Buster Creek

Mine, Active

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Hg
Ore minerals arsenopyrite; cassiterite; cinnabar; gold; ilmenite; magnetite; scheelite
Gangue minerals garnet

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale RM
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale D-7
Latitude 61.904
Longitude -161.447
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Buster Creek is a west tributary of lower Kako Creek. It is not named on the USGS 1:63,360 topographic map (1952 edition) of the area. The junction of Buster Creek with Kako Creek is 3 miles north-northwest of Kako Landing on the Yukon River. The map site is at the midpoint of about 1 mile of placer workings on Buster Creek, in the NE1/4 sec. 19, T. 21 N., R. 66 W., of the Seward Meridian. It is locality 10 of Hoare and Cobb (1972, 1977). The site is called the 'Kako Mine' on the Russian Mission D-7 topographic map.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Placer gold was discovered on Buster Creek in 1920, and about 4,800 feet of the uppermost part of the drainage was mined by WWII. This mining was by hand, scraper, and dragline operations, and an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 ounces of gold were recovered (Hickok and McAtee, 1990). In the 1980s, the Penz family restarted mining with dozer, hoe, loader, and sluice and jig operations. They patented four claims on the creek in 1989. In 1940, H. R. Joesting (written communication to J. Ramstad, 1940) used exploration drilling results to estimate that there were two unmined segments of the creek with potential economic reserves totaling about 8,000 ounces of gold. About three-quarters of these reserves were downstream of the patented claims. The placer gold is rough, coarse, and irregular in shape. Many pieces are attached to quartz, sericite-altered rhyolite, and, rarely, arsenopyrite (Hickok and McAtee, 1990). Other minerals recovered with the gold include cinnabar, garnet, arsenopyrite, scheelite, cassiterite, magnetite, and ilmenite. Rhyolite pebbles and cobbles are abundant in the stream gravels. The placer gold in Buster Creek is derived from the rhyolite-hosted Kako lode gold prospect (RM007) on the saddle between Buster Creek and East Fork Kuyukutuk River.
Geologic map unit (-161.449373991039, 61.9032632361721)
Mineral deposit model Placer Au (Cox and Singer, 1986, model 39a)
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Quaternary.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Placer gold was discovered on Buster Creek in 1920 and about 4,800 feet of the uppermost part of the drainage was mined by WWII. This mining was by hand, scraper, and dragline, and an estimated 5,000 to 7,000 ounces of gold were recovered (Hickok and McAtee, 1990). In the 1980s, the Penz family restarted mining with dozer, hoe, loader, and sluice and jig operations. They patented four claims on the creek in 1989.
Indication of production Yes; small
Reserve estimates In 1940, R. Joesting (written communication to Mr. J. Ramstad) used exploration drilling results to estimate that there were two unmined segments of the creek with potential economic reserves totaling about 8,000 ounces of gold. About three-quarters of these reserves were downstream of the patented claims.
Production notes An estimated 5,000 to 7,000 ounces of gold were recovered from Buster Creek before WWII (Hickok and McAtee, 1990).

References