• Annual report of research progress

      MIRL (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1969)
      The great importance of minerals to a state's sound economy can be no better illustrated than by the discovery of oil and gas in Alaska in 1957 in the Kenai Peninsula. This event has led to the establishment of local basic and secondary industries which in turn will enrich the coffers of the state. In a parallel manner, the discovery of oil and gas on the North Slope in 1968 will not only produce basic and allied industries but will also be a catalyst assisting the development of other mineral resources to provide a diversification of industry--so important to the long range economic strength of a state. Also, further economic development of mineral resources is, to a large degree, dependent on mineral science research in the same way that research and development were necessary to develop the jet engine and hence, give a break-through in air transportation; thus, without geological and mineral processing research, mines cannot continue to be found and developed. The following pages will provide evidence of a significant contribution toward the shortening of the knowledge gap in mineral search instrumentation, gold size distribution, coal processing, prospector education, resource evaluation, and exploration oriented computer techniques. The demand by the Alaskan public, industry, and governmental agencies for this information has justified the reprinting of several of this year's research reports. This response by industry and the public has given increased impetus to the goal of MIRL: to aid in the expansion of Alaska's mineral economy through a program of applied and basic research--to seek knowledge today for use tomorrow. Earl H. Beistline, Dean, CESMI
    • Washability characteristics of low-volatile bituminous coal from the Bering River field, Alaska

      Rao, P.D. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1969)
      Two samples of low-volatile bituminous coal from Bering River Coal Field were sized to 0.525" x 3, 3 x 6, 6 x 10, 10 x 20, and 20 x 35 mesh and their washability characteristics studied at specific gravities ranging from 1.29 to 1.55. The results showed that the coals can be up-graded to an ash content as low as 2% with conventional cyclone heavy media process. A product containing less than 1% ash can be obtained from these coals with surprisingly high yields, ranging from 50 to 95% depending on the ash content desired in the washed coal, and the characteristics of the raw coal. The experimental work proves the technical feasibility of preparation of the coal form metallurgical use and as low ash carbon raw material. Further Pilot Plant testing would be required in the fields of preparation and utilization in order to design the final plant for ascertaining the economic feasibility.
    • Southeastern Alaska mineral commodity maps

      Heiner, L.E. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1970)
      Continued interest by exploration companies in a Southeastern Alaska resource study in progress by the Mineral Industry Research Laboratory has prompted the release of some of the maps prior to the completion of the study. A report on the study should be available for distribution during the summer of 1970, and will contain a complete tabulation of all mineral properties and prospects contained in the literature or staked under the mining laws. In addition, the report will contain a description of U. S. Bureau of Mines mining districts, a summary of the geology, and thoughts pertaining to possible controls for ore deposits in the area. The commodity maps contained in this packet represent only those properties currently listed in the State Division of Mines and Geology Kardex System. Information pertaining to all properties tabulated in this system for Southeastern Alaska has been digitized and stored on magnetic tape. The maps were plotted by computer at a scale of approximately 1 " = 20 miles for overlay purposes. The computer utilized the storage and retrieval file of Alaska mineral information developed by the Mineral Industry Research Laboratory (see M. I. R. L. Report No. 24) and the STAMPEDE and contouring program maintained by the University of Alaska.computer center. Each map i s a composite of individually plotted quadrangle maps using the U. S. Geological Survey coordinate system described in U. S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1139 for property location. At this scale, there i s little error in location.
    • Fortran IV program for processing geochemical sediment data, 34 p.

      Heiner, L.E. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1970)
      A general computer program has been written to process geochemical data resulting from the analysis of up to 34 trace elements per sample. This program will: 1. Produce a table for direct inclusion in formalreports. The table contains the map number and field number of the geochemical samples, the corresponding elemental values and a table giving descriptive data about the sample. Prior to printing, the samples are arranged according to map number for easy correspondence between the table of values and to the geochemical map. 2. Compute the average value for each element, normally and lognormally. 3. Compute the standard deviation for each element, normally and lognormally. 4. Compute the threshold value for each element, normally and lognormally. 5. Compute the anomalous concentrations for each element, normally and lognormally. 6. Draw lognormal, or standard histograms for each element. All geochemical samples taken by the Alaska Division of Mines and Geology during the summer of 1968 and 1969 were processed by this program or a modification of the program. The program can be modified to enable production of automatic maps and tables of anomalous samples.
    • Annual report of research progress

      MIRL (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1970)
    • Characteristics and utilization of fly ash

      Lu, F.C.; Rao, P.D. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1971)
      Fly ash produced by four power plants in Fairbanks and vicinity was collected and analyzed. Current fly ash specification and potential users of fly ash in general and in the Fairbanks area in particular were evaluated. A detailed bibliography on utilization of fly ash is appended for reference by producers and potential users of fly ash.
    • Mineral resources of southeastern Alaska

      Wolff, E.N.; Heiner, L.E. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1971)
      This report is part of a series by the Mineral Industry Research Laboratory describing the mineral occurrences of Alaska. Thus far reports have been issued on Northern Alaska (No. 16) Seward Peninsula (No. 18) and the Wrangell Mountain - Prince William Sound areas (No. 27). All of these reports contain tabulations of all deposits described in the literature. Report No, 27 also has computer drawn maps showing locations of mineral occurrences and a computer printout of certain data about each property. The magnetic tape which produced this printout was made as part of the project under which the report was written, It is capable of printing several options, as described in M. I.R. L. Report No. 24. The present report, M, I, R. L. Report No. 28, also contains a printout, and is also backed up by a magnetic tape. The location maps contained in the back pocket of this report have already been published in limited edition as M. I .R. L. Report No. 25, because it was desired to disseminate the information contained on them as fast as possible. It i s hoped that reports such as this eventually will be issued for all of Alaska.
    • Copper mineral occurrences in the Wrangell Mountains-Prince William Sound area, Alaska

      Heiner, L.E.; Wolff, E.N.; Grybeck, D.G. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1971)
      On January 9, 1970, the U.S. Bureau of Mines entered into an agreement with the University of Alaska based upon a proposal submitted by the Mineral Industry Research Laboratory. Under the terms of this agreement, the Laboratory undertook to compile information on copper occurrences in eight quadrangles covering what are loosely known as the Copper River, White River, and Prince William Sound copper provinces. If time permitted four other quadrangles would be added, and this has been possible. Information was to be obtained by searching published and unpublished records of the Bureau of Mines, the U.S. Geological Survey, the State Division of Geological Survey, the University of Alaska, and the recording offices.
    • Optimum transportation systems to serve the mineral industry north of the Yukon basin in Alaska

      Wolff, E.N.; Lambert, C.; Johansen, N.I.; Rhodes, E.M.; Solie, R.J. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1972)
      In 1972 the U. S . Bureau of Mines awarded a grant (No. G 01 22096) to the Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, University of Alaska, for a research project to determine optimum transportation systems to serve the mineral industry north of the Yukon River basin in Alaska. The study was conducted during the period May 1 - November 1, 1972. The study assesses the mineral potential of the region and selects two copper deposits: a known one at Bornite, and a potential one on the upper Koyukuk River. Two possible mining sites within the extensive coal bearing region north of the Brooks Range are also selected. A computer model was developed to perform an economic analysis of technically feasible transportation modes and routes from these four sites to Alaskan ports from which minerals could be shipped to markets. Transport modes considered are highway, rail, cargo aircraft, river barge, winter haul road and air cushion vehicles (A.C.V.). The computer program calculates the present worth of tax benefits from mining and transportation and revenues based on the value of minerals at the port, as well as the auxillary benefits derived from the anticipated use of the routes by the tourist industry. Annual and fixed costs of mining and transportation of minerals are calculated, and benefit-cost ratios determined for each combination of routes and modes serving the four mineral sites. The study concludes that the best systems in terms of a high benefit-cost ratio are those utilizing a minimum of new construction of conventional highways or railroads. The optimum system as derived from this study is one linking together existing transportation systems with aircraft or A.C.V. These modes are feasible only for the shipment of a high value product, namely blister copper produced by a smelter at the mining site, Of the several alternatives considered for the shipment of coal, only a slurry pipeline to an as yet undeveloped port on the Arctic coast showed significant promise. The study recommends that: 1. More government support should be given to mineral exploration in Alaska. 2. Potential mineral industry development should be considered in transportation planning at state and federal levels. 3. Additional research pertinent to mining and processing of minerals in the North should be conducted, and the feasibility of smelting minerals within Alaska explored. 4. Alternatives for providing power to Northwestern Alaska should be investigated.
    • A computer processable storage and retrieval program for Alaska mineral information

      Heiner, L.E.; Porter, Eve (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1972)
      The Mineral Industry Research Laboratory has developed a storage and retrieval file for Alaska mineral information to facilitate resource studies. The basis for the computer-processable file is the Division of ecological Survey Mineral Kardex system which contains an entry for every mineral property in Alaska that has either been recorded in the literature or has been claimed under the mineral staking laws. Use of the file has greatly increased the research capability of the laboratory to compile resource-oriented reports such as M.I.R.L. Report No. 16, IIFinal Report - Mineral Resources of Northern Alaska," M.I.R.L. Report No. 18, JlKnown and Potential Ore Reserves, Seward Peninsula, Alaska", and M.J.R.L Report No. 27, "Copper Mineral Occurrences in the Wrangell Mountain - Prince William Sound Area, Alaska" and S.E. Alaska Mineral Commodity Maps. The programs have been given the name MINFILE. MINFILEJ refers to a program that stores mineral information on magnetic tape. MINFILE2 is a Retreival program, MINFILE3 is a program to correct and make additions to the file. MINFILE4 and MINFILE5 are utility programs used for maintenance of the system.
    • Transportation economics of coal resources of northern slope coal fields, Alaska

      Clark, P.R. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1973)
      This paper describes the Northern coal fields, the environment in which they are situated, and various routes and systems for transporting metallurgical qua1ity coal from these deposits to a potential market in Japan. Each transportation mode is discussed with respect to northern Alaska conditions. Capitol and operating costs were developed for each system. If the coal must support the entire transportation system cost, the transportation of coal from the North Slope of Alaska to Japan appears to be economically feasible only from easily mined areas which are close to an ocean shipping port. In the case of transportation cost sharing by other users, or by government subsidization, the prospects of northern coal exploitation would be enhanced. The final feasibility of developing any of this coal deposit cannot be determined until the mining costs and the factors which influence these costs are known.
    • Distribution, analysis, and recovery of fine gold from alluvial deposits

      Cook, D.J.; Rao, P.D. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1973)
      The United States Bureau of Mines, in its Heavy Metals Program, desired to have research performed to determine the size-frequency distribution and possible economic value of gold particles in the fine size ranges of Alaskan placer deposits. Primary interest was involved in obtaining evidence of the occurrence of fine gold and to determine the ameanability of standard sampling and production methods in the evaluation and recovery processes. A research contract between the United States Bureau of Mines and the University of Alaska was initiated in June, 1968 as the first phase of this investigation, but was subsequently modified in June, 1969 to include beneficiation processes amenable to recovery as well as evaluation methods for fine and flakey gold. In searching the literature relative to fine gold in Alaskan placer deposits, it was found that virtually no research has been devoted to determining the extent of fine gold distribution and its effect on evaluation and subsequent recovery methods. Standard evaluation techniques have relied on gravity methods of concentration and recovery of the visible gold from the concentrate. In general, this has proved satisfactory in that operational recovery methods used were probably not conducive to retaining gold particles of less than 100 mesh in size. Operators have made no attempt to obtain a size analysis of gold in a head sample, but many have kept records of the size distribution of the gold as actually recovered. A review of these records, from selected areas, indicates that the -100 mesh gold represents from 0 to 5% of the total gold recovered. Although figures of this type may point to a probably fine gold loss, the difficulties inherent in evaluating the tailng material or modifying the recovery system have usually discouraged efforts in this direction.
    • Report of research progress 1971-1973

      MIRL (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1973)
    • Procedure for estimating tourism benefits

      Solie, R.J. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1973)
      Mineral Industry Research laboratory Report No. 29, "Optimum Transportation Systems to Serve the Mineral Industry North of the Yukon Basin in Alaska", considers the transportation needs of the area north of the Yukon. The only industries that can be established there within the foreseeable future are minerals production, recreation, reindeer husbandry, and trapping. The present paper, M.I. R. L. Report No. 29A was originally written as an appendix to Report No. 29. After some consideration, if was decided that al though it is. too detai Ied an analysis of tourism tobe included in M.I.R.L. Report No. 29, it also is too valuable a contribution to not be published at all. Therefore, it has been published in its present form as a separate report. It is recommended that M. I. R. L. Report No. 29 be consulted, especially Chapter 6.
    • Focus on Alaska's coal '75, proceedings of the conference

      Rao, P.D.; Wolff, E.N. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1975)
      Interest in Alaska's coals has increased greatly in the last few years partly as a II result of the public's realization that we are in a real energy shortage and partly because the building of the Alaska pipe line has demonstrated that transportation for Alaska's raw materials can be supplied if needed. Both President Ford and Secretary of Interior Kleppe have pointedly stated that Alaska must furnish much of the nation's energy needs in the next few decades. During the years 1974 and 1975, industry also showed greater interest as indicated by the large scale exploration activities in the Nenana, Beluga and Susitna coal fields. As a result of all of this interest it was decided that the time was right for an exchange of information on Alaska's coal; to bring people together and bring them up to date, and this conference was the result. Focus on Alaska's Coal, the first conference of its kind, attracted wide participation and apparently an enthusiastic response. The papers and the audience questions showed an overriding concern for the nation's energy needs and the possibility that Alaska can help alleviate those needs with its enormous solid fuel resources along with its oil and gas resources. As a result of the conference, the following points were brought into focus: Alaska's coal deposits are much more extensive than hitherto known. The development of a coal industry in Alaska to supply west coast markets is no longer a dream, and will in fact be a reality before long. Additional research on characterization and upgrading of coals is needed to further evaluate the potential of the enormous reserves. Alaska's coals are low in sulfur and thus are environmentally more acceptable. It is hoped that this conference brought into focus the opportunities Alaska offers to the nation and as a result, that work will be stimulated leading to the further development and utilization of its coal resources.
    • Thermogravimetric and distillation studies on mercury, antimony and arsenic sulfides

      Town, J.W.; Rao, P.D. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1975)
      Thermogravimetric studies were made on naturally occurring sulfides of mercury, antimony and arsenic to determine activation energies and Arrhenius rates of reaction in vacuum and in atmospheres of air and nitrogen. Of the three sulfides only antimony showed an appreciable change in rate of reaction for the different test conditions. Distillation results on three flotation concentrates from Alaska mining operations showed that cinnabar (mercury sulfide) could be distilled in a closed system, with over 99 percent recovery of the mercury as metal when the sulfur was reacted with iron. Over 98 percent mercury recovery was obtained from a cinnabar-stibnite (antimony sulfide) concentrate, with less than 1 percent of the antimony distilled from the furnace charge. Cinnabarrealgar-orpiment (arsenic sulfides) could not be separated by distillation and large quantities of soot (condenser residue) formed with the metallic mercury in the condenser.
    • Constraints on the development of coal mining in arctic Alaska based on review of Eurasian arctic practices

      Lynch, D.F.; Johansen, N.I.; Lambert, C., Jr.; Wolff, E.N. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1976)
      Arctic Alaska's enormous reserves of coal may be a significant future source of energy for the United States and for the Pacific Basin. Large coal reserves have been developed in the Arctic portions of Eurasia, where problems similar to those that might be encountered in Alaska have already been faced. To determine the nature of these problems, the Mineral Industry Research Laboratory of the University of Alaska, under contracts S 0133057 with the U.S. Bureau of Mines, has conducted a literature review on Eurasian coal mining and visited mines in Svalbard, Norway; Carmacks, Y.T.; and Healy, Alaska. The purpose was to establish the most significant physical constraints which may apply to the eventual development of Northwestern Arctic Alaskan coal.
    • Cost of exploration for metallic minerals in Alaska

      Grybeck, D; Peek, B.C.; Robinson, M.S. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1976)
      The high cost of exploration for metallic minerals in Alaska not only reflects a 20-50% increase in the cost of supplies, food and salaries over those "outside" but also some additional costs that are characteristic of most Alaskan exploration efforts. Transportation in particular often represents half of the exploration budget and is a major cost of almost all programs. Helicopters commonly are used as the basic mode of field transportation; their cost is high (about $125 to $300 per hour) and increasing, and their availability is becoming less certain with the accelerating demand for them. Salaries for field personnel are also considerably higher than those paid to personnel "outside". And the demand, both from within and without the mining industry, for those with Alaskan experience is so great as to drive those salaries even higher. Fuel and communication costs not only show the usual Alaskan mark-up but are also subject to local scarcity and almost unavoidable problems. Fuel will probably continue to be available in the major population centers but there have always been difficulties in providing or obtaining fuel in the bush; these will undoubtedly be magnified with the booming development of Alaska's petroleum resources and national scarcity. Communications with the field will undoubtedly continue to be uncertain at times and will frequently present major problems that money along cannot solve and result in much frustration and delay. Contract services such as drilling, geophysical work, and geochemical analyses are available within the state in varying degree or can be obtained "outside" at rates that do not seem to be unduly expensive. However, the cost of transportation, mobilization, and demobilization of the personnel and equipment used in performing these services may result in unusually high costs for projects of short duration. Early logistical planning has always been considered wise in Alaskan field work and it will undoubtedly continue to be important, if not essential. The lack of it may be alleviated in some cases with copious applications of money but with Alaska's present booming development, the lack of planning may lead to an uncertain ability to work in the field at all. The cost of Alaskan exploration programs vary greatly. Many of the reconnaissance geologic and geochemical programs are strikingly expensive chiefly because of the need for helicopter support. Other types of programs such as prospect evaluations are not nearly so expensive and Alaskan costs for projects of limited area or duration are nor necessarily prohibitive. In almost all cases, experience, imagination, and prior planning can reduce costs significantly.
    • Compilation of the data on the land withdrawals in Alaska

      Metz, P.A.; Pearson, R.W.; Lynch, D.F. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1978)
      Major decisions an the use and disposition of land in Alaska are being made by the State and Federal governments. These decisions will affect the utilization of all our land resources including minerals. Since minerals are an essential component of our existance, the availability and access to minerals is an important issue. There are approximately 2600 land orders and acts classifying land in Alaska that restrict the utilization of our minerals resources. As of April 1977, approximately twenty-six percent of Alaska, or 100,875,391 acres was open to mineral entry and location under the Federal Mining Laws and the State Mining and Mineral leasing Laws.
    • Characterization and evaluation of washability of Alaskan coals - phase i - selected seams from Nenana, Jarvis Creek and Matanuska coal fields

      Rao, P.D.; Wolff, E.N. (University of Alaska Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, 1979)
      This report covers the results of a study conducted to obtain washability data for Alaskan coals to supplement the efforts of the U.S. Department of Energy (formerly U.S. Bureau of Mines) in its ongoing studies on washability of U.S. coals.