Helen S

Mine, Active

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Ag; Au; Cu; Pb; Zn
Ore minerals arsenopyrite; galena; gold; sphalerite
Gangue minerals quartz

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale PE
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-4
Latitude 56.5687
Longitude -133.0676
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy
The Helen S Mine is near the northwest corner of Woewodski Island, just inland from the shore and about 100 yards north of the mouth of the creek that drains Harvey Lake. It is in the southwest corner of section 22, T. 61 S., R. R 79 E. The mine is well known and easily accessible. Figure 15 of Still and others is a detailed map of the mine.
Note that there is a massive-sulfide deposit (PE093) that adjoins and/or overlaps the Helen S Mine; it is an entirely entirely different type of deposit and is described separately.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

The gold-quartz veins of the Helen S mine were discovered in 1902 by a prospector (Wright and Wright, 1908; Buddington, 1923; Still and others, 2002, Roppel, 2005). Later that year, E.N. Harvey, who had taken over the management of the Hattie property (PE032) of the Olympic Mining Company about 2 miles south, largely moved the equipment of the Hattie to the Helen S. There was considerable activity on the Helen S in 1903 and 1904, including the construction of several buildings, setting up a boiler and hoist, sinking two shafts and driving 650 feet of drift out from them. The crew that averaged 31 people. In addition, the 20-stamp mill that was originally meant for the Hattie but had never been set up there was moved to the Helen S. In 1903 and/or 1904, the mill processed an unknown amount of ore that produced about $35,000 (probably mainly if not entirely in gold at $20.67 per ounce). By the end of 1904, however, the mine was in financial difficulties and mining ceased . The Helen S claim was patented in 1910 and Harvey continued to maintain the property as he tried to obtain funds for further work. However, there was little actual mining activity on the property and in 1915, the mine was assigned to a Petersburg bank as a result of a legal judgment against the Olympic Mining Company. The bank soon sold the property and the patented claims have been held since by a succession of private individuals; in 1978 it was sold to a group of residents of Petersburg. More recently, it was examined and sampled by Still and others (2002) as part of a regional mineral assessment by the Bureau of Land Management.
All the early production was from quartz veins of unknown orientation that contained sparse arsenopyrite, pyrite, galena, and sphalerite. There is little outcrop in the immediate vicinity of the workings. Those few and the material on the dumps is black, slate, greenstone, and felsic and intermediate metavolcanic rocks of the Triassic Hyd Group (Brew, 1997; Karl and others, 1999.) Still and others (2002) collected several samples from a 1.5-foot-thick quartz vein that is exposed just below the surface in the shaft about 400 feet north of the old mill site. A grab sample contained 0.328 ounce of gold per ton. Several quartz veins up to 2.3 feet thick are exposed in a small pit behind the cabin near the mouth of the small creek that runs along the west side of the mine. Still and others (2002) collected 6 samples there that contained up to 58 parts per billion gold, 573 parts per million (ppm) copper, and 2,870 ppm zinc.
Note that there is a distinctly different type of deposit, volcanogenic massive sulfides, adjacent to or overlapping the Helen S mine; that deposit is described separately (PE New B1035).
Geologic map unit (-133.069323080209, 56.5683544866862)
Mineral deposit model Gold quartz vein ( Cox and Singer, 1986; model 36a).
Mineral deposit model number 36a
Age of mineralization The gold-quartz veins are Triassic or younger based on the age of the host rocks.
Alteration of deposit None specifically noted.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration The gold-quartz veins of the Helen S mine were discovered in 1902 by a prospector (Wright and Wright, 1908; Buddington, 1923; Still and others, 2002, Roppel, 2005). Later that year, E.N. Harvey, who had taken over the management of the Hattie property (PE032) of the Olympic Mining Company about 2 miles south, largely moved the equipment of the Hattie to the Helen S. There was considerable activity on the Helen S in 1903 and 1904, including the construction of several buildings, setting up a boiler and hoist, sinking two shafts and driving 650 feet of drift out from them. The crew that averaged 31 people. In addition, the 20-stamp mill that was originally meant for the Hattie but had never been set up there was moved to the Helen S. In 1903 and/or 1904, the mill processed an unknown amount of ore that produced about $35,000 (probably mainly if not entirely in gold at $20.67 per ounce). By the end of 1904, however, the mine was in financial difficulties and mining ceased. The Helen S claim was patented in 1910 and Harvey continued to maintain the property as he tried to obtain funds for further work. However, there was little actual mining activity on the property and in 1915, the mine was assigned to a Petersburg bank as a result of a legal judgment against the Olympic Mining Company. The bank soon sold the property and the patented claims have been held since by a succession of private individuals; in 1978 it was sold to a group of residents of Petersburg. More recently, it was examined and sampled by Still and others (2002) as part of a regional mineral assessment by the Bureau of Land Management.
Indication of production Yes; small
Reserve estimates None.
Production notes A small amount of ore with a grade of about 0.177 ounce of gold per ton was milled sometime between 1902 and 1915 but total production is uncertain and was probably small (Roehm, 1945). Roehm noted that the ore averaged $3.66 per ton (without specifying the price of gold). Roppel (2005) indicated that the mill processed an unknown amount of ore in 1903 and/or 1904 that produced $35,000 (probably mainly or nearly all in gold at $20.67 per ounce.)

Additional comments

All the workings are on a patented claim.

References

MRDS Number A010326

References

Roppel, Patricia, 2005, Striking it rich! Gold mining in southern Southeastern Alaska: Greenwich, Connecticut, Coachlamp Productions, 286 p.
Still, J.C., Bittenbender, P.E., Bean, K.W., and Gensler, E.G., 2002, Mineral assessment of the Stikine area, central Southeast Alaska: U.S. Bureau of Land Management Technical Report 51, 560 p.
Reporters D.J. Grybeck (Port Ludlow, WA)
Last report date 3/4/2008