Bonanza Creek

Mine, Probably inactive

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Sb; W
Ore minerals gold; ilmenite; magnetite; pyrite; scheelite; stibnite
Gangue minerals garnet; quartz

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale NR
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-4
Latitude 64.5448
Longitude -160.7396
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Placer mining took place near the mouth of locally-named Bonanza Creek, a short, west-flowing tributary of the Ungalik River approximately 4.5 miles east of the abandoned town of Ungalik. Mining also took place on the Ungalik River (NR009) near the mouth of Bonanza Creek, and nearby at Hopeful Gulch (NR010). The coordinates are for the approximate center of mine tailings marked on the Norton Bay C-4 topographic map. These tailings are in the SE1/4 sec. 7, T. 11 S., R. 10 W. , Kateel River Meridian. Bonanza Creek is location 2 of Cobb (1972 [MF 381]).

Geologic setting

Geologic description

The country rocks in the vicinity of Bonanza Creek include black shale or slate that is cut by Cretaceous granitic dikes. The igneous rock contains sulfides (Smith and Eakin, 1911). The contact zone between the igneous rock and the sedimentary rocks is epidotized and contains fine-grained calcite, chlorite, quartz, amphiboles, pyrite, and magnetite (Anderson, 1944).
Gold occurs both in creek and bench placers; water was pumped from the Ungalik River to facilitate mining. The gold is described as moderately coarse to coarse, and commonly attached to pieces of quartz vein material (Smith and Eakin, 1911). Abundant stibnite and scheelite are also present; during 1918 a few pounds of scheelite were produced (Cobb, 1973 [B 1374]). Other minerals associated with the gold at Bonanza Creek include magnetite, epidote, garnet, apatite, zircon, hornblende, hematite, and augite (Anderson, 1944). Brooks (1911) indicates that the likely source of gold is the contact zone between the igneous and sedimentary rocks.
Gold was discovered near the mouth of Bonanza Creek in 1899, and mining continued until at least 1918 (Smith and Eakin, 1911).
Also see NR009 and 010.
Geologic map unit (-160.742137670544, 64.544110645304)
Mineral deposit model Placer Au; stream, bench (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a)
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Quaternary. The source of the placer gold may be the contact zone between the Cretaceous granitic dikes and the sedimentary rocks (Brooks, 1911).

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Gold was discovered near the mouth of Bonanza Creek in 1899 (Smith and Eakin, 1911) and mined until at least 1918. The mouth of Bonanza Creek empties into the Ungalik River (NR009), where intermittent dredge mining took place until 1987 or 1988 (Bundtzen and others, 1992).
Indication of production Yes; small
Production notes Some gold was produced from Bonanza Creek from 1899 until about 1918. Intermittent gold production continued from the nearby Ungalik River (NR009) until 1987 or 1988 (Bundtzen and others, 1992).


MRDS Number A015701; D002611; D002614


Mendenhall, W.C., 1901, A reconnaissance in the Norton Bay region, Alaska, in 1900, in Brooks, A.H., Richardson, G.B., Collier, A.J., and Mendenhall, W.C., Reconnaissance in the Cape Nome and Norton Bay regions, Alaska, in 1900: U.S. Geological Survey Special Publication, p. 187-218.
Reporters C.E. Cameron
Last report date 8/7/2001