Alaska Garnet

Producer in Alaska, United States with commodity Garnet

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10308683
Record type Site
Current site name Alaska Garnet
Alternate or previous names Wrangell Garnet

Geographic coordinates

Geographic coordinates: -132.36285, 56.57375 (WGS84)
Relative position A famous Alaska mineral locality known since the early 1900's that has long been mined for garnet specimens. Mine site is at an elevation of from about 50 to 200 feet and about 1000 feet from the shoreline in the north-central portion of section 19, T 61 S, R 83 E.; it can be reached by a well marked trail along Garnet Creek from a landing on the Stikine River. Currently (1998) the property is owned by the Boy Scouts in Wrangell and permission to enter it should be obtained from them. Location of mine is known to within 100 m.
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Geographic areas

Country State
United States Alaska

Commodities

Commodity Importance
Garnet Primary

Materials information

Materials Type of material
Garnet Ore

Nearby scientific data

(1) -132.36285, 56.57375

Comments on the geologic information

  • Geologic Description = The country rocks in the area of this deposit are Cretaceous pelitic schist and hornfels intruded by Eocene tonalite and granodiorite (Brew and others, 1984). The deposit consists of dark red, euhedral to subhedral almandine garnet crystals up to 3 cm in diameter disseminated in several layers of quartz-biotite schist up to 10 or more feet thick.
  • Age = Almandine garnet formed during Cretaceous metamorphism.

Economic information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Development status Producer
Commodity type Non-metallic

Comments on exploration

  • Status = Active

Mining district

District name Petersburg

Comments on the production information

  • Production Notes = This site is a classic Alaska mineral locality that is known worldwide. The garnet is unsuitable for faceting as a gemstone, but it has been mined on a modest scale for decades for mineralogical specimens and will probably continue to be indefinitely. Wrangell garnets are a staple of tourist and rock shops throughout Alaska and have been widely exported as well. The garnet has been considered for use as an industrial abrasive and there may have been some minor production or at least test shipments as an abrasive and for foundry powder prior to WW II. The deposit's relatively low grade, limited extent, and lack of a nearby market, however, suggest that production of this garnet as a high-volume industrial mineral is unlikely in the foreseeable future.

Comments on the reserve resource information

  • Reserves = Large as a source of mineralogical specimens. Bressler (1950) indicates the resources as abrasive to be about 11,900 tons of garnet in about 238,340 tons (1,125,000 cubic yards) of rock .

Comments on the workings information

  • Workings / Exploration = Currently (1998) being mined from small surface pits as it has been for decades.

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
USGS Alaska Resource Data File ARDF PE036

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

    Wright, F.E., and Wright, C.W., 1908, The Ketchikan and Wrangell mining districts, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 347, 210 p.

  • Deposit

    Brooks, A.H., 1913, Mineral resources of Alaska, report on progress of investigations in 1912: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 542, 308 p.

  • Deposit

    Bressler, C.T., 1950, Garnet deposits near Wrangell, southeastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 963-C, p. 81-93.

  • Deposit

    Brew, D. A., Ovenshine, A. T., Karl, S. M., and Hunt, S. J., 1984, Preliminary reconnaissance geologic map of the Petersburg and parts of the Port Alexander and Sumdum 1:250,000 quadrangles, southeastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 84-405, 43 p., 2 sheets, scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    Grybeck, D.J., Berg, H.C., and Karl, S.M., 1984, Map and description of the mineral deposits in the Petersburg and eastern Port Alexander quadrangles: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 84-837, 86 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., 1978, Summary of references to mineral occurrences (other than mineral fuels and construction materials) in the Petersburg quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 78-870, 53 p.

  • Deposit

    Brooks, A.H., 1911, The mining industry in 1910, in Brooks, A.K., and others, Mineral resources of Alaska, report on progress of investigations in 1910: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 480-B p. 21-43.

Comments on the references

  • Primary Reference = Bressler, 1950

General comments

Subject category Comment text
Deposit Model Name = Metamorphic garnet

Reporter information

Type Date Name Affiliation Comment
Reporter 01-NOV-1998 H.C. Berg and D.J. Grybeck U.S. Geological Survey