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15,000 ounces of gold from placers, came from the Petersburg-Sumdum district which consists of; Zarembo, Etolin, and Wrangell Islands, and the mainland between the Juneau and Ketchikan districts. Many small lode deposits were located in the late 1890s and early 1900s. The most significant lode producer was the Sumdum Chief, which was discovered in 1889 and operated until exhausted in 1903. 24,000 ounces of gold were extracted from two quartz veins averaging ore of about 0.39 ounces per ton of both gold and silver. The mine reached a depth of 1,200 feet (370 m) and had a ten-stamp mill. In Windham Bay, a cluster of mineral claim holdings were consolidated in the 1920s; the Jensen mine was the most productive of these, producing about 50 ounces of gold. Several aerial tramways, thousands of feet long, connected various adits and mills.
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The Chandalar district is the area around the upper drainage of the Chandalar River, includes some southern foothills of the Brooks Range, and extends to the crest of the Brooks Range. Discovery of placer gold in 1906 was quickly followed by lode discoveries. Most of the placer-producing creeks drain the area of lode mineralization. The district produced about 48,000 ounces of placer gold and 17,000 ounces of lode gold.
Little Squaw Creek drains an area cut by many auriferous veins. Some of the placers in the basin are exceptionally rich. By 1916 most of the shallow placers were playing out so miners shifted their interest to the placer drift mines (underground operations). The most notable of these is the Little Squaw Bench, including the Mellow Bench. Approximately 29,000 ounces of gold were recovered averaging 1.0 oz/cubic yard of gold in the gravels with spikes of up to 4.6 oz/cubic yard. Some individual nuggets were over 10 ounces. In 2010, gold production resumed with mining of the placer deposits by the Gold Rich Mining Company.
A rich, deep channel was struck beneath the Hammond River in 1912, and during the following 4 years, over 48,000 oz gold were produced, including a 138.8-oz nugget. (Pringel, 1921; T.K. Bundtzen, written communication, 1999) Much of the gold was coarse: the third (146 troy oz.), fourth (139 troy oz.), 14th (61 troy ounces), and 17th (55 troy ounces) largest gold nuggets in Alaska were found on the Hammond River between Discovery claim and Vermont Creek a distance of 4 miles. Only the richest ground was possible to mine as the Hammond River was one of the most remote placer districts in North America until 1975 when the Dalton Highway for the Alaskan Pipeline project was completed.Historically the Hammond River is one of the largest gold producers in the Koyukuk district. Gold was discovered on the Hammond River, just above the lower canyon mouth, about 2 miles upstream from the Koyukuk River. In the early years, attempts were made to mine the modern stream gravels. At the mouth of Swift Creek a wing dam was built to divert the river for mining, but numerous cobbles and small boulders made the venture unprofitable. Approximately 500 ounces was recovered with pick and shovels in Summer of 1902. Later, shafts sunk 66 feet to bedrock at the discovery site were reported to show the presence of gold in paying quantities. The majority of the gold production on the Hammond came out of the deep channel as early miners were unable to deal with the water and cobbles in the present river channel.
The Hammond River contains deep channel, bench, and modern stream placers. Much of the Hammond River gold is of the coarse nugget variety. Several nuggets weighing from 45 to 59 oz were found in the early days. In 1914 a 138.8 oz nugget (fourth largest in Alaska) was found in a mud-filled crack on bedrock near Gold Bottom Gulch (Engineering and Mining Journal, 1915, p. 1021; T. Bundzten, personal communication, 1999).
The mine was permitted in 2003 and the first gold ore bar was poured on February 12, 2006. 340 company employees and more than 200 contract employees were employed at the mine in 2018. The mine has estimated indicated and inferred mineral resources of 4.15 million ounces of gold at a grade of 14.7 g/t (JORC).
The 1886 discovery of gold on Franklin's Bar on the Fortymile River touched off Interior Alaska's first gold rush. The mining boom ushered in a wave of settlement that forever changed the place, not only for its new residents but for the Athabascan Indians who occupied this region long before them. The miners who prospected nearly every creek in the region eventually extracted more than a half-million ounces of gold from the Fortymile, including a 56.8 troy ounce nugget, Alaska's 15th-largest. Reports of starvation and lawlessness among the miners resulted in the Army sending troops to the Eagle area to provide law enforcement in 1899. Soldiers soon began work on a trail from Valdez to Eagle.
The beginning of the end of the Fortymile Gold Rush came in August 1896 when George Carmack reported the first gold strike along the Klondike River in Canada. Within a few years the once-booming towns in the Fortymile region were abandoned and forgotten. Some of the original Fortymile miners returned to the area after the Klondike Gold Rush passed. From 1887 to 1890 the Upper Yukon region was the richest and most productive mining area in the region. During those three years the area produced 1,200,000 ounces of gold, accounting for 5 percent of Alaska's total gold production.
The first mineral discovery by the Russians in Alaska (a cinnabar-stibnite deposit) occurred in the Aniak district in 1838. Pay gold was found in 1901 on tributaries of the Kuskokwim River in the Aniak district.
In the 1970s Calista Corporation, an Alaska Native Corporation, as part of its land grant under ANSCA selected the land east of Crooked Creek, based on its mineral potential. In 1986 modern hardrock exploration of the Donlin area began with WestGold's efforts, which were abandoned after two years, due not to the lack of gold, but to the refractory (technically difficult to extract from the rock) nature of the gold. PlacerDome signed a lease with Calista and began exploration at Donlin in 1995. That effort continues today, having evolved to a 50:50 partnership between Barrick Gold and NovaGold Resources, in cooperation with Calista, the landowner. Over 150 million dollars have been expended on exploration, engineering, and environmental studies.
Resurrection Creek was the site of Alaska's first gold rush in the late 1890s, and placer mining continues today. The Resurrection Creek watershed drains 161 square miles (420 km2) on the north side of the Kenai Peninsula, and the community of Hope, Alaska is located at the mouth of Resurrection Creek. Charles Miller located the first claim on Resurrection Creek; then leased it to others for working. By 1893, about a dozen miners were working claims on Resurrection Creek. In1894, more claims were established on Resurrection Creek.
The Chulitna-Yentna mineral belt extends northeastward for 100 miles (160 km) or more along the southern flank of the west-central Alaska Range. The belt shares tectonic or compositional features comparable with some well-known mineral belts of the western Cordillera, including the Juneau gold belt.
As a trained statistician with degrees from MIT and Stanford University, Srivastava was intrigued by the technical problem posed by the lottery ticket. In fact, it reminded him a lot of his day job, which involves consulting for mining and oil companies. A typical assignment for Srivastava goes like this: A mining company has multiple samples from a potential gold mine. Each sample gives a different estimate of the amount of mineral underground. \"My job is to make sense of those results,\" he says. \"The numbers might seem random, as if the gold has just been scattered, but they're actually not random at all. There are fundamental geologic forces that created those numbers. If I know the forces, I can decipher the samples. I can figure out how much gold is underground.\"
That afternoon, he went back to work. The thrill of winning had worn off; he forgot about his lunchtime adventure. But then, as he walked by the gas station later that evening, something strange happened. \"I swear I'm not the kind of guy who hears voices,\" Srivastava says. \"But that night, as I passed the station, I heard a little voice coming from the back of my head. I'll never forget what it said: 'If you do it that way, if you use that algorithm, there will be a flaw. The game will be flawed. You will be able to crack the ticket. You will be able to plunder the lottery.'\"
The problem for the criminals, of course, is that unless cracked, most lotteries return only about 53 cents on the dollar, which means that they'd be forfeiting a significant share of their earnings. But what if criminals aren't playing the lottery straight? What if they have a method that, like Srivastava's frequency-of-occurrence trick, can dramatically increase the odds of winning? As Srivastava notes, if organized crime had a system that could identify winning tickets more than 65 percent of the time, then the state-run lottery could be turned into a profitable form of money laundering. \"You've got to realize that, for people in organized crime, making piles of money is one of their biggest problems,\" says Charles Johnston, a supervisory special agent in the organized crime section of the FBI. \"If they could find a way to safely launder money without taking too big a loss, then I can guarantee you they'd start doing it in a heartbeat.\" There is no direct evidence that criminals are actually using these government-run gambling games to hide their crimes. But the circumstantial evidence, as noted by the FBI, is certainly troubling.
And this is why the story of the crackable tic-tac-toe tickets has larger significance. \"The lottery corporations all insist that their games are safe because they are vetted by outside companies,\" Srivastava says. \"Well, they had an outside auditor approve the tic-tac-toe game. They said it couldn't be broken. But it could.\" Fundamentally, he believes that creating impregnable tickets is extremely difficult, if not impossible. \"There is nothing random about the lottery,\" he says. \"In reality, everything about the game has been carefully designed to control payouts and entice the consumer.\" Of course, these elaborate design elements mean that the ticket can be undesigned, that the algorithm can be reverse-engineered. The veneer of chance can be peeled away.