Upper Dry Creek

Mine, Active

Alternative names

Bear Creek (Gulch)

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities W
Ore minerals gold; ilmenite; limonite; magnetite; scheelite
Gangue minerals garnet; quartz

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale NM
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-1
Latitude 64.5516
Longitude -165.3446
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy This record describes gold placer deposits in Dry Creek upstream from the Nome coastal plain to the divide at the head of the creek. The map location is at an elevation of about 275 feet, just north of the center of section 7, T. 11 S., R. 33 W., Kateel River Meridian. It coincides approximately with locality 126 of Cobb (1972 [MF 463]).

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Dry Creek heads in high-level, gold-bearing gravels at the saddle between upper Dry Creek and Wet Gulch (NM248). Gold in uppermost Dry Creek was mined from 2-foot-thick gravels on a thin clay layer resting directly on schist bedrock. Mining began as early as 1900 when 1,200 ounces of gold were produced (Brooks and others, 1901). Significant early production also came from an east-side bench, 50 feet above the creek, where a 0.5- to 4-foot-thick pay streak was 20 to 60 feet wide; this pay was very rich. It commonly ran about 0.5 ounce of gold per cubic yard but in places exceeded 2.5 ounces of gold per cubic yard (Collier and others, 1908). Pay gravel was locally cemented by iron oxide (limonite) and buried by 20 to 50 feet of gravel, slide rock, fine sand, muck, and silt. The heavy-mineral concentrate contained garnet, ilmenite, magnetite, and scheelite. Gold was also mined from Bear Creek (or Gulch), a tributary to upper Dry Creek on the Anvil Mountain side.
Placer gold was mined extensively from Hotel Gulch downstream to an elevation of about 180 feet where Dry Creek enters the Nome coastal plain, just above the trace of Third Beach (NM258). The deposit was mined as recently as 1996. Extensive tailings suggest also that an ancestral Dry Creek probably flowed southwesterly at the point that the creek leaves the mountain front.
Bedrock along Dry Creek is mainly platy to massive marble with some felsic schist occurs near Bear Creek (Hummel, 1962 [MF 247]; Bundtzen and others, 1994).
Geologic map unit (-165.347203695843, 64.5508356676811)
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 Most of the workings on upper Dry Creek are surface cuts. Tailings on Dry Creek where it enters onto the Nome coastal plain suggest that considerable dredging may have taken place there between 1920 and 1938. The east-side bench may have been at least partly mined by underground workings.
Indication of production Yes; medium