The community of Platinum is located at the base of South Spit in Goodnews Bay, about 123 miles (198 km) south of Bethel and 11 miles (18 km) southwest of the village of Goodnews, Alaska.
The discovery of platinum, an extremely rare metal that is highly resistant to corrosion, was made here in 1926 by Walter Smith, an Alaskan Native from Chagvan Bay. Smith brought a prospector to a site on Platinum Creek where earlier he had panned some of the heavy metal which he termed “black gold”.
In 1937, the Goodnews Bay Mining Company began large scale commercial mining operations that continued until 1979. The site was once a boomtown with a roadhouse, post office, and two trading posts. During World War II, it was the only source of the strategically important metal in the Western Hemisphere. The most recent operation was reprocessing old tailings but this stopped in 2012. Read more here and here. Explore more of Platinum and Goodnews Bay here: