In marked contrast to Alaska’s petroleum industry, production from the State’s mining industry has declined drastically. Despite favorable geologic conditions, mineral exploration and development have been held back by inaccessibility, rugged terrain, severe climate, and scarcity and high cost of labor. Changing economic and political conditions, improved exploration techniques, and the ever increasing demand for minerals have again directed attention to Alaska’s mineral potential. Important discoveries in British Columbia and Yukon Territory have further stimulated exploration in Alaska. The probability that significant discoveries will result is high.
The titaniferous iron ores of southeastern Alaska probably will be brought into production soon, but the greatest exploration effort is presently directed to the search for porphyry-copper-molybdenum deposits. Probability of success appears good. Minable lead-zinc deposits may be discovered. Beryllium-fluorite-tin deposits on the Seward Peninsula offer possibilities. Discovery of additional uranium deposits seems likely. Mercury exploration is active; small-scale production of platinum and antimony can be expected. No significant increase in gold mining is anticipated at present prices. Sharply increased production of barite and construction materials should result from developments in the oil fields. Alaska’s mining industry may be approaching a period of considerable expansion.
© 1971 University of Missouri--Rolla, All rights reserved.
Weissenborn, A. E.
"Geologic Considerations and Solid Mineral Potential of Alaska,"
UMR Journal -- V. H. McNutt Colloquium Series: Vol. 2
, Article 5.
Available at: http://scholarsmine.mst.edu/umr-journal/vol2/iss1/5