Shellabarger Pass

Prospects, Inactive

Alternative names

Shellebarger Pass

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Ag; Au; Ba; Cu; Pb; Zn
Ore minerals barite; chalcopyrite; galena; marcasite; pyrite; pyrrhotite; sphalerite
Gangue minerals calcite; dolomite; quartz; siderite

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale TL
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-6
Latitude 62.553
Longitude -152.787
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Reed and others (1978, locality 14) show these occurrences two miles north of Shellabarger Pass in the southwest quarter of Section 35, T.2 N. R. 19 W., of the Seward Meridian. Several massive sulfide bodies lie within 1/2 mile radius of this location.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Several massive sulfide bodies lie within 1/2 mile radius of this location. According to Reed and Eberlein (1972), the Shellabarger Pass volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) deposits are comprised of at least six individual bodies. The massive sulfide bodies are lenticular deposits with exposed dimensions on the order of 50 to 100 feet by 17 to 27 feet, composed of 60 percent sulfides in a very fine grained mixture of pyrite, marcasite, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, galena and pyrrhotite. Sphalerite, chalcopyrite and galena make up about 15 percent of total sulfides. Some areas of heavily disseminated sulfides are localized along shear zones. Sulfide minerals are intergrown with the gangue minerals siderite, calcite, quartz, and dolomite. Sulfides and gangue occur in massive, lenticular sulfide bodies, as replacements of carbonate-rich beds, and as fracture fillings, mainly in chert and siltstone. Main sulfide bodies may be proximal to basaltic flow fronts. Regionally the basalt has high background copper values of 200 to 300 ppm.
The grade of the massive bodies averages 1 to 1.5% copper, 0.8 to 1.7% zinc, 0.9 to 2.4 oz/ton silver and less than 0.5% lead. Gold content varies from 0.0006 to 0.15 oz/ton. The sulfide bodies tend to be zoned, with highest chalcopyrite concentrations in basal parts and minor sphalerite in or near hanging walls (Reed and Eberlein, 1972; Nokleberg and others, 1994).
Hydrothermal alteration is extensive in the footwall but is rare to absent in hanging wall (Reed and Eberlein, 1972).
Indicated tonnage of known bodies is on the order of 50,000 tonnes (Reed and Eberlein, 1972). Nokleberg and others (1994) report an estimated several hundred thousand tonnes of unknown grade.
The host rocks are interpreted to be part of the Mystic terrane, a displaced fragment of the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic North American Cordillera continental margin (Reed and Nelson, 1980; Decker and others, 1994; Nokleberg and others, 1994). The deposits occur in a north-trending structural trough of Triassic to Jurassic marine sediments and mafic volcanics (hypersthene normative tholeiites that includes pillow basalt, agglomerate, and breccia) in a eugeoclinal sequence which rests unconformably over Paleozoic sedimentary rocks consisting of interbedded chert, dolomite, siltstone, shale, volcanic graywacke, and basaltic aquagene tuff (Bundtzen and Gilbert, 1983; Reed and Nelson, 1980).
It is unclear whether the deposits are hosted in Paleozoic or Mesozoic rocks. There is evidence to suggest the volcanic host rocks are either upper Triassic (Norian?) or latest Devonian-earliest Mississippian. Bundtzen and Gilbert (1983) suggest that the host rocks to the Shellabarger VMS deposits could be Late Triassic. Bundtzen and others (1997) report Late Triassic fossils in from a sedimentary/basalt sequence in the Mystic terrane to the north and east in the adjacent McGrath quadrangle. Reed and Nelson (1980) consider the basalts to be post-Late Devonian age (possibly Mississippian), indicated by distinctive spherical concretions of fluorapatite present in sedimentary breccia and conglomerate that apparently underlie the pillow basalt at Shellabarger Pass. The source of the concretions is considered to be a phosphatic chert unit that overlies the Middle and Upper Devonian limestone. A nearby pillow basalt occurs in a chaotic sequence of sedimentary rocks that contains fossils of late Middle Devonian(?) (Reed and Nelson, 1980).
Geologic map unit (-152.789228712943, 62.5524240003229)
Mineral deposit model Besshi massive sulfide (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 24b).
Mineral deposit model number 24b
Age of mineralization Triassic or Jurassic (Nokleberg and others, 1987, p. 48; Nokleberg and others, 1994, p. 877) or latest Devonian-earliest Mississippian (Reed and Nelson, 1980).
Alteration of deposit Hydrothermal alteration (mineralogy unspecified) is extensive in the footwall but is rare to absent in hanging wall (Reed and Eberlein, 1972).

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Reconnaissance mapping, stream silt and rock sampling are all that has been published on this property. Private concerns have held the property at various times in the past and may have completed a more detailed evaluation, the results of which are not publicly available.
Indication of production None
Reserve estimates Indicated tonnage of known bodies is on the order of 50,000 tonnes (Reed and Eberlein, 1972). Nokleberg and others (1994) report an estimated several hundred thousand tonnes of unknown grade.

Additional comments

In the past over 300 mining claims have been held in this area.

References

MRDS Number A011558

References

Bundtzen, T.K., and Gilbert, W.G., 1983, Outline of geology and mineral resource of upper Kuskokwim region, Alaska: Alaska Geological Society 1982 Symposium on Western Alaska, v. 3, p. 101-117.
Decker, J., Bergman, S.C., Blodgett, R.B., Box, S.E., Bundtzen, T.K., Clough, J.G., Coonrad, W.L., Gilbert, W.G., Miller, M.L., Murphy, J.M., Robinson, M.S., and Wallace, W.K., 1994, Geology of southwestern Alaska, in Plafker, G. and Berg, H.C., eds., The Geology of Alaska: Geological Society of America DNAG, The Geology of North America, v. G-1, p. 285-310.
Nokleberg, W.J., and (seven) others, 1994, Metallogeny and major mineral deposits of Alaska and Metallogenic map of significant metalliferous lode deposits and placer districts of Alaska, in Plafker, G. and Berg, H.C., eds., The Geology of Alaska: Geological Society of America, DNAG, The Geology of North America, Vol.. G1, p. 855-904, Plate 11, scale 1:2,500,000.
Reporters Madelyn A. Millholland (Millholland & Associates)
Last report date 8/10/1998