Rock Creek (bench placer)

Mine, Inactive

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Ag; W
Ore minerals gold; scheelite

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale NM
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-1
Latitude 64.6133
Longitude -165.4227
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy This locality is a bench placer on the crest of a low knoll locally called Arsenic Hill on the west side of Rock Creek at an elevation of about 230 feet. It is 3,000 feet due east of the Snake River road. The deposit is accurately located in the NW1/4 section 23, T. 10 S., R. 34 W., Kateel River Meridian.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

An elevated alluvial (bench) placer is partly preserved west of Rock Creek on the south part of Arsenic Hill. The base of the channel is at an elevation of about 220 feet, or about 20 feet higher than the base of the alluvium in modern Rock Creek to the east. At the time of the formation of the elevated channel, an ancestral Rock Creek left the modern drainage and flowed southwest and then west-southwest. It can be traced for about 700 feet to a linear swale developed along the Brynteson fault; possibly the channel turned more southerly at that point. The channel ranges from about 100 to 120 feet across. Its southeast limit above Rock Creek was mined hydraulically in a pit that was about 120 feet long. The rest of the channel was developed from a series of at least six shallow shafts, which probably follow the deepest part of the channel.
The channel is subparallel to the Arsenic Gulch fault, a strong fault that may have partly controlled the course of the old channel (Kennecott Exploration Company, unpublished data). The fault nearly coincides with the north limit of the channel where it leaves modern Rock Creek. Probably only a small amount of gold was recovered from the area of the shafts. This part of the channel may be the location of the small reserve suitable for dragline mining that was noted by Metcalfe and Tuck (1942).
Geologic map unit (-165.425307154778, 64.6125343612291)
Mineral deposit model Alluvial placer Au (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a).
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Pleistocene.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration The elevated channel was mined hydraulically and from shallow underground workings, probably before 1920.
Indication of production Yes; small
Reserve estimates A small reserve is probably present.


MRDS Number 10307995


Metcalfe, J.B., and Tuck, Ralph, 1942, Placer gold deposits of the Nome district, Alaska: Report for U.S. Smelting, Refining, and Mining Co., 175 p.
Reporters C.C. Hawley and Travis L. Hudson
Last report date 7/10/2000