Last Chance Creek

Mine, Inactive

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities W
Ore minerals gold; hematite; magnetite; pyrite; scheelite; stibnite

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale NM
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-2
Latitude 64.724
Longitude -165.5003
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Last Chance Creek is in the northeast corner of the Nome C-2 quadrangle and adjacent parts of the Nome C-1 quadrangle; it was placer mined for gold from the headwaters (NM142) downstream to near Hazel Gulch in the Nome C-1 quadrangle. The location used is the boundary of the C-1 and C-2 quadrangles, which is the approximate mid-point between the head of pay at the Last Chance lode (NM142) and Hazel Gulch, which is partly on U.S. Mineral Survey No. 1839. This is locality 89 of Cobb (1972 [MF 463], 1978 [OFR 78-93]) although he used a location farther downstream in the Nome C-1 quadrangle for the mine.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Placer gold was discovered in Last Chance Creek in or before 1900 and some sluicing was reported in 1900 (Brooks and others, 1901, p. 80). Reportedly the creek was prospected extensively in 1901, but probably with poor results because the prospect was abandoned (Collier and others, 1908, p. 197). Some mining was reported in 1903. Gold was reported as coarse and rough, as well as bright (Collier and others, 1908) and iron-stained (Moffit, 1913, p. 87). Moffit also reported that mining near Dewey Creek (not currently named) recovered gold from heavy concentrate that also contained scheelite, pyrite, hematite, and magnetite. Coats (1944) confirmed minor amounts of scheelite. Sainsbury and others (1972 [OFR 72-321]) showed placer mine workings to be present downstream from the headwaters almost to the edge of the Nome C-2 quadrangle. Mining, at least partly by mechanical methods, has taken place from at least one-half mile above Hazel Creek to the mouth of the creek on the north fork of Snake River in the Nome C-1 quadrangle. Sampling by Kennecott Exploration Company in 1990 found more than 4,000 ppb gold in a panned concentrate from the mouth of Waterfall Creek and more than 9,000 ppb gold from a point about one-half mile below Waterfall and about a mile above Hazel Gulch (C.C. Hawley, Cindy Buxton, and D.L. Olson, written communication, 1992). Bedrock along Last Chance Creek is mostly the chlorite-rich metaturbidite and marble unit of Bundtzen and others (1994).
Geologic map unit (-165.502916431685, 64.7232353572985)
Mineral deposit model Alluvial placer Au (Cox and Singer, 1986; 39a).
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Quaternary.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Hand and small-scale mechanical operations occurred on Last Chance Creek. Mining was reported in 1900, 1903, and as recently as 1924 (Smith, 1926). Some of the tailings below Hazel Gulch could have been processed by small-scale mechanical operations after 1924.
Indication of production Yes; small


MRDS Number A012887; D002578


Brooks, A.H., Richardson, G.B., Collier, A.J., and W.C. Mendenhall, 1901, A reconnaissance in the Cape Nome and adjacent gold fields of Seward Peninsula, Alaska, in 1900: U.S. Geological Survey Special Publication, p. 1-185, maps.
Reporters C.C. Hawley and Travis L. Hudson
Last report date 3/12/2000