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Lucky Shot; Willow Creek Mines Inc. Mine, Willow Creek District, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska, USA

Latitude: 61°46'44"N
Longitude: 149°24'28"W
Location: The portal of the Lucky Shot mine is on the northwest valley wall of Craigie Creek, 1.8 miles northeast of the junction of Craigie Creek and Willow Creek. The mine is marked by symbol labeled 'Lucky Shot Mine' on the Anchorage D-7 1:63,360-scale topographic map. The underground workings extend for a considerable distance northwest from the portal. The adjacent War Baby mine (AN003) and the Lucky Shot mine were long ago consolidated into a single property which now is commonly referred to as the Lucky Shot.
Geology: Quartz veins cut quartz diorite of the Late Cretaceous Willow Creek Pluton, which is jointed and sheeted near the surface but less so underground. The pluton is zoned; the outer part consists of hornblende quartz diorite and lesser hornblende tonalite; the core consists of hornblende-biotite granodiorite, and lesser hornblende-biotite quartz monzodiorite and biotite quartz monzonite. According to Ray (1933), auriferous quartz veins are in a block about 1,200 ft wide between two major northeastward-dipping transverse faults. Quartz veins are generally 2 to 4 ft wide; they strike about N 80 E, and dip about 40 N . The veins appear to belong to a single system that is displaced by major cross faults. In places the vein system branches in the hanging wall; the footwall is marked by slickensides separating lode from fresh, unaltered country rock . The vein system is cut off to the east by a fault which is estimated to have offset the veins by 600 to 700 feet where they reappear in the workings of the adjacent War Baby mine (AN003). The veins contain two generations of quartz, the earlier generation is crumpled and recemented by the later generation. Some quartz is deposited in fissures and some in open spaces; thick quartz lenses that appear sporadically are probably caused by repeated movement along fissures. The gold mineralization occurs in well-defined ore shoots associated with pyrite, arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite, sphalerite, tetrahedrite, galena, and tellurides (Ray, 1933). Wallrock alteration seldom extends more than 10 to 12 inches beyond the veins. quartz filling. Sericitization and carbonate alteration predominate, but there is some pyritization and chloritization occurs in the outer parts of the alteration zone (Ray, 1954). In 2005, Full Metal Minerals (2008, Lucky Shot; 2008, Drilling) discovered a high grade extension of the Lucky Shot shear zone and by the end of 2007, they had drilled 146 holes averaging 350 to 450 meters in length. Most were in the Coleman Block but they also discovered a northern extension of the mineralization called the Murphy Block. (Full Metal, 2008, Lucky Shot). Some notable intercepts in the 2007 drilling were 54.6 grams of gold per ton across 0.98 meters in the Murphy block, 17.3 grams of gold per ton across 1.0 meters in the Coleman block, 71.6 grams of gold per ton across 0.5 meters in the Coleman block, 21.3 grams of gold per ton across 0.5 meters in the Coleman block, and 77.2 grams of gold per ton across 0.2 meters in the Lucky Shot zone. From the 2007 drilling, Full Metal has defined a a mineralized area over 2,400 meters along strike and 700 meters down dip. In early 2008, planning was underway to determine whether to proceed with more drilling, drilling and underground work, or development. Full Metal indicates that the total production from the Lucky Shot and War Baby mines may have been over 620,000 ounces of gold at an average grade of 1.0 ounce per ton but those figures have not been verified.
Workings: Staked in 1918 or earlier. Taken under option by Willow Creek Mines in 1918. Development commenced in 1918 with open pits and a short tunnel. Considered to be one of the major gold producers of the district from 1923 to 1942, except for 1923 and 1928 when fires damaged the surface plant. Development included several open cuts and probably about a mile of underground drifting plus numerous stopes that averaged about 4 to 6 feet wide. Surface improvements consisted of a mill and power plant, assay shop, bunk houses to hold 100 men, and machine and blacksmith shops. The mill capacity in 1931 was 35 tons per day. The old tailings were cyanided starting around 1936 (Smith, 1938). Only the main crosscuts were accessible in 1950. In 2005, Full Metal Minerals (2008, Lucky Shot; 2008, Drilling) discovered a high grade extension of the Lucky Shot shear zone and by the end of 2007, they had drilled 146 holes averaging 350 to 450 meters in length, on the property, In early 2008, planning work was underway to determine whether to proceed with more drilling, drilling and underground work, or development.
Age: Late Cretaceous or younger; veins cut the Late Cretaceous Willow Creek Pluton.
Alteration: Chalcopyrite, sphalerite, tetrahedrite, galena, and tellurides (Ray, 1933). Wallrock alteration seldom extends more than 10 to 12 inches beyond the veins. quartz filling. Sericitization and carbonate alteration predominate, but there is some pyritization and chloritization occurs in the outer parts of the alteration zone (Ray, 1954).
Production: Production records were combined for the Lucky Shot and the adjacent War Baby mine (AN003). Both mines were simultaneously operated by Willow Creek Mines. Stoll (1997) estimated the total amount of gold recovered from the Lucky Shot - War Baby vein on the northwest wall of Craigie Creek valley to be 252,000 ounces. Full Metal Minerals (2008, Lucky Shot) indicates that the total production from the Lucky Shot and War Baby mines may be over 620,000 ounces of gold at an average grade of 1.0 ounce but those figures have not been verified.

Commodities (Major) - Au, Cu; (Minor) - Pb, Te, Zn
Development Status: Yes; medium
Deposit Model: Low-sulfide Au-quartz veins (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 36a)

Mineral List

Arsenopyrite
Chalcopyrite
Galena
Gold
Pyrite
Quartz
Sphalerite
Tetrahedrite


8 entries listed. 8 valid minerals.

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References

Brooks, A.H., 1923, The Alaska mining industry in 1921: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 739-A, p. 1-50. Brooks, A.H., 1925, Alaska's mineral resources and production, 1923: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 773-A, p. 3-52. Brooks, A.H., and Capps, S.R., 1924, The Alaska mining industry in 1922: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 755-A, p. 1-56. Capps, S.R., 1940, Geology of the Alaska Railroad region: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 907, 201 p. Chapin, Theodore, 1920, Lode developments in the Willow Creek district: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 712-E, p. 169-176. Chapin, Theodore, 1921, Lode developments in the Willow Creek district: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 714-D, p. 201-206. Cobb, E.H., 1972, Metallic mineral resources map of the Anchorage quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-409, 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000. Cobb, E.H., 1979, Summary of references to mineral occurrences (other than mineral fuels and construction materials in the Anchorage quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 79-1095, 184 p. Full Metal Minerals, 2008 (Lucky Shot), Lucky Shot: http://www.fullmetalminerals.com/s/luckyshot.asp [Link Broken? Jul 2012] (as of March 4, 2008). Full Metal Minerals, 2008 (Drilling), 2007 Drilling, Lucky Shot Property: http://www.fullmetalminerals.com/i/common/featurepics/map_for_rob3.jp [Link Broken? Jul 2012] (as of March 4, 2008). MacKevett, E.M., Jr., and Holloway, C.D., 1977, Map showing metalliferous and selected non-metalliferous mineral deposits in the eastern part of southern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 77-169-A, 99 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:1,000,000. Moffit, F.H., 1927, Mineral industry in Alaska in 1925: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 792-A, p. 1-39. Ray, J.C., 1933, The Willow Creek gold-lode district, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 849-C, p. 165-229. Ray, R.G., 1954, Geology and ore deposits of the Willow Creek Mining district, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1004, 86 p. Smith, P.S., 1929, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1926: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 797, p. 1-50. Smith, P.S., 1930, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1927: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 810-A, p. 1-64. Smith, P.S., 1930, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1928: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 813-A, p. 1-72. 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. Smith, P.S., 1933, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1930: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 836-A, p. 1-83. Smith, P.S., 1933, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1931: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 844-A, p. 1-81. Smith, P.S., 1934, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1932: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 857-A, p. 1-91. Smith, P.S., 1934, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1933: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 864-A, p. 1-94. Smith, P.S., 1936, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1934: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 868-A, p. 1-91. Smith, P.S., 1937, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1935: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 880-A, p. 1-95. Smith, P.S., 1938, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1936: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 897-A, p. 1-107. Smith, P.S., 1939, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1937: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 910-A, p. 1-113. Smith, P.S., 1939, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1938: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 917-A, p. 1-113. Smith, P.S., 1941, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1939: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 926-A, p. 1-106. Smith, P.S., 1942, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1940: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 933-A, p. 1-102. Stoll, W.M., 1997, Hunting for gold in Alaska's Talkeetna Mountains 1897-1951--with a background sketch of Alaska's great gold-lode camps: Greensburg, Pennsylvania, Henry Printing, 301 p.

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