Yellow Creek

Mine, Inactive

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Ag; Pb; Sb
Ore minerals galena; gold; hematite; magnetite; pyrite; stibnite
Gangue minerals quartz

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale MM
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-2
Latitude 63.5634
Longitude -150.8335
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy
Yellow Creek is a 0.75-mile-long, north-flowing tributary to Glacier Creek. The location is about at the midpoint of Yellow Creek, in the NW1/4 of section 3, T. 16 S., R. 17 W., Fairbanks Meridian. The location is accurate.
Resource block Y-1 covers Yellow Creek and the lower part of an unnamed headwater tributary (Levell, 1984 [v. 2]; Thornsberry, McKee, and Salisbury, 1984, fig. K-3).

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Yellow Creek is a steep, narrow tributary to Glacier Creek. It is fed by west-flowing Ruby Creek and by an unnamed, east-flowing creek; both tributary creeks are steep. Yellow Creek occupies a linear, fault-controlled, northwest-trending valley. Upper Yellow Creek, Ruby Creek and the unnamed east-flowing tributary are incised into bedrock of the Spruce Creek sequence. Lower Yellow Creek cuts Birch Creek bedrock (Bundtzen, 1981; Thornsberry, McKee, and Salisbury, 1984, fig. K-2).
Placer deposits in Yellow Creek consist of poorly sorted, angular to subangular colluvium, angular bouldery gravel, and the uppermost schist bedrock. A 1983 operation in mid-Yellow Creek recovered gold from angular gravel about 7 to 10 feet thick in a pay streak 40 to 50 feet wide. The gold was coarse and crystalline, and commonly adhered to quartz; its fineness was about 700. Crystalline gold from an operation at the head of Yellow Creek sold for about $1000 per ounce (Levell, 1984, v. 2, no. 1). The concentrates contain abundant galena, and lesser amounts of magnetite, pyrite, stibnite, and hematite. The grade of the deposit in mid-Yellow Creek was about 0.03 ounce of gold per cubic yard. The grade of the deposit at the head of the creek that contained the crystalline gold was slightly less than 0.01 ounce of gold per cubic yard (Levell, 1984, v. 2).
Yellow Creek drains mineralized Spruce Creek rocks that are the source of the gold, sulfide, and oxide minerals in the placer deposit. The angular and locally crystalline nature of the gold indicate a proximal source.
Geologic map unit (-150.835785688867, 63.5628963488347)
Mineral deposit model Au-PGE placer (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a).
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Holocene.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Gold was discovered in Yellow Creek in 1906 (Prindle, 1907); a paystreak reportedly was mined out by 1916 (Capps, 1919). The creek was mined with mechanical equipment in 1983; early production was probably by hand methods. There probably has been no mining since 1985.
Indication of production Yes; small
Reserve estimates There is a resource of 30,000 to 35,000 cubic yards of coarse, angular, alluvial gravel in Yellow Creek (Thornsberry, McKee, and Salisbury, 1984, fig. K-3, block Y-1). The gravel contains about 270 to 900 ounces of gold, based on samples grading 0.009 to 0.03 ounce of gold per cubic yard.
Production notes Based on production in 1983, total recovery probably exceeded 1000 ounces of gold.

Additional comments

The creek is in Denali National Park and Preserve.