Willow Creek

Mine, Inactive

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Ag; Sb
Ore minerals gold; stibnite

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale MM
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-2
Latitude 63.5468
Longitude -150.6488
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Willow Creek is one of the headwater tributaries of Moose Creek. It joins Spruce Creek near the center of section 16, T. 16 S., R. 16 W., Fairbanks Meridian, to form Moose Creek. Willow Creek is about 2 1/2 miles long; it heads into the low divide at the head of Myrtle Creek. For this record, the location of the Willow Creek placer mine is about on the unpatented Willow No. 5 Above Discovery claim, in the NE1/4 NE1/4 section 9, T. 16 S., R. 16 W., Fairbanks Meridian. Willow Creek is placer resource block W-1 of Thornsberry, McKee, and Salisbury (1984, fig. K-3).

Geologic setting

Geologic description

The placer-mined part of Willow Creek has a gradient of about 200 feet per mile. The creek heads into a swampy divide at the head of Myrtle Creek, which rises below Spruce Peak. The physiography suggests that Myrtle Creek may have captured upper Willow Creek, and that Willow Creek may once have headed into Spruce Creek rocks. The present course of Willow Creek is in Birch Creek Schist, but if Myrtle Creek captured Willow Creek, an ancestral Willow Creek could have drained rocks of the Spruce Creek sequence (Hawley and Associates, 1978; Bundtzen, 1981; Thornsberry, McKee, and Salisbury, 1984, figs. K-2 and K-3).
Claims were staked on Willow Creek early in the 1900s (Heiner and Porter, 1972; KX 66-64). Three placer gold claims were located in 1964 (KX 66-100), and most of the creek was staked in 1966 by Northwest Exploration (KX 66-115). The Willow Creek citation for 1966 (Heiner and Porter, 1972) notes that placer claims were located for antimony; suggesting that stibnite occurs in the alluvial gravels. One lode gold claim was located in lower Willow Creek in 1961 (Heiner and Porter, 1972; KX 66-100). There is a resource of about 500,000 cubic yards of low-grade alluvium in and adjacent to modern Willow Creek (Levell, 1984, v. 2). Levell's sampling of Willow Creek in 1983 showed insignificant gold content.
Geologic map unit (-150.651078591467, 63.5463008428688)
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 apparently was discovered in Willow Creek in the early 1900s, when the creek was placer mined on a limited scale (Heiner and Porter, 1972: KX 66-64). There was renewed claim activity in the 1960s, but the deposit apparently was not rich enough to support much mining.
Indication of production Undetermined
Reserve estimates There is a low-grade placer gold resource in about 500,000 cubic yards of alluvium in lower Willow Creek (Levell, 1984, v.2).
Production notes Probably less than 100 ounces of placer gold since 1905.

Additional comments

The creek is in Denali National Park and Preserve.

References