Candle Creek

Mine, Active

Commodities and mineralogy

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale BN
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale D-1
Latitude 65.839
Longitude -162.029
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Candle Creek is a northeast-flowing stream that crosses the northeast boundary of the Bendeleben quadrangle. The mouth of Candle Creek is on Spafarief Bay in the northwest Candle quadrangle. It is the most important placer gold producer in the Fairhaven district and mining has taken place along at least 8 miles of its length, including 4 miles in the Bendeleben quadrangle. This is locality 66, 67, and 68 of Cobb (1972; MF 417; 1975; OFR 75-429).

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Over 8 miles of the channel and floodplain of Candle Creek, as well as many low level benches, have been placer mined for gold. Mining by hand started in 1901 (Mendenhall, 1902) but hydraulic, dozer, and dredge operations were subsequently employed (Cobb, 1975). The majority of the 578,000 ounces of gold and 32,000 ounces of silver recorded as produced from the Fairhaven district came from Candle Creek (Hudson and DeYoung, 1978). Mining was primarily at elevations less than 250 feet and included much was at lower elevations near the mouth of the creek. At least locally, gravels in the creek were 12 to 18 feet-thick and covered by 10 to 20 feet of tundra and muck (Gault and others, 1953). Bench gravels were thinner, 4 to 10 feet thick, and covered by 5 to 10 feet of overburden. At the mouth of Willow Creek, a west tributary at the upper end of mining, 5 to 9 feet of gravel was present. Bench gravels at claim no. 19 were 4 to 5 feet of fine schist gravel covered by 10 to 12 ft of ice and 2 ft of muck. At claim no. 17 gravels were 8 to 18 feet thick with Au primarily present in the lower 6 in to 3 feet. A placer concentrate contained chalcopyrite, galena, gold, arsenopyrite, garnet, hematite, ilmenite, limonite, magnetite, pyrite, rutile, sphene, zircon, and an unidentified uranium-thorium mineral (Gault and others, 1953). Bedrock is extensively covered by tundra but what is exposed in the area is part of a Lower Paleozoic metasedimentary assemblage (Till and others, 1986). Intermediate to felsic dikes and sills locally crosscut the metasedimentary rocks along the drainage and one small granitic stock has been mapped on the ridge south of the creek valley (Till and others, 1986). Sandvik (1956) notes that granitic rocks have been identified in the headwaters of Jump Creek and Minehaha Creek. The low elevation of the creek and its proximity to the coast along its lower reaches indicate that Quaternary sea level fluctuations could have influenced the nature of the placer deposits here.
Geologic map unit (-162.031688617454, 65.838321128013)
Mineral deposit model Placer Au-PGE (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a)
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Quaternary; two or more cycles of placer deposit development are indicated. The low elevation of Candle Creek and proximity to the coast indicates that Quaternary sea level fluctuations may have influenced the character of the placer deposits.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration The long history of placer mining, including some in recent years, has employed many mining methods. Dredging has been extensive but hydraulic, dozer, and drift mining has also occurred. Much of the placer ground is frozen.
Indication of production Yes; medium
Production notes The majority of the 578,000 ounces of gold and 32,000 ounces of silver recorded as produced from the Fairhaven district came from Candle Creek (Hudson and De Young, 1978).