Gold Creek

Mine, Active?

Alternative names

Little Gold Creek

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Sb
Ore minerals gold; stibnite

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale CH
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-6
Latitude 67.5156
Longitude -149.7329
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Gold Creek is a west-flowing tributary to the Middle Fork Koyukuk River, about 6 miles south of Sukakpak Mountain. Gold Creek has been placer mined almost continuously for more than 6 miles, beginning about 2 miles upstream from its mouth, to its head. For this record, the site is located below the mouth of Magnet Creek in about the middle of the productive area where there was active mining as recently as 2001. This location is about 0.4 mile east-northeast of the center of section 15, T. 31 N., R. 10 W.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Gold Creek was one of the first creeks to be mined in the Koyukuk area and it has been placer mined almost continuously for more than 6 miles, beginning about 2 miles above its mouth, to its head. No gold has been found in the lower two miles. The drainage there has been rearranged by glacial advances and the ancestral lower channel of Gold Creek probably was to the north of the modern channel, toward the lower part of Linda Creek (CH081). That ancestral channel probably was the source of the placer gold that has been mined below the sharp bend in Linda Creek just to the north.
Placer gold was discovered on Gold Creek in 1900 and Schrader (1900) reported that the ground was 'all staked'. He noted that one claim produced $12,000 in gold (about 580 ounces) in ten days. From 1900 to 1905, Gold Creek produced 10,687 ounces of gold. Production fell off rapidly after 1905 but In 1914 five mines were operating in the winter and four in the summer (Brooks, 1915). Mining continued steadily, although production was somewhat erratic, until the mid-1940, and another 3,662 ounces of gold was produced. From 1997 to 2001, there was mining below Magnet Creek and at the head of Gold Creek (near a tributary called 'Little Gold Creek' (in some old reports). The records are incomplete but Gold Creek has produced more than 14 thousand ounces of gold, perhaps considerably more.
Placer gold has been mined in Gold Creek from the modern stream channel in gravel 2 to 7 feet deep; from a deeply buried channel; and from a high channel on benches about 8 feet above the modern channel (Reed, 1938; Kurtak and others, 2002). The gravel in the modern channel is coarse and waterworn, with many boulders. The high channels seem to be confined to the north side of the lower creek and the east side of the upper several miles of the creek. The high channel about 1.5 miles upstream from the mouth of Magnet Creek is about 8 feet above the modern channel; bedrock is 3 to 50 feet deep; and the ground averaged 0.01 ounce of gold per square foot of bedrock. Below Magnet Creek, benches on the north side of Gold Creek contained 0.04 to 0.07 ounce of gold per cubic yard, with 5 feet of overburden. The deep channels vary from side to side of the Gold Creek valley. About a mile below the mouth of Magnet Creek, the deep channel is 50 to 100 feet deep; the pay zone is 12 to 15 feet wide; and the ground runs about 0.04 ounce of gold per square foot of bedrock. The richest placers were between constrictions in the valley formed by resistant schist and diorite. The richest claim was at the mouth of Magnet Creek, just downstream from a diorite dike. Most of the gold forms smooth, shot-like pieces and small nuggets, but some pieces from high on the creek are angular and may not have been transported far. Angular fragments of stibnite in quartz have been found in the gravels.
Kurtak and others (2002) collected numerous samples and panned along Gold Creek as part of the mineral resource study of the Koyukuk mining district. Some of the samples or panned concentrates contained visible or analytical gold, and some of the panned concentrates had elevated arsenic, antimony, tungsten. They concluded that 'Except for a few sites, Gold Creek appears to be mostly worked out.'
Geologic map unit (-149.735649556223, 67.5151856449768)
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 Creek was one of the first creeks to be mined in the Koyukuk area and it has been placer mined almost continuously for more than 6 miles, from about 2 miles above its mouth to its head. Placer gold was discovered on Gold Creek in 1900 and Schrader (1900) reported that the ground was 'all staked'. From 1900 to 1905, Gold Creek produced 10,687 ounces of gold. Production fell off rapidly after 1905 but In 1914 five mines were operating in the winter and four in the summer (Brooks, 1915). Mining continued steadily, although production was somewhat erratic, until the mid-1940, and another 3,662 ounces of gold was produced. From 1997 to 2001, there was mining below Magnet Creek and at the head of Gold Creek (near a tributary called 'Little Gold Creek' in some of the old literature).
Indication of production Yes; medium
Reserve estimates Unknown.
Production notes Gold Creek was one of the first creeks to be mined in the Koyukuk area and it has been placer mined almost continuously for more than 6 miles, beginning about 2 miles above its mouth, to its head. From 1900 to 1905, Gold Creek produced 10,687 ounces of gold. Production fell off rapidly after 1905 but from 1906 to 1948, Gold Creek produced another 3,662 ounces of gold. From 1997 to 2001, there was mining below Magnet Creek and at the head of Gold Creek but the amount of production is not available. The records are incomplete, but Gold Creek has produced more than 14 thousand ounces of gold, perhaps considerably more in view of the mining after 1948.

Additional comments

MAS No. 0020310051

References

MRDS Number 10307328; A011034

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