Liberty Bell

Past Producer in Alaska, United States with commodities Silver, Gold, Bismuth, Copper

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10002838
MRDS ID A015313
Record type Site
Current site name Liberty Bell
Related records 10111733

Geographic coordinates

Geographic coordinates: -148.84789, 64.05156 (WGS84)
Relative position The Liberty Bell mine is located approximately 5.6 miles south-southeast of Rex Dome in the NW1/4 sec. 13, T. 10 S., R. 7 W., Fairbanks Meridian. This mine is marked on the Fairbanks A-4 topographic map, and the buildings and workings are prominent in the field. As of 1998, the Liberty Bell property was owned by Columbia Yukon Exploration Inc., and it consisted of five targets over a 10,500-acre claim block (Columbia Yukon Exploration Inc., news release no. 83, June 9, 1998). The mine is locality 40 of Cobb (1972 [MF 410]).
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Geographic areas

Country State
United States Alaska

Commodities

Commodity Importance
Silver Primary
Gold Primary
Bismuth Primary
Copper Primary

Comments on the commodity information

  • Ore Material = argentiferous galena

Materials information

Materials Type of material
Arsenopyrite Ore
Bismuthinite Ore
Bornite Ore
Chalcopyrite Ore
Covellite Ore
Enargite Ore
Galena Ore
Gold Ore
Malachite Ore
Pyrite Ore
Pyrrhotite Ore
Sphalerite Ore
Tennantite Ore
Silver Ore
Galena Ore
Kobellite Ore
Lollingite Ore
Ullmannite Ore

Alteration

  • (Local) Six types of hydrothermal alteration have been differentiated (Yesilyurt, 1996). Carbonate-quartz alteration occurs in a peripheral zone of the metasomatic minerlization at the mine. An actinolite-pyrrhotite assemblage occurs adjacent to the gold mineralization. Potassium silicate alteration occurs adjacent to the porphyry intrusions and consists mainly of alkali feldspar, biotite, tourmaline, allanite, and quartz. A chlorite-sericite-carbonate alteration assemblage occurs sporadically in the area. The most widespread type of alteration at Liberty Bell is a quartz-sericite-clay assemblage. Supergene alteration and weathering overprint all of the hydrothermal assemblages.

Host and associated rocks

  • Host or associated Associated
    Rock type Plutonic Rock > Granitoid > Granite
  • Host or associated Host
    Rock type Metamorphic Rock > Schist

Nearby scientific data

(1) -148.84789, 64.05156

Comments on the geologic information

  • Geologic Description = The following geologic summary is taken from Yesilyurt, 1996. The geology of the Liberty Bell gold mine area is dominated by weakly metamorphosed volcaniclastic-sedimentary rocks of the California Creek Member of the Totatlanika Schist, which is of Devonian-Mississippian(?) age. Metamorphosed Mesozoic(?) mafic dikes and unmetamorphosed Late Cretaceous felsic porphyry dikes and plugs are scattered throughout the area. Continental clastic rocks of the Tertiary Nenana Gravel overlie these rocks in angular unconformity. Gold mineralization is associated with sulfide- and sulfosalt-rich lenses, veins, and low-angle shear zones in the Paleozoic phyllitic rocks adjacent to a porphyry intrusion.? Six types of hydrothermal alteration have been differentiated. Carbonate-quartz alteration occurs in a peripheral zone of the metasomatic mineralization at the mine area. An actinolite-pyrrhotite assemblage occurs adjacent to the gold mineralization. Potassium silicate alteration occurs adjacent to the porphyry intrusions; it consists mainly of alkali feldspar, biotite, tourmaline, allanite, and quartz. A chlorite-sericite-carbonate alteration assemblage occurs sporadically in the area. The most widespread type of alteration at Liberty Bell is a quartz-sericite-clay assemblage. Supergene alteration and weathering overprint all of the hydrothermal assemblages. The age of hydrothermal alteration is about 92 Ma, based on two K-Ar radiometric determinations on hydrothermal biotite and sericite.? the principal ore minerals at Liberty Bell are arsenopyrite, pyrite, and pyrrhotite. Also present are chalcopyrite, kobellite, ullmannite, bismuthinite, tennantite, and loellingite, and trace amounts of enargite, covellite, bornite, sphalerite, galena, malachite, and native gold. The ore minerals occur mostly as tabular and stringer replacement bodies, disseminations, cross-cutting veins, and as open space fillings.? the initial discovery was float samples that contained arsenopyrite, bismuth, and bismuthinite. Several shafts and tunnels were driven in 1915 and 1916. By 1930, development included more than 1,000 feet of adits, and several shafts and raises (Moffit, 1933). In 1931 a mill was installed; mining in 1932-33 produced a total of 8,400 ounces of gold from 17,500 tons of ore (Smith, 1933 [B 844-A, p. 19]; Smith, 1937; Toupe and others, 1986). In mid-summer of 1936, all work was discontinued and work on the property did not resume until the 1970's (Smith, 1938, p. 35-36). Since 1973, more than 16,000 feet of core has been produced by diamond drilling, and there has been considerable trenching, geologic mapping, geophysical surveys, and several thousand feet of reverse-circulation drilling (see Workings and Exploration field). Recently, five targets have been identified on the 10,500-acre property. The Mine Zone has mineable resources of 1,240,000 tons with an average grade of 0.1 ounce of gold per ton. Drilling has indicated that there is the potential for 250,000 ounces of gold in the Mine Zone and the Northwest Copper Zone (Columbia Yukon Explorations Inc., web site describing 1998 exploration activity).
  • Age = The age of mineralization has been a source of controversy; the suggestions range from Mesozoic to late Tertiary (Yesilyurt, 1996, p. 1282). Yesilyurt (1996) gives the age of hydrothermal alteration associated with the ore as about 92 Ma, on the basis of two K-Ar radiometric determinations on hydrothermal biotite and sericite that was probably formed contemporaneously with the mineralization.

Economic information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Development status Past Producer
Commodity type Metallic

Comments on exploration

  • Status = Inactive

Mining district

District name Bonnifield

Comments on the production information

  • Production Notes = Mining in 1932 and 1933 produced a total of 8,400 ounces of gold from 17,500 tons of ore (Smith, 1937; Toupe and others, 1986).

Comments on the reserve resource information

  • Reserves = In 1933, the reserves were estimated at 37,000 tons of ore that had an average assay of $22 in gold per ton (1.06 ounces of gold per ton) (Moffit, 1933). More recent drilling on the Northwest Copper Zone, approximately 2,000 feet from the Mine Zone, indicated an aggregated resource of 2,000,000 tons with a grade of 0.05 ounce of gold per ton (Columbia Yukon Explorations Inc., news release no. 83, June 9, 1998). The Mine Zone has mineable resources of 1,240,000 tons with an average grade of 0.1 ounce of gold per ton. Drilling has indicated that there is the potential for 250,000 ounces of gold in the Mine Zone and the Northwest Copper Zone (Columbia Yukon Explorations Inc., web site describing the 1998 exploration).

Comments on the workings information

  • Workings / Exploration = By 1918, a tunnel 35 feet long and a shaft 15 feet deep were opened in loose rock (Overbeck, 1918, p. 360). Development work was reported in 1922, 1923, and 1924 (Brooks and Capps, 1924, p. 40; Brooks, 1925, p. 31; Smith, 1926, p. 26). By 1930, developments included more than 1,000 feet of adits and several shafts and raises (Moffit, 1933). In 1931, a mill was constructed by the Fairbanks-based Eva Creek Mining Company (Smith, 1933 [B 844-A, p. 19]). Due to the intense shearing and the degree of decomposition of the schist, much timbering was required to prevent caving (Moffit, 1933). In 1934, very little work was done, and mining was reported to be expensive due to the caving (Smith, 1936, p. 24). In the mid-summer of 1936, all work was discontinued (Smith, 1938, p. 35-36). Interest in the property resumed in the 1970's. In 1973, Alaska Petroleum and Mining and its joint partner Gulf Mineral Company drilled 20 diamond-drill holes totaling 5,839 feet (Yesilyurt, 1996, p. 1282). In 1977, Resource Associates of Alaska (RAA) drilled six diamond-drill holes totaling 4,289 feet (Yesilyurt, 1996, p. 1282). In 1978, the claims were optioned to Cominco Limited, and in 1984 Cominco drilled seven diamond-drill holes totaling 1,578 feet. After the 1984 drilling, RAA acquired the claims under a joint-venture agreement with Cyprus Gold Corporation. A preliminary field study was conducted in 1986, and advanced exploration work began in 1987; it included thirty reverse-circulation drill holes, trenching, and detailed geologic mapping and sampling. In 1989, Nerco Minerals conducted exploration and detailed metallurgical studies at the property (Bundtzen and others, 1990, p. 12). In 1991, some exploration was reported by Amax Gold Inc. (Bundtzen and others, 1991, p. 10). In 1992, Amax Gold completed 5,845 feet of reverse-circulation drilling at the (Nerco-owned) property (Swainbank and others, 1993, p. 9). In 1993, operating on an option from the Liberty Bell Mining Company, Noranda Exploration Inc., funded by Hemlo Gold, mappped and sampled several mineralized zones (Bundtzen and others, 1994, p. 10). In 1994, Noranda Exploration trenched several anomalies that were discovered through geochemistry and geophysics (Swainbank and other, 1995, p. 10). In 1996, lessees of Pacific Northwest Resources Co. conducted a small drilling program (Swainbank and others, 1997, p. 8). In 1997, Liberty Bell Mining conducted a 5,000-foot core-drill program (Swainbank and others, 1998, p. 9).

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS A015313
USGS Alaska Resource Data File ARDF FB132

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

    Overbeck, R.M., 1918, Lode deposits near the Nenana coal field: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 662-F, p. 351-362.

  • Deposit

    Brooks, A.H., 1919, Alaska's mineral supplies: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 666, p 89-102.

  • Deposit

    Brooks, A.H., 1921, The future of Alaska mining, in Martin G.C. and others, Mineral resources of Alaska, 1917: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 714, p. 5-57.

  • Deposit

    Brooks, A.H. and Capps, S.R., 1924, Mineral industry in Alaska, 1922: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 755, p. 1-56.

  • Deposit

    Capps, S.R., 1924, Geology and mineral resources of the region traversed by the Alaska Railroad: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 755-C, p. 73-150.

  • Deposit

    Brooks, A.H., 1925, Alaska's mineral resources and production, 1923: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 773, p. 3-52.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1926, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1924: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 783-A, p. 1-39.

  • Deposit

    Moffit, F.H., 1933, Mining developments in the Tatlanika and Totatlanika basins: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 836-D, p. 339-345.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1933, Mineral industry in Alaska in 1931: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 844-A, p. 1-82.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1934, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1932: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 857-A, p. 1-91.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1934, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1933: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 864-A, p. 1-94.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1936, Mineral industry in Alaska in 1934: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 868-A, p. 1-91.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1937, Mineral industry in Alaska in 1935: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 880-A, p. 1-95.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1938, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1936: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 897-A, p. 1-107.

  • Deposit

    Berg, H.C., and Cobb, E.H., 1967, Metalliferous Lode Deposits of Alaska. U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1246, 254 p.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., 1972, Metallic mineral resources map of the Fairbanks quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-410, 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    Hasler, J.W., Miller, M.H., and Chapman, R.M., 1973, Bismuth, in Brobst, D.A., and Pratt, W.P., eds., United States mineral resources: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 820, 722 p.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., 1976, Summary of references to mineral occurrences (other than mineral fuels and construction materials) in the Fairbanks quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 76-662, 174 p.

  • Deposit

    Nokleberg, W.J., Bundtzen, T.K., Berg, H.C., Brew, D.A., Grybeck, D.J., Robinson, M.S., Smith, T.E., and Yeend, W., 1987, Significant metalliferous lode deposits and placer districts of Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1786, 104 p.

  • Deposit

    Toupe, W.M., Freeman, L.K., Teller, S.D., and Porterfield, B., 1986, Western north flank joint venture, final report, v. 1: Fairbanks, Alaska, Resource Associates of Alaska, unpublished company report, 66 p.

  • Deposit

    Bundtzen, T.K., Swainbank, R.C., Deagen, J.R. and Moore, J.L., 1990, Alaska's mineral industry 1989: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Special Report 44, 100 p.

  • Deposit

    Swainbank, R.C., Bundtzen, T.K., Clough, A.H., Hansen, E.W., and Nelson, M.G., 1993, Alaska's mineral industry 1992: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Special Report 47, 80 p.

  • Deposit

    Swainbank, R.C., Bundtzen, T.K., Clough, A.H., Henning, M.W., and Hansen E.W., 1995, Alaska's mineral industry 1994: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Special Report 49, 77 p.

  • Deposit

    Yesilyurt, S., 1996, Geology, geochemistry, and mineralization of the Liberty Bell gold mine area, Alaska, in Coyner, A. R., and Fahey, P. L., eds., Geology and Ore Deposits of the American Cordillera: Symposium Proceedings, Reno/Sparks, Nevada, April 1995, p. 1281-1316.

  • Deposit

    Swainbank, R.C., Bundtzen, T. K., Clough A.H., and Henning, M.W., 1997, Alaska's mineral industry 1996: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Special Report 51, 68 p.

  • Deposit

    Swainbank, R.C., Clautice, K.C., and Nauman, J.L., 1998, Alaska's Mineral Industry 1997: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Special Report 52, 65 p.

  • Deposit

    Bundtzen, T. K., Swainbank, R. C., Wood, J. E., and Clough, A. H., 1991, Alaska's mineral industry 1991: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Special Report 46, 89 p.

  • Deposit

    Bundtzen, T.K., Swainbank, R.C., Clough, A.H., Henning, M.W., and Hansen, E.W., 1994, Alaska's mineral industry, 1993: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Special Report 48, 84 p.

  • Deposit

    Wedow, Helmuth, Jr., White, M.G. and Moxham, R.M., 1952, Interim report on an appraisal of the uranium possibilities of Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 51, 123 p.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P. S., 1934, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1933: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 864-A, p. 1-94.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P. S., 1934, Mineral resources of Alaska in 1932: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 857-A, p. 1-91.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1933, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1931: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 844-A, p. 1-81.

Comments on the references

  • Primary Reference = Yesilyurt, 1996

General comments

Subject category Comment text
Deposit Model Name = Many investigators of the property have suggested various types of syngenetic massive sulfide models. Others favor an epigenetic origin, for instance, Yesilyurt (1996, p. 1282), who has done the most thorough modern work on the deposit.
Deposit Other Comments = Other names associated with Liberty Bell include 'Bearpaw', 'Eva Mining Co.', 'Eva Quartz Mining Co.', 'Irene', 'Johnson, Norberg and Erickson', 'Swanson and Mountaine', 'Short', 'Rose', and 'Wild Goose' (Cobb, 1976 [OFR 76-662 p. 162-167]).

Reporter information

Type Date Name Affiliation Comment
Reporter 31-JUL-2001 J.R. Guidetti Schaefer Avalon Development Corporation
Reporter 31-JUL-2001 C.J. Freeman Avalon Development Corporation