Wolf Creek

Mine, Active

Alternative names

Yoder Creek
Younder Creek
Crooked Creek
West Creek

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Ore minerals gold

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale MZ
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale B-3
Latitude 65.4124
Longitude -154.0521
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Placer gold was mined for about 8 miles of Wolf Creek. Claims extend from about 2 miles above its junction with the Melozitna River and the mining continued upstream for 6 miles. The site is at the midpoint of the mining claims, 0.2 mile west of the center of section 12, T. 1 S., R. 23 E., Kateel River Meridian. The location is accurate to within 500 feet. This record includes gold placer mining claims staked on unnamed tributaries to Wolf Creek.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Upper Wolf Creek drains the northwestern part of the Lower Cretaceous (111 +/3 Ma) Melozitna pluton, a stock of porphyritic, locally gneissic, biotite quartz monzonite (Patton and others, 1977). The lower 8 miles of Wolf Creek crosses an area of Cretaceous to Precambrian rocks covered by Quaternary surficial deposits. The rocks include Precambrian or Paleozoic quartzite and micaceous quartzite, and subordinate quartz-mica schist, marble, and calc-silicate rock; Permian to Jurassic, spilitic basalt and diabase; and Lower Cretaceous conglomerate.
Mining claims were located by Leon and Ethel Tromblee on Yoder, Younder, Crooked, and West creeks from 1955 to 1957 (Kardex file 047-002; unpublished record, Alaska Division of Mining, Land & Water). Younder Creek is described by them as a tributary of the Melozitna River, but its location apparently coincides with that of Wolf Creek on the 1962 edition of the Melozitna B-3 topographic map; and West Creek may coincide with West Fork on the B-3 map. The Tromblees located 21 claims on Younder Creek from 1955 to 1956; 9 mining claims on Crooked Creek in 1956 and 1957; and 4 claims on West Creek in 1957. The only development work on these claims was sinking shafts and building a cabin in 1957. Francois Masschelin and George Swanson staked 13 mining claims on West Creek from 1957 to 1959, but there is no record of work on their claims (Kardex file 047-011; unpublished record, Alaska Division of Mining, Land & Water).
Kenneth Frederic staked 19 mining claims on Wolf Creek in 1983 (Kardex files 047-020 and 047-021; unpublished records, Alaska Division of Mining, Land & Water). In 1984, Frederic melted through the permafrost on Big Red claim #7, and dug a shaft 11 feet deep on bench gravels. He also dug numerous test holes, up to 5 feet deep, on adjacent claims.
Nancy Castle located the Wolfie #1 to #5 claims in 1984 and Bill Suess assisted in sinking shafts up to 5 feet deep (Kardex file 047-023; unpublished record, Alaska Division of Mining, Land & Water). Gravel from the shafts was tested for placer gold by putting the material through a rocker box. Additional samples were sent to Anchorage for testing. An 11-foot shaft was sunk in 1985. By 1986, Castle held 32 mining claims on Wolf Creek; and Suess conducted annual labor consisting of burning timber to melt permafrost while sinking shafts, timber-cribbing shafts and drifts, and digging open cuts on the benches. The shafts ranged from 8 to 20 feet deep, and the bench cuts ranged from 3 to 6 feet deep. The 32 claims were worked on and maintained through 2004, with 32 to 75 person-days of work per year (Kardex file 047-023; unpublished record, Alaska Division of Mining, Land & Water; unpublished Alaska Department of Natural Resources Office of the Recorder records). The work included building a windlass, digging shafts up to 27 feet deep, hand sluicing gravel, drifting, mining the creek with hand tools, and processing mined material through a hand sluice. Several tributaries to Wolf Creek were also staked at that time. Assessment work included test pits and surface sampling in 1992 on the Fox #1 to #3 claims (Kardex file 047-026; unpublished record, Alaska Division of Mining, Land & Water); the Beaver #1 to #6 claims (Kardex file 047-025; unpublished record, Alaska Division of Mining, Land & Water); and the Pike #1 claim (Kardex file 047-024; unpublished record, Alaska Division of Mining, Land & Water). No work was recorded on those tributaries after 1992, but the 32 claims on Wolf Creek were active through 2004 (unpublished Alaska Department of Natural Resources Office of the Recorder records).
Geologic map unit (-154.05466430516, 65.4118412950326)
Mineral deposit model Placer Au (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a)
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Quaternary.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration
Mining claims were located by Leon and Ethel Tromblee on Yoder, Younder, Crooked, and West Creeks from 1955 to 1957 (Kardex file 047-002; unpublished record, Alaska Division of Mining, Land & Water). Younder Creek is described by them as a tributary of the Melozitna River, but its location apparently coincides with that of Wolf Creek on the 1962 edition of the Melozitna B-3 topographic map; and West Creek may coincide with West Fork on the B-3 map. The Tromblees located 21 claims on Younder Creek from 1955 to 1956; 9 mining claims on Crooked Creek in 1956 and 1957; and 4 claims on West Creek in 1957. The only development work known on these claims was sinking shafts and building a cabin in 1957. Francois Masschelin and George Swanson staked 13 mining claims on West Creek from 1957 to 1959, but there is no record of work on their claims (Kardex file 047-011; unpublished record, Alaska Division of Mining, Land & Water).
Kenneth Frederic staked 19 mining claims on Wolf Creek in 1983 (Kardex files 047-020 and 047-021; unpublished records, Alaska Division of Mining, Land & Water). In 1984, Frederic melted through the permafrost on Big Red claim #7, and dug a shaft 11 feet deep on bench gravels. He also dug numerous test holes, up to 5 feet deep, on adjacent claims.
Nancy Castle located the Wolfie #1 to #5 claims in 1984 and Bill Suess assisted in sinking shafts up to 5 feet deep (Kardex file 047-023; unpublished record, Alaska Division of Mining, Land & Water). Gravel from the shafts was tested for placer gold by putting the material through a rocker box. Additional samples were sent to Anchorage for testing. An 11-foot shaft was sunk in 1985. By 1986, Castle held 32 mining claims on Wolf Creek; and Suess conducted annual labor consisting of burning timber to melt permafrost while sinking shafts, timber-cribbing shafts and drifts, and digging open cuts on the benches. The shafts ranged from 8 to 20 feet deep, and the bench cuts ranged from 3 to 6 feet deep. The 32 claims were worked on and maintained through 2004 (Kardex file 047-023; unpublished record, Alaska Division of Mining, Land & Water; unpublished Alaska Department of Natural Resources Office of the Recorder records). The work included building a windlass, digging shafts up to 27 feet deep, hand sluicing gravel, drifting, mining the creek with hand tools, and processing mined material through a hand sluice. Several tributaries to Wolf Creek were also staked at that time. Assessment work included test pits and surface sampling in 1992 on the Fox #1 to #3 claims (Kardex file 047-026; unpublished record, Alaska Division of Mining, Land & Water); the Beaver #1 to #6 claims (Kardex file 047-025; unpublished record, Alaska Division of Mining, Land & Water); and the Pike #1 claim (Kardex file 047-024; unpublished record, Alaska Division of Mining, Land & Water). No work was recorded on those tributaries after 1992, but the 32 claims on Wolf Creek were active through 2004 (unpublished Alaska Department of Natural Resources Office of the Recorder records).
Indication of production Yes; small
Reserve estimates Apparently none.
Production notes There has been considerable activity intermittently on a number of claims on Wolf Creek and its tributaries from 1955 to 2004; there is no record of production but they have been some.

Additional comments

This site is the Younder Creek, U.S. BLM MILS location 0020470017 (Oddenino and others, 1995; Interagency Minerals Coordinating Group, 2004).

References

References

Reporters D.J. Szumigala (Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys)
Last report date 2/7/2005