Jack Wade Creek

Mine, Active

Alternative names

Wade Creek

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Hg; Sn; W
Ore minerals cassiterite; cinnabar; gold

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale EA
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale A-1
Latitude 64.1527
Longitude -141.4585
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Jack Wade Creek, also known as Wade Creek, is a north tributary of the Walker Fork of the Fortymile River. Extensive placer tailings on Jack Wade Creek are shown on U.S. Geological Survey 1:63,360-scale topographic maps of the Eagle A-1 (1956) and A-2 (1956; revised in 1971) quadrangles. Placer tailings on Jack Wade Creek start near the mouth of Gilliland Creek (see EA141) and extend downstream for approximately 5 miles. The tailings end near the mouth of Ophelia Creek. The mine coordinates are at the village of Jack Wade along the Taylor Highway, near the approximate center of the tailings, in section 3, T. 27 N., R. 20 E., of the Copper River Meridian. The location is accurate. Jack Wade Creek is locality 99 of Burleigh and Lear (1994), locality 62 of Eberlein and others (1977), and locality 59 of Cobb (1972 [MF-393]).

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Bedrock in Jack Wade Creek consists of Paleozoic amphibolite-facies metamorphic rocks that have been intruded by Jurassic plutons and dikes (Werdon and others, 2001; Szumigala and others, 2002). Quaternary terrace-gravel deposits are common on benches along the lower part of Jack Wade Creek, and deposits of alluvium and colluvium are more common in the upper parts of the creek.
Placer gold on Jack Wade Creek characteristically occurs as small flat pieces; there is little flour gold (Mertie, 1938). Most of the gold is bright and fairly well worn, but near the head of the creek and at the mouths of gulches, the gold is commonly iron stained and only slightly worn. Gold attached to quartz is common, and some large pieces of quartz filled with gold have been recovered. Jack Wade Creek is also known for the occurrence of large gold nuggets; nuggets of 25, 33, 56, and 70 ounces have been found (Yeend, 1996). The fineness of placer gold mined from 1926 to 1935 ranges from 807.5 to 842.5 parts of gold per thousand and from 131 to 189 parts of silver per thousand (Mertie, 1938). The average fineness in the upper valley of Jack Wade Creek is 830 parts of gold per thousand and 165 parts of silver per thousand, but the fineness for the entire creek is varied (Mertie, 1938). Smith (1941 [B 910-C]) reported assays of 23 gold samples from Jack Wade Creek and the samples ranged from 807.5 to 865 parts of gold per thousand, with an average of 834 parts of gold per thousand. Smith (1941 [B 910-C]) observed no systematic change in the gold fineness down the creek. Placer concentrates contain as much as 50 percent barite; magnetite, ilmenite, hematite, and garnet are common. Minor cinnabar, pyrite, and cassiterite (both crystalline and wood tin varieties) are also present (Mertie, 1938). Rounded barite pebbles, black shiny rounded grains of hematite, and scheelite grains are sometimes found associated with gold in the heavy fraction (Yeend, 1996).
Placers on Jack Wade Creek were first discovered in 1895 by Jack Anderson and Wade Nelson (Mertie, 1938). Gold has been mined on Jack Wade Creek almost continuously since its discovery (Yeend, 1996). In the early (pre-1910) history of the creek, mining was by drifting, hydraulicking, sluiceboxes, and open cuts. Large-scale open-cut mining has been used largely in the upper part of the Jack Wade Creek valley. Prindle (1905) reported that by 1904 much of the ground in the creek had been worked out and only about 50 men were mining on the creek. Production from 1904 through 1907 totaled about 16,230 ounces (Eberlein and others, 1977). A hydraulic plant was in operation on the creek in 1928 (Mertie, 1930 [B 813]), and during the 1936 season, one hydraulic plant and several small shoveling-in operations were present. In the winter of 1935-1936, the Russell King dredge was purchased by the North American Mining Company and moved to Jack Wade Creek from just above Franklin Creek on the South Fork of the Fortymile River (Mertie, 1938). The dredge began operating in 1936, and it operated until 1941. Gold was recovered at the rate of 70 to 100 ounces per day (Naske, 1977). Following the war, the Wade Creek Dredging Company continued to mine on Jack Wade Creek using bulldozers and sluice boxes. Between 1946 and 1947, the company recovered slightly more than 5,000 ounces of gold (Naske, 1977). The Wade Creek Dredging Company ceased mining operations at the end of the 1951 season. Small-scale mining operations using bulldozers have operated almost continuously on Jack Wade Creek from 1951 to 1990. From 1990 to 1993, small suction dredges occasionally mined in the creek (Eakins and others, 1985; Bundtzen and others, 1987; Swainbank and others, 1993). Jack Wade Creek has several placer gold-bearing tributaries, including Gilliland Creek (EA141), Robinson Creek (EA142), and Jefferson Creek (EA145).
Geologic map unit (-141.460784953733, 64.1523822954766)
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 has been mined on Jack Wade Creek almost continuously since its discovery in 1895 (Yeend, 1996). In the early (pre-1910) history of the creek, mining was by drifting, hydraulicking, sluiceboxes, and open cuts. Large-scale open-cut mining has been used largely in the upper part of the Jack Wade Creek valley. Prindle (1905) reported that by 1904 much of the ground in the creek had been worked out and only about 50 men were mining on the creek. A hydraulic plant was in operation on the creek in 1928 (Mertie, 1930 [B 813-C]), and during the 1936 season, one hydraulic plant and several small shoveling-in operations were present. In the winter of 1935-1936, the Russel King dredge was purchased by the North American Mining Company and moved to Jack Wade Creek from just above Franklin Creek on the South Fork of the Fortymile River (Mertie, 1938). The dredge began operating in 1936, and it operated until 1941. Gold was recovered at the rate of 70 to 100 ounces per day (Naske, 1977). Following the war, the Wade Creek Dredging Company continued to mine on Jack Wade Creek using bulldozers and sluice boxes. Between 1946 and 1947, the company recovered slightly more than 5,000 ounces of gold (Naske, 1977). The Wade Creek Dredging Company ceased mining operations at the end of the 1951 season. Small-scale mining operations using bulldozers have operated almost continuously on Jack Wade Creek from 1951 to 1990. From 1990 to 1993, small suction dredges occasionally mined in the creek (Eakins and others, 1985; Bundtzen and others, 1987; Swainbank and others, 1993). Jack Wade Creek has several placer gold-bearing tributaries, including Gilliland Creek (EA141), Robinson Creek (EA142), and Jefferson Creek (EA145).
Indication of production Yes; small
Reserve estimates Yeend (1996) considers the unmined gold resource in Wade Creek to be small because there are only small pockets of unmined gravel on the valley margins.
Production notes Production from 1904 through 1907 on Jack Wade Creek totaled about 16,230 ounces (Eberlein and others, 1977). Between 1946 and 1947 the Wade Creek Dredging Company recovered slightly more than 5,000 ounces of gold (Naske, 1977).

References

MRDS Number A015163

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.
Malone, Kevin, 1965, Mercury in Alaska, in U.S. Bureau of Mines, Mercury Potential of the United States: U.S. Bureau of Mines Information Circular 8252, p. 31-59.
Reporters M.B. Werdon
Last report date 5/1/2002