Forgotten chain of Alaska mining history – by A.J. Roan (North of 60 Mining News – April 30, 2021)

After the United States’ purchase of Alaska, and before the boom brought on by the Klondike Gold Rush, a small island just off the Alaska Peninsula would have gold-bearing quartz discovered, inevitably booming a small trade hub known as Delarov, or as it came to be known, Unga.

As it stretches like a broken bridge from the continent of North America to the continent of Asia, many forget the large chain of islands that occupies an area of 6,821 square miles and extends nearly 1,200 miles westward from the Alaska Peninsula to the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia, is in fact inhabited and even a part of the great northern state.

The Alaska Peninsula and 167 named Aleutian Islands, extending more than 1,000 miles off Southwest Alaska form a border between the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea.

This geologically young island arc is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a tectonically active and mineral-rich belt that runs from the southern tip of South America north to Alaska and along the Aleutian Islands before extending south to New Zealand.

Roughly 8,162 people (per the 2000 census) live along Alaska’s Aleutian Island arc, yet before the time of its discovery by Russian explorers in the mid-18th century, the population is estimated to have been over 25,000.

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