SME 2019: Alaska Gold and Southwest Copper

How Daniel Jackling brought copper know-how to the Juneau Gold Belt

Mining History   |   Tuesday, February 26   |   2:25 pm     Room 112

In 1911, a young mining engineer named Bartlett Thane assembled a large claim block, 4 miles southeast of Juneau, Alaska. Across the Gastineau Channel on Douglas Island, the Alaska Treadwell Gold Mining Company had, by 1904, produced gold valued at more than three times the purchase price of Alaska in 1867 (Kelly, 2010). Thane knew his deposit was lower grade than other mines or prospects in the area; however, if the deposit was developed on a large-scale, the trend and size of the deposit made the project potentially economic. In 1911, Thane developed a business plan for the project and successfully attracted investor interest.

In 1912, Daniel C Jackling visited the property at the request of an east coast investment group. Upon inspection of 5 years of production records for the Perseverance Mine, Jackling saw an opportunity to apply the low-grade/high volume milling technology which was widely adopted to the copper porphyry deposits of the southwestern U.S. With a design capacity of 6,000 tons per day (5,454 tonnes/day), Jackling’s innovative mill design would require high volume underground mining methods and the power of two new hydroelectric projects.

By 1915, the Alaska Gastineau Mining Company was in full production. Between 1915 and 1919, the mine and mill set production records for haulage and throughput. The hydroelectric projects proved to be successful engineering marvels. Operational difficulties related to ore grade, refractory elements and labor shortages interrupted production on an increasing basis. In 1921, the mining company permanently shut down operations.

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Terry Braun
Terry Braun

Principal GeoEnvironmental Consultant
tbraun@srk.com

Terry Braun has over 25 years of professional experience in mining and environmental projects. His practice incorporates various elements of environmental compliance activities as well as engineered solutions to potential environmental liabilities at mining and other industrial operations. He develops and often implements projects that require negotiations with regulatory agencies and other stakeholders to achieve client objectives.

SME 2019

 

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