Big Hurrah

Producer in Alaska, United States with commodities Gold, Silver, Copper, Tungsten, Zinc

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10309012
MRDS ID A012593
Record type Site
Current site name Big Hurrah
Related records 10233038, 10001791

Geographic coordinates

Geographic coordinates: -164.23827, 64.64731 (WGS84)
Relative position The Big Hurrah mine is located on the south side of Big Hurrah Creek (SO022) and the east side of Little Hurrah Creek at an elevation of about 275 feet. It is about 1/4 mile southeast of the confluence of Little and Big Hurrah Creeks. It is locality 17 of Cobb (1972, MF 445; 1978, OF 78-181).
(click for info)

Geographic areas

Country State
United States Alaska


Commodity Importance
Gold Primary
Silver Secondary
Copper Secondary
Tungsten Secondary
Zinc Secondary

Comments on the commodity information

  • Gangue = carbonate

Materials information

Materials Type of material
Arsenopyrite Ore
Chalcopyrite Ore
Electrum Ore
Gold Ore
Pyrite Ore
Scheelite Ore
Sphalerite Ore
Albite Gangue
Quartz Gangue
Sericite Gangue


  • Silicification, carbonatization, and development of quartz-carbonate stockworks.

Mineral occurrence model information

Model code 273
USGS model code 36a
Deposit model name Low-sulfide Au-quartz vein
Mark3 model number 27

Nearby scientific data

(1) -164.23827, 64.64731

Comments on the geologic information

  • Geologic Description = The Big Hurrah mine is the only productive lode gold mine on Seward Peninsula. Gold-quartz veins in slaty graphitic schist produced about 27,000 ounces of gold (Read and Meinert, 1986) primarily between 1903 and 1907, when a 20-stamp mill was in operation (Smith, 1908). The ore that was mined averaged a little less than 1 ounce gold per ton (Cobb, 1978, OF 78-181); six samples collected underground in 1952 from the 70 foot level contained 0.08 to 5.2 ounces Au per ton and 0.5 to 17.2 ounces Ag per ton (Asher, 1969, DGGS R33). The mill tailings were cyanided and there were attempts to restart underground mining in the 1950's. A fire and unstable ground prevented further underground work and all workings are now flooded. However, considerable core drilling and surface trenching has taken place in more recent years, primarily in the 1980s. Read and Meinert (1986) describe five types of veins: 1) quartz +/- carbonate lenses, 2 to 7 cm thick, locally contain minor sphalerite, chlorite and arsenopyrite; 2) quartz, carbonate, pyrite, sphalerite and chalcopyrite form tabular veins 2 to 5 mm thick; 3) ribbon quartz veins up to 4 m wide (average 0.5 m wide) occupy NW-trending faults and contain more than 90 % quartz, dolomite, albite, sericite, scheelite, arsenopyrite, pyrite and native gold; the total sulfide content is less than 2 to 3 percent and scheelite is less than 1%; 4) quartz-albite +/- arsenopyrite veins 5 to 25 cm wide contain up to 25% albite, up to 20% arsenopyrite and minor gold; thought to be syngenetic; 5) post-mineralization carbonate-quartz veinlets 2 to 3 mm thick that cut all other vein types. Coats (1944) estiimated that the scheelite content of gold ore that remained in the bins was 0.25 percent by volume. Some veins are up to several hundred feet long; the larger veins strike northwest and dip southwest (Asher, 1969, DGGS R33). Fluid inclusion data from these veins indicate multiple generations of fluids; early veins contain CO2-CH4 and later veins are rich in H2O-NaCl. Homogenization temeratures vary from 390 to 90 degrees C. The available data suggest the gold-bearing fluids were produced by regional metamorphic processes. The country rock is part of a lower Paleozoic metasedimentary assemblage (Sainsbury and others, 1972; Till and others, 1986) that includes a distinctive black, very fine-grained, graphitic schist that early workers called the Hurrah Slate in this area. The Big Hurrah veins are probably similar in age to some other gold-quartz veins of southern Seward Peninsula. The other southern Seward Peninsula lode gold deposits formed as a result of mid-Cretaceous metamorphism (Apodoca, 1994; Ford, 1993, Ford and Snee, 1996; Goldfarb and others, 1997) that accompanied regional extension (Miller and Hudson, 1991) and crustal melting (Hudson, 1994). This higher temperature metamorphism was superimposed on high pressure/low temperature metamorphic rocks of the region.
  • Age = Cretaceous

Economic information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Development status Producer
Commodity type Metallic

Comments on exploration

  • Status = Active

Mining district

District name Nome

Comments on the production information

  • Production Notes = The Big Hurrah mine is the only productive lode gold mine on Seward Peninsula. The gold-quartz veins in slaty graphitic schist produced about 27,000 ounces of gold (Read and Meinert, 1986) primarily between 1903 and 1907, when a 20-stamp mill was in operation (Smith, 1908).

Comments on the workings information

  • Workings / Exploration = A 60-degree inclined shaft extended to the 250 feet level; there are about 1,800 feet of lateral workings developed off it on the 70, 150, and 250 foot-levels. In 1954, a 105-foot-long sublevel was driven at 20 feet below the 150-East level (Asher, 1969, DGGS R33). Surface prospecting pits and trenches are widespread including many dug in the 1980's.

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
USGS Alaska Resource Data File ARDF SO023
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS A010654
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS A012593
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS D002598

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1910, Geology and mineral resources of the Solomon and Casadepaga quadrangles, Seward Peninsula, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 433, 234 p.

  • Deposit

    Asher, R.R., 1969, Geologic and geochemical study, Solomon C-5 quadrangle, Seward Peninsula, Alaska: Alaska Division of Mines and Geology Geologic Report 33, 64 p.

  • Deposit

    Sainsbury, C.L., Hudson, T.L., Ewing, R., and Marsh, W.R., 1972, Reconnaissance geologic maps of the Solomon D-5 and C-5 quadrangles, Seward Peninsula, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 511, 12 p., 2 sheets, scale 1:63,360.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., 1972, Metallic resources map of the Solomon quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-445, scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., 1978, Summary of references to mineral occurrences (other than mineral fuels and construction materials) in the Solomon quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 78-181, 185 p.

  • Deposit

    Till, A.B., Dumoulin, J.A., Gamble, B. ., Kaufman, D.S., and Carroll, P.I., 1986, Preliminary geologic map and fossil data, Soloman, Bendeleben, and southern Kotzebue quadrangles, Seward Peninsula, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 86-276, 10 p., 3 plates, scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    Read, J.J., and Meinert, L.D., 1986, Gold-bearing quartz vein mineralization at the Big Hurrah mine, Seward Peninsula, Alaska: Economic Geology, v. 81, p. 1760-1774.

  • Deposit

    Miller, E.L., and Hudson, T.L., 1991, Mid-Cretaceous extensional fragmentation of a Jurassic-Early Cretaceous compressional orogen, Alaska: Tectonics, v. 10, p. 781-796.

  • Deposit

    Apodoca, L. E., 1994, Genesis of lode gold deposits of the Rock Creek area, Nome mining district, Seward Peninsula, Alaska: Boulder, Colorado, University of Colorado, Ph.D. dissertation, 208 p.

  • Deposit

    Hudson, T.L. 1994, Crustal melting events in Alaska, in Plafker, G., and Berg, H. C., eds., The Geology of Alaska: Boulder, Colorado, Geological Society of America, The Geology of North America, v. G-1, p. 657-670.

  • Deposit

    Ford, R.C., and Snee, L.W., 1996, 40Ar/39Ar thermochronology of white mica from the Nome district, Alaska: The first ages of lode sources to placer gold deposits in the Seward Peninsula: Economic Geology, v. 91, p. 213-220.

  • Deposit

    Goldfarb, R.J., Miller, L.D., Leach, D.L., and Snee, L.W, 1997, Gold deposits in metamorphic rocks in Alaska, in Goldfarb, R.J., and Miller, L.D., eds., Mineral deposits of Alaska: Economic Geology Monograph 9, 482 p.

  • Deposit

    Coats, R.R., 1944, Occurrences of scheelite in the Solomon district, Seward Peninsula, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 4, 4 p.

  • Deposit

    Ford, R.C., 1993, Geology, geochemistry, and age of gold lodes at Bluff and Mt. Distin, Seward Peninsula, Alaska: Golden, Colorado School of Mines, Ph.D. dissertation, 302 p.

Comments on the references

  • Primary Reference = Read and Meinert, 1986

General comments

Subject category Comment text
Deposit Model Name = Gold-quartz vein in metamorphic rocks; low sulfide-Au quartz vein (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 36a).

Reporter information

Type Date Name Affiliation Comment
Reporter 19-AUG-1999 Travis L. Hudson Applied Geology