Whalen; Whalen and Griffin Mine, McGrath District, Yukon-Koyukuk Borough, Alaska, USA
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Location: The Whalen Mine is at an elevation of 1,500 feet (457 m) in Section 24, T. 26 S., R. 22 E., of the Kateel River Meridian. Location of Whalen shaft is accurate and based on map by Herreid (1966).
Geology: The Whalen mine is part of the Nixon Fork mine complex and descriptions closely follow those of the Nixon Fork mine (MD062). Highly oxidized ore consists of limonite, malachite, Cu-oxides, free gold with minor unoxidized pyrite and chalcopyrite; also minor amounts of scheelite, native bismuth and radioactive minerals are present. Oxidation is pervasive; deposit is in limestone inlier associated with a roof pendant, surrounded by quartz monzonite. Copper content was estimated at between 1 and 2 percent (Brown, 1926). Gold fineness was 812 gold and 171 silver (Smith, 1931). Age is Late Cretaceous, based on isotopic age of monzonite (Moll and others, 1981).
Workings: The Whalen mine extended to a depth of 200 ft (61 m) through an inclined shaft and several drifts. The upper part of the workings caved in 1924, and formed a distinctive 200 foot by 100 foot (61 m by 30 m) glory hole (labeled 'glory hole' on USGS topographic maps). The ore that was mined was estimated to contain up to 3.38 ounces/ton (115 grams/tonne) gold.
Age: Late Cretaceous, based on isotopic age of monzonite (Moll and others, 1981).
Production: Production was lumped with Nixon Fork figures (MD062), and has not produced ore during current activities from1995 to 1998.
Commodities (Major) - Ag, Au, Cu; (Minor) - Bi, Th, U, W
Development Status: Yes; small
Deposit Model: Copper-gold skarn (Cox and Singer, 1986; model no. 18b)
7 entries listed. 6 valid minerals.
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Brown, J.S., 1926, The Nixon Fork country: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 783-D, p. 97-144. Herreid, G.H., 1966, Geology and geochemistry of the Nixon Fork area, Medfra quadrangle, Alaska: Alaska Division of Mines and Minerals Geologic Report 22, 34 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:40,000. Martin, G.C., 1922, Gold lodes in the upper Kuskokwim region: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 722-E, p. 149-161. Mertie, J.B., Jr., 1936, Mineral deposits of the Ruby-Kuskokwim region, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 864-C, p. 115-245. Smith, P.S., 1930, The mineral industry in Alaska in 1929: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 813, 72 pages. Smith, P. S., 1931, The Mineral Industry of Alaska in 1930: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 836A, 115 pages. Smith, P.S., 1941, Fineness of gold from Alaska placers: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 910-C, p. 147-269.