Unnamed (east-central tier of claims, Mt. Eielson district)

Prospects, Inactive

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Pb; Zn
Other commodities Ag; Cu
Ore minerals cerussite; chalcopyrite; galena; limonite; malachite; smithsonite; sphalerite
Gangue minerals calcite; epidote; garnet; quartz; siderite

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale MM
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale B-1
Latitude 63.398
Longitude -150.3233
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy This record describes prospects on the following claims, herein called the east-central tier of claims in the Mt. Eielson or Copper Mountain district: Carrie (Dee); Tennessee (Ruth); Georgia (Venora or Silver Mine); Jiles (Zelma); Kelly (Silver Peak), and Isobel. The claims are between Grant and Granite Creeks, which are north-flowing tributaries of Thorofare River north of Mt. Eielson. They are at elevations between 3500 to 4600 feet. For this record, the site is approximately at the center of the south-side line of the Tennessee claim, which is the northeast corner of the Georgia and the northwest corner of the Jiles claims. The location is in the NE1/4SE1/4 sec. 36, T. 17 S., R. 15 W., Fairbanks Meridian. The location is accurate within about 500 feet. The claims are included in numbers 37-40 of Cobb (1972 [MF 366], 1980 [OFR 80-363]).

Geologic setting

Geologic description

The country rocks in the area of these claims generally are Paleozoic calcareous strata cut by dikes and sills of Eocene or Oligocene porphyritic granodiorite. The sills mainly strike west to west-northwest (Reed, 1933, plate 24). Outcrop is sporadic, and in many places is concealed by extensive talus fields derived from the mineralized rocks.
The Jiles and adjacent claims cover the most intensely mineralized part of the area and also have been the most studied. In addition to the work summarized by Reed (1933), these claims were mapped by Gates and Wahrhaftig (1944), and sampled by the U. S. Bureau of Mines (Muir, Thomas, and Sanford, 1947).
The Carrie (Dee) is the northwestern claim in the block. It was explored by small pits, some of which exposed high-grade ore relatively rich in sphalerite (Reed, 1933, p. 280). The Tennessee (Ruth) claim was also explored by pits showing 'considerable fair ore.' Strata near the SW corner of the Tennessee claim strike about N 80 E and dip about 50 N. The adjacent (south) Georgia (Venora or Silver Mine) claim featured good mineralization near its west side line. A composite sample across a width of about 40 feet, representing 150 feet along strike, assayed 0.02 ounce of gold and 2 ounces of silver per ton, 0.22 percent copper, 2.33 percent lead, and 5.46 percent zinc. A high-grade part of the lode contained 21 percent zinc. Mineralization is sparse at the Isobel claim, where the wall rock contains chalcopyrite, garnet, quartz, and epidote (Reed, 1933, p. 282).
The Jiles (Zelma) claim was developed by eight pits or open cuts and three short adits. Two of the adits were about 100 feet long; the third was about 70 feet long (Reed, 1933). This area was mapped in detail by Gates and Wahrhaftig (1944), and the Bureau of Mines collected seven samples near the Big Cut on the Jiles claim. The samples were 2 to 12.5 feet long and assayed as much as 0.4 percent copper, 0.74 to 2.14 ounces of silver per ton, 1.46 to 4.68 percent lead, and 3.64 to 7.5 percent zinc. A representative grab sample of talus collected along 250 feet assayed 0.35 percent copper, 1.5 ounces of silver per ton, 5.09 percent lead, and 5.2 percent zinc (Muir, Thomas, and Sanford, 1947). A galena-rich zone in the middle tunnel (adit) assayed 8.7 ounces of silver per ton and 62.11 percent lead.
The Bureau of Mines (1947) conducted metallurgical studies on a composite sample largely derived from the Jiles claim. The sample contained a considerable amount of oxidized ore, including cerussite and smithsonite. The head grade of the sample was 4.22 percent lead, of which 1.27 percent was in non-sulfide minerals, and 5.27 percent zinc, of which 0.37 percent was in non-sulfide minerals. Partly because of the oxidized nature of the ore, recoveries were poor. The lead concentrate contained 36.3 percent lead, representing a recovery of 59.6 percent. The zinc concentrate contained 49.5 percent zinc, representing a recovery of 76.5 percent. An unoxidized underground sample probably would give better recoveries.
The mineralization is Oligocene, forming during, or shortly after, the emplacement of the Eocene or Oligocene Mt. Eielson pluton (Reed and Lanphere, 1974; Decker and Gilbert, 1978; Cole, 1998).
Geologic map unit (-150.325554025851, 63.3975069661086)
Mineral deposit model Polymetallic replacement deposits; Zn-Pb-(Cu) skarn deposits (Cox and Singer, 1986; models 19a and 18c).
Mineral deposit model number 19a; 18c
Age of mineralization The mineralization is Oligocene, forming during, or shortly after, the emplacement of the Eocene or Oligocene Mt. Eielson pluton (Reed and Lanphere, 1974; Decker and Gilbert, 1978; Cole, 1998).
Alteration of deposit Silicification and replacement of country rocks by epidote and rarely garnet. Local surface oxidation of copper, lead, and zinc minerals.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration
The claims were extensively explored by shallow pits and trenches in the 1920s and 1930s. The discoveries made by Fannie and Joe Quigley, O. M. Grant and others led to an option by Kennecott Copper Company in 1923.
The area was also sampled for Kennecott Copper Corporation by W. E. Dunkle in 1923. Dunkle's crew, led by foreman Ira McCoid (written communication, W. E. Dunkle to Bradford Washburn, March 20, 1953), drove short underground workings on the Jiles claim. The claims were prospected until about 1931. During World War II, the Jiles and nearby claims were mapped by the U.S. Geological Survey (Gates and Wahrhaftig, 1944) and sampled and studied metallurgically by the U.S. Bureau of Mines (Muir, Thomas, and Sanford, 1947). The claims are inactive.
Indication of production None
Reserve estimates Some of the generalized reserves or resources cited by Reed (1933), Gates and Wahrhaftig (1944), and Twenhofel (1953) must have been on the block of claims that included the Jiles. In general, resources are on the order of 100s of thousands of tons assaying about 10 percent combined lead and zinc and a few tenths percent copper.

Additional comments

The area is in Denali National Park and Preserve.

References

References

Cole, R. B., 1998, Early Tertiary post-subduction volcanism and deformation along the north side of the McKinley fault, Alaska [abs]: Geological Society of America. Abstracts with program, v. 30, p. 177.
Reed, B.L., and Lanphere, M.A., 1974, Offset plutons and history of movement along the McKinley segment of the Denali fault system, Alaska: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 85, p. 1883-1892.
Reporters C.C. Hawley
Last report date 12/15/2000