Wicked Falls Prospect, Chicagof District, Sitka Borough, Alaska, USA
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Location: The Wicked Falls prospect is at an elevation of about 970 feet adjacent to the creek between Pinta Lake and the head of Silver Bay. The prospect is about 0.2 mile south of the center of section 33, T. 56 S., R. 65 E. The surface and underground workings are shown on figure 27 of Bittenbender and others (1999).
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 only record of the Wicked Falls prospect is on a map of the Edgecumbe Exploration Company that is cited in Bittenbender and others (1999). The map shows two tunnels on the property but Bittenbender and others (1999) could find only a 17-foot adit. In the adit, discontinuous quartz veins up to 1.8 feet thick occurs adjacent to a fault between graywacke and slate. The veins pinch and swell and consist mainly of milky quartz. Minor pyrite and arsenopyrite occur along the edge of shale partings in the vein and in sheared slate. The richest sample was hand picked and contained 280 parts per billion gold. There is no indication of production.
Workings: The only working is a 17-foot adit.
Age: Cretaceous or younger based on the age of the host rocks.
Production: Probably none.
Commodities (Major) - Au; (Minor) - As
Development Status: None
Deposit Model: Low-sulfide, gold-quartz vein (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 36a).
4 entries listed. 4 valid minerals.
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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. 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.