Prospect, Undetermined

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Pb; Zn
Ore minerals galena; pyrite; sphalerite
Gangue minerals calcite

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale NM
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale D-1
Latitude 64.7622
Longitude -165.3888
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy The Nelson prospect is in Steep Creek, a tributary of Gold Bottom Creek, at an elevation of about 800 feet. It is about 0.5 mile southeast of the center of section 29, T. 8 S., R. 33 W. The location is accurate.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

The Nelson prospect contains sphalerite, galena, and pyrite in veinlets subparallel to layering in marble and in stockwork-like fracture zones; it includes a galena vein 2 inches thick (Mertie, 1918; Cathcart, 1922). When the prospect was visited by Cathcart in 1920, mineralization was exposed along 6 feet of an open cut near a contact of marble and mica schist; the schist had a strike of N15W and a dip of 18 degrees west. The marble was bleached in the mineralized zone. An adit, reportedly 55-feet long (Mertie, 1918), was caved and inaccessible to Cathcart (1922). The prospect was visited in 1995 by C.C. Hawley (personal communication) but the exposures were badly sloughed and the nature of the mineralization could not be observed. The Nelson prospect is in the main marble mass of Mount Distin and includes thin, mica schist layers (Hummel, 1962 [MF 248]; Bundtzen and others, 1994). Layering in the marble and the schist generally dips north and the prospect is about one-half mile south of the east-trending axis of the Mount Distin syncline of Hummel (1962).
Till and others (2011) map the host rocks as part of the Devonian-Ordovician Nome Group that consists of mixed marble, graphitic metasiliceous rock, and schist. The rocks were subject to blueschist facies metamorphism, then retrograded to greenschist-facies in the Jurassic and early Cretaceous.
Although earlier workers have classified this deposit as a lead-zinc replacement in marble, Slack and others (2011) classify this and several other prospect in the Nome Group (Aurora, NM140; Wheeler North, SO142, and Christophosen, NM141) as a sedimentary exhalative (Sedex) deposit. Whole-rock analyses of the schist interbedded with the marble indicates that they were originally clastic sedimentary rocks and they see no sign of volcanic protolithic rocks. Sulfur-isotope analysis of the sulfides also indicate a marine origin for the sulfur, as does isotopic analysis of barite in certain of these deposits.
Geologic map unit (-165.391421234978, 64.7614388043223)
Mineral deposit model Sedimentary exhalative (SEDEX) lead-zinc-silver-fluorite deposit (Cox and Singer, 1986, model 31a).
Mineral deposit model number 31a
Age of mineralization Deposited syngenetically in a marine environment during the Devonian; metamorphosed in the Jurassic or early Cretaceous.
Alteration of deposit Marble is bleached at the prospect.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Developments included a 55-foot adit, an open cut, and several pits; all are badly sloughed. There apparently has been little work on the prospect since before 1920. Covered by at least one geochemical survey by the USGS and examined by several companies over the years.
Indication of production Undetermined
Reserve estimates None.
Production notes None.

Additional comments

The Nelson prospect is on Bering Straits Native Corporation selected lands.


MRDS Number A012801


Slack, John, Till, A.B., Shanks, Wayne C., III, Ayuso, R.A., and Belkin, H.E., 2011, Stratabound Zn-Pb-Ag-Ba-F deposits and occurrences in the Nome Comples, Seward Peninsula: Characterisitics, origin, and exploration application: Alaks Miners Assocation, 2011 Annual Convention, Abstracts, p. 24-25 (and at
Reporters C.C. Hawley and Travis L. Hudson; D.J. Grybeck (Contractor, USGS)
Last report date 4/1/2012