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Geoenvironmental Model for Epizonal Hg-Sb-As-Au Systems of the Tintina Gold Province

The geochemical character of the epizonal ore deposits of the Tintina gold province indicates that these ores are likely to be of important environment concern.

Abstract


The geochemical character of the epizonal ore deposits of the Tintina gold province (e.g. Brewery Creek, True North, Donlin Creek) indicates that these ores are likely to be of important environment concern. Establishment of pre-mining background and baseline information, particularly regarding arsenic, mercury, and antimony levels in soils and waters, is critical information required by land managers and regulators involved with development in interior Alaska and adjacent Yukon. Also, the potential impact on local soils and waters from mining these ores in the arctic environment has yet to be evaluated. This task has been attempting to determine metal and acid concentrations in soils surrounding and waters downstream from mercury-, antimony, and arsenic-rich gold deposits of the Tintina gold province. Collected data will be used to assess the degree of metal contamination in local streams due to both natural weathering of deposits and development of such deposits by mining. Pathways of metal dispersion within the secondary environment will be comprehensively evaluated Epizonal gold deposits, in part due to the relatively high degree of oxidation of their upper parts, are major targets for development among the various types of intrusion-related gold deposits in the Tintina gold province. The deposits are recognized with and have been developed or are being considered for development from the Kuskokwim region, east to the Fairbanks district, and into adjacent parts of central Yukon. As expressed by both private industry and other government agencies, the availability of data focused on the natural environmental effects of metal dispersion from these systems, and any changes due to mining, is critical for many land planning issues.

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