The state is releasing high tech survey for an area of the western interior that‘s produced abundant gold. An airborne geophysical survey covered 850 square miles in the Iditarod and Innoko region, near McGrath. The state says the area has produced 2.3 million ounces of gold. Most of that has been placer gold, with little coming from hard rock lode sources. State geologist Dave Szumigala says the survey has identified potential in new areas that could be the source of the placer gold.
Szumigala says past studies have indicated that the Iditarod and Innoko lode gold is in granite and rock in area mountains. He says known deposits at Donlin Creek and Chicken Mountain, near Flat, have confirmed this, but the survey has identified new targets.
Szumigala says the state contracted survey employed helicopter borne electromagnetic and magnetic scanning that identifies rock types. He says the information has to be followed up by on the ground mapping and drilling to confirm mineralization. Some state land in the Iditarod and Innoko area is already staked but Szumigala says there’s room for new claims. He says the new state data has already resulted in one prospector moving forward with an exploration plan in the survey area. The state spent about a half million dollars on the project, which is part of a statewide survey program.
Listen for the full story