Canyon Creek

Mines, Active

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Ore minerals gold

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale EA
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale A-1
Latitude 64.1536
Longitude -141.1246
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Canyon Creek is a north-south-trending, 10-mile-long creek that drains north from Boundary. Canyon Creek begins at the confluence of Arkansas Creek and Woods Creek .(Woods Creek is referred to as Canyon Creek by local placer miners.) Placer workings extend for 5 miles downstream from the junction of Arkansas Creek, Woods Creek, and Canyon Creek. Another 1-mile-long area of placer workings on Canyon Creek is near the mouth of Iles Creek (Yeend, 1996) and is included as part of this record. The coordinates are the approximate center of the upper headwater placer workings, in section 5, T. 28 N., R. 22 E., of the Copper River Meridian. Canyon Creek is localities 71, 72, and 74 of Cobb (1972 [MF-393]), locality 13 of Eberlein and others (1977), and locality 103 of Burleigh and Lear (1994). There is also a Canyon Creek (EA027) in the Seventymile area of the Eagle district.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

The rocks in the Canyon Creek valley consist of Paleozoic amphibolite-facies paragneiss, orthogneiss, schist, amphibolite, hornblende-feldspar gneiss, quartzite, and marble (Foster, 1969 [B 1271-G]; Szumigala and others, 2002). Along Canyon Creek, there are several Jurassic? granitic bodies and pegmatite dikes, abundant marble outcrops, and breccia and fault gouge. Foster (1969 [B 1271-G]) suggested that the straight course of Canyon Creek is fault related; this interpretation is supported by a prominent north-south-trending conductive zone shown in airborne resistivity data (Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys and others, 1999), and 1:63,360-scale mapping of the area (Szumigala and others, 2002).
Gravel in Canyon Creek ranges from 3 to 10 feet thick; the average thickness is 7 feet. Gold is generally found in the lower 1.5 feet of gravel, over a width of 50 feet. The placer gold generally occurs as small flat pieces and fine flakes, but some coarser pieces were found. Some nuggets were worth as much as $43 (gold at $20.67 per ounce) (Prindle, 1909). Removal of about 2 feet of bedrock is necessary to recover all of the gold (Ellsworth and Parker, 1911). Mertie (1938) also noted the discovery of auriferous gravel along a west bench of Canyon Creek. Gravel at the upper end of Canyon Creek is low grade, but the grade appears to increase downstream (Powers, 1935). One assay indicates a fineness value of 791 parts of gold per thousand for the placer gold from Canyon Creek (Metz and Hawkins, 1981). Although a significant lode source for the placer gold in Canyon Creek has not been identified, Prindle (1908) reported a ferruginous, brecciated mass of vein quartz and quartzitic schist on Canyon Creek; fragments contain specks of visible gold. The exact location was not reported.
Gold was produced on Canyon Creek in commercial quantities in 1899 (Brooks, 1900). Mining on Canyon Creek is reported in many years from 1904 to 1940. Canyon Creek and its tributaries produced 447 fine ounces of gold from 1904 to 1907 (Prindle, 1908). Production in 1909 on Canyon Creek was worth $5,000 (gold at $20.67 per ounce) (Ellsworth, 1910). A 45-horsepower steam scraper was employed in mining on Canyon Creek in 1910 (Ellsworth and Parker, 1911), and a dredge began operating in 1938 (Smith, 1939 [B 917-A]). Foster (1969 [B 1271-G]) reported a small mining operation on Canyon Creek in the mid-1960s, and Asher (1970) reported mining on Canyon Creek in 1969. Small open-cut operations have been active on Canyon Creek from 1980 through 2000 (Norm LaFramboise, Boundary Explorations, Inc., written communication, 2000). Tributaries of Canyon Creek with placer gold production include Squaw Gulch (EA147), Baby Creek (EA148), Woods Creek (EA151), and Arkansas Creek (EA150). There also has been placer gold production on the lower Fortymile River (EA071) near the mouth of Canyon Creek.
Geologic map unit (-141.12686871741, 64.1532948007977)
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 was produced on Canyon Creek in commercial quantities in 1899 (Brooks, 1900). Mining on Canyon Creek is reported in many years from 1904 to 1940. A 45-horsepower steam scraper was employed in mining on Canyon Creek in 1910 (Ellsworth and Parker, 1911), and a new dredge began operating in 1938 (Smith, 1939 [B 917-A]). Foster (1969 [B 1271-G]) reported a small mining operation on Canyon Creek in the mid-1960s, and Asher (1970) reported mining on Canyon Creek in 1969. Small open-cut operations have been active on Canyon Creek from 1980 through 2000 (Norm LaFramboise, Boundary Explorations, Inc., written communication, 2000).
Indication of production Yes; small
Production notes Canyon Creek and its tributaries produced 447 fine ounces of gold from 1904 to 1907 (Prindle, 1908). In 1909, production on Canyon Creek was worth $5,000 (gold at $20.67 per ounce) (Ellsworth, 1910). One assay indicates a fineness value of 791 parts of gold per thousand for placer gold from Canyon Creek (Metz and Hawkins, 1981).

References

MRDS Number A015170

References

Brooks, A.H., 1900, A reconnaissance from Pyramid Harbor to Eagle City, Alaska, including a description of the copper deposits of the upper White and Tanana Rivers: U.S. Geological Survey Twenty-first Annual Report, p. 331-391, plate 2.
McConnell, R.G., 1905, Report on the Klondike gold fields: Geological Survey of Canada Annual Report, v. XII, 1901, Part B, 71 p.
Metz, P.A., and Hawkins, D.B., 1981, A summary of gold fineness values from Alaska placer deposits: Fairbanks, University of Alaska Mineral Research Laboratory Report No. 45, 63 p.
Mortensen, J.K. (compiler), 1999, Yukonage--An isotopic age database for the Yukon Territory, in Gordey, S.P., and Makepeace, A.J., compilers, Yukon Digital Geology: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Exploration and Geological Services Division, Yukon Region.
Smith, 1936; Smith, P.S., 1936, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1934: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 868-A, p. 1-91.
Reporters R.L. Flynn; M.B. Werdon
Last report date 5/1/2002