Monument Creek

Mine, Probably inactive

Alternative names

Poorman Bench

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Ag; Sn
Ore minerals cassiterite; gold

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale NM
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-2
Latitude 64.5969
Longitude -165.5108
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Monument Creek is a west tributary to Snake River; this location is 2.2 miles north-northwest from the bridge on the Nome-Teller road that crosses Snake River. Monument Creek and an adjacent north-side bench were mined extensively in the Nome C-2 quadrangle and downstream into the Nome C-1 quadrangle. This location is the approximate mid-point of placer tailings along the creek and is directly south of the Poorman bench open cut. This is locality 100 of Cobb (1972 [MF 463], 1978 [OFR 78-93]); it is accurate to within about 1,000 feet.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

The placer deposit on Monument Creek was apparently discovered after the discovery of a rich, shallow bench, called the Poorman bench, on the north side of the creek. The pay streak on the bench was discovered in 1918 and mined immediately; it was about 40 feet wide, 4 feet thick, and below 6 feet of overburden. The pay gravels contained about 1.5 ounces of gold per cubic yard (Martin, 1920, p. 51; Cathcart, 1920, p. 188-190). The main period of mining in Monument Creek itself was from 1928 until 1940; a bucket line dredge mined in 1938-39 in the upper part of Monument Creek below the two upper forks. The upper north tributary to Monument Creek is auriferous; Kennecott Exploration Company (written communication, 1992) found 7 ppm of gold in a pan concentrate collected about one-half mile above the junction of the upper forks. Anderson (1947) reported cassiterite from Monument Creek. Anomalous amounts of tin are also present a few miles to the north in Sledge Creek (NM169). The proximity to the Nome coastal plain and the low elevation of the site (about 250 feet) suggest that Quaternary sea-level fluctuations could have influenced its development.
The source of placer gold in Monument Creek is unknown. Bedrock in the drainage includes metaturbidite schist inferred to be the oldest part of the Nome Group (Bundtzen and others, 1994). The Rodine fault, which is mineralized elsewhere (for example, at NM165), cuts across the head of Monument Creek.
Geologic map unit (-165.513396934239, 64.5961311311164)
Mineral deposit model Alluvial placer Au (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a).
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Quaternary.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Gold was discovered in a shallow bench north of Monument Creek in about 1918 (Martin, 1920; Cathcart, 1920). The deposit was rich but small and quickly worked out. Monument Creek itself was worked continuously from 1928 to 1935 by mechanical methods and by a dredge in 1938-39. Production is unknown but is believed to be at least in the tens of thousands of ounces because of the long duration of moderate-scale mining. Activity was reported in 1928 (Smith, 1930, p. 39), 1929 (Smith, 1932, p. 44), 1930 (Smith, 1933 [B 836-A, p. 45-46]), 1931 (Smith, 1933 [B 844-A, p. 46]), 1932 (Smith, 1934 [B 857-A, p. 43]), 1933 (Smith, 1934 [B 869-A, p. 48]), 1934 (Smith, 1936, p. 49-50), and 1935 (Smith, 1937, p. 52). Mining activity is not reported for 1936-37, perhaps in anticipation of the dredge that was brought from the Casadepaga River in 1938. The dredged ground was worked out in 1939 (Smith, 1939, p. 63, 75-76, Smith, 1941, p. 59-60, 70).
Indication of production Yes; medium
Production notes A few tens of thousands of ounces of gold may have been produced from Monument Creek.


MRDS Number A012901


Reporters C.C. Hawley and Travis L. Hudson
Last report date 3/12/2000