias contain stratified, generally reddish, sandy, limy material. Oxidation of deposits is not related to the present land surface and practically the entire deposit has been partially oxidized, even in the deepest levels of mine.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration The ore was worked from 20 levels between elevations of 1,036 and 1,755 meters. The underground workings at the Jumbo mine are interconnected with those at the Erie (MC083), Mother Lode (MC090), and Bonanza (MC093) mines.
Indication of production Yes; large
Production notes The Jumbo mine produced 1,366,600 tons of ore containing 14.28 percent copper. The largest orebody, the Jumbo vein, produced 507,000 tons of ore containing 12.05 percent copper.

Additional comments

The locality is in the Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park and Preserve.

References

References

Lasky, S.G., 1929, Transverse faults at Kennecott and their relation to the main fault systems: American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers Transactions, v. 85, p. 303-317.
MacKevett, E.M., Jr., Cox, D.P., Potter, R.W., III, and Silberman, M.L., 1997, Kennecott-type deposits in the Wrangell Mountains, Alaska--High-grade copper ores near a basalt-limestone contact, in Goldfarb, R.J., and Miller, L.D., eds., Mineral deposits of Alaska: Economic Geology Monograph 9, p. 66-89.
Reporters Travis L. Hudson (Applied Geology, Inc.)
Last report date 1/12/2003