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dragline
21:30:39 Tue
Sep 3 2013

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Beach Gold Placers of West Coast North America (excluding Nome, AK) Part 1 of 4

Beach Gold Placers of West Coast North America (excluding Nome, Alaska) Part 1 of 4
(Reposted from my Alaska Gold Prospecting Forum post of 09-May-2009)

Introduction:

The gold beach placers of Nome, Alaska, may seem like the 800 pound gorilla of beach placers, and rightly so, but there are hundreds of other beaches that have produced historically significant amounts of beach placer gold all up and down the West coast of the USA and Canada.

Historical accounts suggest that Russian sea otter fur traders and explorers were among the first new comers to the West Coast of North America to discover beach placer gold and commence mining operations the summer of 1777 on Guyot Beach (Icy Bay). However, most West Coast beach mining records and accounts begin in earnest in the early 1850s.

I have compiled historical data and accounts from published USGS, Bureau of Mines, and others, and then placing tacking pins with that information into a Google Earth kmz file that can be shared between Google Earth users. I recommend that you download and install Google Earth if you would like to take full advantage of the information presented with this article.

http://www.google.com/earth/download/ge/agree.html

At the present time I have approximately 88 separate beaches indexed with at least 50 more that I am investigating. However, in dealing with historical documentation for which the specific coordinates of locations cannot be assumed precise or accurate. If you see any mistakes here or can suggest ways to increase the accuracy of my data I would appreciate your letting me know.

Beach gold placer mining played an important historical role in the exploration and early settlement of the West coast of the USA, Canada, and Alaska, and I am not aware that a thorough examination of this history has been attempted previously. I have specifically omitted the gold placer beaches Nome, Alaksa, because there have been far more books written and documentation available for this beach than any other, and not all beach gold is located on the beaches of Nome, Alaska.


I am going to start at the North and work my way South. Comments and corrections are welcome!

Seward Peninsula, Alaska



1. Alder Creek Beach Placers, Alaska
66 3'21.31"N, 16212'6.87"W
Alder Creek Beach Placers, Alaska: Located on Kotzebue Sound, the Alder Creek beach placer gold deposit consists of about one foot of beach gravel on eroded, dark gray, schist bedrock of early Paleozoic age. Fine, bright gold and some wire gold was found on the bedrock surface. Beach diggings of limited extent were reported to produce $8 to $10 (about 1 OzT per day) per man in 1901 (Moffit, 1905). Production in 1902 to 1903 is believed to be about 580 ounces. Reported yield was 0.387 to 0.483 ozt gold per man per day.

2. Grantley Harbor Gold Beach Placers
6516'29.99"N, 16613'50.88"W
District: Port Clarence
Coordinates: 6516'32"N,16613'41"W
Gold can be panned from beaches where white quartz boulders are common.

3. Daniels Creek Gold Beach Placers
6434'15.67"N, 16345'31.79"W
District: Council
Coordinates: 6434'21"N,16345'20"W
This beach was one of the richest gold placer beaches ever found. The beach placer extended 500 feet west and 50 feet east of the mouth of Daniels Creek with 3 to 4 feet of gravel on clay and beneath about a foot of barren sand. The pay streak is locally cemented by manganese oxide. Gravel mainly schist mixed with some finer pieces of limestone. Production in 1900 was about 9,675 ozt gold from creek and about 29,000 ozt from beach. Total ozt gold production prior to WWII was probably about 90,000 ozt gold.

Goodnews Bay, Alaska:



1. Goodnews Bay Interior Platinum Placers
59 7'1.89"N, 16146'57.59"W
Goodnews Bay Interior Platinum beach Placers were mined intermintantly between 1901 and 1916 approximately here.

2 through 6: Goodnews Bay Platinum Beach Placers
59 6'45.00"N, 16150'9.00"W
Goodnews Bay Platinum Beach Placers:
District: Goodnews Bay
Coordinates: 5903.5'N,16148'51.5'W
Beach sands contain traces of gold and small amounts of chromite. Iron content no more than 6.1 lbs/yd3. In 1969 the unconsolidated deposits in Goodnews Bay were sampled by taking numerous core samples. Chemical analysis revealed detectable amounts of platinum in a great many of the samples. The platinum was concentrated in the clay layers rather than the sand layers. Most samples also contained both native mercury and cinnabar and a single tiny diamond was said to have been found. The be values were found along the north side of the bay, south of Beluga Peak, which consists of altered mafic volcanic rocks and fine-grained volcanogenic sedimentary rocks. There was also a small exposure of serpentine about three miles north of the bay. The source of the platinum is conjectural because the values decrease eastward towards where the Goodnews River Bay platinum placer mine is located.
Three specific locations:
1. 5905'52"N,16155'05"W to 5903'50"N,16149'23"W
2. 5900'00"N,16148'25"W to 5902'52"N,16155'05"W
3. 5906'45"N,16150'09"W

Salmon River to Hagemeister Straight Gold Beach Placers



1. Platinum-Salmon River Platinum Beach Placers
5851'36.50"N, 16146'15.29"W
District: Goodnews Bay
Coordinates: 5856'N,16147.5'W
Prospecting and auger-hole sampline, mainly by US Bureau of Mines, showed that chromite made up more than 10% of the concentrates from most samples. Gold and platinum were present in most concentrates in trace to very small amounts (no more than 0.0736 ozt gold, and 0.0573 ozt platinum, per yd3. These samples showed no more than 38.4lg iron per yd3 of material in place. Lack of economically significant placers is probably because the strand line at the time of placer formation was far to the west of the present strand at a time of lower sea level. In cludes references to beach of Kuskokwim Bay near Red Mountain which is the beach north of the mouth of the Salmon River to 5900. Coordinates for auger holes around Red Mountain were 5857'06"N,16146'26"W, 5856'43"N,16146'02"W, 5857'09"N,16145'16"W, 5857'08"N,16144'37"W, and 5855'05"N,16146'52"W.

2. Chagvan Bay Platinum Beach Placers reportedly saw small scale gold production between 1902 and 1914.
5845'56.94"N, 16146'39.74"W

3. Slug River Beach Gold and Platinum
5836'22.04"N, 16147'1.41"W
Slug River Beach Gold and Platinum reportedly worked 1903 to 1912.

4. Hagemeister Straight Gold Beach Placers
5846'47.19"N, 16114'50.20"W
Hagemeister Straight Gold Beach Placers:
District: Goodnews Bay
Coordinates: 5847'N,16132'W
Gold in beach deposites Northwest of Hagemeister Island and on Slug River was probably reconcentrated from glacial deposits, though some may have been derived from nearby deposits containing sulfide minerals. Several hundred dollars worth was recovered during a small stampede in 1937. Concentrates from shovel and auger-hole samples of beach sands collected by the US Bureau of Mines contained trace amounts of chromite. Most of the 39 samples collected contained magnetite, some titaniferous, but none carried more than 7.3 lb/yd3 iron calculated for material in place, not enough to be of commercial interest.

Togiak Bay to Nunavachak Bay:



1. Togiak Bay Gold Beach Placers
59 2'47.92"N, 16019'29.25"W
Togiak Bay Gold Beach Placers reportedly saw limited production with rockers during the summer of 1914.

2. Ungalikthluk Bay Gold Beach Placers
5854'43.41"N, 16011'6.07"W
Ungalikthluk Bay Gold Beach Placers: This is a somewhat speculative beach placer area based upon a report of a miner working this beach with a rocker in 1914. The exact beach he worked succesfully is not certain but it was reported to be in the greater Togiak Bay near a shist outcropping with known gold ore present.

3. Nunavachak Bay Gold Beach Placers
5852'56.31"N, 160 2'10.21"W
Nunavachak Bay Gold Beach Placers: This is a somewhat speculative beach placer area based upon a report of a miner working this beach with a rocker in 1914. The exact beach he worked succesfully is not certain but it was reported to be in the greater Togiak Bay near a shist outcropping with known gold ore present.

Egegick, Ugashik, and Unnamed



1. Egegik Gold Beach Placers
58 4'58.92"N, 15735'58.31"W
Egegik Gold Beach Placers:
District: Bristol Bay
Coordinates: 5805'N,15736'W
Beach 100 yards to a mile wide made up of detritus varying in size from silt to small boulders. Table concentrates of samples taken by US Bureau of Mines in 1958-59 investigation contained more than 10% titaniferous magnetite and smaller amount of ilmenite, a few contained flour gold in trace amounts. In another US Bureau of Mines study in 1969 most of the 49 samples taken and analyzed contained from a trace to 0.003 ozt gold per ton.

2. Ugashik Beach Gold Placers
5749'59.98"N, 15739'0.94"W
Ugashik Beach Gold Placers
District: Gristol Bay
Coordinates: 5750'N,15739'W
US Bureau of Mines 1969 found gold from samples up to 0.007 ozt per ton.

3. Unnamed Gold Beach Placer
5714'38.26"N, 15823'9.61"W
Unnamed Gold Beach Placer located just South of Hook Lagoon worked between 1902 and 1914.

Popof Island



1. Popof Island Beach Placers
5521'21.51"N, 16028'53.61"W
Popof Island Beach Placers: Gold was discovered in 1904 in beach placers on Popof Island adjacent Unga Island and $12,000 was produced in 1904-05 ;thereafter, activity moved to lode claims in the hills behind the beach, where four short exploratory shafts yielded one sample rich in gold (Atwood, 1911).

2. Popof Island Cliff Beach Gold
5521'35.93"N, 16020'42.07"W
Popof Island Cliff Beach Gold: see...
http://ronreil.abana.org/popov.shtml

Quoted: Although, how I came to be in this location is a story in itself, I will reserve that for a future time. On Sunday, June 4, 1989, I found myself part of a hand picked team of geologists walking beneath the 200' to 500' high beach cliffs of Popof Island, as Bill Ellis, the head of our field operations, gave us an exhaustive introduction to the geology we would soon be prospecting for gold. Our helicopter was flying the long semicircle around the Gulf of Alaska from Seattle and would not arrive for another week, so we had lots of time for sightseeing. We were in a spectacular place of high snow capped peaks, and deep and impossibly violent ocean passages cutting into, or through, the islands.

Bill impressed us all when he rolled over one of the beach cobbles and picked up several small gold nuggets lying glittering in the all too rare sunlight. He told us not to get too excited because the beach placer was already owned, and the owner wanted to sell it to us for $3,000,000! We did have the owner's permission to collect as much gold as we wanted in our "free" time. Since we worked 30 days on and 1 day off, we would not be getting rich at the placer.

Chirikof-Island



1. Chirikof Island Gold Beach Placers
5551'54.14"N, 15539'18.24"W
Chirikof Island Gold Beach Placers:
District: Alaska Peninsula
Coordinates: 5555'12"N,15534'55"W
Gold-bearing beach placers are known to exist here, although the resource potential is regarded as minimal.
[3 edits; Last edit by dragline at 21:39:18 Tue Sep 3 2013]

  
Steve_Herschbach
13:32:23 Mon
Sep 9 2013

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Re: Beach Gold Placers of West Coast North America (excluding Nome, AK) Part 1 o

Thanks for your efforts in sharing all this great information!



---
Find me at DetectorProspector.com

Steve's Mining Journal - - Gold Prospecting & Metal Detecting "How To" Guides - - Equipment Information & Reviews - - Public Gold Prospecting & Metal Detecting Sites - - Gold Mining Claims For Sale or Lease - - Steve's Guide to Gold Nugget Detectors
 
 
Ron_C
22:54:44 Tue
Sep 10 2013

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Re: Beach Gold Placers of West Coast North America (excluding Nome, AK) Part 1 o

This is fascinating stuff! Thank you,
Ron

  
geowizard
00:12:19 Wed
Sep 11 2013

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Re: Beach Gold Placers of West Coast North America (excluding Nome, AK) Part 1 o


It's a repost from 2009.

I was impressed then. I'm impressed now. :smile:

- Geowizard

  
bababooey
15:25:06 Tue
Dec 10 2013

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Re: Beach Gold Placers of West Coast North America (excluding Nome, AK) Part 1 o

maybe this is also ok for you

http://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/0689/report.pdf

  
bababooey
15:54:28 Tue
Dec 10 2013

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Re: Beach Gold Placers of West Coast North America (excluding Nome, AK) Part 1 o


  
baub
21:19:31 Wed
Dec 11 2013

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Re: Beach Gold Placers of West Coast North America (excluding Nome, AK) Part 1 o

Thanks Baba

baub

  

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