|Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale||CI|
|Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale||B-2|
|Nearby scientific data||Find additional scientific data near this location|
|Location and accuracy||The coordinates are for the Birch Creek/Buckley Bar confluence. The Steese Highway parallels Birch Creek just east of Twelvemile Summit as it flows west from Mastodon Dome. Eventually Birch Creek flows south, east, then north, crossing the Steese Highway again between Central and Circle.|
Birch Creek is approximately 560 km long, originating just east of Mastodon Dome and emptying into the Yukon River approximately 50 km below Fort Yukon. Birch Creek flows over quartzite and quartzite schist before crossing into the Tintina fault trench where it then flows within the broad lowlands of the Yukon River over Pleistocene and Holocene surficial deposits. The flood plain of the upper and middle portions of the creek is composed of pebble-to-cobble gravel that contains a few boulders composed primarily of quartz and quartzite. A pebble count of gravel in Birch Creek between the mouth of Gold Dust and Butte Creeks reveals a composition of 72 percent quartzitic schist, 20 percent quartz, and 8 percent schist. Panned concentrates are low in magnetite and ilmenite, and rich in garnet (Yeend, 1991, p. 26).The only early placer production recorded from Birch Creek was from river bars, of which Buckley Bar was probably the most productive (Ellsworth and Davenport, 1913, p. 213). A bench about a mile below Twelvemile Creek was unsuccessfully mined in 1911 (Cobb, 1976, p. 7). Mining operations using heavy equipment with modern high-volume sluiceboxes were active along the upper part of Birch Creek in the 1980s (Yeend, 1991).
|Geologic map unit||(-144.570429438623, 65.3296383239015)|
|Mineral deposit model||Placer gold deposit (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a)|
|Mineral deposit model number||39a|
|Workings or exploration||Other than during the discovery period of the late 1800s, little mining was done on Birch Creek until the 1980s. Mining operations using heavy equipment with modern high-volume sluiceboxes were active along the upper part of Birch Creek in the 1980s (Yeend, 1991). A bench about a mile below Twelvemile Creek was unsuccessfully mined in 1911 (Cobb, 1976, p. 7, [OFR 76-633]).|
|Indication of production||Yes|
|Production notes||During the spring of 1894, about a half ounce of gold per man per day was being taken from Pitka's Bar (Dunham, 1898). In the 1980's in the upper part of Birch Creek near the Steese Highway, 2,000 cubic yards of gravel per day yielded 0.005 to 0.0075 ounces per cubic yard (Yeend, 1991, p.26, Lampright, 1996, p. 56). Most Birch Creek production has been from river bars with Buckley Bar probably being the most productive (Ellsworth and Davenport, 1913, p. 213). Battest Mining reported mining operations on Birch Creek in 1985 (Bundtzen and others, 1986).|
Additional commentsGold in small quantities can still be panned from just about anywhere along the upper 160 km of Birch Creek (Yeend, 1991, p. 26).
|MRDS Number||A012214; D002166|
Brooks, A.H., 1907, The Alaskan mining industry in 1906: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 314-A, p. 19-39.
Brooks, A.H., and Capps, S.R., 1924, The Alaska mining industry in 1922: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 755-A, p. 1-56.
Bundtzen, T.K., Eakins, G.R., Green, C.B., and Lueck, L.L., 1986, Alaska's mineral industry, 1985: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Special Report 39, 68 p.
Cobb, E.H., 1972, Metallic mineral resources map of the Circle quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-391, 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000.
Cobb, E.H., 1976, Summary of references to mineral occurrences (other than mineral fuels and construction materials) in the Circle quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 76-633, 72 p.
Eberlein, G. D., Chapman, R. M., Foster, H. L., and Gassaway, J. S., 1977, Map and table describing known metalliferous and selected nonmetalliferous mineral deposits in central Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 77-168D, 132 p.
Ellsworth, C.E., 1912, Placer mining in the Fairbanks and Circle Disctricts: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 520-H, p. 240-245.
Ellsworth, C.E., and Davenport, R.W., 1915, Surface water supply of the Yukon-Tanana region: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 342, 343 p.
Koschmann, A.H., and Bergendahl, M.H., 1968, Principal gold producing districts of the United States: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 610, 283 p.
Menzie, W.D., Foster, H.L., Tripp, R.B., and Yeend, W.E., 1983, Mineral resource assessment of the Circle quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 83-170-B, 61 p., 1 sheet, 1:250,000.
Mertie, J.B., Jr., 1932, Mining in the Circle district: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 824-D, p. 155-172.
Mertie, J.B., Jr., 1938, Gold placers of the Fortymile, Eagle, and Circle districts, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 897-C, p. 133-261.
Yeend, W.E., 1985, Trace elements of placer gold, in Bartsch-Winkler, Susan, and Reed, K.M., eds., The United States Geological Survey in Alaska--Accomplishments during 1983: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 945, p. 4-7.
|Reporters||C.J. Freeman, J.R. Guidetti Schaefer, A.S. Clements (Avalon Development Corporation)|
|Last report date||9/8/1998|