2005 Fieldwork

Meryl Towarak at the Rusty Cirque occurrence, Revelation Mountains.
Meryl Towarak at the Rusty Cirque occurrence, Revelation Mountains.
2005 field season activities first focused on site assessments in the Bethel and southern Russian Mission Quadrangles, thereby completing coverage of the District’s southwest portion. Based at Nyac, BLM geologists evaluated placer occurrences in the upper Salmon River drainage on Marvel, Cripple, and Dominion Creeks, as well as on the upper Tuluksak River Drainage at Nyac. Other work included the study of lode resources near Gemuk Mountain, Cinnabar Creek, Marvel Dome and Kisaralik Lake. Sites within the Yukon National Wildlife Preserve were also evaluated.

In early July, the project split into two teams. The first team relocated to the southern Alaska Range, evaluating mineral occurrences in the Lime Hills Quadrangle and completing study of sites in the southern McGrath Quadrangle, originally visited in 2003. Base and precious metal mineralization was evaluated at the Breccia, Nunatak and Babel Cirque occurrences in the Revelation Mountains, Tin Creek Midway and the Rat Fork of Sheep Creek. Mineral occurrences were located and described at Fluorite Creek and Rusty Cirque.

The second team spent the remainder of the field season filling gaps in the district assessment coverage and collecting additional information at previously examined sites. Team two visited sites in the Holy Cross and Russian Mission quadrangles near Marshall, evaluated occurrences in the Russian Mountains, and documented sites in the Taylor Mountains quadrangle. BLM geologists also followed up anomalous (preliminary) geochemical data from the USGS’ ongoing Alaska Minerals Resource Appraisal Program (AMRAP) in the Taylor Mountains quadrangle, documenting numerous unknown or poorly-described occurrences. The final part of the season was used to update site information for mines and occurrences previously visited in the McGrath area, including Nixon Fork, and Little and Ganes Creeks.

The 2005 field season was greatly improved through numerous cooperative agreements into which the Solid Minerals Branch entered. In addition to exchanging data and expertise, the USGS helped to coordinate logistical support for work in the Taylor Mountains quadrangle. The ADGGS’ Dave Szumigala lent his experience to an evaluation of resources in the Tin Creek area while compiling information for the State’s annual Alaska Minerals Industry Report. Finally, the Solid Minerals Branch established a long-term assistance agreement with GSA’s Geocorp program to provide geology students with summer field work as interns. These agreements helped each group to leverage resources, thereby improving the efficiency and the accomplishment of all.