Akwe Beach

Occurrence in Alaska, United States with commodities Gold, Iron, Titanium, Chromium, Zirconium

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10002472
MRDS ID A013404
Record type Site
Current site name Akwe Beach
Related records 10258384

Geographic coordinates

Geographic coordinates: -139.14222, 59.30969 (WGS84)
Relative position The placer extends along the Gulf of Alaska coast between the mouths of the Italio and Akwe Rivers; it is about 7 miles long. The coordinate location given is the approximate midpoint of the deposit which is partly in the Yakutat B-3 quadrangle. The deposit was noted by Cobb (1979, p. 17), and is Cobb's number 9 (1972).
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Geographic areas

Country State
United States Alaska


Commodity Importance
Gold Primary
Iron Primary
Titanium Primary
Chromium Secondary
Zirconium Secondary

Comments on the commodity information

  • Ore Material = Gold (native)

Materials information

Materials Type of material
Chromite Ore
Ilmenite Ore
Magnetite Ore
Rutile Ore
Zircon Ore
Gold Ore
Garnet Gangue

Host and associated rocks

  • Host or associated Host
    Rock type Unconsolidated Deposit > Sand and Gravel
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Holocene

Nearby scientific data

(1) -139.14222, 59.30969

Comments on the geologic information

  • Geologic Description = The Akwe beach placer is developed on a wide band of unconsolidated deposits of Holocene age (Foley and others, 1995, figure 4). These deposits formed in marine and terrestrial environments and are in unconformable contact with bedrock of Tertiary and older age (Reimnitz and Plafker, 1976, p. 4-8).? the placer deposits mostly consist of medium coarse sand. They formed in a high energy environment. The deposits are products of winnowing by strong tidal currents, storms, and generally northwest-moving long shore currents. In addition to deriving materials by reworking of the unconsolidated deposits, rivers and streams bring down a constant supply of alluvium that is reworked and stratified by size and density. ? Deposits enriched in ilmenite and magnetite are locally preserved in uplifted strand lines back of the modern beaches. These enriched layers are relatively continuous and as much as several feet thick. Gold locally occurs with ruby and black sands on the modern beach in thin transient lenses and wedges. Zircon and rutile are locally enriched.? Samples collected at Akwe beach by Thomas and Berryhill (1962) contained as much as 5.3 pounds/cubic yard of titania and 10.5 pounds/cubic yard of iron. Foley and others (1995) found gold, titanium, and zircon in samples from the Akwe beach.? the ultimate source of the heavy minerals enriched in the placers is in the hard rock deposits of the Fairweather Range.
  • Age = Holocene

Economic information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Development status Occurrence
Commodity type Metallic

Mining district

District name Yakutat

Comments on the workings information

  • Workings / Exploration = The area has been sampled fairly extensively by the Bureau of Mines in two investigations. Samples of beach sands collected by Thomas and Berryhill (1962, table 17, p. 30-33) contained as much as 5.3 pounds titania/cubic yard, 10.5 pounds of iron/cubic yard and a trace of chromite. Samples of auger holes of about 1.2 m length reported by Foley and others (1995, figure 15, Appendix A) contained gold, titanium, and zircon. A head split of sample number 281 contained 0.056 grams/ton of gold; a spiral concentrate of the same sample contained 2.01 percent titanium and 535 ppm zirconium. A spiral concentrate derived from sample number 283 contained gold; it also contained 1.89 percent titanium and 526 ppm zirconium.

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS A013404
USGS Alaska Resource Data File ARDF YA006

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

    Thomas, B.I., and Berryhill, R. V., 1962, Reconnaissance studies of Alaskan beach sands, eastern Gulf of Alaska: U.S. Bureau of Mines Report of Investigations 5986, 40 p.

  • Deposit

    Reimnitz, Erk, and Plafker, George, 1976, Marine gold placers along the Gulf of Alaska margin: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1415, 16 p.

  • Deposit

    Foley, J.Y., La Berge, R.D., Grosz, A.E., Oliver, F.S., and Hirt, W.C., 1995, Onshore titanium and related heavy mineral investigations in the eastern Gulf of Alaska region, southern Alaska: U.S. Bureau of Mines Open-File Report 10-95, 125 p.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., 1972, Metallic mineral resources map of the Yakutat quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-408, 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., 1979, Summary of references to mineral occurrences (other than mineral fuels and construction materials) in the Bering Glacier, Icy Bay, Middleton Island, and Yakutat quadrangles, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 79-1246, 41 p.

Comments on the references

  • Primary Reference = Thomas and Berryhill, 1962; Foley and others, 1995.

General comments

Subject category Comment text
Deposit Model Name = Beach placer: ilmenite-based deposit, minor gold
Deposit Other Comments = the deposit is in Tongass National Forest. Lands immediately offshore belong to the State of Alaska.

Reporter information

Type Date Name Affiliation Comment
Reporter 15-APR-99 Hawley, C.C. Hawley Resource Group