Murray Gulch

Mine, Active

Alternative names

New York Creek

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Ag; As; Hg
Ore minerals arsenopyrite; cinnabar; monazite; placer gold; placer silver
Gangue minerals garnet; magnetite

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale SM
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-7
Latitude 61.56897
Longitude -158.5835
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy The placers on Murray Gulch and New York Creek are about 1.6 mile northwest of the abandoned village of Little Mountain Village on the Kuskokwim River. The site is a placer about 0.6 mile long that extends along lower Murray Gulch and into New York Creek; most of the placer is in the NE1/4 sec. 18, T. 17., N., R. 18 W., of the Seward Meridian. The center of the placer is near the junction of the two creeks. The mine is locality 29 and 30 of Miller and others (1989). The location is accurate.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Murray Gulch is a tributary of New York Creek and placer mining has taken placer for about 0.3 mile above and below their junction. The placer is in gravel 3 to 10 feet thick. Mining on Murray Gulch is largely confined to an open cut about 1,600 feet long and 800 feet wide. An alluvial terrace on the north side of New York Creek downstream from the mouth of Murray Gulch has been mined by underground drifting. Maddren (1915) reported that fluvial gravels on New York Creek were being prospected in two levels: 1) a lower terrace level 15 feet above the active flood plain; and 2) a higher terrace level about 70 feet above the active flood plain. The principle heavy minerals identified in the placer include gold, cinnabar, monazite, and arsenopyrite (Bundtzen and others, 1998). The placer in Murray Gulch may be a residual placer and not an alluvial placer (T.K. Bundtzen, unpublished field data, 1998). Smith (1941) reported that gold fineness from New York Creek drainage varies from 825 to 840 and averages about 830.
Bundtzen and others (1998) reported that mining took place in 1914 and 1915, from 1917 to 1922, and during 1937. A total of 1,542 ounces of gold and 230 ounces of silver were recovered. According to Miller and others (1989), Murray Gulch and New York Creek were mined from 1979 to 1981. Mining also took place in 1983 (Meyers, 1985) and also during 1998 (T.K. Bundtzen, unpublished field observation, 1998).
A diffuse felsic dike swarm mapped in upper Murray Gulch and along roads to the mine is a plausible lode source for the placer deposits at Murray Gulch and in New York Creek (Bundtzen and others, 1998).
Geologic map unit (-158.585867268599, 61.5682608995794)
Mineral deposit model Placer Au (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a).
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Undated, possibly both Tertiary (New York Creek) and Quaternary (Murray Gulch), based on similarities with dated deposits in Interior Alaska (Hamilton, 1994; Hopkins, 1971).
Alteration of deposit None.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration According to Berry (1973) and Brown (1983), placer gold may have been found on New York Creek by Russian explorers in 1844, several years before Peter Doroshin found placer gold on the Kenai Peninsula. In 1910, Nick Miljevic, A. Perledo, and J. Bittewith discovered coarse placer gold on New York Creek about 6 kilometers above its mouth. Maddren (1915) reported that the gravels contained $0.75 per square foot in gold (at $20.67 per ounce). Plans then were to dig a 4,000 foot long ditch to bring in water for a hydraulic operation. Hydraulic mining began in 1915, and during the 1920s and 1930s several small tributaries, mainly Murray Gulch and Mary Creek were being mined on a small scale. In 1938, claims were staked by Rudolph Dobnik and Alta Jacoby. Claims were again staked by Adolph Dobnik in 1971. In 1990, Bundtzen and others (1998) observed evidence of both churn drilling and drift mining on the north side of New York Creek. In 1990, several mine buildings, mining equipment, a bulldozer, and sluice box remained at the mine.
Indication of production Yes; small
Production notes Bundtzen and others (1998) reported that mining took place in 1914 and 1915, from 1917 to 1922, and during 1937. A total of 1,542 ounces of gold and 230 ounces of silver were recovered to 1937. According to Miller and others (1989), Murray Gulch and New York Creek were mined from 1979 to 1981. Mining also took place in 1983 (Meyers, 1985) and also during 1998 (T.K. Bundtzen, unpublished field observation, 1998).

References

MRDS Number A013424

References

Berry, M.J., 1973, A history of mining on the Kenai Peninsula: Alaska Northwest Publishing Company, 214 p.
Brown, C.M., 1983, Alaska's Kuskokwim River region, a history: U. S. Bureau of Land Management Draft History Summary, 141 p.
Hamilton, T.D., 1994, Late Cenozoic glaciation of Alaska, in, Plafker, G., and Berg, H.C., eds., The Geology of Alaska: Boulder, Colorado, Geological Society of America, The Geology of North America, v. G-1, p. 813-844.
Hopkins, D.M., Matthews, J.V., Wolfe, J.A., and Silberman, M.L., 1971, A Pliocene flora and insect fauna from the Bering Sea region: Paleoecology, vol. 9, p. 211-231.
Reporters T.K. Bundtzen (Pacific Rim Geological Consulting, Inc.) and M.L. Miller (U.S. Geological Survey)
Last report date 5/3/2003