Minnehaha Creek

Mine, Active

Alternative names

Mud Creek

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Ore minerals gold

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale CA
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale D-6
Latitude 65.95
Longitude -161.99
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy The Minnehaha Creek placer mine is about 2.5 miles northwest of Candle. The mine extends downstream for 1 to 2 miles from near the cabins at the head of Mud Creek, which nearly joins Minnehaha Creek at the south end of the workings. The map site is in section 2, T. 6 N., R. 16 W., of the Kateel River Meridian. Cobb, 1972 (MF-389), location 17. This site is commonly referred to as the Mud Creek mine.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

This placer gold deposit reportedly is at the edge of a paleo-lagoon on a 100,000-year-old Sangamon shoreline (Robson and others, 1983). The entire area is blanketed by a thick cover of loess and muck. All ground is frozen. The depth to bedrock is highly variable. The muck section ranges from 6 to 38 feet and the pay or mining section varies from 2 to 63 feet. Bedrock is highly weathered schist often described as sand and clay with schist fragments. Minerals in the concentrate include goethite, magnetite, and galena. Cinnabar has been reported in the concentrate, but the mineral may be rutile.
Small-scale underground drifting was done on the property when it was discovered in the early 1900s. A drilling program was done by Havenstrite in 1941 to identify reserves, which they mined for the next few years. Noranda explored the property in 1982-83 with a drilling program. The property has been mined on a small scale almost continuously to the present (1999).
Geologic map unit (-161.992698611258, 65.9493250305668)
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 underground drifting was done on the property when it was discovered in the early 1900s. Havenstrite completed a drilling program in 1941 and mined the property for a few years. Small-scale surface mining was done until 1982 when Noranda Exploration acquired the claims and drilled 72 holes totaling 4,200 feet. Noranda dropped the claims after a few years and small-scale mining and assessment work continued on the property to the present (1999). The gravel is frozen and ice lenses are present in the muck and gravel.
Indication of production Yes; small
Reserve estimates In 1941, a drill program by Havenstrite was completed which delineated indicated reserves of 48,000 ounces of gold in 1.8 million cubic yards of gravel. Reevaluation of the drill logs by C. Herbert in 1979 indicated existing reserves of 27,940 ounces of gold, or 1.12 million cubic yards of gravel that contained 0.025 ounces gold per cubic yard. In 1982, Noranda Exploration drilled 72 holes that totaled 4,200 feet. Noranda (1983) calculated reserves at Mud Creek as 73,000 ounces of gold in 2.8 million cubic yards of gravel. Estimated reserves as of October, 1996, were more than 50,000 ounces (Johnson, 1996).
Production notes Production between 1947 and 1980 was probably about 10,000 ounces of gold from 277,890 cubic yards of gravel. The property has been actively mined since the mid-1980s. From 1992 through 1996, approximately 3,000 ounces were produced.

Additional comments

Stream gradient under 50 feet per mile.


MRDS Number A015704; A015705


Herbert, C.F., 1979, Mud Creek, Candle mining district, Alaska: Unpublished report prepared for Noranda Exploration, Anchorage, Alaska, 37 p. (Report held by NANA Regional Corporation, Anchorage, Alaska).
Johnson, G.W., 1996, Letter to NANA Regional Corp., Kotzebue, AK, October 16, 2 p. (Report held by NANA Regional Corporation, Anchorage, Alaska).
Robson, J.M., Baer, R.L. and Cobb, W.F., 1983, Mud Creek project summary: Unpublished report, Noranda Exploration, Inc., Anchorage, Alaska, 32 p. (Report held by NANA Regional Corporation, Anchorage, Alaska).
Reporters Anita Williams (Anchorage, AK)
Last report date 1/12/2000