Alaska Gold Rush History and Genealogy





US Geological Paper 610

The Nizina district is in the eastern part of the Copper River drainage basin between lat 61 °12' and 61 °37' N. and long 142°22' and 143°00' W. This is a placer district along the Nizina River, a tributary of the Chitina River. In 1898-99 prospectors were active in the Chitina River valley and some went up as far as the Nizina area. Although copper deposits were soon found and quickly developed, it was not until 1902 that placers rich enough to precipitate a rush were found on Chititu Creek (Moffit and Capps, 1911, p. 76). The rich deposits were quickly exhausted and the operators who remained developed previously known lower grade gravels on Chititu and Dan Creeks. In 1959 these gravels were still being mined, although on a smaller scale. Total production through 1959 from the Nizina district was 143,500 ounces of gold; all but about 60 ounces was from the placers. The geology of the Nizina district was described by Moffit and Capps (1911, p. 20-75). Bedrock in the mountain areas consists for the most part of moderately folded Permian and Triassic ( ?) marine sediments and greenstone intruded by laccoliths, dikes, and sills of quartz diorite porphyry (E. H. Cobb, written commun., 1962). Deposits of morraine and alluvium blanket the lower slopes of the mountains and fill the river basins. The source of the gold in the placers is probably the small quartz veinlets in the black shales that may be related to porphyritic intrusives in the shales. High bench gravels, remnants of a deep alluvial valley fill, contain workable deposits, but the richest placers are in present stream gravels where the gold has been concentrated by reworking of older deposits (Moffit and Capps, 1911, p. 98-100).

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