Bear Creek

Mine, Inactive

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Ag; Ir; Os; Pb; Pd; Pt; Rh; Ru; Zn
Ore minerals gold; platinum; pyrite

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale CA
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-5
Latitude 65.55
Longitude -161.08
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy The Bear Creek placer mine is along about a mile of Bear Creek between Polar and Bob Creek. The coordinates are for the camp at the junction of Split Creek, on the boundary of sections 23 and 24, T. 2 N., R. 12 W., of the Kateel River Meridian. Cobb, 1972 (MF-389), locations 29 and 30. Also see Additional comments.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Bedrock in the mine area is predominately altered, Jurassic andesitic tuff and greenstone which are cut by mafic and felsic dikes. Quartz and calcite veins carry disseminated sulfides. Breccia zones in greenstones also carry disseminated sulfides and have a thin, oxidized cap which carries some gold. Abundant heavy, red, cherty rock in the placer concentrate occurs as crosscutting veins and irregular masses in greenstone. At the Bear Creek gold placer flaky gold and platinum occur on bedrock or in cracks in upper several inches of bedrock. During mining bedrock must be thoroughly cleaned since much of the gold is close to or in cracks in bedrock. The bedrock surface is very irregular. Concentrates contained gold, platinum, magnetite, hematite, pyrite, garnet and chrome spinel (Harrington, 1919). The gold was flaky and worth $19.20 per ounce in 1905. Analysis of platinum minerals from placer concentrate gave the following results: 72.82% Pt; 15.58% Ir, 8.17% Os, 2.29% Ru, 0.78% Rh, and 0.36% Pd (Moffit, 1905).
Geologic map unit (-161.082656756044, 65.5493315272769)
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 Small-scale placer mining has been done on Bear Creek since the early 1900s, continuing intermittently until at least the 1960s. Most of the mining has been above and below Split Creek (Herreid, 1965).
Indication of production Yes; small

Additional comments

Some of the names associated with early mining claims are: Douglass and Edwards, Douglass and Milligrock, Hoxie, Tendness and Barr, Porter, and Wright. Prospecting work was done near the airstrip in 1964 (Herreid, 1965).


MRDS Number A015716; M045826


Smith, S.S., 1917, The mining industry in the Territory of Alaska during the calendar year 1915: U.S. Bureau of Mines Bulletin 142, 65 p.
Reporters Anita Williams (Anchorage, AK)
Last report date 1/12/2000