Merry Widow and Silver King

Prospect, Inactive

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Ag; Cu; Pb
Other commodities Au; Sb; Zn
Ore minerals chalcopyrite; galena; limonite; malachite; pyrite; sphalerite; tetrahedrite
Gangue minerals ankerite; quartz

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale MM
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-2
Latitude 63.5444
Longitude -150.9011
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy The Merry Widow and Silver King claims are at an elevation of about 2200 feet on the north side of the canyon of Eureka Creek. The location is about 0.3 mile below the mouth of Lucky Gulch, and marks the approximate center of the common end line between the claims. The Merry Widow is the downstream claim. The location is accurate within 500 feet. The Merry Widow and Silver King claims are included in location 34 of Bundtzen (1981) and location 52 of Thornsberry, McKee, and Salisbury (1978).

Geologic setting

Geologic description

The country rocks in the area of the Merry Widow and adjacent Silver King claims are metafelsite and chloritic phyllite of the Spruce Creek sequence. The rocks are part of a fault block, possibly separated by an ENE-striking fault from Birch Creek rocks exposed south of Eureka Creek (Bundtzen, 1981; Thornsberry, McKee, and Salisbury, 1984, fig. K-2).
The deposit consists of mineralized quartz-ankerite veins. A vein that strikes N 70 E and dips 65 NW is exposed nearly at the common end line of the two claims. At that point, the vein contains chalcopyrite, probably tetrahedrite, and galena. The copper minerals are partly oxidized to malachite. A sample assayed 6.9 percent copper, 9.25 percent lead, 0.24 percent zinc, and a small amount of silver (Hawley and Associates, 1978, fig. 4.1-A(1), sample no. 125). Bundtzen (1981, pl. 3) reported 55.47 ounces of silver per ton in a 10-foot wide sample across a complex vein in mineralized felsite. Thornsberry, McKee, and Salisbury (1984, v. 2, occurrence 52) reported a selected sample that assayed 188.7 ounces of silver per ton, 0.047 ounce of gold per ton, 0.905 percent copper, 58.5 percent lead, 13.5 percent zinc, and 1 percent antimony.
Geologic map unit (-150.903385554848, 63.5438947930718)
Mineral deposit model Polymetallic vein (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 22c).
Mineral deposit model number 22c
Age of mineralization The deposit is assumed to be Eocene (see record MM091).
Alteration of deposit Introduction of silica and ankerite in sheared metafelsite. Oxidation of iron and copper minerals.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration William Taylor owned and explored the Merry Widow claim in 1931 in the late 1920s or early 1930s (Wells, 1933). A site near the boundary between Silver King and Merry Widow claims was trenched in the 1970s (Bundtzen, Smith, and Tosdal, 1976; Hawley and Associates, 1978; Bundtzen, 1981). The trench went below the water table and was flooded by 1983 (Thornsberry, McKee, and Salisbury, 1984). In 1983, the U.S. Bureau of Mines drilled a south-directed core hole (K-18) across the projected strike of the deposit. Core recovery was poor. Between 73 and 103 feet, the hole penetrated a zone containing quartz, limonite, pyrite, and sphalerite, and at about 176 feet, it intersected quartzite containing about 3 percent pyrite.
Indication of production Undetermined

Additional comments

The Merry Widow and Silver King claims are in Denali National Park and Preserve.