Marvel Creek

Mine, Active

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Ore minerals gold

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale BH
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale D-2
Latitude 60.91
Longitude -159.62
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Marvel Creek is a north tributary to Eagle Creek, a west tributary of the Salmon River. About 3 miles of Marvel Creek have been placer mined. The map site is the approximate midpoint of the placer workings, at the southwest corner of section 32, T. 10 N., R. 58 W., of the Seward Meridian. It is locality 12 of Cobb (1972 [MF 455]) and of Hoare and Cobb (1977).

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Marvel Creek has been extensively placer mined over about 3 miles, or most of its length. It is in a non-glaciated valley with headwaters in an area where the Upper Cretaceous granitic stock of Marvel Dome is surrounded by hornfels in sedimentary rocks of the mid-Cretaceous Kuskokwim Group (Box and others, 1993). A small undated felsic stock is bedrock at the head of the placer workings. Hornfels near the intrusive rocks is locally cut by abundant quartz stringers and veins up to 8 inches wide. Some iron-staining accompanies the quartz veins, but metallic minerals are not obvious (Maddren, 1915, p. 341).
Marvel Creek valley has not been glaciated. The alluvium is moderately well sorted but locally derived, coarse, and subangular. Silt is present in the gravels and a discontinuous yellow clay horizon is present on or near bedrock. Pay is on bedrock and in bedrock fractures, or on the clay horizon where it is present. There are discontinuous sloping bench deposits that are incised by the active stream along lower parts of the creek. The lower creek also incises bedrock, and the initial discovery of gold in 1911 was on bench bedrock exposed in a cutbank there (Maddren, 1915, p. 343). Along the present flood plain, the gravel deposits are about 800 feet wide and 5 to 25 feet thick. It appears that they thicken upstream; near the head of mining a 60-foot deep shaft failed to reach bedrock (Maddren, 1915, p. 342). The creek has been placer mined over 3 miles of its length. Most of the mining on the lower part was by a small dredge. Mining took place almost every year from the 1920s to 1940 and recommenced after WW II until at least 1970 (Hoare and Cobb, 1977). Much of the pay ranged in grade from 0.01 to 0.02 ounce of gold per square foot and much of the gold was coarse (Hoare and Cobb, 1977, p. 19). In 1912, a 20,000-square-foot open cut completed with pick and shovel recovered about 0.03 ounce of gold per square foot (Maddren, 1915, p. 344).
Geologic map unit (-159.622286372779, 60.9092706997998)
Mineral deposit model Placer Au-PGE (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a).
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Quaternary.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration The creek has been placer mined over 3 miles of its length. Most of the mining on the lower part was by a small dredge. Hydraulic and open-cut methods were used above the dredged area. Mining took place almost every year from the 1920s to 1940 and recommenced after WW II until at least 1970 (Hoare and Cobb, 1977).
Indication of production Yes; medium
Production notes Maddren (1915) reported that about 1,100 ounces of gold were produced between 1912 and 1914. In 1912, a 20,000-square-foot open cut completed with pick and shovel recovered about 0.03 ounce of gold per square foot (Maddren, 1915, p. 344). Much of the pay ranged in grade from 0.01 to 0.02 ounce per square foot, and much of the gold was coarse (Hoare and Cobb, 1977, p. 19).

References

MRDS Number A013393
Reporters Travis L. Hudson
Last report date 3/24/2001