North Fork Harrison Creek

Mines, Inactive

Alternative names

South Fork Harrison Creek

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Sn
Ore minerals cassiterite; gold

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale CI
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale B-3
Latitude 65.42
Longitude -145.181
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy The location is the approximate center of the placered area that trends E-W along the North Fork for about 1 mile. The North Fork and the South Fork are both tributaries of Harrison Creek, which itself is a tributary of Birch Creek. The North Fork of Harrison Creek drains the southeast slope of Mastodon Dome. Harrison Creek has been extensively mined over almost its entire length (Yeend, 1991, p. 20).

Geologic setting

Geologic description

The bedrock underlying the North Fork is varied and includes the Upper Quartzite, Middle Schist and Quartzite and the Lower Schist units of Wiltse and others (1995). The southeast flank of Mastodon Dome is underlain by the Upper Quartzite, which is a porphyroblastic albite-chlorite-muscovite-quartz schist with quartzites and micaceous quartzites. The Middle Schist and Quartzite unit is a quartz-muscovite schist, porphyroblastic-albite-quartz-chlorite-muscovite schist, and thickly layered quartzites. The Lower Schist unit is a slightly calcareous quartz-muscovite schist, porphyroblastic albite-quartz-chlorite-muscovite schist and lesser amounts of quartzose porphyroblastic-albite-chlorite schist and chlorite schist.
Gold is frequently concentrated in the lowermost 3 feet of gravel and in the upper foot or two of bedrock (Mertie, 1938). Mined gravel deposits were generally about 3 meters thick and 30 to 45 meters wide (Yeend, 1991). Muck overlying the gravel was rarely encountered during mining (Mertie, 1938). Recovered gold was generally fine, flaky, and bright (Brooks, 1907, p. 188). Nuggets weighing as much as 3 ounces were recovered, but were rare. Gold recovered from the upstream part of the North Fork was often ragged and frequently occurred with attached quartz. Spurr (1898) reported a block of quartz-schist containing a quartz vein 'richly spotted with flakes and specks of gold' in the upper valley of the North Fork (Yeend, 1991). Cassiterite, garnet, and pyrite occur in heavy-mineral concentrates (Brooks, 1907, p. 188; Cobb, 1973, p. 122, [B 1374]). Mean fineness of 13 North Fork assays is 837 Au and 154 Ag (Mertie, 1938).
Gold was reportedly discovered in 1893 on Pitka's Bar (Mertie, 1938). There is some confusion in the literature over the location of Pitka's Bar. U.S.G.S. OFR 83-170B (Menzie and others, 1983) describes the location as at the mouth of the North Fork, but the U.S.G.S. Circle B-2 quadrangle topographic map shows the location of Pitka's Bar at the mouth of Harrison Creek, on Birch Creek. Spurr (1898) reported the first gold discovery to be in 1895(?) near the head of the North Fork (Yeend, 1991).
Before the middle of 1896, all of the North Fork of Harrison Creek was staked. Prospecting and mining occurred in 1905, 1924, and 1953 to 1981. Most of creek has been mined. Hydraulic mining operations were active up to 1980 (Menzie and others, 1983, p. 45). In 1993, on the South Fork of Harrison Creek, Windy Hill Mining completed a geophysical survey (Bundtzen and others, 1993, p. 10).
Geologic map unit (-145.183446936055, 65.4196279553348)
Mineral deposit model Placer gold deposit (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a)
Mineral deposit model number 39a

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration
Gold was reportedly discovered in 1893 on Pitka's Bar (Mertie, 1938). There is some confusion in the literature over the location of Pitka's Bar. U.S.G.S. OFR 83-170B (Menzie and others, 1983) describes the location as at the mouth of the North Fork, but the U.S.G.S. Circle B-2 quadrangle topographic map shows the location of Pitka's Bar at the mouth of Harrison Creek, on Birch Creek. Spurr (1898) reported the first gold discovery to be in 1895(?) near the head of the North Fork (Yeend, 1991).
Before the middle of 1896, all of the North Fork of Harrison Creek was staked. Prospecting and mining occurred in 1905, 1924, and 1953 to 1981. Most of creek has been mined. Hydraulic mining operations were active up to 1980 (Menzie and others, 1983, p. 45). In 1993, on the South Fork of Harrison Creek, Windy Hill Mining completed a geophysical survey (Bundtzen and others, 1993, p. 10).
Indication of production Yes; small
Production notes Prospecting and mining occurred in 1905, 1924, and 1953 to 1981. Most of creek has been mined, but production information has not been published.

References

MRDS Number A012220

References

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