Metal Creek

Mine, Active?

Alternative names

Sumner and Andrulli

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au; W
Other commodities Ag; Cu; Pt
Ore minerals gold; native silver; platinum; scheelite

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale AN
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-4
Latitude 61.5
Longitude -148.4
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Locations reported include the lower and upper sections of Metal Creek from headwaters at Metal Creek Glacier to the Glacier Fork of Knik River confluence. Mineral occurrences span a distance greater than 15 miles, including Anchorage 1:63,360 scale C-4, B-4, and B-5 topographic maps. Includes localities 95-109 of Cobb (1972) and locality 64 and 65 of MacKevett and Holloway (1977).

Geologic setting

Geologic description

A raised terrace of clay and glacial deposits extends up Metal Creek and glacial debris cover most of the high valleys. Placer gold is largely restricted to lower half of Metal Creek and is probably derived from source in basin such as small quartz veins. The gold apparently was deposited in a glacial lake and is currently being reworked by present stream action. Generally, gold is well rounded and less than 1 mm in diameter. The maximum gold content occurs below 600 ft elevation, thus corresponding roughly to the height of the old glacial lake terrace surrounding the lower course of the creek (Richter, 1967). Platinum, pyrite, zircon, copper, native silver, and fairly abundant scheelite are present in many concentrate samples.
Country rock along Metal Creek is Valdez Group interbedded slate, siltstone, and graywacke of Late Cretaceous age that have been metamorphosed to phyllite and quartz mica schist. These rocks are tightly folded, exhibit strong foliation, strike N 10-30 E, and dip nearly vertical. At the headwaters of Metal Creek and Glacial Fork, greenstone containing discontinuous dikes and one stock of quartz diorite are present (Lande, 1927). Quartz veins with pyrite and chlorite are common in the area.
Geologic map unit (-148.402232391927, 61.4994736507253)
Mineral deposit model Placer Au (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a)
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Placer deposits are Quaternary.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Placer gold was discovered in 1906 and has been mined on a small scale intermittently since that time. The total production probably not worth more than a few thousand dollars. Platinum, pyrite, zircon, copper, native silver, and fairly abundant scheelite are present in many concentrate samples. Placer gold in amounts amendable to mining are present in the lower section of Metal River.
Indication of production Yes; small
Production notes The total production of gold probably not worth more than a few thousand dollars (Richter, 1967).

Additional comments

Small scale placer mining for gold should be economically feasible along Metal Creek south from Paradise Creek to junction with Glacier Fork. This area was previously explored and mined by Douglas Sumner and James Andrulli of Eagle River, Alaska. Abundance of scheelite in concentrates is enough to warrant prospecting of the area between Metal Creek and Glacier Fork (Richter, 1967).