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Wise Mike Placer Mine
33,000 ounce drilled placer reserve
Average grade of 0.01 oz/bcy.
Strip ratio of 0.3/1 Patented land held by the Stepovich family for 100 + years. Last mined in 1992. Low gold prices stopped the operation. The property is located 35 miles by road east of Fairbanks Alaska. Directly south is a common border to Kinross Gold's Gil/Sourdough Ridge property. Drilled in the 1940's by Fairbanks Exploration with 6'' churn, and by Sphinx Exploration in the 1980's with 8'' R.C.
Mining claims were first staked in Fish Creek Valley in 1903, with early mining being done by hand labor until the late 1930's. Almost all of that mine work was done by underground drifting. In 1938 Mike Stepovich brought dozers and a dragline to the property and began a mechanical open cut mining operation using an elevated sluice. This operation at the mouth of Clark Creek produced 7300 ounces before the war order L208 in 1942 shut down gold mining throughout the United States. In 1937 the F.E. Company bought a large block of the Stepovich ground and drilled the property. Dredge #2 was moved to Fairbanks Creek, a tributary to Fish Creek where it operated from 1950 through 1963. When shut down it was mining on Fish Creek adjacent to this property now for sale. Detailed F.E. maps show this ground being mined by the dredge in subsequent years. The property then sat idle until 1984 when Sphinx Mining leased the ground and mined until the fall of 1989. Operations ceased at that time due to declining gold prices.
The frozen gravels are covered by an average of 10 feet of ice rich black muck. The pay gravels are small in size, and wash easy with very little clay. The past mining used a double deck screen, with the -1/2" pumped to a sluice box. Gold particles are small in size with very few nuggets. It is recommended in the future that a jig plant be used to recovery the very fine gold. Primary heavy sand found in the concentrate is garnet.
The exploration done by Sphinx Mining used a track mounted 8" reverse circulation drill. Gravel samples were processed through a Denver Gold Saver where the recovered gold was panned, cleaned and weighed. Gold fineness where Sphinx finished is 890.
New mining would resume where Sphinx finished in 1989 and continue upstream for 3,000 feet. The width of the pay where starting is 1,000'. Stripping of the black muck would be into the last Sphinx pit, now a lake of approximately 800,000 square feet as seen on google earth. The lake would also serve as a large recirculation pond for sluicing. Having the lake will greatly reduce first year operating costs. The overburden removal could begin in late fall, finishing in early November. Processing of the gravels for gold recovery would start in early May, dependent on solar thaw, and be completed in early October.
This is a large gravel operation where the money is in the recovered gold. Operating at 200 bank yards per hour, 20 hours per day for 100 days would produce 4,000 ounces of gold. This mining operation will payback purchase, capital, and operating costs in the second year.
Sale Price: $3,500,000 USD