Irishman

Producer in Alaska, United States with commodities Gold, Silver, Lead, Antimony, Tungsten

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10307439
Record type Site
Current site name Irishman

Geographic coordinates

Geographic coordinates: -147.96395, 64.88166 (WGS84)
Relative position The Irishman mine is located in the SE1/4 sec. 28, T. 1 N., R. 2 W., Fairbanks Meridian. The Irishman vein system of the Grant mine is located across the Saint Patrick road from the Grant mill. (See FB058.) It is about 2.6 miles east of the top of Ester Dome. The mine is locality 21 of CObb (1972 [MF 410]).
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Geographic areas

Country State
United States Alaska

Commodities

Commodity Importance
Gold Primary
Silver Secondary
Lead Secondary
Antimony Secondary
Tungsten Secondary

Materials information

Materials Type of material
Arsenopyrite Ore
Galena Ore
Gold Ore
Scheelite Ore
Goethite Gangue
Muscovite Gangue

Alteration

  • (Local) Silicification of the vein-fault system.

Host and associated rocks

  • Host or associated Host
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Silurian
    Stratigraphic age (oldest) Proterozoic

Nearby scientific data

(1) -147.96395, 64.88166

Comments on the geologic information

  • Geologic Description = The Irishman deposit is one of two structurally controlled, auriferous vein-fault deposits at the Grant mine; these deposits are hosted in polymetamorphic schist and quartzite. The O'Dea is the other vein-fault system and is described under the Grant gold mine (FB058). From December 1980 to June 1981, Bundtzen and Kline (1981), spent 25 days mapping the underground workings at the Grant mine, and the following is a summary of their findings. At the Irishman vein, late-stage, silica injection was accompanied by free gold, arsenopyrite, lead-antimony sulfosalts, and rare scheelite. Ore fluids were emplaced along a fault zone trending sinuously N. 20-40 E. and dipping steeply to the southeast. On the 150-foot and 200-foot levels, the vein dips from 58 to 72 degrees, but flattens out to 15 to 35 degrees in raises above the 100-foot level where it intersects incompetent graphite-muscovite schist. Vein widths vary from 3 to more than 22 inches and average about 13 inches wide on the 100-foot and 150-foot levels. By 1982, underground exploration and development had shown that the Irishman vein was more than 400 feet long and had not yet bottomed out at depth. The southwest end of the system probably continues past the known ore body, but the northeast end is cut by a north-northwest-striking fracture system. The first recorded exploration occurred in 1929, when lode gold mineralization was found at the bottom of an old shaft that was sunk for placer prospecting. The shaft was sunk through muck and gravel to bedrock thatdipped east at a steep angle (Hill, 1933, p. 150). The original shaft was continued in bedrock to a depth of 240 feet, with 280 feet of drifts on the 200-foot and 240-foot levels. The 5- to 6-foot-wide quartz vein was said to strike N. 40 E. and dip 65 E. (Hill, 1933). Before 1931, approximately 500 to 600 tons of ore was milled from this vein. Exploration and development at the mine has been intermittent since the 1920's. Prior to 1950, about 6,000 tons of ore were mined from the Irishman vein (Eakins and others, 1985, p. 16). From 1979 to 1981, Tri-Con Mining, operator for Silverado Gold Mines, Ltd., at the Grant gold mine, engaged in an aggressive exploration and development program on the Irishman, O'Dea, and other gold-bearing shear zones on the Grant property (Eakins and others, 1985, p. 16). Underground workings consisted of 3,600 feet of drifts, crosscuts and raises on and above the 200-foot level of the O'Dea zone (Bundtzen and Kline, 1981). During 1984, a $1.9 million exploration program was completed at the Grant mine (Eakins and others, 1985, p. 16). The drilling program defined an ore body on the O'Dea zone that extends 4,000 feet on strike and is as much as 1,000 feet deep. In 1985, the Grant mine recovered 1,563 ounces of gold and 1,178 ounces of silver from 5,036 tons of ore (Bundtzen and others, 1986, p. 26). During the seven weeks of mine production in 1989, the mill processed 8,000 tons of material that yielded 732 ounces of gold and 138 ounces of silver. From December 1987 to February 1989 when the mine closed, the Grant mine produced a total of 9,454 ounces of gold and 3,658 ounces of silver from 96,555 tons of ore at an average grade of 0.098 ounce of gold per ton (Bundtzen and others, 1990, p. 36-37). The gold ranges from 744 to 776 fine (Glover, 1950).
  • Age = the auriferous quartz veins cut Fairbanks Schist host rocks that are considered to be pre-Devonian and probably Proterozoic in age (Newberry and others, 1996).

Economic information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Development status Producer

Comments on exploration

  • Status = Active

Mining district

District name Fairbanks

Comments on the production information

  • Production Notes = Prior to 1950, about 6,000 tons of ore were mined from the Irishman vein (Eakins and others, 1985, p. 16). In 1985, the Grant mine recovered 1,563 ounces of gold and 1,178 ounces of silver from 5,036 tons of ore (Bundtzen and others, 1986, p. 26). During the seven weeks of mine production in 1989, the mill processed 8,000 tons of ore that yielded 732 ounces of gold and 138 ounces of silver. From December 1987 to February 1989 when the mine closed, the Grant mine produced a total of 9,454 ounces of gold and 3,658 ounces of silver from 96,555 tons of ore, at an average grade of 0.098 ounce of gold per ton (Bundtzen and others, 1990, p. 36-37).

Comments on the workings information

  • Workings / Exploration = The first recorded exploration at this site occurred in 1929, when lode gold mineralization was found at the bottom of an old shaft that was sunk for placer prospecting. The shaft was sunk through muck and gravel to bedrock, which dipped east at a steep angle (Hill, 1933, p. 150). This original shaft was continued in bedrock to a depth of 240 feet, with 280 feet of drifts on the 200-foot and 240-foot levels. Exploration and development at the mine has been intermittent since the 1920's. From 1979 to 1981, Tri-Con Mining, operator for Silverado Gold Mines, Ltd., at the Grant gold mine, engaged in an aggressive exploration and development program on the Irishman, O'Dea and other gold-bearing shear zones on the Grant property (Eakins and others, 1985, p. 16). Principal levels at the Irishman vein were at the 100-foot, 150-foot and 200-foot levels (Bundtzen and Kline, 1981). During 1984, a $1.9 million exploration program was completed at the Grant mine (Eakins and others, 1985, p. 16). Late in 1989, Silverado signed an option agreement with American Copper and Nickel to explore and develop Silverado mining properties on Ester Dome, including the Grant mine (Bundtzen and others, 1990, p. 37). Most of the work in the 1980's and 1990's was done on the O'Dea vein system. (See also the Grant mine, FB058.)

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
USGS Alaska Resource Data File ARDF FB057

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1932, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1929, in Smith, P.S., and others Mineral resources of Alaska, report on progress of investigations in 1929: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 824-A, p. 1-81.

  • Deposit

    Hill, J.M., 1933, Lode deposits of the Fairbanks District, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 849-B, p. 29-163.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1933, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1930: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 836-A, p. 1-83.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S. 1939, Mineral industry in Alaska in 1937: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 910-A, p. 1-113.

  • Deposit

    Glover, A.E., 1950, Placer gold fineness: Alaska Territorial Department of Mines Miscellaneous Report 195-1, 38 p.

  • Deposit

    Killeen, P.L., and Mertie, J.B., 1951, Antimony ore in the Fairbanks District, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 51-46, 43 p.

  • Deposit

    Chapman, R.M., and Foster, R.L., 1969, Lode mines and prospects in the Fairbanks district, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 625-D, 25 p., 1 plate.

  • 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

    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

    Bundtzen, T. K. and Kline, J. T., 1981, Geologic mine map, Grant gold mine: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Open-File Report 141, 2 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:120.

  • Deposit

    Eakins, G.R., Bundtzen, T.K., Lueck, L.L. Green, C.B., Gallagher, J.L., and Robinson, M.S., 1985, Alaska mineral industry, 1984: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Special Report 38, 57p.

  • 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., and Wood, J.E., 1991, Alaska's Mineral Industry 1990: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Special Report 45, 78 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

    Newberry, R.J., Bundtzen, T.K., Clautice, K.C., Combellick, R.A., Douglas, T., Laird, G.M., Liss, S.A., Pinney, D.S., Reifenstuhl, R.R., and Solie, D.N., 1996, Preliminary geologic map of the Fairbanks mining district, Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Public Data File 96-16, 17 p., 2 sheets, scale 1:63,360.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1939, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1937: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 910-A, p. 1-113.

Comments on the references

  • Primary Reference = Bundtzen and Kline, 1981

General comments

Subject category Comment text
Deposit Model Name = Structurally controlled, auriferous vein-fault deposit in polymetamorphic schist and quartzite.

Reporter information

Type Date Name Affiliation Comment
Reporter 31-JUL-01 J.R. Guidetti Schaefer and C.J. Freeman Avalon Development Corporation