Mule Creek

Mine, Probably inactive

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Ag; Au; Cu
Ore minerals copper; gold; silver

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale CH
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-5
Latitude 67.6005
Longitude -149.3532
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Mule Creek is a small south-flowing tributary to the Bettles River. Its mouth is approximately 4 1/2 miles northeast of the north end of Bob Johnson Lake (formerly Big Lake). There was some mining in the late 1930s at an unknown location, and prior to 1910 there was mining 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 miles upstream from the mouth of the creek. The coordinates reflect this early mining in the west half of section 16, T. 32 N., R. 8 W.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Mule Creek was mined intermittently from 1901 to 1909 and produced at least 15 ounces of gold as well as copper and silver nuggets up to 7 pounds (Maddren, 1913). This early mining took place on a bench about 2 1/2 miles upstream from the mouth in 8 feet of gravel, and about 1 1/2 mile upstream in 2 feet of gravel. In the 1930s, two or three shafts were sunk in the alluvial fan near the mouth of the creek, and another about 1,000 feet upstream (Reed, 1938). Several of these shafts were 75 to 80 feet deep but flooded before reaching bedrock. Reed (1938) reported that the gravel was coarse and waterworn, with many large boulders, and that depth to bedrock was 3 to 8 feet (in the mining before 1910?). In 1937 and 1938, 35 ounces of gold was produced by hand mining. Dillon (1987) reported active claims in 1985. Kurtak and others (2002) examined Mule Creek as part of their study of the mineral resources of the Koyukuk mining district. They panned samples along the creek; a few pans showed visible gold but most did not. They located several of the shafts sunk in the 1930s but found no evidence of any recent mining.
Geologic map unit (-149.355953724282, 67.6000958059951)
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 Mule Creek was mined intermittently from 1901 to 1909 (Maddren, 1913). In the 1930s, two or three shafts were sunk in the alluvial fan near the mouth of the creek and another about 1,000 feet upstream (Reed, 1938). Several of these shafts were 75 to 80 feet deep but flooded before reaching bedrock. In 1937 and 1938, 35 ounces of gold was produced by hand mining. Dillon (1987) reported active claims in 1985. Kurtak and others (2002) examined Mule Creek as part of their study of the mineral resources of the Koyukuk mining district.
Indication of production Yes; small
Production notes From incomplete records, Kurtak and others (2002) documented production of 50 ounces of gold from Mule Creek: 15 ounces in 1906, 10 ounces in 1937, and 25 ounces in 1938.

Additional comments

This prospect is on Doyon Ltd. selected lands; for more information, contact Doyon Ltd., Fairbanks, Alaska.
Reed (1938) pointed out that Maddren (1913) incorrectly identified Big Spruce Creek (the next tributary to the east of the Bettles River) as Mule Creek and that Mule Creek was unnamed.
MAS No. 0020310043

References