Slate Creek

Mine, Inactive

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Ag; Au
Ore minerals gold

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale CH
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale A-6
Latitude 67.2269
Longitude -149.8969
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy
Slate Creek is a west-flowing tributary to the Middle Fork Koyukuk River; its mouth is at the old mining town of Coldfoot on the Dalton Highway, the road that parallels the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. The creek was placer mined at various locations for more than 10 miles but the most productive ground was centered in upper Slate Creek at a camp about 5 miles above the mouth of Myrtle Creek. That ground extended for about a mile above and a mile below the camp. Most of the mining was in sections 24 and 26, T. 28 N., R. 11 W.
The most productive ground on Slate Creek is in the upper portion of the creek in the Chandalar A-6 quadrangle; the lower part of the creek that was also placer mined is in the Wiseman A-1 quadrangle.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Slate Creek has been mined for more than 10 miles at various times since 1898 but the most productive ground was centered in upper Slate Creek about 5 miles above the mouth of Myrtle Creek; this ground extended for about a mile below and a mile above this point.
Gold was discovered at the junction of Myrtle Creek and Slate Creek in 1899 (Schrader, 1900) and by 1904 the workings extended for 5 or 6 miles up Mrytle Creek and farther along Slate Creek (Schrader, 1904). Mining continued intermittently along Slate Creek to at least 2000 by a succession of operators using hand methods, heavy equipment, and by drift mining (Kurtak and others, 2002). The gold production from Slate Creek is not well documented; U.S. Bureau of Mines records indicate that Slate Creek may have produced as much as 1,394 ounces of gold and 121 ounces of silver to 1963 (Kurtak and others, 2002).
Most of the mining on upper Slate Creek was along the modern channel. There was also some mining on a low bench on the south side of the creek; the bedrock at the bottom of the bench is only a few feet above the bedrock at the bottom of the modern channel. No deep channels have been found on upper Slate Creek. Mosier and Lewis (1986) analyzed several samples of gold from upper Slate Creek; they varied from 880 to 952 fine.
On lower Slate Creek, gold has been mined in the modern channel in gravel 10 to 40 feet thick. Reed (1938) indicates that it was possible for the early miners to recover $3 to $4 per day of flour gold (approx. 0.15 - 0.20 ounce of gold) by rocker. At least three high channels were identified from the mouth of Slate Creek to the mouth of Myrtle Creek but they did not contain enough gold to justify mining (Reed, 1938).
Geologic map unit (-149.899621925253, 67.2264730815876)
Mineral deposit model Placer Au (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a).
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Quaternary.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Slate Creek has been mined at various times for over 10 miles upstream from its mouth. Gold was discovered at the junction of Myrtle Creek and Slate Creek in 1899 (Schrader, 1900) and by 1904 the workings extended for 5 or 6 miles up Mrytle Creek and farther along Slate Creek (Schrader, 1904). Mining continued intermittently along Slate Creek to at least 2000 by a succession of operators using hand methods, heavy equipment, and by drift mining (Kurtak and others, 2002). The most productive ground was centered on upper Slate Creek about 5 miles above the mouth of Myrtle Creek; this ground extended for about a mile below and a mile above this point.
Indication of production Yes; small
Reserve estimates Probably none.
Production notes The gold production from Slate Creek is not well documented. U.S. Bureau of Mines records indicate that Slate Creek may have produced as much as 1,394 ounces of gold and 121 ounces of silver to 1963 (Kurtak and others, 2002).

Additional comments

MAS No. 0020310068

References

MRDS Number A011031; A012120

References

Kurtak, J.M., Klieforth, R.F., Clark, J.M., and Maclean, E.A., 2002, Mineral investigations in the Koyukuk mining district, northern Alaska, 2 vols.: Bureau of Land Management, Alaska Technical Report 50, 845 p.
Reporters J.M. Britton (Anchorage, Alaska); D.J. Grybeck (Contractor, U.S. Geological Survey)
Last report date 4/18/2010