AN ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARD MINING IN ALASKA



What we do and where we do it:

Ophir Mining company is producing gold at Ophir, Alaska. Ophir is located 34 miles northwest of the community of Mcgrath.

Ophir is well positioned in the Ophir Mining district between Nixon Fork gold mine and Donlin Gold mine.



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Our Focus:


Ophir Mining Company, LLC is focused on mining and exploring for gold on and around Ophir Creek. The history is rich with gold mining that began at Ophir creek in 1910.


Miners from Nome stampeded to the Innoko mining district in search of gold. A town was built at the confluence of Ophir creek and the Innoko river.


Some of the historic spruce log cabins still remain.




                        Description: Description: nuggets.jpg             Gold nuggets from “Nugget Bench”



A History of past production:


Gold is found in Ophir creek and the neighboring Gold Run and Dodge Creeks. Ophir creek has produced over 70,000 ounces of gold.


In total, half a million ounces of gold have been produced in the Innoko mining district.


A road was built to transport men and machines from the Kuskokwim river, 40 miles distant. Horse drawn shallow draft barges were also used to pull freight up the Innoko river to Ophir.


Early in the last century, small steamships brought the freight up the Yukon and then up the Innoko river.



History of Placer mining:


Various mining operations worked on Ophir creek from 1910 until the mid 1940’s. a miner named Gus (Gustavus) Uotila mined Ophir Creek from the mid 1940’s until the 1960’s. over 60,000 ounces of gold was recovered through 1960. GOLD Mining was discontinued due to increasing costs of mining and the government controlled price of GOLD. An average of 1000 ounces of GOLD per year was produced.


Mining interest was renewed in the mid 1970’s when the price of GOLD was allowed to float at market prices. Most of Ophir Creek was claimed and mining began once again. Operations continued through 2010. Ophir Mining Company, LLC acquired more mining claims. By September, 2010, the Ophir mine comprised 32 state of Alaska mining claims covering 2480 acres. Dodge Creek adds 1040 acres to the land position.



                        Description: Description: feed_hopper.jpg             Excavator working at Ophir



2010-2012 Lease:


In 2010, a mining company leased 160 acres.


Mining at 150 cubic yards per hour, ten hours per day during the summer months continued until late 2011. The lease was ended in 2012.



Preparation for 2012:


During the winter of 2011, equipment and mining supplies were shipped to Mcgrath in preparation for the 2012 mining season.



2012 mining season:


In May, 2012, Ophir Creek was still covered in snow.


As the crew arrived in Mcgrath, supplies were inventoried and preparations made for moving two Bobcat loaders, two wash plants, and thousands of pounds of supplies.


At breakup of the ice on the Kuskokwim River, The bobcats were barged to Sterling landing.


The Ophir crew was the first to complete the trip over Sugarloaf Mountain. After a nine and a half hour road trip, the Bobcats arrived at Ophir. In the next few days, assembly of wash plants was


completed and sampling began.



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Dragline tailing piles that remain from the early days.




Early mining methods:


Early placer mining was done using cable dozers and draglines to feed a sluice box and stack the tailings from the sluice.


This method was only fifty percent efficient in recovering gold from the gravels at Ophir Creek. 


If 50 percent was recovered (70,000 ounces), then it holds true that 70,000 ounces of gold remain in the tailings piles.


At 2012 prices, this provides an inferred resource of 100 million dollars in gold.


It is estimated that 10 million cubic yards of dragline tailings are available to be re-mined and processed for gold on Ophir Creek.


The early miners found gold in a paleochannel which runs parallel to the modern course of Ophir Creek.


The channel is visible in many places where the draglines cut the gold bearing gravels down to bedrock.


Tailing piles are located on both sides of the channel over the length of Ophir creek.



Sampling process:


Sampling was done on larger tailing piles. Larger tailing piles represent areas where more mining was done.


It can be reasonably assumed that more mining occurred in areas that had higher concentrations of gold. Small tailing piles reflect areas of marginal gold production.


The sampling process involved using a new Proline suction dredge/highbanker combo for benchmark recovery of gold.


Bobcat loaders were used to collect samples for processing.



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Concentrates are screened and panned And The resulting gold dried and weighed.



Other sampling:


Sampling was also done on bedrock in cuts located on terraces 50 to 100 feet above the present creek level.


Very encouraging results were obtained from tailings piles as well as the virgin bedrock.



Geophysical Surveys:




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Geophysical surveys were conducted using a Crone electromagnetic survey system. Numerous conductive anomalies were identified.



GOING FORWARD (2012- 2018):


Further sample analysis is planned. Certain locations that were known to contain larger nuggets with matrix attached and fresh broken gold remain a high priority for exploration.


Accessory sulfide minerals referred to as “marker” minerals (i.e. arsenopyrite) have been observed in exposed bedrock intrusives.


Conclusions are being formulated that the Ophir creek deposit could be a Graben related Black Shale fissure/fracture intrusive deposit model.


Helicopter Borne DIGHEM surveys conducted by the State of Alaska in 2010 and released in 2012 revealed a 100 square mile magnetic structure that suggests Ophir Creek is situated on a Pluton.


Exploration during 2018 revealed Black Shale intrusives consistent with a Graben fissure/fracture on a bench that runs along and above tailings piles. Further exploration along and above the


fissure/fracture zone revealed NO GOLD having eroded from the high ground above the fissure/fracture.


All of this points to the fissure/fracture intrusive as having hosted the GOLD mineralization and resulting placer GOLD deposit.


Exploration continues in 2019:


Further exploration is panned with borehole sampling that could reveal that a lode gold occurrence exists along and above Ophir Creek.


Ophir Mining company, LLC, is a privately held mining company.




Management is actively looking for a larger mining company with appropriate assets to increase mining capacity and advance a well planned exploration program.


Planning is in place to continue exploration and develop an early stage producing gold mine in 2020.


Contact  info@ophir-alaska.com for more information.


Revised 1-22-2019 © Ophir Mining Company, LLC 2019