Little Moose Creek

Mine, Inactive

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Ag; Cu; W; Zn
Ore minerals gold; limonite; scheelite; silver

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale DN
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-1
Latitude 63.7486
Longitude -150.4427
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy The upper reaches of Little Moose Creek (Cobb, 1980 [OFR 80-363]) have been placer mined for about 7000 feet. The placer mine extends from the Mt. McKinley C-1 into the Mt. McKinley D-1 quadrangle (Hawley and Associates, 1978). For this record, the location is at the approximate midpoint of the mined section of the creek, near the center of the NW1/4 section 34, T. 13 S., R. 15 W., Fairbanks Meridian. The lowermost two miles of Little Moose Creek (on Mt. McKinley D-1 quadrangle) were staked and prospected for many years but had limited mining (Heiner and Porter, 1972: Kardex locations 66-1, -6, and -28).

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Little Moose Creek mostly flows through Birch Creek Schist (Bundtzen, 1981). In the headwaters of Little Moose Creek, across the divide from an unnamed north fork tributary of the North Fork of Canyon Creek, a half-mile- wide band of siliceous and graphitic schist of the Keevy Peak Formation is downfaulted into the Birch Creek Schist (Hawley and Associates, 1978, fig. 4.1-A(2)). Below the outcrops of Keevy Peak Formation, ferricrete and limonitic spring deposits strongly discolor about 1500 feet of uppermost Little Moose Creek. A stream-sediment sample collected in Little Moose Creek about a mile below the limonite deposit and just above the placer mine contained 150 ppm copper, 65 ppm lead, and 1150 ppm zinc (Hawley and Associates, 1978, sample 62). A fault mapped immediately east of the placer mine places felsic schist of the Birch Creek against mainly calc-schist and quartzite-rich units. If this fault continues into the creek, it would be about at the head of the placer deposit.
The placer deposits occur in a narrow canyon with steep to moderately steep walls. The gravel section mined in about 1916 was about 8 to 10 feet thick, too deep for open-cut mining in the narrow canyon. Placer gold recovered was about 600 fine, shot-like in appearance, and accompanied by small nuggets of native silver (Capps, 1919, p. 93). Scheelite is a common mineral in the placer concentrates (Joesting, 1942).
Annual reports of the U. S. Geological Survey reported mining or active prospecting in many years between 1920 (Brooks, 1922) and 1933 (Smith, 1934). In 1922, Davis (1923) reported that miners cleaned 30,000 feet of bedrock at an average value of 22 cents per bedrock foot. Assuming that all of that value was due to gold (at $20.67 per ounce), the approximate production in 1922 was about 350 ounces of gold.
The Little Moose Creek deposit is of interest geologically because of the low fineness (600) of the gold, and the occurrence of native silver in the placer.
Geologic map unit (, )
Mineral deposit model Au-PGE placer deposit (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a).
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Holocene.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Little Moose Creek creek was explored and mined at least from 1916 until 1941. The creek was extensively mined in 1922 (Davis, 1923). Antimony miner Earl Pilgrim mined the creek in 1941 (White, 1942). In 1955, claims on lower Little Moose Creek were active, and the creek was being prospected (Heiner and Porter, 1972). Early mining may have been from shallow drifts. The creek was probably mined on a small scale with tractors in the 1930s and in 1941.
Indication of production Yes; small
Production notes Based on records cited by Davis (1923), about 350 ounces of gold were recovered from on Little Moose Creek in 1922. The approximate value of the production, computed at $20.67 per fine ounce of gold, was about $7,000. In general, annual production was less than this. Moffit (1933) reported that, in most years up to 1931, annual production amounted only to a few hundred dollars.

Additional comments

The mine is in Denali National Park and Preserve.


MRDS Number A011273; D002719


Bundtzen, T.K., 1981, Geology and mineral deposits of the Kantishna Hills, Mt. McKinley quadrangle, Alaska: M. S. Thesis, University of Alaska, College, Alaska, 238 p.
Heiner, L.E., and Porter, Eve, 1972, Alaska Mineral Properties, volume 2: University of Alaska, Mineral Industry Research Laboratory Report 24, 669 p.
Reporters C.C. Hawley
Last report date 5/6/2001