Grubstake Creek

Mine, Inactive

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Ag; Cu
Ore minerals copper; gold; silver
Gangue minerals ilmenite; magnetite

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale GU
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale D-1
Latitude 62.785
Longitude -144.049
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Grubstake Creek (Cobb, 1979 [OF 79-1247 p. 11-12] flows west and joins Ahtell Creek about 2 miles south of the Dome. The creek was mainly mined in a section of its canyon about 0.8 to 1.2 miles above its mouth. Grubstake Creek is locality 10 of Richter (1966), locality 17 of Richter and Matson (1972), and locality 16 of MacKevett and Holloway (1977). The location is accurate to within 500 feet; it is in the SE1/4SW1/4, section 26, T. 12 N., R. 7 E., Copper River Meridian.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

The rocks along Grubstake Creek consist of granitic rocks of the Pennsylvanian to Permian, Ahtell pluton and altered volcanics and minor sedimentary rocks of the Pennsylvanian to Permian, Tetelna Formation. Jurassic diorite forms small bodies that intrude the volcanic section and possibly the Ahtell pluton. Richter and Matson (1968) proposed that the source of the placer was the Jurassic diorite; earlier Richter (1966) had assumed that the source was the Permian, Ahtell intrusive.
The placer deposit consisted of poorly sorted gravels with occasional boulders. The discovery of an economic placer was made in 1934. The gravel section reported then was more than 16 feet thick and bedrock had not been reached (Moffit, 1936, p. 139-141). The country rock was volcanic and limestone with Permian fossils. Native gold was accompanied by significant amounts of native copper and native silver. The native metals found in the placer, are rough and some are dendritic, indicating a local source. Ilmenite was found in concentrates, and magnetite occurred locally in flattened slabs more than 1 foot across. Moffit (1937, p. 106-107) later reported that sheared diorite was encountered in bedrock under the placer.
Geologic map unit (-144.051191450843, 62.7846097346358)
Mineral deposit model Placer Au (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a)
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Holocene placer.
Alteration of deposit Rocks nearby have iron-stained, pyrite-rich zones and and there is local hydrothermal alteration of the Ahtell pluton and its wall rocks.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Gold was found in sub-economic concentrations early in the history of the district. An economic deposit was found in 1934 and was mined on at least a small scale until World War II (Moffit, 1936, 1937,1938; Smith, 1942; Moffit, 1942; Thorne, 1946). It was subsequently worked on a small scale after the war.
Indication of production Yes; small
Production notes Placer deposits in Grubstake and Slope Creeks (GU007) have been mined intermittently since 1934. The total gold production from both creeks is probably less than $30,000 (about 857 ounces) (Richter and Matson, 1968).

Additional comments

See also Slope Creek (GU020). The placer in upper Grubstake Creek probably overlies a disseminated lode gold deposit (GU019).


MRDS Number A011847


Nokleberg, W.J., and (seven) others, 1994, Metallogeny and major mineral deposits of Alaska and Metallogenic map of significant metalliferous lode deposits and placer districts of Alaska, in Plafker, G. and Berg, H.C., eds., The Geology of Alaska: Geological Society of America, DNAG, The Geology of North America, Vol.. G1, p. 855-904, Plate 11, scale 1:2,500,000.
Reporters W.T. Ellis (Alaska Earth Sciences), C.C. Hawley (Hawley Resource Group), and W.J. Nokleberg (U.S. Geological Survey)
Last report date 12/20/2000