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Cassiterite Creek Mine (Lost River), Port Clarence District, Nome Borough, Alaska, USA

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Location: Cassiterite Creek is an eastern tributary to Lost River; their confluence is 5 miles upstream from the mouth of Lost River on the Bering Sea. The Lost River Mine (TE048-TE051), the principal lode source of tin in the Lost river area, is located 1 mile upstream from the mouth of Cassiterite Creek. About 2,000 feet of Cassiterite Creek (elevation about 275 feet), at and below Lost River Mine, has been placer mined for tin. This is locality 46 of Cobb and Sainsbury (1972). Cobb (1975) summarized relevant references under the name 'Lost River'.
Geology: Bedrock in this drainage and its tributaries are various Ordovician limestone facies locally intruded by felsic and mafic dikes and granite stocks (Sainsbury, 1969). The principal lode sources of tin in the Lost River area (Lost River Mine; TE048, TE049, TE050, and TE051) are located at the head of this placer. A pre-erosion projection of the Lost River Mine exogreisen deposit (the Cassiterite dike, Hudson and Reed, 1997, p. 458), suggests that several thousand tons of tin could have been eroded into Cassiterite Creek and the Lost River drainage. Mulligan (1959, p. 13) states that production data indicate the grade of the mined material in the 2,000 foot-segment of Cassiterite Creek below the Lost River Mine was 3 to 4 pounds of tin per cubic yard. Heide (1946, p. 5) noted that about 20 tons of tin concentrate were produced between 1904 and 1911; production up to 1964 is reported to be 93.4 short tons of tin (Sainsbury, 1964, p. 4; previously reported as production between 1948 and 1951 by Lorain and others, 1958). Placer mining has included working of residual materials over lode deposits and some that took place in the 1960's using dozer and sluice box processed mine waste rock. The elevation of this placer deposit, about 275 feet, is below that of a prominent marine terrace developed on the south side of the York Mountains and well expressed at the mouth of Lost River. Therefore, some reworking of the placer materials by marine processes may have occurred in Cassiterite Creek although evidence of this has not been identified.
Workings: Hand mining and dozer/sluice operations have taken place on 2,000 feet of Cassiterite Creek below Lost River Mine. Residual placers on lode deposits at the Lost River Mine have also been worked. The status of exploration of this deposit is not known; a significant amount of tin, potentially eroded from the Lost River Mine exogreisen (Cassiterite dike) lode deposit, seems unaccounted for in the Cassiterite Creek placer.
Age: Quaternary
Production: Sainsbury (1964, p. 4) reports that 93.4 short tons have tin have been produced from the Cassiterite Creek placer.
Reserves: Not defined

Commodities (Major) - Sn, W
Development Status: Yes
Deposit Model: Alluvial tin placer (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39e)

Mineral List

2 entries listed. 1 valid mineral.

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Cobb, E.H., 1975, Summary of references to mineral occurrences (other than mineral fuels and construction materials) in the Teller quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 75-587, 130 p. Cobb, E.H., and Sainsbury, C.L., 1972, Metallic mineral resources map of the Teller quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-426, 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000. Heide, H.E., 1946, Investigation of the Lost River tin deposit, Seward Peninsula, Alaska: U.S. Bureau of Mines Report of Investigations 3902, 57 p. Hudson, T.L., and Reed, B.L., 1997, Tin deposits of Alaska, in Goldfarb, R.J., and Miller, L.D., eds., Mineral Deposits of Alaska: Economic Geology Monograph 9, p. 450-465. Lorain, S.H., Wells, R.R., Mihelich, Miro, Mulligan, J.J., Thorne, R.L., and Herdlick, J.A., 1958, Lode-tin mining at Lost River, Seward Peninsula, Alaska: U.S. Bureau of Mines Information Circular 7871, 76 p. Mulligan, J.J., 1959, Sampling stream gravels for tin, near York, Seward Peninsula, Alaska: U.S. Bureau of Mines Report of Investigations 5520, 25 p. Sainsbury, C.L., 1964, Geology of the Lost River mine area, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1129, 80 p.

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