Prince Creek

Mine, Active

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Ag; Hg; Zr
Ore minerals chromite; cinnabar; gold; ilmenite; stibnite
Gangue minerals garnet; zircon

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale ID
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale B-4
Latitude 62.3554
Longitude -157.91155
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Prince Creek flows southeast from Chicken Mountain to Bonanza Creek. Most of the mining took place in two sections. The upper section is about 1 mile long and is centered in the SW1/4 SE1/4 section 2, T. 26 N., R. 47 W., of the Seward Meridian. The lower section extends for about a mile above its mouth. The two productive sections were described as localities 28 and 29 of Cobb (1972 [MF 363]); also described in Cobb (1976 [OFR 76-576]). The coordinates are at about the middle of the lower workings about 0.2 mile southwest of the center of section 12, T. 26 N., R. 47 W., of the Seward Meridian. The location is accurate.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

The Prince Creek placer deposit extends for about 3 miles in modern alluvium and several levels of ancestral terraces that are developed on its asymmetrical east bank. The stream heads on the southeast flank of Chicken Mountain and lode deposits there are probably the source of the gold. The ancestral Prince Creek channel was beheaded by Chicken Creek in Tertiary time. Hence, placer gold and heavy minerals from both Prince and Chicken Creeks have been eroded from the same lode sources on Chicken Mountain (ID107 and ID109) (Bundtzen, Cox, and Veach, 1987, Bundtzen and others, 1992; Miller and Bundtzen, 1994). In addition to gold, the principal heavy minerals in concentrates include cinnabar, which is locally very abundant, chromite, ilmenite, zircon, and garnet (Maloney, 1962; Bundtzen, Cox, and Veach, 1987). The garnet only appears in the lowest end of the pay streak where the stream bisects a garnetiferous granite-porphyry sill (Bundtzen and others, 1992). The gold fineness varies from 838 to 886; the bench placers have the highest fineness.
The upper section of Prince Creek was mined in 1932 and 1933 (Mertie, 1936). The rocks in the vicinity are banded argillite of the Upper Cretaceous, Kuskokwim Group. The gold-bearing material was mainly monzonite-rich sand overlain by 20 to 30 feet of overburden. Harry Agoff mined on the creek from the 1920s to the early 1950s. His son Alvin Agoff mined on Prince Creek from the late 1950s to about 1990 (Bundtzen and others, 1992). Based on unpublished and published sources, Bundtzen and others (1992) estimated that at least 33,864 ounces of gold and 3,979 ounces of silver were produced from 1913 to 1990.
Geologic map unit (-157.913954555849, 62.3547132537108)
Mineral deposit model Placer Au deposit (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a).
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Unknown; the older bench placers may be Late Tertiary in age and the modern stream placers are probably Quaternary.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Exploration and mining on Prince Creek began in 1913. In 1932 and 1933, upper Prince Creek was mined near the discovery claim (Mertie, 1936). The eastern benches were first developed in the 1930s. Early drift mining of bench placers later gave way to open cut mining methods that relied on large scale hydraulic removal of the overburden (Mertie, 1936). Harry Agoff mined on the creek from the 1920s to the early 1950s. His son Alvin Agoff mined on Prince Creek from the late 1950s to about 1990 (Bundtzen and others, 1992).
Indication of production Yes
Reserve estimates An unidentified placer gold resource probably is present in the eastern bench deposits of Prince Creek.
Production notes Based on unpublished and published sources, Bundtzen and others (1992) estimated that at least 33,864 ounces of gold and 3,979 ounces of silver were produced from 1913 to 1990.

References

MRDS Number A015071

References

Bundtzen, T.K., Cox, B.C., and Veach, N.C., 1987, Heavy mineral provenance studies in the Iditarod and Innoko districts, western Alaska: Process Mineralogy VII, The Metallurgical Society, p. 221-246.
Reporters T.K. Bundtzen (Pacific Rim Geological Consulting, Inc.), M.L. Miller (U.S. Geological Survey); and C.C. Hawley (Hawley Resource Group)
Last report date 5/24/2003