Buster Creek

Mine, Inactive

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Ore minerals gold

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale NM
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-1
Latitude 64.5923
Longitude -165.2458
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy This alluvial placer gold mine is on Buster Creek, an east tributary to Nome River, directly across the Nome River valley from Dexter Creek (NM303). The map location is near where Buster Creek enters the Nome River floodplain, at the center of section 27, T. 10 S., R. 33 W., Kateel River Meridian. Buster Creek was mined for about 3 miles above the map location. It is locality 116 of Cobb (1972 [MF 463], 1978 [OFR 78-93]).

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Gold was discovered on Buster Creek by 1900 (Schrader and Brooks, 1900 and Brooks and others, 1901). Mining took place intermittently until 1918 and again as recently as 1954 and 1955 when a small dredge was in operation (Hummel, 1975; Cobb, 1978 [OFR 78-93]). Buster Creek was auriferous from the floodplain of Nome River upstream at least to Goodluck Gulch. Two tributaries, Grace (NM269) and Union (NM270), were also auriferous. In the canyon above the floodplain, pay streaks had formed under the modern drainage and in bench deposits. The modern creek pay streak consisted of 3-foot-thick gravels on bedrock and 1 to 2 feet of bedrock that contained coarse gold; pay was 100 feet wide about 2 miles above the mouth (Collier and others, 1908). A bench deposit opposite the mouth of Union Gulch probably continued upstream to a similar deposit in Grace Gulch. The bench deposit opposite Union Gulch was at an elevation of about 300 feet and about 100 feet higher than nearby Buster Creek. The bench channel had bedrock rims that disappeared to the west (Moffit, 1913, p. 96-97). The creek was actively mined until 1918 (Cathcart, 1920). A small dredge probably operated in 1954 on lower Basin Creek near or in the main floodplain (Hummel, 1975). Gold was reported as coarse and about 900 fine.
Bedrock in the drainage is marble and schist, probably of early Paleozoic protolith age (Hummel, 1962 [MF 247]; Till and Dumoulin, 1984; Bundtzen and others, 1994). Buster Creek is bracketed by two NNE-striking faults. The faults are subparallel to the Anvil Creek fault about 2 1/2 miles northwest of Buster Creek.
Geologic map unit (-165.248409048552, 64.591538900822)
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 Buster Creek apparently was mined from about 1900 until at least 1918; lower Buster Creek was dredged from about 1953 to 1954.
Indication of production Yes; small


MRDS Number A012923; A012924


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.
Till, A.B., and Dumoulin, J.A, 1994, Geology of Seward Peninsula and St. Lawrence Island, in Plafker, G., and Berg, H.C., eds., The Geology of Alaska: Geological Society of America, DNAG, The Geology of North America, v. G-1, p. 141-152.
Reporters C.C. Hawley and Travis L. Hudson
Last report date 7/10/2000