Shirley Bar

Mine, Inactive

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Hg; Pb
Ore minerals barite; cinnabar; galena; gold; ilmenite; pyrite

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale TN
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale A-1
Latitude 65.17127
Longitude -150.25715
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Shirley Bar is a bench placer on high ground between Rhode Island and Glen creeks. The site is at the mine symbol just south of the center of the boundary between sections 17 and 18, T. 4 N., R. 13 W., of the Fairbanks Meridian. The location is accurate. The site is included in location 39 of Cobb (1972), and roughly corresponds with U.S. Bureau of Land Management MAS number 0020480094.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Shirley Bar is a bench placer deposit between Glen Creek and Rhode Island Creek. It is on a broad, gently sloping bedrock spur that is covered with [Pleistocene?] alluvial deposits. The bedrock in the area (and at the workings) is predominantly Cretaceous sandstone, shale, and siltstone (Chapman and others, 1982; Reifenstuhl and others, 1998). A thrust-emplaced lenticular block of Triassic sedimentary rocks and Jurassic or Cretaceous quartzite are mapped to the north and west. No intrusive rocks are exposed in the area.
The bench was originally mined in 1901. Collier (1903) reported that the pay was in the gravel on bedrock and in a clay layer that often lies on the bedrock. Later reports state that the gold is distributed evenly throughout the 2- to 9-foot thickness of gravel in the bench (Prindle and Hess, 1905; Hess, 1908). Mertie (1934) described the deposit as a semi-residual body of auriferous, angular gravel, and that the pay streak continues down the hillside as a body of subangular gravel on muck.
Collier (1903) described the gold as coarse and rough. An assay of the gold yielded a value of $16.45 an ounce (at $20.67 per ounce). Mertie (1934) reported a gold fineness of 792. Other heavy minerals in the placer include pyrite, cinnabar, picotite, barite, galena, ilmenite, limonite, garnet, and sphene (Waters, 1934). Joesting (1942) reported that cinnabar was common.
Published reports indicate that by 1904 there had been considerable production from Shirley Bar (Prindle and Hess, 1905). After 1904, mining was recorded in 1931, 1937, and 1938 (Smith, 1933; Smith, 1939 [B 910-A; B 917-A]; Cobb, 1977), and again in 1951 (Williams, 1951). Tony Landing mined in 1962 (Saunders, 1962), and Johnson & Toftaker were active in 1967 (Heiner and others, 1968).
Geologic map unit (-150.259632911439, 65.1707916356377)
Mineral deposit model Placer Au (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a).
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Quaternary.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration The deposit probably was mined by surface workings, and although water was scarce, production was considerable by 1904 (Prindle and Hess, 1905). Sporadic mining occurred after this, with specific references to mining of Shirley Bar published only in 1931, 1937, and 1938 (Smith, 1933; Smith, 1939 [B 10-A; B 917-A]; Cobb, 1977), and in 1951 (Williams, 1951). Tony Landing mined in 1962 (Saunders, 1962), and Johnson & Toftaker were active in 1967 (Heiner and others, 1968).
Indication of production Yes; small


MRDS Number A015218


Heiner, L.E., Wolff, E.N., and Lu, F.C.J., 1968, Mining regions and mineral commodities, in Heiner, L.E., and Wolff, E.N. eds., Final Report - Mineral Resources of Northern Alaska: Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, University of Alaska Report No. 16, p. 3-137.
Reporters G.E. Graham (ADGGS), D.J. Szumigala (ADGGS)
Last report date 8/8/2003