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Gold Run Mine, Port Clarence District, Nome Borough, Alaska, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 65° 4' 1'' North , 166° 11' 49'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 65.0669444444, -166.196944444

Location: Gold Run is a major south tributary to the Bluestone River and the location of the most extensive placer mining operations in the Teller A-3 quadrangle. Gold Run Creek and North Fork Bluestone River come together to form the north-flowing Bluestone River at a surface elevation of 190 feet. Sainsbury and others (1969) mapped the location of placer mining operations to include the first half mile of the Bluestone River below the mouth of Gold Run and over 4 miles of the main drainage of Gold Run upstream from its mouth. These operations were at surface elevations between about 190 and 345 feet. This is locality 81 of Cobb and Sainsbury (1972). Cobb (1975) summarized relevant references under the name 'Gold Run'.
Geology: Bedrock in this drainage and its headwater tributaries is dominately a chlorite-bearing schist and amphibolite assemblage (Sainsbury, 1972). The lower 1.25 miles of the stream drains across a metapelitic schist assemblage. Both of these assemblages have local metamorphosed mafic intrusive bodies and both are of unknown but probable Paleozoic age. Sainsbury and others (1969) mapped the location of placer mining operations to include the first half mile of the Bluestone River below the mouth of Gold Run and over 4 miles of the main drainage of Gold Run upstream from its mouth. These operations, which involved extensive dredging, were at surface elevations between about 190 and 345 feet. Mining took place at various times between 1900 and 1946 but much of the dredging was between 1935 and 1940 (Cobb, 1975). Gold is present on benches, old channels, and the present drainage. Some pay, particularly near the mouth of Alder Creek, was very rich containing $50 (1908) per cubic yard (Collier and others, 1908). The pay was in the lower gravels on bedrock and included some bedrock. A yellow clay was present at the base of the pay in some places. The gravels are at least in part coarse and locally include large greenstone boulders. Granitic boulders, exotic to the area, are present in some gravels. Some of the gold is coarse with a nugget as large as 22.25 ounces having been recovered (Smith, 1938). Anderson (1947) reported that scheelite was present in heavy mineral concentrates and Sainsbury and others (1969) reported that cinnabar and platinum-group metals were also present.
Workings: Sainsbury and others (1969) mapped the location of placer mining operations to include the first half mile of the Bluestone River below the mouth of Gold Run and over 4 miles of the main drainage of Gold Run upstream from its mouth. These operations, which involved extensive dredging, were at surface elevations between about 190 and 345 feet along the main drainage. Various open-cut and hydraulicking methods have also been used. A prospect shaft at the pass between Gold Run and McAdam Creek encountered bedrock at 115 feet and some coarse gold.
Age: Quaternary
Production: Yes, considerable from 1900 to at least 1946
Reserves: Not defined; a prospect shaft at the pass between Gold Run and McAdam Creek encountered bedrock at 115 feet and some coarse gold. This is an area mapped as being mantled by moraine by Sainsbury (1972).

Commodities (Major) - Au; (Minor) - Hg, platinum-group metals, W
Development Status: Yes
Deposit Model: Alluvial Au placer (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a)

Mineral List

4 valid minerals.

Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on

443.8 - 485.4 Ma
unclassified; Metamorphic: undivided

Age: Ordovician (443.8 - 485.4 Ma)

Description: Brooks Range, Chukotka, Arctic Shelf, Brooks Range; Seward, western Chukotka

Comments: Orogen, fold-thrust belt, folded region; Wilson & Hults, unpublished compilation, 2007-08

Lithology: Schist, gneiss, migmatite, diatexite, tectonite, mylonite, granulite

Reference: J.C. Harrison, M.R. St-Onge, O.V. Petrov, S.I. Strelnikov, B.G. Lopatin, F.H. Wilson, S. Tella, D. Paul, T. Lynds, S.P. Shokalsky, C.K. Hults, S. Bergman, H.F. Jepsen, and A. Solli. Geological map of the Arctic. doi:10.4095/287868. Geological Survey of Canada Map 2159A. [2]

443.8 - 485.4 Ma
Casadepaga Schist

Age: Ordovician (443.8 - 485.4 Ma)

Description: Light green, silvery green and greenish-brown mafic, feldspathic, and calcareous schist. Typically occurs as frost-riven slabs and flakes that underlie rounded hills and dark greenish-black tors and rubble piles several meters across. Tors of metabasite, abundant plagioclase porphyroblasts in dark-green, chlorite-rich schist, and the quartz-poor nature of the rocks are characteristic of this unit. The most common lithologies are dominated by components of mafic, feldspathic, and calcareous composition that are intermixed and interlayered on a scale of tens of centimeters; the layering may occur in repetitive couplets. Medium- to pale-grayish green weathering pelitic schists are common. Plagioclase, chlorite, white mica, and quartz in subequal amounts dominate these rocks; epidote, carbonate, and glaucophane (or pseudomorphs of chlorite and plagioclase after glaucophane) are typical of many of these schists. Titanite (sphene), rutile, and sulfides are present in minor amounts. Based on major element chemistry, the protoliths of these schists were shales and graywackes (Werdon and others, 2005a). Carbonate-rich schists or layers are typically buff or pale brown weathering and tend to be more recessive in outcrop than other lithologies. Pure carbonate layers are rare and thin but include both pure and impure varieties; they weather pale brown, black, or gray. Dark green weathering schists are rich in chlorite, epidote, actinolite, and plagioclase, and represent metamorphosed mafic material. Dark green weathering chlorite-rich schists spotted with white equant plagioclase grains typically contain few to no calcium-bearing phases. These are probably mafic rocks that were altered or weathered previous to metamorphism. Boudins, lenses and layers of fine- to coarse-grained, massive metabasite comprise the greenish-black tors of the unit. In thin section these rocks are found to be composed of glaucophane, actinolite, chlorite, epidote, garnet, albite, white mica, titanite, and locally quartz, Fe-carbonate, pyroxene, and barroisite. Coarser-grained varieties have textures suggestive of a coarse-grained gabbroic protolith. Mafic schist layers in the surrounding rocks have mineral assemblages similar to the metabasite pods. The metabasites comprise two compositional groups (Werdon and others, 2005a,c). One group has weakly developed arc-like signatures (e.g., slight Nb depletion in spidergrams) reflecting crustal contamination, and another group exhibits features associated with enriched mantle (E-MORB) and alkaline intercontinental rifts (no Nb depletion, small positive Ti anomalies in spidergrams) (Ayuso and Till, 2007). Metabasites from unit DOx fall into the same two compositional groups. The chemical characteristics are thought to indicate a tectonic setting related to the early stages of continental, rift-related magmatism (Ayuso and Till, 2007); crustal contamination during rifting is thought to have produced the weak arc-like signatures. In the western Solomon quadrangle, the contact between Ocs and the overlying impure marble unit (Oim) is exposed. Near the contact, on all sides of a synform cored by Oim, a thin (few meters - tens of meters) layer of black weathering, platey, fine grained and finely laminated quartz-graphite schist occurs. The amount of graphite in the rock is variable, though it is always black-weathering; thin laminae of lenses (mm- to cm-scale) that are more quartz-rich are common. Graphite occurs as fine disseminated material in the quartz-rich matrix, as well as in lozenges several mm across. White mica is disseminated and minor. Semi-quantitative spectrographic analyses of a few samples from this layer show elevated values of Mo, V, Ag, and Zn (B. Gamble, written commun., 1985). Thin layers of mafic schist separate the graphitic layer from the overlying impure marble. No direct evidence for the depositional age of Ocs exists. Seven detrital zircon samples collected from widely distributed parts of the unit contain very similar grain populations. Most grains fall into the range of 600-700 Ma; several samples contain small populations of Ordovician or Cambrian grains (Amato and others, 2003a; Till and others, 2006; 2008a). The depositional age of the unit must be younger than 600 Ma (latter part of the Neoproterozoic), and is likely Ordovician or younger. Werdon and others (2005a) considered the unit to be Cambrian in age, based on an Rb-Sr isochron. The samples included in the isochron are a mix of mafic and pelitic rocks, so their assumption that the samples shared the same initial strontium isotopic composition is likely not correct; the isochron represents a mixing line between mafic and sedimentary protoliths. The Ordovician age assigned here is based on the detrital zircon geochronology and on the occurrence in both this and the impure marble unit (Oim) of both metabasite schist layers and unfoliated metabasite pods. The protoliths of both units apparently contained pyroclastic or redeposited mafic material as well as intrusive mafic rocks. The metabasite layers indicate that production of mafic material was at latest syn-depositional - not simply post-depositional. We postulate that Oim and Ocs were formed in the same basin. Because the impure marble unit yielded Early through Middle Ordovician conodonts, we believe that basin was formed during the Ordovician. The unit is 0.6 to 1.6 km thick and is best exposed in southeastern Solomon D-5 quadrangle, north of the Nome-Council road on the ridge north and northwest of Horton Creek; in the central part of the Solomon D-5 quadrangle at the headwaters of Alma and Venture Creeks; and in east-central Solomon D-6 quadrangle on the ridgeline between Eldorado and Nelson Creeks, including hills 2144 and 2067. The Casadepaga schist was named and first described by Smith (1910). Partially equivalent to the "slate of the York region" of Sainsbury (1974), and "pCqms" of Miller and others (1972); equivalent to "Ocs" of Till and others (1986)

Lithology: Metamorphic

Reference: Wilson, F.H., Hults, C.P., Mull, C.G, and Karl, S.M. (compilers). Geologic map of Alaska. doi: 10.3133/sim3340. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3340, pamphlet 196. [21]

Data and map coding provided by, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License

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Anderson, Eskil, 1947, Mineral occurrences other than gold deposits in northwestern Alaska: Alaska Territorial Division of Mines Pamphlet 5-R, 48 p. 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. Collier, A.J., Hess, F.L., Smith, P.S., and Brooks, A.H., 1908, The gold placers of parts of Seward Peninsula, Alaska, including the Nome, Council, Kougarok, Port Clarence, and Goodhope precincts: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 328, 343 p. Sainsbury, C.L., 1972, Geologic map of the Teller quadrangle, Seward Peninsula, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Map I-685, 4 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000. Sainsbury, C.L., Kachadoorian, Reuben, Hudson, Travis, Smith, T.E., Richards, T.R., and Todd, W.E., 1969, Reconnaissance geologic maps and sample data, Teller A-1, A-2, A-3, B-1, B-2, B-3, C-1, and Bendeleben A-6, B-6, C-6, D-5, and D-6 quadrangles. Seward Peninsula, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 377, 49 p., 12 sheets, scale 1:63,360. Smith, P.S., 1938, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1936: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 897-A, p. 1-107.

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