Lower White Creek

Mines, Active

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Ag; Au
Other commodities Cu; Pb
Ore minerals arsenopyrite; galena; gold; hessite; magnetite; native copper; orpiment; pyrite; pyrrhotite; realgar
Gangue minerals quartz

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale HE
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale A-1
Latitude 63.2
Longitude -147.32
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy This site represents an area of gold placer mines on lower White Creek. The map site is at the junction of White and Rusty creeks, at the west-central edge of sec. 11, T. 20 S., R. 2 E., of the Fairbanks Meridian. With its tributaries, Rusty, Little Rusty, and Big Rusty creeks, White Creek has a total drainage basin of more than ten square miles.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

White Creek drains the west slope of Gold Hill, which probably is the source of much of the placer gold. The productive part of White Creek is its lower end, which consists of a prograde delta containing a large volume of low-grade auriferous gravels. Intercalated with the gold-bearing fluvial gravels are several extensive fine-grained, black, delicately cross-bedded, barren lake sediment deposits up to twenty feet thick.
The best pay streaks appear to be high-energy channels cut through the low-grade gravels and lake sediments. These channels contain boulders up to four feet in diameter but are not incised into bedrock to any appreciable extent. The lower end of these channels appears to spread out over older gravels to form blanket deposits that contain elevated gold values. These gold-bearing gravels merge with lower grade Valdez Creek gravels at the lower end of White Creek. The White Creek gravels probably were the source for most of the gold reconcentrated in the Valdez Creek channel deposits farther downstream (D.L. Stevens, personal observations).
Other auriferous ground is on the lower slopes of Gold Hill just above White Creek. Systematic ground sluicing downslope from a water ditch revealed auriferous gravels and rock derived from up slope. The lode source of this gold has not been found.
Geologic map unit (-147.322259463685, 63.1995527665678)
Mineral deposit model Placer Au-PGE (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a)
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Stratigraphic relations suggest that the pay streak on White Creek is younger than the paleochannels on lower Valdez Creek.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration
Lower White Creek was first drilled in 1987, and has been mined each summer commencing about 1990.
The lower slope of Gold Hill was mined during the 1930s, and there has been small-scale mining more recently.
Indication of production Yes; small
Reserve estimates Confidential data.


MRDS Number A011356


Smith, T.E., 1971, Geology, economic geochemistry, and placer gold resources of the western Clearwater Mountains, east-central Alaska: Reno, University of Nevada, Ph.D. dissertation, 440 p.
Reporters D.L. Stevens (Stevens Exploration Management Corporation)
Last report date 4/7/2000