Crow Creek

Mine, Active

Alternative names

Erickson
Holmgren-Erickson property
Crow Creek Mining Co.
Girdwood property
Girdwood Mining Co.

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Cu
Ore minerals arsenopyrite; gold; pyrite
Gangue minerals quartz

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale AN
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale A-6
Latitude 61
Longitude -149.08
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Placer mining occurred all along Crow Creek and in Glacier Creek valley into which Crow Creek flows. The majority of mining activity probably took place in the Seward quadrangle. The locality includes all of Crow Creek. Locality 115 and 116 of Cobb (1972) and locality 66 and 67 of MacKevett and Holloway (1977).

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Staked in 1896 or 1897. Placer mining and prospecting has occurred in high bench gravels, recent stream deposits, glacial gravels, and avalanche debris along Crow Creek. The history of the creek is complex due to repeated damming by ice in the valley of Glacier Creek, into which Crow Creek flows. Bench deposits and recent stream deposits have the highest grade and have historically produced most of the gold. Glacial deposits and avalanche debris are low grade but may locally contain significant concentrations of gold. The highest grades appear to be associated with old channels in high benches which likely consist of gravels deposited prior to the last glacial advance (Parks, 1933; Jansons and others, 1984). The stream grade is 2.5 percent in lower course.
Crow Creek drains an area where gold lode deposits occur. Bedrock in the area is graywacke, conglomerate, and slate of the Late Cretaceous Valdez Group that have been intruded by many small granitic bodies. Eleven bench and alluvium samples from Crow Creek contained from 0.0013 to 1.17 oz Au/cubic yard. The placer gold is relatively coarse with 0.025 to 0.05 oz nuggets common and an occasional 1 oz nugget panned by recreational miners (Jansons and others, 1984). The largest nugget found at Crow Creek was 4.5 ounces (Toohey, oral communication, 1998).
Geologic map unit (-149.082181436981, 60.9994307495188)
Mineral deposit model Placer Au (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a)
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Quaternary.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration
Staked in 1896 or 1897, mined more or less continually until World War II. Prior to 1940, one large and two small hydraulic operations accounted for the majority of the production from Crow Creek. One mechanized operation mined the creek intermittently in 1981 and 1982. Currently Crow Creek is mined by recreational miners and a small suction dredge by Crow Creek Mining Company; and by the Girdwood Mining Company. The largest nugget found at Crow Creek was 4.5 ounces (Toohey, oral communication, 1998).
Eleven bench and alluvium samples from Crow Creek contained from 0.0013 to 1.17 oz Au/cubic yard. The placer gold is relatively coarse with 0.025 to 0.05 oz nuggets common and an occasional 1 oz nugget panned by recreational miners (Jansons and others, 1984).
Indication of production Yes; small
Reserve estimates Orris and Bliss (1985) estimated 1,200,000 cubic meters of placer material grading 1.1 gram/cubic meter (0.015 to 0.04 oz/ton) Au for the Crow Creek placer deposits.
Production notes Total estimated production since 1898 is 40,000 to 45,000 oz. Production between 1979 and 1984 was estimated to be approximately 400 oz (Jansons and others, 1984). The largest nugget found at Crow Creek was 4.5 ounces (Toohey, oral commun., 1998).

Additional comments

Most mining activity probably took place in Seward quadrangle. The entire Crow Creek drainage has been prospected, because it drains an area where lode gold deposits have long been known. Presence of numerous large boulders and cemented gravels may cause mining difficulties (Jansons and others, 1984). Attempts to mine upper basin unsuccessful due to legal difficulties; outcome of litigation to stop mining is unknown to reporter.

References

MRDS Number A011680

References

Smith, S.S., 1917, The mining industry in the Territory of Alaska during the calendar year 1916: U.S. Bureau of Mines Bulletin 153, 89 p.
Reporters D.P. Bickerstaff (USGS contractor); S.W. Huss (USGS)
Last report date 7/30/1998