Silver Bay Prospect, Chicagof District, Sitka Borough, Alaska, USA
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Location: There is little recent information about the Silver Bay prospect and it was not located by Bittenbender and others (1999). It is probably about 0.9 mile northeast of Arguello Island and about 0.6 mile southeast of the center of section 19, T. 56 S., R. 65 E.
Geology: This deposit is one of many of similar deposits (PA002 to PA018) scattered over an area of about 6 square miles at the head of Silver Bay (Bittenbender and others, 1999). The deposits are gold-quartz veins with sparse sulfides, usually only pyrite and arsenopyrite. Samples that have been analyzed with modern methods usually show anomalous arsenic even if arsenopyrite is not identified in the rocks, and several parts per million mercury. The veins are often parallel to the bedding of the host rock which is graywacke and argillite of the Sitka Graywacke of Cretaceous age (Loney and others, 1975). Many of the so-called veins in the early literature are actually fault zones with lenses of quartz or concentrations of quartz stringers along the fault zone. Prospecting began in the area in 1871. The Stewart Mine (PA012) was located in 1872 and it was the first lode-gold mine in Alaska. The Silver Bay area has been prospected intermittently to the present but the veins are relatively small and most are low grade. The area has produced relatively little gold, many of the properties have not been active since before 1900, and there has been no production since the early 1940's. The Silver Bay prospect was first mentioned by Becker (1898) who described it as a quartz vein with pyrite and chalcopyrite in 'pyroclastic diorite' (which is probably graywacke). There was no work in progress then. The prospect was mentioned in several later publications until 1912 but with few details other than that some work was being done on it (Wright and Wright, 1905; Wright and Wright, 1906; Wright, 1907; Knopf, 1912). It could not be found by Bittenbender and others (1999) who listed it in their table of deposits in the area and located it on their map of them. It is probably similar to the other gold-quartz veins in the Silver Bay area.
Workings: A claim or claims active prior to 1912.
Age: Cretaceous or younger based on the age of the host rocks.
Commodities (Major) - Au, Cu
Development Status: None
Deposit Model: Low-sulfide, gold-quartz vein (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 36a).
3 entries listed. 3 valid minerals.
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Becker, G.F., 1898, Reconnaissance of some gold fields of southern Alaska, with some notes on general geology: U.S. Geological Survey 18th annual report, Part 3, p. 7-86. Bittenbender, P., Still, J.C., Maas, K., and McDonald, M., Jr., 1999, Mineral resources of the Chichagof and Baranof Islands area, southeast Alaska: Bureau of Land Management, BLM-Alaska Technical Report 19, 222 p. Cobb, E.H., 1972, Metallic mineral resources map of the Port Alexander quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-464, 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000. Cobb, E.H., 1978, Summary of references to mineral occurrences (other than mineral fuels and construction materials) in the Port Alexander quadrangle: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 78-787, 33 p. Knopf, Adolph, 1912, The Sitka mining district, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 504, 32 p. Loney, R.A., Brew, D.A., Muffler, L.J. B., and Pomeroy, J.S., 1975, Reconnaissance geology of Chichagof, Baranof, and Kruzof Islands, southeastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 792, 105 p. Wright, C.W., 1907, Lode mining in southeastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 314, p. 47-72. 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.