Tolovana

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

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10308904
MRDS ID A015430
Record type Site
Current site name Tolovana
Related records 10002937

Geographic coordinates

Geographic coordinates: -147.45196, 65.06268 (WGS84)
Relative position Cobb (1972, MF-413), loc. 38; NW1/4NE1/4 sec. 25, T. 3 N., R. 1 E., of the Fairbanks Meridian. The Tolovana mine is about 25 feet above Willow Creek at an elevation of 1,300 feet. It is approximately 1/8 of a mile upstream from the confluence of Willow Creek and Cleary Creek.
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Geographic areas

Country State
United States Alaska

Commodities

Commodity Importance
Gold Primary
Silver Secondary
Antimony Secondary
Tungsten Secondary

Materials information

Materials Type of material
Arsenopyrite Ore
Gold Ore
Pyrite Ore
Scheelite Ore
Stibnite Ore

Alteration

  • Pods and disseminations of jamesonite occur in an amorphous, green vuggy matrix in the walls surrounding the gouge zone (LeLacheur, 1991). Quartz, sericite, ankerite and carbon alteration also present.

Nearby scientific data

(1) -147.45196, 65.06268

Comments on the geologic information

  • Geologic Description = The Tolovana Mine is an old property that was first discovered before 1910. It operated intermittently until at least 1949, and was the site of considerable work in the 1980's. Three different metamorphic rock types are visible at the Tolovana prospect (LeLacheur, 1991). The dominant rock unit is a micaceous quartzite. A layer of crenulated biotite-schist and a thin layer of amphibole-biotite schist are enclosed between the quartzite layers. Strongly altered plutonic rock is exposed in several trenches at the south end of the property (LeLacheur, 1991). The dominant process of ore deposition seems to have been replacement of the country rock and fault products by quartz, sericite and sulfides, rather than vein quartz deposition (LeLacheur, 1991, p. 50). Mineralization occurs within fault gouge zones cutting through micaceous quartzite. Initial development began on a series of 1- to 3-inch quartz veinlets which trend N 75 E. These stringers contained visible gold and in one case a barren quartz-albite stringer was found suggesting an igneous affinity (Prindle, 1910). Ore in the Tolovana mine varies from ribbon texture quartz stringers to massive quartz zones which vary from a few inches to 3 feet in width. The mineralization had been traced for over 1,500 feet along strike. The Tolovana shear zone strikes east-west and dips 60 S (Smith, 1913; B 525). The 1- to 3-inch quartz stringers are separated by calcareous schist containing disseminated pyrite. The gold-bearing quartz stringers contain euhedral stibnite but do not normally contain pyrite (Smith, 1913; B 525). The gold fineness analyses, conducted through 1912, varied from 792 to 824 fine, with the highest silver content being 180 parts per thousand from the sample with a gold fineness of 792 (Smith, 1913; B 525). Several phases of quartz introduction were noted at the Tolovana prospect with gold being most common in a glassy variety which post-dates the more abundant milky white quartz (Smith, 1913; B 525). A new shear zone was discovered on the Tolovana mine prospect in mid-1913 (Chapin, 1914). The occurrence is 100 feet south of the portal of the adit; it strikes east-west and dips 50 S. The shear is 18 inches to 36 inches wide and consists of massive white quartz with gouge on each contact. This shear is parallel to the shear exposed in the Tolovana adit. Shaft sinking was in progress in 1913. This shaft, referred to here as the South shaft, was later connected to the Tolovana adit by a cross-cut. The western extension of the Tolovana shear was discovered in 1930 and was developed by the 160-foot Parenteau adit. The Tolovana shear strikes N 30-65 E and dips 30-60 SE. The mineralization is in 1- to 12-inch wide stringer zones similar to that mined from the Tolovana adit. The ore contained gold associated with arsenopyrite, stibnite, pyrite, galena and tetrahedrite (Stewart, 1933; Pilgrim, 1933). The prospect was sampled by Fairbanks Exploration
  • Geologic Description = Inc. in 1986 (Fairbanks Exploration Inc., unpublished report, 1986). Backhoe and dozer trenches on the Tolovana prospect exposed a large section of metarhyolite tuff, exhalite and volcaniclastic metaquartzite of the upper Cleary Sequence. These rocks contain disseminated and shear-zone-controlled arsenopyrite, pyrite, stibnite and native gold. The structures which hosted the high grade gold-quartz shear zones in the old Tolovana mine trend predominantly N 60-80 E and dip steeply southeast; they transect the flat-lying, northeast-trending Cleary Sequence. Samples collected in the Upper Pit area were chip samples across exposures of sulfide-bearing metarhyolite tuff units cut by numerous 1-6 inch thick white quartz veins. Gold values from these samples were 520 to 3600 ppb. Samples from high-grade dump material at the small mill set up near the old Tolovana shaft ranged from 0.27 to 0.52 ounces of gold per ton. The samples consisted of white, massive, quartz vein material with 1-3% arsenopyrite and minor stibnite. Country rock welded to the shear zone selvages was metarhyolite similar to that seen in the upper pit area. As a check on the efficiency of the old gravity milling circuit used in the Tolovana mill, a sample was collected from the tailings pond below the mill. This sample consisted of coarse sand-size material (20-30 mesh); it contained mainly quartz, arsenopyrite, pyrite and stibnite. The sample assayed 0.458 ounces of gold per ton, suggesting that the mill did a poor job of recovery of the fine gold in the ore (Fairbanks Exploration Inc., unpublished report, 1986). In 1988 and 1989, Yukon Tanana Mining conducted extensive surface trenching on the Tolovana and adjoining Chechako prospects and outlined an estimated 150,000 ounces of gold that could be mined from the surface pit (R. Blakestad, oral commun., 1991).

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 Fairbanks

Comments on the production information

  • Production Notes = Ore was shipped from the prospect as early as 1909 (Times Publshing Company, 1912). Production through 1912 averaged $20 to $105 per ton (1 to 5 ounces per ton gold) (Smith, 1913; B 525). In 1923, 8 to 10 tons of ore were milled on site, averaging $16 gold per ton (0.8 ounces of gold per ton) (Stewart, 1923). A small amount of ore was milled in 1924 and in 1931(Stewart, 1923; Pilgrim, 1932; Smith, 1933, B 844). Antimony and gold were mined in 1949 (Saarela, 1950).

Comments on the reserve resource information

  • Reserves = In 1988 and 1989 Yukon Tanana Mining conducted extensive surface trenching on the Tolovana and adjoining Chechako prospects and outlined a reserve of about 150,000 ounces of gold that could be mined from a surface pit (R. Blakestad, oral commun., 1991).

Comments on the workings information

  • Workings / Exploration = By 1910, an 85 foot adit had been driven. In July, 1911 a Huntington disc mill was installed and began operation on the prospect. The mill ran continuously through mid-November when lack of water forced it to close. The mill began operating again in March, 1912 after a well and pump had been installed on Willow Creek (Times Publishing Company, 1912). In July, 1912 a two stamp Nissen mill was erected and began crushing ore on August 23, 1912. In 1912, the mine consisted of a 400 foot adit from which several short drifts were driven; small stopes were also developed (Smith, 1913; B 525). The adit extends along the main shear zone for 130 feet where it intersects a vertical fault. The workings turn north for 30 feet and then turn east again along the offset extension of the shear zone. Approximately 100 feet from the portal of the adit, a winze was sunk to a depth of 50 feet and drifts driven to the east and west. A second winze inclined at 60 degrees south was driven from the east end of the drift but was flooded in 1912. A second winze, located 330 feet from the portal, was sunk from the adit level to a depth of 100 feet (Loftus, 1927). A shaft near the adit portal had been sunk to a depth of 100 feet and a drift driven on the 50-foot level connects with the winze in the adit. Due to flooding of the shaft near the Tolovana adit in late 1912, work was shifted to the Willow Creek-Bedrock Creek divide where a 55 foot shaft, referred to here as the Scheuyemere #1 shaft, was sunk on a 12- to 14-inch-thick shear zone (Times Publishing Company, 1912). This shaft is sometimes referred to as the Tolovana Stibnite prospect (Chapin, 1914). By 1913, the shaft and the winze had been connected by a drift on the 100-foot level and the ore between the adit and the 100 foot level was mined (Chapin, 1914). Additional stoping took place above the adit level. The Scheuyemere #1 shaft had been sunk to a depth of 100 feet by 1913 and drifting had been conducted for 50 feet to the east and 30 feet to the west on the 50-foot level (Chapin, 1914). A raise located 24 feet west of the shaft connected with the surface and the block of ground between the shaft and the raise had been stoped from the 50 foot level to the surface. In 1913, a new shear zone was discovered and shaft sinking was in progress (Chapin, 1914). This shaft, referred to here as the South shaft, would be connected to the Tolovana adit by a cross-cut drift. In 1922, the Tolovana adit was 530 feet long. A drift had also been driven from the 50 foot level of the winze for 30 feet to the east where it intersected a fault which offsets the shear zone 30 feet to the north (Stewart, 1922; Davis, 1922). In the South shaft, drifting at the 50-foot level went out 15 feet to the west and 20 feet to the east along the shear zone. A total of 150 feet of new drifting was completed on the Tolovana prospect in 1923 and 8 to 10 tons of ore milled on site (Stewart, 1923). The Tolovana mine remained inactive until 1930 when exploration was renewed (Smith, 1933; B 836). The western extension of the Tolovana shear, on the west side of Willow Creek, was discovered in 1930 and was referred to as the Parenteau adit (Stewart, 1931). This adit had been driven 160 feet to the west and 50 tons of ore had been treated in the mill in 1930. The Parenteau adit had caved about 75 feet from the portal when visited in 1931 (Hill, 1933). Antimony and gold were mined from the prospect in 1949 (Saarela, 1950). In August 1984, dozer and backhoe exploration of the prospect was conducted. A small gravity mill was constructed on the prospect near the old portal of the Tolovana adit and several large open cuts were excavated in the vicinity of the Scheuyemere #1 shaft (Freeman, 1992). Surface samples of the Upper pit area and the dump were also collected in 1986 (Fairbanks Exploration Inc., unpublished report, 1986).

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
USGS Alaska Resource Data File ARDF LG110
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS A015430
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS D002659

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

    Times Publishing Company, 1912, Tanana Magazine, Quartz Edition: Fairbanks, Alaska 76 p.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1913, Lode mining near Fairbanks, in Prindle, L.M., A geologic reconnaissance of the Fairbanks quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 525, p. 153-216.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1913, Lode mining near Fairbanks: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 542-F, p. 137-202.

  • Deposit

    Brooks, A.H., 1916, Antimony deposits of Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 649, 67 p.

  • Deposit

    Davis, J.A., 1922, Lode mining in the Fairbanks District, Alaska: Alaska Territorial Department of Mines Miscellaneous Report 58-1, 80 p.

  • Deposit

    Stewart, B.D., 1922, Annual report of the Mine Inspector to the Governor of Alaska: U.S. Bureau of Mines, p. 102.

  • Deposit

    Stewart, B.D., 1923, Annual report of the Mine Inspector to the Governor of Alaska: U.S. Bureau of Mines, p. 69.

  • Deposit

    Loftus, T.A., 1927, Gold quartz veins occurring on the north flank of Pedro Dome, Fairbanks District, Alaska: University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Bachelor of Science thesis , 26 p.

  • 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, p. 1-83.

  • Deposit

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

  • Deposit

    Stewart, B.D., 1931, Report on cooperation between Territory of Alaska and the United States in making mining investigations: U.S. Bureau of Mines , p. 94.

  • Deposit

    Stewart, B.D., 1933, Mining investigations and mine inspection in Alaska, Biennium ending March 31, 1933: Alaska Territorial Department of Mines Annual Report 1933B, 196 p.

  • Deposit

    Pilgrim, E.R., 1933, Progress of lode mining in interior Alaska, 1932: Alaska Territorial Department of Mines Miscellaneous Report 194, 11 p.

  • Deposit

    Joesting, H.R., 1942, Strategic mineral occurences in interior Alaska: Alaska Territorial Department of Mines Pamphlet 1, 46 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

    Wedow, Helmuth, Jr., and White, M.G., 1954, Reconnaissance for radioactive deposits in east-central Alaska, 1949: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 335, 22 p.

  • Deposit

    Byers, F.M., Jr., 1957, Tungsten deposits in the Fairbanks district, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1024-I, p. 179-216.

  • Deposit

    Berg, H.C., and Cobb, E.H., 1967, Metalliferous Lode Deposits of Alaska. U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1246, 254 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., 1976, Summary of references to mineral occurrences (other than mineral fuels and construction materials) in the Circle quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 76-633, 72 p.

  • Deposit

    LeLacheur, E.A., 1991, Brittle-fault-hosted gold mineralization in the Fairbanks District, Alaska: University of Alaska, Fairbanks, M.Sc. thesis, 154 p.

  • Deposit

    Freeman, C.J., 1992, 1991 Golden Summit project final report, volume 2: Historical summary of lode mines and prospects in the Golden Summit project area, Alaska: Avalon Development Corp., 159 p. (Report held by Freegold Recovery Inc. USA, Vancouver, British Columbia.)

  • 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.

  • Deposit

    Chapin, Theodore, 1914, Lode mining near Fairbanks, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 592-J, p. 321-355.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., 1972, Metallic mineral resources map of the Livengood quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-413, 2 sheets, scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., 1976, Summary of references to mineral occurrences (other than mineral fuels and construction materials) in the Livengood quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 76-819, 241 p.

  • Deposit

    Moffit, F.H., 1927, Mineral industry in Alaska in 1925: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 792-A, p. 1-39.

  • Deposit

    Prindle, L.M., 1910, Auriferous quartz veins in the Fairbanks district: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 442-F, p. 210-229.

  • Deposit

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

Comments on the references

  • Primary Reference = Freeman, 1992

General comments

Subject category Comment text
Deposit Model Name = Disseminated veins and shear zones containing gold in intrusive rocks and schist.

Reporter information

Type Date Name Affiliation Comment
Reporter 04-MAY-1999 C.J. Freeman, J.R. Guidetti Schaefer Avalon Development Corporation