Open-File Report 00-026
Locatable minerals have been produced from the Chugach National Forest (CNF) for nearly 100 years. Past gold production has come from the Kenai Peninsula and the Girdwood, Port Wells, and Valdez areas. Copper and by-product gold and silver have been produced from mines at Ellamar, on Latouche Island, and near Valdez. Many of the past-producing properties were not mined out and contain significant inferred reserves of gold, copper, lead, zinc, and silver. This report outlines mineral resource areas (tracts) that contain both identified and undiscovered mineral resources. These tracts were drawn on the basis of one or more of the following criteria: (1) geochemical anomalies, (2) favorable geologic units, (3) presence of mines, prospects or mineral occurrences, and (4) geophysical anomalies. Bliss (1989) used six mineral deposit models to describe the types of deposits known from the CNF. Of these deposit types, only four are sufficiently known and defined in the CNF to be suitable for consideration in outlining and ranking of mineral resource tracts; these deposit types are: (1) Cyprus-type massive sulfide, (2) Chugach-type low-sulfide goldquartz veins, (3) placer gold, and (4) polymetallic vein.
The U.S. Bureau of Mines indicated that most of the inferred mineral reserves in the CNF would not be economic to produce under current prices. Small-scale placer gold operations are a possible exception. Other known resources that have recorded past production (oil, coal, rock, sand, and gravel) are not addressed in this report.
First posted Maarch 31, 2000
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Nelson, Steven W., and Miller, Marti L., 2000, Assessment of Mineral Resource Tracts in the Chugach National Forest, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 00-026, 22 pp., https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2000/0026/.
Current Exploration and Development Potential