St Marys Creek

Mine, Active

Alternative names

St Marys Gulch

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities As; Cu; Mo; Pb; REE; Sb; Th; Ti; U; W
Ore minerals gold

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale CH
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-3
Latitude 67.521
Longitude -148.2086
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy St Marys Creek is an informal name for the mile-long creek that flows southeast into upper Big Creek; the mouth of St Marys Creek is about 1.2 miles east of McLellan Mountain. Much of the creek in the southeast quarter of section 9, T. 32 N., R. 3 W., was mined. The location is accurate.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Maddren (1913) noted that most of the gold produced in the Chandalar district had come from upper Big Creek and St Marys Gulch. Despite its early production, there is little information describing St Marys Creek in particular; most of the mining was done during the same time and/or in conjunction with the much more extensive mining on Big Creek and the production records for Big Creek probably include the production from St Marys Creek (Adney, 1945). Anderson (1956) noted that St Marys Creek was very rich. Some of the open cuts and drift mine worked ground that ran up to $8 in gold per square foot of bedrock (at $20.67 per ounce of gold). On the claim where St Marys Creek enters the valley of Big Creek, drift mining was working ground that ran about $2 in gold per square foot of bedrock in gravel that was 15 to 20 feet deep and 25 feet wide. Mining on St Marys Creek is mentioned only in passing after 1956. However, Bundtzen and Barker (2004) noted that several quartz veins (that became the St Marys lode prospect (CH113) were uncovered during placer mining on St Marys Creek in 1993.
Chipp (1970) noted that pan samples from Big Creek and St. Marys Gulch show the gold to be bright yellow and shot-like to flattened; a few crystals occur. The average grain size of the gold is said to be about 1 mm, and there are many 2- to 3-mm nuggets. Some nuggets include quartz crystals and iron oxides. In addition to the gold the concentrates contain a large suite of heavy minerals including monazite, magnetite, hematite, rutile, pyrite, arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite, galena, stibnite, molybdenite, scheelite, and uranothorianite.
Geologic map unit (-148.211330302771, 67.520616559564)
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 being mined on St Marys Creek from open cuts and by drift mining by 1913 and it may have continued to WWII as part of the much more extensive efforts on Big Creek (CH043). However, there is little production data on St Marys Creek specifically. Barker and Bundtzen (2004) mentioned in passing that several quartz veins were uncovered during placer mining on St Marys Creek in 1993.
Indication of production Yes; medium
Reserve estimates Probably none.
Production notes Some production from the earliest mining in the district; mechanical mining with heavy equipment in 1993 and perhaps a few years more. But there is no data is available on St Marys Creek specifically; the production is probably included with that from Big Creek (CH043).


MRDS Number 10307332


Barker, J.C., 2006, Chandalar Mining District, a report of findings and recommendations, 2005: Unpublished report for Little Squaw Gold Mining Company, 93 p. (on the Internet at, as of February 14, 2010).
Barker, J.C., 2007, Chandalar Mining District, Annual Report of findings for 2006; Unpublished report for Little Squaw Gold Mining Company, 124 p. (On the Internet at, as of February 14, 2010).
Barker, J.C., and Bundtzen, T.K., 2004, Gold deposits of the Chandalar Mining District, Northern Alaska: An information review and recommendations: Unpublished report for the Little Squaw Gold Mining Company, 165 p. (in files of the Goldrich Mining Company).
Barker, J.C., Murray, R.B., Keener, J.O., and Martin, P.L., 2009, Evaluation of the Chandalar mining property: Unpublished report prepared for Goldrich Mining Company, 165 p. (on the Internet at, as of February 14, 2010).
Buzzell, R.G., 2007, History of the Caro-Coldfoot trail (RST 262) and the Coldfoot-Chandalar trail (RST 9): Alaska Office of History and Archaeology, Report 17, 138 p.
Goldrich Mining Company, 2010, Chandalar, Alaska; Project overview: (as of February 16, 2010).
Reporters J.M. Britton (Anchorage); D.J. Grybeck (Contractor, U.S. Geological Survey)
Last report date 4/2/2010