Gold Dust Creek

Mine, Active

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Fe; Ti; W
Ore minerals gold; hematite; ilmenite; scheelite

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale CI
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale B-3
Latitude 65.418
Longitude -145.478
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Location is the approximate center of a placered area about 2500 ft long by 500 ft wide trending N 50 W along Gold Dust Creek. Gold Dust Creek is a tributary to Birch Creek, originating on the southwest flank of Mastodon Dome.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Most of Gold Dust Creek flows within the Upper Quartzite and Upper Schist units described by Wiltse and others (1995). The Upper Schist is a mixed unit of variably garnetiferous pelitic quartz-muscovite schist, muscovite-quartz schist, chlorite-quartz-muscovite schist, and layers tens of meters thick of garnetiferous, calcareous albite-porphyroblastic muscovite-chlorite schist. The Upper Quartzite unit is a porphyroblastic albite-chlorite-muscovite-quartz schist.
Gravel clasts in the creek are subangular to subrounded and are commonly as much as 30 cm in diameter. The area of mined gravel is approximately 70 m wide for most of the creek length, with an average gravel thickness of 4 m. Average gold values were 0.007 to 0.01 ounces per cubic yard (Menzie and others, 1983). Concentrates include ilmenite granules up to 0.5 cm, hematite nodules up to 2 cm, along with pyrite and scheelite (Menzie and others, 1983). Galena-bearing boulders have been found in previously placer mined creek gravels by John Mitchell in the late 1980s.
Mining was reported shortly after drilling in 1936 (Mertie, 1938, p. 231). There were two active placer operations during 1975, but little is known about productivity (Eberlein and others, 1977, p. 20). Simple sluicebox operations used in the early 1980s were moderately to highly efficient in recovering coarse gold, but low in recovering fine gold. As a result, research by the local miners led to the use of a sophisticated washing plant with jigs. Gold in the 120 to 400 mesh range was routinely recovered with the new system (Yeend, 1991). In 1995, Alpine Exploration Co. conducted 1400 feet of reverse circulation drilling to explore veins found during earlier placer mining (Bundtzen and others, 1995). About 8 km of the ll km long creek has been mined, but the upper 3 km has a steep gradient and contains little gravel, and so it remains unmined (Yeend, 1991).
Geologic map unit (-145.480452333457, 65.4176222707595)
Mineral deposit model Placer gold deposit (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a)
Mineral deposit model number 39a

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Mining was reported shortly after drilling in 1936 (Mertie, 1938, p. 231). There were two active placer operations during 1975. Simple sluicebox operations used in the early 1980s were moderately to highly efficient in recovering coarse gold, but low in recovering fine gold. As a result, research by the local miners led to the use of a sophisticated washing plant with jigs. Gold in the 120 to 400 mesh range was routinely recovered with the new system (Yeend, 1991). In 1995, Alpine Exploration Co. conducted 1400 feet of reverse circulation drilling to explore veins found during earlier placer mining (Bundtzen and others, 1995). About 8 km of the 11 km long creek has been mined, but the upper 3 km has a steep gradient and contains little gravel, and so it remains unmined (Yeend, 1991).
Indication of production Yes; small
Production notes Average gold values were 0.007 to 0.01 ounces per cubic yard (Menzie and others, 1983). There were two active placer operations in 1975 but little is known of productivity (Eberlein and others, 1977, p. 20).

References

MRDS Number A012219

References

Reporters C.J. Freeman, J.R. Guidetti Schaefer, A.S. Clements (Avalon Development Corporation)
Last report date 9/9/1998