Prospects, Active

Alternative names

Buckeye Pup

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Ag; As; Bi; Pb; Sb; Te
Ore minerals arsenopyrite; bismuth; galena; gold; lead-antimony sulfosalts; pyrite; pyrrhotite; stibnite
Gangue minerals limonite; quartz

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale BD
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale B-5
Latitude 64.334
Longitude -146.253
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy The Buckeye prospect is on the hillside on the north side of Banner Creek about 3.5 miles above its mouth. It is about 4.2 miles northeast of Richardson on the Richardson Highway and about 0.6 mile west-southwest of the center of section 6, T. 7 S., R. 8 E., of the Fairbanks Meridian. The location is accurate.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

The Richardson District is characterized by gentle slopes and broad, alluvium-filled valleys (Prindle and Katz, 1913). The area is unglaciated and largely overlain by windblown silt, sand, and loess, locally up to 50 meters thick (Foster and others, 1979). The rocks consist of three structure-bounded units (Weber and others, 1978; Swainbank and others, 1984; Noyes and others, 2006; Freeman, 2011). There is a core that consists mainly of biotite-hornblende-feldspar-quartz gneiss and lesser amphibolite, quartzite, marble and calc-silicate hornfels. The core is bounded on the north and south by amphibolite-grade pelitic schist. The contacts between the units are probably low-angle faults; north-trending vertical faults occur widely. Weber and others (1978) assign the pre-metamorphic age of the rocks to the Precambrian or Paleozoic. They were metamorphosed in the Middle to Late Devonian and recrystallized in the Early Cretaceous (Dusel-Bacon and others, 2004; Freeman, 2011). The metamorphic rocks are intruded by 90 Ma, felsic to intermediate dikes and plugs, notable the quartz-feldspar porphyry dike at the nearby Democrat Mine (BD014).
The Buckeye prospect was discovered by the Tri-Valley Corporation during reconnaissance exploration in 1998 when they found 10 float samples of quartz that contained 0.35 to 1.54 ounces of gold per ton; the samples also contained up to 846 parts per million (ppm) bismuth and up to 127 ppm tellurium (Vantanyan and others, 1998). In late 1998, the Tri-Valley Corporation and Placer Dome (USA) formed a joint venture that initially concentrated on the headwaters of Banner Creek, an area that included the over the Buckeye prospect and the Bald Knob prospect (BD073) about a mile and a half to the north. In 1999, Placer Dome collected 1,037 soil samples on bedrock, collected 136 rock samples, and drilled three hole that totaled 516.5 meters (Rogers and others 1999). The soil samples defined a strong gold-bismuth-tellurium anomaly over the Buckeye and Bald Knob prospects. One drill hole was at the Buckeye prospect, the other two were at the Bald Knob prospect. Placer Dome did more soil and rock sampling in 2000 and drilled three more holes (Graham, 2002; Noyes and others, 2006). Intercepts with more than 100 parts per billion gold were seen in the six holes drilled in 1999 and 2000. The high gold values correlate with high bismuth and tellurium but the drill core showed no correlation of gold with such pathfinder elements as silver, arsenic, antimony, copper, lead, or zinc. The higher gold values are in narrow quartz veins that cut otherwise unaltered gneiss. Additional soil sampling in 2005 added little to the extent of the previous anomalies. The source of the rich gold-bismuth-tellurium-quartz samples found at the surface near the Buckeye prospect in 1998 remains unknown. In his synthesis of the previous work on the gold mineralization of the Richardson district Freeman (2011) suggests that the mineralization at the Buckeye prospect is a distal intrusion-related gold deposit.
Geologic map unit (-146.255360200614, 64.3335939107217)
Mineral deposit model Distal intrusion-related gold deposit.
Age of mineralization Probably 90 Ma as are most of the gold deposits in the district.
Alteration of deposit Notable lack of alteration in the gneiss host rock.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Three generations of sampling soil on bedrock from 1998 to 2005. Numerous rock samples collected and analyzed. Six holes were drilled on similar mineralization in 1999 and 2000 on this and the nearby Bald Knob prospect (BD073).
Indication of production None


MRDS Number 10307236


McCoy, D.T.; Newberry, R.J.; Layer, P., DiMarchi, J.; Bakke, A.; Masterman, J.S. and Minehane, D.L., 1997, Plutonic-related gold deposits of interior Alaska: in Economic Geology Monograph 9, p. 191-241.
Rogers, J. A., McCoy, D. T., Graham, G. and Nerup, M., 1999, Placer Dome-Tri-Valley Option Agreement, 1999 Annual Report, Richardson Project: Confidential Private Report, 46 p.
Vartanyan, S.S., Volchcov, A.G., Zelikson, B.S., Bohme, D.M., 1998, Preliminary summary Report, 1998 Richardson District Exploration Program: Internal report for Tri-ValleyCorp., September 15, 1998, 35 p.
Reporters Cameron S. Rombach (ADGGS); D.J. Grybeck (Contractor, USGS)
Last report date 4/1/2012