Moran Creek

Mine, Inactive

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au; Sn
Ore minerals cassiterite; gold

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale MZ
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale B-1
Latitude 65.3713
Longitude -153.3614
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy There are reports of placer gold and tin mining on Moran Creek, but several creeks in the Tanana and Melozitna quadrangles have been referred to as Moran Creek (Chapman and others, 1963). This site is located at the junction of Moran Creek and Green Creek, in section 29, T. 1 S, R. 27 E., Kateel River Meridian. However, the locations of prospect pits or placer mines on and near this Moran Creek are uncertain; some of the work attributed to Moran Creek may have taken place on other creeks known by the same name.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

The headwaters of Moran Creek are marked by the contact between metamorphic rocks and the Melozitna pluton; the lower four miles above its mouth on the Little Melozitna River is in the pluton (Patton and others, 1977). The metamorphic rocks are Precambrian or Paleozoic, greenschist-grade, quartz-chlorite-muscovite schist and micaceous quartzite and subordinate greenstone, glaucophane-bearing schist, and marble. The Melozitna pluton is a Lower Cretaceous (111+/- 3 Ma), porphyritic, locally gneissic, biotite quartz monzonite and granite.
There are early reports of placer gold and tin mining on Moran Creek, but several creeks in the Tanana and Melozitna quadrangles were called Moran Creek (Chapman and others, 1963). Most of the references to Moran Creek probably are to Tozimoran Creek in the Tanana quadrangle (Szumigala and others, 2004). The locations of workings on Moran Creek in either quadrangle are not well documented. Martin (1920) reported that gravels said to contain 2.5 pounds of stream tin (cassiterite) per cubic yard were discovered on Moran Creek, a tributary of the Melozi, in 1918 and that about 6 men were prospecting and digging a trench that year. Fred Zickwolf prospected near the head of Moran Creek, a tributary of the Tozimoran Creek, in 1926 and reported finding good values in gold and stream tin in the modern alluvium and on the left limit benches (Wimmler, 1927). The creek gravels average 3 to 4 feet thick, and are overlain by 3 to 20 feet of muck, with the thicker muck chiefly along the valley edge. With the exception of thin exposed gravels, the entire deposit is frozen. During placer mining by Zickwolf in 1924, 1,200 square feet of bedrock, overlain by about 3 feet of gravel, yielded 1,500 pounds of tin concentrate in addition to the gold recovered (Wimmler, 1927). The placer tin occurrence attracted the attention of others and Zickwolf's holding were optioned to other parties (Wimmler, 1927). J. Elliot, Frank Miller, J. McCade, and Bob Kelly prospected on Moran Creek in 1929 (Wimmler, 1929). A little prospecting for placer gold was conducted in 1931, 1934, and 1935 (Smith, 1933; Smith, 1936; Smith, 1937). 'Tuffy' Eddington worked on Moran Creek, on Golden Creek (MZ018), and elsewhere in this area through the 1940s and 1950s (Heiner and others, 1968).
Geologic map unit (-153.363944888653, 65.3707550523312)
Mineral deposit model Placer Au(-Sn) (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a)
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Quaternary.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration There are early reports of placer gold and tin mining on Moran Creek, but several creeks in the Tanana and Melozitna quadrangles were called Moran Creek (Chapman and others, 1963). Most of the references to Moran Creek probably are to Tozimoran Creek in the Tanana quadrangle (Szumigala and others, 2004). The locations of workings on Moran Creek in either quadrangle are not well documented. Martin (1920) reported that gravels said to contain 2.5 pounds of stream tin (cassiterite) per cubic yard were discovered on Moran Creek, a tributary of the Melozi, in 1918 and that about 6 men were prospecting and digging a trench that year. Fred Zickwolf prospected near the head of Moran Creek, a tributary of the Tozimoran, in 1926 and reported finding good values in gold and stream tin in the modern alluvium and on the left-limit benches (Wimmler, 1927). The creek gravels average 3 to 4 feet thick, and are overlain by 3 to 20 feet of muck, with the thicker muck chiefly along the valley edge. With the exception of thin exposed gravels, the entire deposit is frozen. The placer tin occurrence attracted the attention of others and Zickwolf's holding were optioned to other parties (Wimmler, 1927). J. Elliot, Frank Miller, J. McCade, and Bob Kelly prospected on Moran Creek in 1929 (Wimmler, 1929). A little prospecting for placer gold was conducted in 1931, 1934, and 1935 (Smith, 1933; Smith, 1936; Smith, 1937). 'Tuffy' Eddington worked on Moran Creek, on Golden Creek (MZ018), and elsewhere in this area through the 1940s and 1950s (Heiner and others, 1968).
Indication of production Undetermined
Production notes During placer mining by Zickwolf in 1924, 1,200 square feet of bedrock, overlain by about 3 feet of gravel, yielded 1,500 pounds of tin concentrate and an undetermined amount of gold (Wimmler, 1927).

Additional comments

This site is the Moran Creek, U.S. BLM MILS location 0020470008 (Oddenino and others, 1995; Interagency Minerals Coordinating Group, 2004).

References

References

Heiner, L.E., and Wolff, E.N., eds., 1968, Mineral resources of northern Alaska, Final report, submitted to the NORTH Commission: University of Alaska, Mineral Industry Research Laboratory Report No. 16, 306 p.
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).
Reporters D.J. Szumigala (Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys)
Last report date 1/31/2005