Second Beach

Mine, Active?

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Ag
Ore minerals gold; ilmenite; magnetite; pyrite
Gangue minerals garnet

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale NM
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale B-1
Latitude 64.4759
Longitude -165.201
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Second Beach is a raised Quaternary strandline that formed during a seastand at about 38 feet above current sea level. It lies a few hundred to 3,000 feet inland of Present Beach (NM255). This beach can be traced westerly from near Hastings Creek, but it is absent where its trace is crossed by Hastings Creek, Nome River, Snake River, and Penny River. The map location is where Little Derby Creek crosses Second Beach, about 6.5 miles southeast of Nome. It is just inside the east boundry of section 2, T. 12 S., R. 33 W., Kateel River Meridian. Second Beach is locality 135 of Cobb (1972 [MF 463], 1978 [OFR 78-93]). Other Second Beach locations are near Penny River and about 2 to 5 miles east of Penny River (NM178 and NM179).

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Second Beach was discovered in 1902 near Peluk Creek; it is termed Second Beach because it was the second beach deposit discovered in the district (Metcalfe and Tuck, 1942). Development of the deposit by drift mining started almost immediately (Brooks, 1905; Moffit, 1906; Collier and others, 1908). Except for gaps near Penny, Snake, and Nome Rivers, and Hastings Creek, the Second Beach is nearly continuous, although not everywhere mineable. Metcalfe and Tuck (1942) interpret the absence of the beach at Penny, Nome, Snake and Hastings, as an absence in sedimentation: 'the beach may never have existed here as the [ancestral] streams were flowing into the Second Beach sea at this time.' The beach has been removed by erosion where intersected by Cunningham and Peluk Creeks.
The beach appears to have formed in different depositional environments. East of Hastings Creek, Metcalfe and Tuck (1942) inferred that it formed on an offshore bar. West of Hastings to near Little Derby Creek, and between Otter and Dry Creeks, the beach is at the base of an old escarpment eroded into older marine sediments. In general, gold occurs on clay false-bedrock, but it appears to lie on schist bedrock for a short distance between Peluk and Otter Creeks (Kastelic, 1975; Metcalfe and Tuck, 1942). At the Snake and Nome Rivers, local beaches appear to have formed on sand spits near the mouths of ancestral channels of these drainages.
The beach was generally buried by 10 to 25 feet of frozen sand and gravel. In some areas overburden was very thin and the beach was surface mined, but most of the beach was drift mined over beach widths of 10 to 100 feet. As on Present Beach, gold was fine and flaky and commonly associated with garnet-rich sand. The deposit appears to have been exceptionally rich just west of Otter Creek where 75,000 dollars worth (3,750 ounces) of coarse gold reportedly were recovered. Total production to 1911 was reported by Metcalfe and Tuck (1942) to be about 600,000 dollars (30,000 ounces). Not more than 100,000 dollars (5,000 ounces) has been recovered since then.
Geologic map unit (-165.203601120974, 64.4751376907183)
Mineral deposit model Placer; buried beach.
Age of mineralization Quaternary.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Second Beach was discovered in 1902 near Peluk Creek, which had eroded through the deposit. Once known, the beach was easily recognized because it was marked by a surface escarpment about 10 to 40 feet high (Collier and others, 1908). The original prospectors recognized beach characteristics such as rounded quartz pebbles, marine shells, and remnants of marine vertebrates.
Indication of production Yes
Production notes Possibly about 700,000 dollars, or 34,000 ounces of gold, were recovered, mostly before 1912.