Unnamed (upper Utopia Creek)

Occurrence, Inactive

Alternative names

Whiz-Bang

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Ag; Au; Pb; Zn
Other commodities As; Ba; Cu; Sb
Ore minerals arsenopyrite; galena; malachite; pyrite; sphalerite; stibnite; tetrahedrite
Gangue minerals barite; dolomite; epidote; quartz

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale MZ
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale D-2
Latitude 65.9871
Longitude -153.7821
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy This lode occurrence is on the southeast flank of the Indian Mountains at the upper end of Utopia Creek. The site corresponds to Alaska Division of Geological Surveys sample location 92SL213E (Liss and others, 1993); it is in the southeast quarter of section 22, T. 7 N., R. 24 E., Kateel River Meridian. This occurrence is included in location 3 of Cobb (1972). The location is accurate.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

The rocks in the vicinity of upper Utopia Creek consist of Cretaceous andesitic and basaltic volcanic rocks interlayered with chert, cherty tuff, conglomerate, and coquinoidal limestone (Patton and others, 1977). The Indian Mountain pluton crops out approximately 2 miles north and west of the creek, and podlike intrusive bodies of fine-grained, pyritiferous, silicified, felsic rock occur along an east-northeast-trending fault about 1.5 miles south of the creek.
The rocks in Utopia Creek are slightly metamorphosed andesite cut by fine-grained felsic dikes (Miller and Ferrians, 1968). Abundant boulders of massive white barite, up to 2 feet in diameter, are in the tailings of an abandoned placer mine near the head of Utopia Creek (MZ006). Some of the boulders contain fine-grained tetrahedrite, sphalerite, and galena. Two samples of the barite assayed up to 1.3 parts per million (ppm) gold, 700 ppm silver, 1,500 ppm copper, 1,500 ppm lead, 1,000 ppm antimony, and 3,000 ppm zinc. A stream-sediment sample taken near the upper end of the tailings contained 2,000 ppm lead and 700 ppm zinc; it also contained significant copper, gold, and barium. Miller and Ferrians (1968) note that the lode mineralization at this site does not appear to be associated directly with the Indian Mountain pluton, because no granitic rock occurs in the placer tailings. Instead, they hypothesize that the deposit consists of mineralized veins in the andesitic volcanic rocks.
Three lode mining claims and 1 placer mining claim (Cam and Whiz-Bang claims) were active over the upper part of Utopia Creek from 1971 to 1977 (Kardex file 047-012; unpublished record, Alaska Division of Mining, Land & Water). Azel Crandall and Joseph Manga performed assessment work that consisted of brushing lines, flagging lines, digging prospect pits, trenching, and collecting soil and rock samples for assaying.
The Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys collected 9 rock samples of the placer tailings, including altered felsic volcanic breccia, massive barite, barite breccia with sulfides in fractures, a silicified vein with arsenopyrite and other sulfides, a coarsely crystalline quartz vein with sulfides and barite, and epidote-rich, sheared volcanic rock (Liss and others, 1993). The samples contained up to 1,860 parts per billion (ppb) gold, 50 or more parts per million (ppm) silver, 147 ppm arsenic, 31 ppm gallium, 96 ppm antimony, 20,000 or more ppm barium, 286 ppm copper, 21 ppm molybdenum, 1,602 ppm lead, and 1,156 ppm zinc.
North Star Exploration, Inc. explored the Indian Mountain area as part of a mineral evaluation of Doyon Limited's lands in the late 1990s (North Star Exploration, Inc., 2000). North Star contracted an airborne (helicopter) magnetic-electromagnetic-radiometric survey that suggested extensive alteration of the volcanic bedrock in a high-angle-fault-bounded block. North Star also reported gold values greater than 1 ppm in rock samples and greater than 50 ppb in soil samples from the Utopia Creek area.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management sampled mineral sites in the area of this occurrence (Kurtak and others, 2002). Their samples of barite boulders with pyrite, dolomite (?), and tetrahedrite (?) contained up to 53.7 percent barium, 5.565 ppm gold, 4,846 ppm lead, 1,108 ppm zinc, 344 ppm arsenic, 342 ppm silver, and 173 ppm antimony (Klieforth and others, 2001; Kurtak and others, 2002). A float sample of iron-stained fault breccia contained 1.95 percent lead, 599 ppm zinc, 160 ppm copper, and 100 ppb gold. Several panned-concentrate samples in the area were anomalous in barium, zinc, lead, and gold (Kurtak and others, 2002). Epidote-bearing quartz veinlets with trace malachite and tetrahedrite (?) cut andesite bedrock at the head of Utopia Creek. A sample of that mineralization contained 529 ppm barium and 194 ppm copper.
Geologic map unit (-153.784723512279, 65.9865606409957)
Mineral deposit model Volcanic-hosted deposit: Polymetallic vein or possibly a porphyry copper (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 17; 22c)
Mineral deposit model number 17?, 22c?
Age of mineralization Cretaceous or younger.
Alteration of deposit Silicification.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration
Three lode mining claims and 1 placer mining claim (Cam and Whiz-Bang claims) were active over the upper part of Utopia Creek from 1971 to 1977 (Kardex file 047-012; unpublished record, Alaska Division of Mining, Land & Water). Azel Crandall and Joseph Manga performed assessment work consisting of brushing lines, flagging lines, digging prospect pits, trenching, and collecting soil and rock samples for assaying.
The Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys collected 9 rock samples of the placer tailings, including altered felsic volcanic breccia, massive barite, barite breccia with sulfides in fractures, a silicified vein with arsenopyrite and other sulfides, a coarsely crystalline quartz vein with sulfides and barite, and epidote-rich, sheared volcanic rock (Liss and others, 1993). The samples contained up to 1,860 parts per billion (ppb) gold, 50 or more parts per million (ppm) silver, 147 ppm arsenic, 31 ppm gallium, 96 ppm antimony, 20,000 or more ppm barium, 286 ppm copper, 21 ppm molybdenum, 1,602 ppm lead, and 1,156 ppm zinc.
North Star Exploration, Inc. explored the Indian Mountain area as part of a mineral evaluation of Doyon Limited's lands in the late 1990s (North Star Exploration, Inc., 2000). North Star contracted an airborne (helicopter) magnetic-electromagnetic-radiometric survey that suggested extensive alteration of the volcanic bedrock in a high-angle-fault-bounded block. North Star also reported gold values greater than 1 ppm in rock samples and greater than 50 ppb in soil samples from the Utopia Creek area.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management sampled mineral sites in the area of this occurrence (Kurtak and others, 2002). Their (selected) samples of barite boulders containing pyrite, dolomite(?), and tetrahedrite(?) contained up to 53.7 percent barium, 5.565 ppm gold, 4,846 ppm lead, 1,108 ppm zinc, 344 ppm arsenic, 342 ppm silver, and 173 ppm antimony (Klieforth and others, 2001; Kurtak and others, 2002). A float sample of iron-stained fault breccia contained 1.95 percent lead, 599 ppm zinc, 160 ppm copper, and 100 ppb gold. Several pan-concentrate samples in the area were anomalous in barium, zinc, lead, and gold (Kurtak and others, 2002). Epidote-bearing quartz veinlets with trace malachite and tetrahedrite(?) cut andesite bedrock at the head of Utopia Creek. A sample of that mineralization contained 529 ppm barium and 194 ppm copper.
Indication of production None

Additional comments

This site is the Whiz-Bang, U.S. BLM MILS location 0020470012 (Oddenino and others, 1995; Interagency Minerals Coordinating Group, 2004).

References

MRDS Number A010759; A015573

References

Interagency Minerals Coordinating Group, 2004, Alaska Mineral Locations Database [MAS (Minerals Availability System) and MILS (Mineral Industry Location System)], http://imcg.wr.usgs.gov/dem.html (select Melozitna quadrangle).
Kurtak, J.M., Klieforth, R.F., Clark, J.M., and Maclean, E.A., 2002, Mineral investigations in the Koyukuk mining district, northern Alaska: Final Report: U.S. Bureau of Land Management Technical Report 50, v. 1 and 2, 845 p.
North Star Exploration Inc., 2000, Hughes block - a new district for epithermal and intrusion-related gold deposits, 4 p. (Unpublished brochure held by Doyon, Limited, Fairbanks, Alaska).
Reporters G.E. Graham, D.J. Szumigala (Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys)
Last report date 12/29/2004