Alaska Mining History
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**Alaska Mining History — Page 1 of 3

Alaska has a rich mining history. Placer gold exploration and mining began in the area with the Russian explorers in the early 1800s. After acquisition by the United States, exploration and mining continued and gradually increased for both hard rock and placer minerals.

Alaska Mining History PhotoThe discovery and development of the A-J and Treadwell gold deposits eventually led to the location of the State Capitol. This was followed by the discovery of the Fortymile, Central, Nome, Fairbanks, Iditarod, and many other significant placer gold districts.

A young mining engineer by the name of George Pilz, while exploring southeast Alaska, offered a reward to any local native chiefs who could show him a gold deposit. Chief Kowee of the Auk Tlingit arrived with ore samples from the Gastineau Channel and Pilz hired Joseph Juneau and Richard Harris to do additional prospecting. Juneau and Harris found a large gold deposit at the head of what was to be named Gold Creek. This became the A-J Mine. The Treadwell mine was also developed in the area.

The Juneau mining district has produced 8.7 million ounces of gold up to 2005, including that from the rich Greens Creek mine. Turnagain arm was experiencing a gold rush in 1895 and this led to the development of two towns, Hope and Sunrise. The Turnagain arm has experienced over 100 years of varying activity and has produced 134K ounces of gold.

**This is an expert from a 2006 report entitled Alaska Mineral Industry, produced by State of Alaska Dept. of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development and is in the public domain.
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