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Wrangell-Petersburg Borough, Alaska, USA

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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.

Geology: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.

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.

Mineral List

Mineral list contains entries from the region specified including sub-localities


53 entries listed. 39 valid minerals.

Localities in this Region

USA
USA

The above list contains all mineral locality references listed on mindat.org. This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in mindat.org without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.

References

Bressler, 1950

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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