Christophosen Creek

Past Producer in Alaska, United States with commodity Graphite

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10003195
MRDS ID A015733
Record type Site
Current site name Christophosen Creek

Geographic coordinates

Geographic coordinates: -165.63222, 65.0254 (WGS84)
Relative position Christophosen Creek is a stream on the north flank of the Kigluaik Mountains whose mouth is on Windy Cove of Imuruk Basin. This creek is not identified by name on USGS topographic maps; its name comes from a location map made by Coats (1944). The graphite deposit at this locality is 1.75 miles southeast of the mouth of the creek and 8.5 miles due east of the White River. It is at the abrupt break in slope on the north side of the mountain front, just upslope of the surface trace of the active Kigluaik normal fault. The graphite -bearing rocks are in the footwall of this fault. This location was not shown by Cobb and Sainsbury (1972) but Cobb (1975) summarized relevant references under the name 'Christophosen Cr.'
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Geographic areas

Country State
United States Alaska


Commodity Importance
Graphite Primary

Materials information

Materials Type of material
Graphite Ore
Amphibole Gangue
Biotite Gangue
Garnet Gangue
Muscovite Gangue
Plagioclase Gangue
Pyrrhotite Gangue
Quartz Gangue
Sillimanite Gangue
Sphene Gangue
Zircon Gangue


  • (Local) Some shearing and deformation of graphite-rich lenses has accompanied faulting and oxidation of disseminated pyrrhotite has led to orange-staining of graphite-bearing rocks but other types of alteration are not identified.

Host and associated rocks

  • Host or associated Associated
    Rock type Plutonic Rock > Mafic Intrusive Rock > Diorite
  • Host or associated Host
    Rock type Metamorphic Rock > Gneiss

Nearby scientific data

(1) -165.63222, 65.0254

Comments on the geologic information

  • Geologic Description = Flake graphite occurs as disseminations and high-grade tabular lenses within amphibolite facies metasedimentary rocks (Coats, 1944). The metamorphic rocks are primarily biotite-quartz schist with some sillimanite and garnet (Sainsbury, 1972). Small granitic plugs, dikes, and sills locally intrude the metamorphic rocks. The graphite-bearing schists are sharply bound to the north by the recently active Kigluaik fault, the principal fault along which late Cenozoic uplift of the Kigluaik Mountains has taken place (Hudson and Plafker, 1978). The graphite-bearing schists strike approximately parallel to the mountain front and dip north between 25 and 65 degrees. They form a zone along the mountain front that is 200 to 400 feet thick and possibly 20,000 feet long (Hudson, 1981; also see Ruby Creek and Graphite Creek localities to the east). To the south, the graphite-bearing schists are in conformable contact with other amphibolite facies metasedimentary rocks. The latter appear to be feldspathic and contain much less graphite. The graphite-bearing schists make up two general sequences; (1) a heterogeneous sequence of garnet-sillimanite-biotite-quartz schist with disseminated graphite and graphite-rich lenses, and (2) a more evenly layered biotite-quartz schist with disseminated graphite. The latter contains disseminated pyrrhotite and commonly weathers orange.? Claims were first staked on this deposit in 1900 but most of the work here appears to have taken place between 1912 and 1917 (Cobb, 1975). Coats (1944) describes 25-foot thick schist units with 10% disseminated graphite. Lenses in these schists, a few inches to 18 inches thick, can contain 50 to 90% coarse graphite by volume. The length of the lenses appears to be 10 to 15 times their widths. The graphite flakes are commonly 0.004 to 0.04 inches in diameter although some are greater than 0.1 inch across. Two samples (Coats, 1944) contained 24.9% and 56.6% graphite of which 76% and 82% was coarser than 30 meshes per inch. Samples of schist with disseminated graphite from this locality appeared to have a few to 15% graphite in thin section but laboratory analyses indicated only 4 to 6% (Wolgemuth, 1982).
  • Age = The metamorphism that has developed coarse graphite in these rocks is Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceous in age.

Economic information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Development status Past Producer
Commodity type Non-metallic

Comments on exploration

  • Status = Inactive

Mining district

District name Port Clarence

Comments on the production information

  • Production Notes = 130 tons of hand-sorted high-grade material were shipped in 1916 (Mertie, 1918) and other small shipments of similar material may have occurred.

Comments on the reserve resource information

  • Reserves = A stock pile of hand-sorted material here is estimated to contain 50 tons and the few miles of strike between the area of the Christophosen Creek deposit and the Graphite Creek deposit to the east has been estimated to contain 65,000 tons averaging about 60% graphite (Coats, 1944). This zone has also been estimated to contain, overall, more than 10 million tons of 10% or more graphite (Weiss, 1973).

Comments on the workings information

  • Workings / Exploration = Small surface pits are the principal wokings here. Exploration activity in the general area took place as recently as 1994 (Swainbank and others, 1995).

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS A015733
USGS Alaska Resource Data File ARDF TE103

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

    Sainsbury, C.L., 1972, Geologic map of the Teller quadrangle, Seward Peninsula, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Map I-685, 4 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., and Sainsbury, C.L., 1972, Metallic mineral resource map of the Teller quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-426, 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    Weiss, P.L., 1973, Graphite: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 820, p. 277-283.

  • Deposit

    Hudson, T.L., and Plafker, George, 1978, Kigluaik and Bendeleben faults, Seward Peninsula: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 772-B, p. B47-B50.

  • Deposit

    Hudson, T.L., 1981, Preliminary notes on the Kigluaik graphite deposits, Seward Peninsula, Alaska: Anchorage, Alaska, Anaconda Minerals Company internal memorandum (Report held by Cook Inlet Region, Inc., Anchorage, Alaska).

  • Deposit

    Wolgemuth, L.G., 1982, Graphite flake samples [from Kigluaik graphite deposits]: Denver, Colorado, Anaconda Minerals Company internal memorandum.

  • 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

    Harrington, G.L., 1919, Graphite mining in Seward Peninsula: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 692-G, p. 363-367.

  • Deposit

    Mertie, J.B., Jr., 1918, Lode mining and prospecting on Seward Peninsula: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 662-H, p. 425-449.

  • Deposit

    Coats, R.R., 1944, Graphite deposits on the north side of the Kigluaik Mountains, Seward Peninsula, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 10, 8 p.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., 1975, Summary of references to mineral occurrences (other than mineral fuels and construction materials) in the Teller quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 75-587, 130 p.

Comments on the references

  • Primary Reference = Harrington, 1919; Coats, 1944

General comments

Subject category Comment text
Deposit Model Name = Flake graphite in disseminations and tabular lenses within amphibolite facies metasedimentary rocks

Reporter information

Type Date Name Affiliation Comment
Reporter 10-MAY-1998 Travis L. Hudson Applied Geology