Spruce Creek

Mine, Inactive

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Hg
Ore minerals cinnabar; gold; ilmenite; magnetite

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale ID
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale A-3
Latitude 62.19676
Longitude -157.39669
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Spruce Creek is not shown on the current USGS topographic map but it is well known. It is about a mile southwest of and parallel to Julian Creek (ID177). Spruce Creek has been mined for about a mile above its mouth. The coordinates are at the center of the placer which is about 0.5 mile above its mouth and about 0.5 mile west-southwest of the center of section 5, T. 24N., R. 44W. Seward Meridian. The location is accurate.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

The Spruce Creek placer mine is a moderately shallow, but narrow, muck-covered, placer gold deposit. The lower mile of the creek has been mined. The pay streak is about 30 to 60 feet wide and is overlain by about 12 to 20 feet of organic muck (L.E. Wyrick, oral communication, 1986; T.K. Bundtzen, unpublished field data, 1986; Miller and Bundtzen, 1994; Miller, Bundtzen, and Gray, 2005). In addition to gold and abundant cinnabar, ilmenite, garnet, and magnetite have been identified in concentrates. The gold averages 897 fine (Bundtzen, Cox, and Veach, 1987). A plausible lode source for the placer gold is a granodioritic pluton at the head of the creek. A local source for the cinnabar is suggested by the angular fragments of this relatively friable mineral that are found in abundance in the placer concentrates.
Placer gold was found in Spruce Creek in 1911 (Brooks, 1912) but most of the exploration began in 1979 when L.E. Wyrick trenched and drilled the placer. Stripping began in 1980 and mining took place from late 1980 to 1983. The mechanized mining was unprofitable due to the narrowness of the creek, the thick overburden, and the marginal amount of gold in the pay streak (L.E. Wyrick, oral communication, 1986). About 274 ounces of gold was produced.
Geologic map unit (-157.399093637892, 62.1960669278892)
Mineral deposit model Placer Au deposit (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a).
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Undated, but probably Quaternary.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Placer gold was found in Spruce Creek in 1911 (Brooks, 1912) but most of the exploration began in 1979 when L.E. Wyrick trenched and drilled the placer. Stripping began in 1980 and mining took place from late 1980 to 1983. The mechanized mining was unprofitable due to the narrowness of the creek, the thick overburden, and the marginal amount of gold in the paystreak (L.E. Wyrick, oral communication, 1986).
Indication of production Yes
Reserve estimates There could be still be gold in the gravel under thick overburden in the upper end of the creek (L.E. Wyrick, oral communication, 1986).
Production notes Gold was discovered in 1911 (Brooks, 1912). About 274 ounces) of gold was produced prior to 1984 but mainly from 1981 to 1983 (L.E. Wyrick, oral commun., 1986).

References