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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook 1990
Year 1990, Volume 2 (1990)

Pittman, Tom L.
Alaska,   pp. [54]-70 ff. PDF (3.5 MB)

Page 67

ALASKA—1990  67Mines Ltd. , the co-owner of Lik, that 
~ would reduce Echo Bay's 50 % interest to 
~ 20 % in 30 years and increase Moneta's 
~ interest to 80%. 
Other Metals.—No production of 
~ mercury, platinum-group metals, or 
~ tungsten was reported to the Bureau of 
~ Mines or to the State.- Several placer 
~ operators recovered small amounts of 
~ platinum and platinum-group metals as a 
~ byproduct with their gold production. There was some active exploration
of low-grade copper deposits that carried 
~ recoverable gold and silver values, but 
~ the previous enthusiasm even for these 
~ prospects appeared to be waning. Interest 
~i in molybdenum deposits seemed to have 
~ disappeared. Only necessary assessment ~ work was carried out on some of
the ~ more interesting nickel-copper claims. 
I The previous interest in uranium, ~ radioactives, and rare earths about
Industrial Minerals 
Sand and GmveL-Con.stmction.— Construction sand and gravel production
is surveyed by the U.S. Bureau of Mines for even-numbered years only; data
for odd-numbered years are based on annual company estimates. This chapter
contains actual data for 1988 and 1990 and estimates for 1989. 
Production of construction sand and gravel reported to the Bureau of Mines
in 1990 was 15. 1 million St valued at $41.8 million, about 1 1 % below estimated
output in 1989. The estimated production in 1989 was 17.0 million st valued
at $48.5 million. The State survey reported the 1990 production of 15.0 million
st valued at $40.8 million, produced by 645 employees. Usage in the North
Slope oilfields has been decreasing, but there has been some improvement
in the larger urban markets. There was no reported production of industrial
sand and gravel in Alaska. Recent changes in the Alaska mining laws and regulations
require producers of industrial minerals to pay rents and royalties and abide
by more costly reclamation stipulations. The State reported five companies
announced they 
have ceased- operation in 1990 because of the overall unfavorable economic
and regulatory climate. According, to the State, the northern region used
more than 1.5 million St of sand and gravel. The Red Dog Mine project consumed
about 900,000 St for road, tailing pond, and stream diversion work. About
400,000 St was permitted for use along the Dalton Highway and the oil pipeline
by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. B.P. Exploration used about 130,200
st for construction, maintenance and repair projects in the western part
of the Prudhoe Bay area and the Duck Island unit. About 100,000 St of sand
and gravel was used by ARCO Alaska for drill sites and other work; it was
obtained from several pits in the Kuparuk area. The western region reported
about 0. 8 million St total usage, with about 720,000 st for road repairs
on the Seward Peninsula and 90,000 st of gravel to repair the Teller airport.
The Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities (DOT&PF)
took care of the road work. Tidemark Corp. did the $452,000 repair and improvement
work at the Teller airport. The estimated unit value of sand and gravel in
the northern and western regions was $4.00. State surveys reported industry
employment was 130 people in the northern region and 25 people in the western
The eastern interior region consumed almost 5 million St of sand and gravel,
valued at over $12.4 million, an average of $2.40 per st. The State listed
industry employment at 153 people. DOT&PF reported about 950,000
st of
sand and gravel was used in repair work on the Parks, Alaska, and Dalton
Highways and some other roads. Some of this material may have been used in
the northern region. About 530,000 St of gravel was permitted by the U.S.
Bureau of Land Management from about 30 quarry and pit sites along the Dalton
Highway from Fairbanks to the Yukon River. The largest single job was the
Geist Road Extension, north of the Chena River and west of University Avenue
in Fairbanks. It was designed to relieve traffic problems in the western
part of the city. The prime contractor on the Geist Road job was 
Earthmovers Inc. Fairbanks Sand and Gravel Inc. recovered about 183,000 st
of sand and gravel, using its barge-mounted clam shell dredge and a crew
of 11 people. Douglas Management mined about 20,000 St from its pit at Peger
Lake and R.B. Gravel Sales used about 500 St of sand and gravel from tailings
at its mine on Ready Bullion Creek on private roads. 
The south-central region producers reported mining about 5.3 million tons
of sand and gravel worth almost $12.6 million and employing 160 people. Completion
of modernization of the new Seward Highway near Potters Marsh, various road
repair jobs by DOT&PF, and a modest increase in the construction
raised the use of construction sand and gravel from an estimated 4.5 million
St. in 1989. The AnchorageSusitna Valley area was the outstanding user in
1990. The Alaska Railroad reported it shipped an estimated 2,560,000 st of
sand and gravel in four unit trains daily from the Palmer-Wasilla area to
Anchorage markets. About 1,935,000 st was shipped in 1989 by unit 
~ trains from the same area. AAA Valley ~ Gravel Inc. continued to be one
of the principal sources of sand and gravel in the Wasilla area. The State
listed Jim Cline's Enterprises and Cremer Services as other suppliers in
that area. Hermon Brothers Construction Co. Inc. worked its Schrock Pit in
the Mendenhall Valley. Lynn Sandvik, of Sandvik Enterprises, reopened his
Palmer Pit. Spring Creek Gravel Inc. operated its pit at Mile 204, Glen Highway,
and marketed screened gravel products. In the Kenai-Soldotna area, Waldo
Coyle produced gravel from his homestead along Beaver Loop Road. Jackson
Construction and Fairwell Gravel mined sand and gravel near Soldotna. In
the southwestern region Metco Inc. reported to the Bureau of Mines that it
mined 43,936 St worth $106,620 in 1990. The State survey reported Metco Inc.
produced 60,000 St of sand and gravel worth $63,000 from the Metco River
Bar near Seward using a rubber-tired scraper. Southeastern regional sand
and gravel production was 1 .4 million st valued at $3.5 million by the six

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