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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook area reports: domestic 1978-79
Year 1978-79, Volume 2 (1978-1979)

Pittman, Tom L.
Alaska,   pp. 43-51 ff. PDF (952.3 KB)


Page 43

  43The Mineral Industry of 
Alaska 
This chapter has been prepared under a Memorandum of Understanding between
the 
Bureau of Mines, U.S. Department of the Interior, and the Alaska Department
of Natural 
Resources for collecting information on all nonfuel minerals. 
By Tom L. Pittmanh 
The reported value of nonfuel mineral production in Alaska in 1978 and 1979
was $163.7 million and $123.4 million, respectively. This change is mostly
due to the changes in the reported values for sand and gravel and gold. The
quantities of tungsten concentrates and antimonial ores and concentrates
were about the same in 1978 and 1979. Barite production was resumed in 
1979 and crude ore was shipped. 
Exploration expenditures reached an apparent maximum in 1978, estimated at
between $60 and $75 million. Expenditures in 1979 are estimated to be 65
to 80% of the 
amount expended in 1978. Interest remained high in exploration for gold and
silver, molybdenum, tin, copper, lead, and zinc. Tungsten, nickel, and cobalt
were given special attention in some areas. New claim location recordings
in 1979 were about half of the recordings in 1978. A large proportion of
claims made in earlier years were maintained in good standing. A large proportion
of expenditures in 1979 were for drilling, geologic and other exploratory
work on major prospects, and on smaller prospects showing promise of relatively
high-grade ores. In 1978, 21,154 new mining claims 
Table 1.—Nonfuel mineral production in Alaska1 
1977 
1978 
1979 
Mineral 
Value 
Quantity (thousands) 
 . Value Quantity (thousands) 
. 
Quantity 
 Value (thousands) 
Gemstones                       
Gold (recoverable content of ores, etc.) troy ounces.. — Sand and
graveL.
- - thousand short ton&. Silver (recoverable content of ores, etc.)
 troy ounces. 
Stone: 
CrusheL thousand short ton&. — 
 Dimension do~ 
Combined value of copper (1977-78), tin (197879),andtungsten            
Total                        
 NA 
18,962 
66,426 
2,000 
4,008 
(2) 
 XX 
 $60 
 2,812 
134,251 
8 
17,493 
1 
10 
 NA 
18,652 
69,300 
2,000 
3,437 
 ~ 
 XX 
$60 
 3,610 
145,300 
11 
14,649 
~ 
31 
 NA 
6,675 
50,900 
(2) 
3,656 
 ~ 
 XX 
 $60 
 2,053 
104,905 
5 
15,458 
~ 
 938 
XX 
154,635 
XX 
163,661 
XX 
123,419 
 NA Not available. XX Not applicable. 
 1Production as measured by mine shipments, sales, or marketable production
(including consumption by producers). 
 2Less than 1/2 unit. 


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