Cassiterite Creek (Lost River)

Past Producer in Alaska, United States with commodities Tin, Tungsten

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10308410
Record type Site
Current site name Cassiterite Creek (Lost River)

Geographic coordinates

Geographic coordinates: -167.1644, 65.47127 (WGS84)
Relative position Cassiterite Creek is an eastern tributary to Lost River; their confluence is 5 miles upstream from the mouth of Lost River on the Bering Sea. The Lost River Mine (TE048-TE051), the principal lode source of tin in the Lost river area, is located 1 mile upstream from the mouth of Cassiterite Creek. About 2,000 feet of Cassiterite Creek (elevation about 275 feet), at and below Lost River Mine, has been placer mined for tin. This is locality 46 of Cobb and Sainsbury (1972). Cobb (1975) summarized relevant references under the name 'Lost River'.
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Geographic areas

Country State
United States Alaska


Commodity Importance
Tin Primary
Tungsten Primary

Materials information

Materials Type of material
Cassiterite Ore
Wolframite Ore

Mineral occurrence model information

Model code 123
USGS model code 39e
BC deposit profile C01. C02
Deposit model name Alluvial placer Sn

Nearby scientific data

(1) -167.1644, 65.47127

Comments on the geologic information

  • Geologic Description = Bedrock in this drainage and its tributaries are various Ordovician limestone facies locally intruded by felsic and mafic dikes and granite stocks (Sainsbury, 1969). The principal lode sources of tin in the Lost River area (Lost River Mine; TE048, TE049, TE050, and TE051) are located at the head of this placer. A pre-erosion projection of the Lost River Mine exogreisen deposit (the Cassiterite dike, Hudson and Reed, 1997, p. 458), suggests that several thousand tons of tin could have been eroded into Cassiterite Creek and the Lost River drainage. Mulligan (1959, p. 13) states that production data indicate the grade of the mined material in the 2,000 foot-segment of Cassiterite Creek below the Lost River Mine was 3 to 4 pounds of tin per cubic yard. Heide (1946, p. 5) noted that about 20 tons of tin concentrate were produced between 1904 and 1911; production up to 1964 is reported to be 93.4 short tons of tin (Sainsbury, 1964, p. 4; previously reported as production between 1948 and 1951 by Lorain and others, 1958). Placer mining has included working of residual materials over lode deposits and some that took place in the 1960's using dozer and sluice box processed mine waste rock. The elevation of this placer deposit, about 275 feet, is below that of a prominent marine terrace developed on the south side of the York Mountains and well expressed at the mouth of Lost River. Therefore, some reworking of the placer materials by marine processes may have occurred in Cassiterite Creek although evidence of this has not been identified.
  • Age = Quaternary

Economic information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Development status Past Producer

Comments on exploration

  • Status = Inactive

Mining district

District name Port Clarence

Comments on the production information

  • Production Notes = Sainsbury (1964, p. 4) reports that 93.4 short tons have tin have been produced from the Cassiterite Creek placer.

Comments on the reserve resource information

  • Reserves = Not defined

Comments on the workings information

  • Workings / Exploration = Hand mining and dozer/sluice operations have taken place on 2,000 feet of Cassiterite Creek below Lost River Mine. Residual placers on lode deposits at the Lost River Mine have also been worked. The status of exploration of this deposit is not known; a significant amount of tin , potentially eroded from the Lost River Mine exogreisen (Cassiterite dike) lode deposit, seems unaccounted for in the Cassiterite Creek placer.

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
USGS Alaska Resource Data File ARDF TE046

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

    Heide, H.E., 1946, Investigation of the Lost River tin deposit, Seward Peninsula, Alaska: U.S. Bureau of Mines Report of Investigations 3902, 57 p.

  • Deposit

    Lorain, S.H., Wells, R.R., Mihelich, Miro, Mulligan, J.J., Thorne, R.L., and Herdlick, J.A., 1958, Lode-tin mining at Lost River, Seward Peninsula, Alaska: U.S. Bureau of Mines Information Circular 7871, 76 p.

  • Deposit

    Mulligan, J.J., 1959, Sampling stream gravels for tin, near York, Seward Peninsula, Alaska: U.S. Bureau of Mines Report of Investigations 5520, 25 p.

  • Deposit

    Sainsbury, C.L., 1964, Geology of the Lost River mine area, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1129, 80 p.

  • 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

    Hudson, T.L., and Reed, B.L., 1997, Tin deposits of Alaska, in Goldfarb, R.J., and Miller, L.D., eds., Mineral Deposits of Alaska: Economic Geology Monograph 9, p. 450-465.

  • 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 = Mulligan, 1959 (USBM RI 5520).

General comments

Subject category Comment text
Deposit Model Name = Alluvial tin placer (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39e)

Reporter information

Type Date Name Affiliation Comment
Reporter 10-MAY-98 Travis L. Hudson Applied Geology