Renewed copper exploration by Alaska Copper Mines, Incorporated, at the Nelson and Radovan prospects, Nizina district, Alaska, led the Geological Survey in 1951 to map in detail the Nelson fault block, and to re-examine the old workings. In addition, two new prospects were studied.
The Nelson fault block is cut by many dominantly strike-slip faults of small displacement, and by bedding faults. Slickensided chalcocite shows post-mineral movement, and chalcocite veinlet in a filled solution cavity indicates that some of the chalcocite is secondary, perhaps very recent. Structural relations indicate two overthrust faults cut the block.
The Radovan Greenstone prospect shows massive chalcocite, up to 3 feet wide, in a silicified, epidotized fault zone in the Nikolai greenstone. Ore indicated by surface exposures may amount to 450 tons of chalcocite.
The Radovan Low-Contact prospect is on a continuation of the same fault approximately 3 miles southwest of the Greenstone prospect, and 150 feet above the contact of the Nikolai greenstone and the overlying Chitistone limestone. Limonite staining is widespread in bedding planes and small faults near the fault zone; mineralization in the fault zone consists of pyrite, chalcocite, bornite, malachite, realgar, orpiment and stibnite. The sulphides in the fault zone, plus the widespread silicification and epidotization indicate a strong zone of hydrothermal activity which merits extensive prospecting.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Preliminary report on the Nelson and Radovan copper prospects, Nizina district, Alaska