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)
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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