Cleary Creek

Mine, Inactive

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Ag; Sb; Sn; W
Ore minerals cassiterite; gold; scheelite; stibnite

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale LG
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale A-1
Latitude 65.086
Longitude -147.414
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Cobb (1972, MF-413), loc. 88; sec. 18, T. 3 N., R. 2 E., of the Fairbanks Meridian. The coordinates given are on the mining tailings at the confluence of Wolf Creek and Cleary Creek. Cleary Creek has been mined over most of its extent for 6 miles from the headwaters near Willow Creek to its mouth at the Chatanika River. Cleary Creek runs along the Steese Highway from Cleary Summit to near the village of Chatanika.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Cleary Creek is a highly productive placer gold creek that has been mined over its entire length of over 5 miles. Gold production began as early as 1903 and production continues today from fresh placer cuts near the mouth of Chatham Creek.
In the early 1900s, reports about Cleary Creek describe the depth to bedrock schist as being from 14 to more than 135 feet (Prindle and Katz, 1913, p. 107). Gravel is a variety of schist, some hornblende-garnet rock and boulders of vein quartz. These early reports also describe the gold occurring in the basal 1 to 7 feet of gravel and the top 1.5 to 4 feet of bedrock, with a pay streak of 35 to 150 feet wide; the average value of the pay streak was 0.566 ounces of gold per cubic yard (Prindle, 1905). Concentrates contained gold, stibnite, cassiterite, scheelite, pyrite, garnet, and rutile (Prindle, 1905).
From 1903 through 1924 production was about 1,129,650 fine ounces (Cobb, 1976; OFR 76-633). The largest nugget reported weighed 13.51 ounces. Most production was from drift mines working a pay streak 150 feet wide with an average thickness of 5 feet. In 1915, most mining in the Chatanika flats was on benches on the south side of the Chatanika valley (Eakin, 1915). U.S.S.R. & M. Dredge no. 3 worked on lower Cleary Creek and near Chatanika from 1928 to 1942 and from 1946 to 1963. Dredge no. 5 worked on upper Cleary Creek from 1929 to 1942 (R.M. Chapman, 1978, U.S.G.S. memorandum). In 1996 and 1997, Alf Hopen leased placer ground from the Alaska Gold Co. on Upper Cleary Creek (Swainbank and others, 1997). In 1999, fresh placer cuts on Cleary Creek were observed at the mouth of Chatham Creek (J. Schaefer, field observation, 1999).
Geologic map unit (-147.41645022873, 65.0855774485598)
Mineral deposit model Placer gold deposit (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a).
Mineral deposit model number 39a

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration In 1915, most mining in the Chatanika flats was on benches on the south side of the Chatanika valley (Eakin, 1915). U.S.S.R. & M. Dredge no. 3 worked on lower Cleary Creek and near Chatanika from 1928 to 1942 and from 1946 to 1963. Dredge no. 5 worked on upper Cleary Creek from 1929 to 1942 (R.M. Chapman, 1978, U.S.G.S. memorandum). In 1996 and 1997, Alf Hopen leased placer ground from the Alaska Gold Co. on Upper Cleary Creek (Swainbank and others, 1997). In 1999, fresh placer cuts on Cleary Creek were observed at the mouth of Chatham Creek (J. Schaefer, field observation, 1999).
Indication of production Yes; medium
Production notes From 1903 through 1924 production was about 1,129,650 fine ounces (Cobb, 1976; OFR 76-633). Production amounts have not been reported for recent mining activites.

References

MRDS Number A010740; A015505; D002654

References

Smith, S.S., 1917, The mining industry in the territory of Alaska during the calendar year 1915: U.S. Bureau of Mines Bulletin 142, 66 p.
Smith, S.S., 1917, The mining industry in the territory of Alaska during the calendar year 1916: U.S. Bureau of Mines Bulletin 153, 89 p.
Reporters C.J. Freeman, J.R. Guidetti Schaefer (Avalon Development Corporation)
Last report date 5/4/1999