Lower Dry Creek

Mine, Active?

Commodities and mineralogy

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

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale NM
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-1
Latitude 64.5211
Longitude -165.3425
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy This gold placer mine is at an elevation of about 100 feet on lower Dry Creek about 2.5 miles upstream of its mouth. The map location is just east of the center of section 19, T. 11 S., R. 33 W., Kateel River Meridian. This is locality 127 of Cobb (1972 [MF 463], 1978 [OFR 78-93]).

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Most of Dry Creek, starting about 1 mile upstream from its mouth, is auriferous. The placer deposit described in this record is the stretch from about Blind Gulch, where Dry Creek crosses the trend of Intermediate Beach (NM287), upstream to the mouth of Newton Gulch. Mining took place as early as 1900 and in most subsequent years to 1938 (Cobb, 1978 [OFR 78-93]). Most of the mining on the lower part of the creek was probably by open cut or dredging; dredges were reported to be operating on Dry Creek almost every year from 1920 to 1938. Dredging was resumed in this area in about 1975, and a dredge operated until 1994.
The first deposits mined on lower Dry Creek were shallow and fairly small. A shallow pay streak about 1 mile upstream from the mouth was 150 feet wide and 3 to 5 feet thick on a clay bottom; it commonly ran a little more than 0.2 ounce of gold per cubic yard (Moffit, 1913, p. 90-91); concentrates included hematite, pyrite, and scheelite. These deposits were partly mined with dredges with digging capacity of 10 to 20 feet (Metcalfe and Tuck, 1942, p. 26). In later years, buried deposits were extensively mined along modern Dry Creek. These deposits include some related to Third Beach and Intermediate Beach; the eastern extension of Submarine Beach is probably near the mouth of Dry Creek (Moffit, 1913, p. 118). Dry Creek marks the eastern limit of the richest part of Third Beach (Metcalfe and Tuck, 1942).
Dry Creek was an active drainage during Third Beach time, dumping gold-bearing alluvium directly into the Third Beach sea (Metcalfe and Tuck, 1942, p. 37). The deeper deposits below the Third Beach strandline and on abrasion platforms such as Intermediate Beach were mined until 1995 by dredges with as much as 80-foot digging capacity; locally, some of the deep deposits were naturally thawed.
Geologic map unit (-165.345100188041, 64.5203351383052)
Mineral deposit model Alluvial placer gold deposit (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a). Placer deposits were of several types including fluvial, marine, and complex fluvial-marine.
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Quaternary.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Most of the mining on the lower part of Dry Creek was probably by open cut or dredging; dredges were reported to be operating on Dry Creek almost every year from 1920 to 1938. Mining took place up to at least 1995.
Indication of production Yes; medium