Buckeye Creek

Mines, Active?

Alternative names

Martha
Moore Creek

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Ag; Cu; Pb; REE; Sb; Sn; W
Ore minerals arsenopyrite; cassiterite; chalcopyrite; galena; gold; monazite; pyrite; pyrrhotite; scheelite; stibnite

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale BD
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale B-5
Latitude 64.311
Longitude -146.303
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Buckeye Creek drains southwest into Banner Creek (BD001). The approximate center of mining activity on Buckeye Creek is in SE1/4NW1/4 section 14, T. 7 S., R. 7 E., of the Fairbanks Meridian, approximately 2 miles north of the town of Richardson on the Richardson Highway. The creek is roughly 4 miles long and has several tributaries with associated placers. This includes Hinkley Gulch (BD019) and Moore Creek (not identified on existing maps). Hinkley Gulch is located on a south-facing slope 0.5 miles upstream of the confluence with Banner Creek (Swainbank and others, 1984). The mouth of Moore Creek is in NE1/4NE1/4 section 14, T. 7 S., R. 7 E., of the Fairbanks Meridian. It is locality 12 of Cobb (1972; MF-388). Martha is reported to be on upper Buckeye Creek (Menzie and Foster, 1979). Its location was not included by Cobb (1972; MF-388) or by Cobb and Eberlein (1980). Placer workings on Buckeye Creek are concentrated near the Hinkley Gulch area, but are also found along the lower half of the creek (Olson and others, 1985). Numerous unimproved roads provide access to the Buckeye Creek drainage. It is locality 11 of Cobb (1972; MF-388) who summarized relevant references under the name 'Buckeye Creek'.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

The Richardson area is characterized by gentle slopes and broad, alluvium-filled valleys (Prindle and Katz, 1913, p. 140). The area is unglaciated and largely overlain by windblown silt, sand, and loess, locally up to 50 meters thick (Foster and others, 1979). The bedrock in the region comprises greenschist to amphibolite facies schist, marble, and gneiss that have been intruded by various igneous bodies (Bundtzen and Reger, 1977, p. 29). The schist and marble are probably Paleozoic, and the gneiss has a probable protolith of Precambrian and Paleozoic sedimentary and igneous rocks (Weber and others, 1978). The intrusive bodies in the area range in composition from rhyolite to andesite. Fine-grained rhyolite containing quartz and feldspar phenocrysts is common throughout the area (Olson and others, 1985). At the nearby Democrat Lode (BD014), the rhyolite contains arsenopyrite, gold, and pyrite, and is albitic, clay, and sericite altered (R.J. Newberry, oral communication, 1998). Structurally, the Richardson region is cut by a northwest-trending fracture system termed the Richardson Lineament. The lineament appears to correspond with the distribution of the rhyolite and other intrusive bodies and placer gold deposits (Bundtzen and Reger, 1977). Also, the lineament tends to separate gneissic rocks to the northeast from schistose rocks to the southwest (Swainbank and others, 1984).
At the headwaters of Buckeye Creek there is coarse-grained K-spar, quartz, and muscovite metagranite in contact with epidote and actinolite hornfels. At Hinkley Gulch there is a cut exposing epidote and hornblende gneiss. The gold fineness in pan concentrates from Hinkley Gulch averaged 670 (Bundtzen and Reger, 1977) and 693 (Metz and Hawkins, 1981). Placer and churn-drill hole concentrates contain actinolite, arsenopyrite, biotite, cassiterite, chalcopyrite, dolomite, epidote, feldspar, fluorapatite, galena, garnet, gold, hornblende, ilmenite, magnetite, monazite, muscovite, quartz, pyrite, pyroxene, rutile, scheelite, sphene, stibnite, tourmaline, and zircon (Bundtzen and Reger, 1977). Glover (1950) reported a range in gold fineness of 730 to 787 for Buckeye Creek.
Placer gold was first discovered in the Richardson district in 1905. Mining initially occurred on the nearby Tenderfoot Creek (BD039) and soon expanded to Buckeye Creek and associated tributaries. After peak gold production in 1908, mining in the area declined (Olson and others, 1985). From 1905 through 1921, production in the Richardson district was approximately 95,000 ounces of gold and 24,000 ounces of silver (Bundtzen and Reger, 1977). Since 1980, the district has produced approximately 10,000 additional ounces of gold from intermittent mining (Olson and others, 1985).
Geologic map unit (-146.305356484616, 64.3105928336209)
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 Placer gold was first discovered in the Richardson area in 1905. Mining initially occurred on the nearby Tenderfoot Creek and expanded to Buckeye Creek and associated tributaries. After peak gold production in 1908, mining in the area declined (Olson and others, 1985). Mining along Buckeye Creek has included open-cut and drifting methods (Ellsworth and Parker, 1911). Exploration work is continuing along the Buckeye Creek drainage. Preliminary work has identified a mineralized fracture trend in the Buckeye Creek drainage called the Buckeye Zone (F.L. Blystone, written communication, 1998). No other information regarding the Buckeye Zone is available.
Indication of production Yes; small
Production notes From 1905 through 1921, production for the Richardson area was approximately 95,000 ounces of gold and 24,000 ounces of silver (Bundtzen and Reger, 1977). Since 1980, mining in the district has produced an additional 10,000 ounces of gold (Olson and others, 1985). Gold production for individual mines or sections of Buckeye Creek, Martha, and Moore Creek is not available.

References