Myrtle Creek

Mine, Undetermined

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 B-6
Latitude 67.2573
Longitude -149.9805
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy
The mouth of Myrtle Creek on Slate Creek (CH007) is about 4.6 miles east-southeast of Coldfoot. Myrtle Creek has been placer mined at various locations for more than 6 miles above its mouth but the most productive part extended from 2.5 miles to 5 miles above its mouth. The coordinates are at about the middle of this area, near the center of section 3, T. 28 N., R. 11 W.
The most productive ground on Myrtle Creek is in the upper portion of the creek in the Chandalar A-6 and B-6 quadrangles; the lower part of the creek that was also placer mined is in the Wiseman A-1 quadrangle.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Gold was first discovered on Myrtle Creek in 1899 and by 1904 the workings extended 5 or 6 miles up the creek (Schrader, 1900, 1904; Maddren, 1913; Reed, 1938; Kurtak and others, 2002). By 1906, 80 men were hand mining along Myrtle Creek and hydraulic mining began in 1909. There was mining in open cuts and drift mining most years from 1914 to 1939. The first heavy equipment, a dragline and dozer, started mining in 1940. Mining resumed after World War II and continued at intervals until at least 2000, when a small suction dredge was being used to mine potholes in the creek. Myrtle Creek has produced consistently since 1900. Gold was produced in 27 of the years between 1900 and 1941, every year from 1948 to 1955, and during periods from 1979 to 2000. The records are incomplete, but Mrytle Creek produced 16,952 ounces of gold from 1900 to 1955. The most productive years were 1902 when 2,417 ounces of gold were produced and 1950 when 3,141 ounces of gold were produced (Kurtak and others, 2002). An uncertain amount of gold was also produced after 1955.
The most productive part of Mrytle Creek extended from about 2.5 miles above its mouth to about 5 miles above its mouth (Reed, 1938, Kurtak and others, 2002). Most of the gold came from the modern channel of Myrtle Creek in thawed ground that was 30 to 300 feet wide. The gravel was 2 to 7 feet thick and the gold was generally on bedrock or in crevices that held gold down to a depth of about 3 feet in the schist bedrock. The gold seemed to be evenly distributed across the channel. The gold was coarse, clean, and somewhat flattened; occasional nuggets up to an ounce were found and Smith (1942) reported a 23-ounce nugget. By 1937, the modern channel had largely been mined out.
There are several high bench channels on both sides of lower Mrytle Creek that extend for about 3 miles above its mouth (Reed, 1938; Kurtak and others, 2002). In 1937, they had not been mined to any extent but there were attempts to mine them after World War II. One notable bench along the lower two miles of Myrtle Creek has a channel perched 10 to 15 feet above the modern channel, and is covered by 10 to 30 feet of gravel. The ground on the bench was said to run about 0.01 to 0.023 ounce of gold per square foot of bedrock.
Geologic map unit (-149.983225780136, 67.2568719019405)
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 Gold was first discovered on Myrtle Creek in 1899 and by 1904 the workings extended 5 or 6 miles up the creek (Schrader, 1900, 1904; Maddren, 1913; Reed, 1938; Kurtak and others, 2002). By 1906, 80 men were hand mining along Myrtle Creek and hydraulic mining began in 1909. There was mining in open cuts and drift mining most years from 1914 to 1939. The first heavy equipment, a dragline and dozer, started mining in 1940. Mining resumed after World War II and continued at intervals until at least 2000, when a small suction dredge was being used to mine potholes in the creek.
Indication of production Yes
Reserve estimates Probably none of any significant size although pockets of auriferous gravel may remain in potholes along the creek, adjacent to previously mined sections, of the creek, and in the benches along lower Mrytle Creek.
Production notes Myrtle Creek has been one of the largest placer gold producers in the Koyukuk district and it produced consistently from 1900 to 1955. The records are incomplete but Mrytle Creek produced 16,952 ounces of gold from 1900 to 1955; the most productive years were 1902 when 2,417 ounces of gold were produced and 1950 when 3,141 ounces of gold were produced (Kurtak and others, 2002). An uncertain amount of gold was produced after 1955.

Additional comments

MAS No. 002031033

References

MRDS Number A011030; A011960

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