Golden Fleece Mine, James Lake, Prince of Wales Island, Ketchikan District, Prince of Wales-Outer Ketchikan Borough, Alaska, USA
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Geology: The Golden Fleece Mine was discovered in 1899,. By 1902, a 5-stamp mill was erected at the north end of James Lake, and the mine was developed by considerable underground workings (Brooks, 1902; Wright and Wright, 1908; Bufvers, 1967; Herreid, 1967; Maas and others, 1992, 1995). The mine was active from 1901 to 1905, and produced ore that contained about $40 to $60 in gold per ton (at $20.67 per ounce). Roppel (2005) recounts much of the early history of the mine and the many legal and financial problems that swirled around the actual mining. Bufvers (1967) indicated some mining in 1933 but the production was probably minor. Production records are not available. As mapped by Maas and others (1992, 1995), the underground workings included a lower adit 428 feet long, an upper adit 195 feet long, a raise 222 feet long that connects the two levels, and stopes that extend to the surface. The deposit consists of auriferous quartz veins along two parallel faults that trend north-northwest to north and dip about 20-50E (Brooks, 1902; Wright and Wright, 1908; Maas and others, 1991, 1995). The faults are marked by quartz lenses inches to more than 8 feet thick that pinch and swell along the trend. The faults follow the contact between blue marble and white marble; the marble is silicified and cut by diabase dikes. Several large natural caverns also are along the faults. The quartz contains minor pyrite, chalcopyrite, tetrahedrite, and native gold. Maas and others (1991, 1995) collected 15 samples in the underground workings. Most assayed between 328 and 2,493 parts per billion gold, but several samples across 0.5 to 3 feet of a quartz-rich portion of an old stope contained 0.550 to 1.585 ounces of gold per ton. The rocks in the Dolomi area are part of the Wales Group of Late Proterozoic and Cambrian age (Herreid, 1967). They are folded into a large dome centered over the eastern third of Paul Lake, and consist of several marble layers 200 to 1300 feet thick, interbedded with calcareous chlorite schist and marble.
Workings: As mapped by Maas and others (1991, 1995), the underground workings included a lower adit 428 feet long, an upper adit 195 feet long, a raise 222 feet long, and several stopes that extend to the surface.
Age: The mineralization is younger than the Late Proterozoic or Cambrian host rocks.
Alteration: Silicification of marble.
Production: The mine was most active from 1901 to 1905, and produced ore that contained about $40 to $60 in gold per ton (at $20.67 per ounce). Bufvers (1967) indicated some mining in 1933.
Commodities (Major) - Ag, Au, Cu
Development Status: Yes; small
Deposit Model: Low-sulfide gold-quartz vein (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 36a).
4 entries listed. 4 valid minerals.
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Brooks, A.H., 1902, Preliminary report on the Ketchikan mining district, Alaska, with an introductory sketch of the geology of southeastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1, 120 p. Bufvers, John, 1967, History of mines and prospects, Ketchikan district, prior to 1952: Alaska Division of Mines and Minerals Special Report 1, 32 p. Cobb, E. H., 1978, Summary of references to mineral occurrences (other than mineral fuels and construction materials) in the Craig quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 78-869, 262 p. Herreid, Gordon, 1967, Geology and mineral deposits of the Dolomi area, Prince of Wales Island, Alaska: Alaska Division of Mines and Minerals Geologic Report 27, 17 p. Maas, K.M., Bittenbender, P E., and Still, J.C., 1995, Mineral investigations in the Ketchikan mining district, southeastern Alaska: U.S. Bureau of Mines Open-File Report 11-95, 606 p. Maas, K.M., Still, J. C., and Bittenbender, P. E., 1992, Mineral investigations in the Ketchikan mining district, Alaska, 1991 - Prince of Wales Island and vicinity: U.S. Bureau of Mines Open-File Report 81-92, 69 p. Maas, K.M., Still, J. C., Clough, A. H., and Oliver, L. K., 1991, Mineral investigations in the Ketchikan mining district, Alaska, 1990: Southern Prince of Wales Island and vicinity--Preliminary sample location maps and descriptions: U.S. Bureau of Mines Open-File Report 33-91, 139 p. Roppel, Patricia, 2005, Striking it rich! Gold mining in southern Southeastern Alaska: Greenwich, Connecticut, Coachlamp Productions, 286 p. Wright, C.W., 1908, Lode mining in southeastern Alaska, 1907: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 345-B, p. 78-97. Wright, F.E., and Wright, C.W., 1905, Economic developments in southeastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 259, p. 47-68. Wright, F.E., and Wright, C.W., 1906, Lode mining in southeastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 284, p. 30-54. Wright, F.E., and Wright, C.W., 1908, The Ketchikan and Wrangell mining districts, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 347, 210 p.