Lucky Gulch

Mine, Active

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Ore minerals gold

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale HE
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale A-1
Latitude 63.199
Longitude -147.274
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy This placer gold mine is in Lucky Gulch, a north-flowing tributary to Valdez Creek between White Creek and Roosevelt Creek. The map site is in sec. 12, R. 2 E., T 20 S., of the Fairbanks Meridian. This creek is located about 9 miles up Valdez Creek from Denali. The location is accurate to within 500 feet. The mine is shown as site 17 in Smith (1981).

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Lucky Gulch drains an area of variably metamorphosed, pre-Upper Triassic, clastic and carbonate strata that are intruded by Upper Jurassic gabbro and by diorite plutons of Late Cretaceous and Early Tertiary age (Smith, 1981).
The pay gravels of Lucky Gulch consist mainly of poorly sorted, angular, slate fragments. Lucky Gulch contains the largest gold nuggets found in the district; nuggets up to 52 ounces have been recovered. The auriferous creek gravels are up to 25 feet deep in a very steep, narrow drainage. Most of the gold was concentrated on bedrock and most of present channel has been worked out. A large alluvial fan has been formed where Lucky Gulch exits its narrow valley enters Valdez Creek. This alluvial fan may contain significant quantities of finer gold, but probably at a lower overall grade than in the gulch (D.L. Stevens, personal observation). The source of the gold may be auriferous quartz veins at the Lucky Top prospect (HE210).
Geologic map unit (-147.276259261404, 63.1985534139413)
Mineral deposit model Placer Au-PGE (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a)
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Probably formed in Holocene time.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Lucky Gulch has been mined from the upper extremity of paying gravels in the headwaters down to the upper portion of the alluvial fan by both underground and surface placer mining methods. The alluvial fan has been sporadically mined in several locations.
Indication of production Yes; medium
Production notes Total recorded production through 1925 was about 3,000 ounces. Since that date, cumulative production is probably about equal to that amount. (D. L. Stevens, personal observation, 1999).

Additional comments

Lucky Gulch has produced the coarsest placer gold in the district.