Daniels Creek

Mine, Active

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Hg; W
Ore minerals cinnabar; gold; scheelite

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale SO
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-4
Latitude 64.5727
Longitude -163.7447
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Daniels Creek, a famous early placer on the Seward Peninsula, enters Norton Sound at the now-abandoned settlement of Bluff. About 3,000 feet was placer mined above the mouth of the creek. There was also considerable early mining in the beach sands at its mouth. During the 1930s there was considerable mining offshore in the winter through the ice to exploit the offshore extension of Daniels Creek into Norton Sound. Most of the mining took place through the center of the southeast quarter of section 32, T. 10 W., R. 25 W. The location is accurate.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Placer gold was discovered in beach sand at the mouth of Daniels Creek in 1899 but within a year the beach placer was largely mined out (Brooks and others, 1901; Mulligan, 1971). Placer gold was soon discovered on Daniels Creek but little mining took place until water was brought in by an extensive ditch system. This supported hydraulic mining. Most of the mining took place in the lower 3,000 feet or so of the creek which flows on Paleozoic marble. The marble bedrock is characterized by irregular solution channels, crevices, sink holes, pits, and collapsed caverns that are in places tens of feet deep and below sea level. The mining was probably difficult and Mulligan (1971) notes the many buckets left along Daniels Creek that were used in mining the sink holes, pits, and caverns. In addition to the usual magnetite and ilmenite, the placer concentrates contained abundant cinnabar and some scheelite. (Onshore) Daniels Creek was probably largely mined out by World War I.
As early as 1901, it was known that the channel of Daniels Creek continued offshore as miners had cut holes in the ice in the winter and sent divers down to mine (Spence, 1996). By the 1930s, the marine extension of Daniels Creek was being mined through the ice in the winter with churn drills and drag lines through a system of hoists, towers, and cableways. Apparently, the sink holes and pits of the onshore portion Daniels Creek persisted in its extension in Norton Sound; this made the mining difficult and hindered gold recovery. The winter, offshore mining persisted until about the beginning of World War II.
Mulligan (1971) notes 4 phases of the gold mining on Daniels Creek and its marine extension. From 1899 to 1900, about 30,000 ounces of gold was produced, largely from the beach placers. From 1900 to 1920, about 45,000 ounces of gold was produced, almost all from the onshore portion of Daniels Creek. From 1920 to 1940, about 16,500 ounces of gold was produced, most from the marine extension of Daniels Creek. Perhaps another 60 ounces was produced from 1940 to 1965 from the onshore channel of Daniels Creek and beach placers. Thus the total gold production from Daniels Creek and its marine extension is about 90,000 ounces of gold.
The Daniels Creek placer was rich but allowing that it is short, it is well defined, and the intensity of the prospecting and mining effort was so great, is unlikely that there is any substantial amount of placer gold remaining in (onshore) Daniels Creek. However, there were attempts during the 1970s at offshore mining using various dredge technology. None were successful and the remains of a large screw dredge on a barge rusts on the beach a few hundred yards west of the mouth of Daniels Creek (D.J. Grybeck, personal observation, 2008). As of early 2010, there is no placer mining or exploration on Daniels Creek; however, it is in a large block of ground that is being explored by Millrock Resources Inc. for lode gold (Stevens, 2010; Millrock Resources Inc., 2010). The head of Daniels Creek is one of the important targets (SO177) of the lode exploration as well as being a potential source for the placer gold in lower Daniels Creek.
Geologic map unit (-163.747283072014, 64.5719629459185)
Mineral deposit model Beach placer; marine channel placer, alluvial placer (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a).
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Quaternary; the placer deposits have clearly been influenced by Quaternary sea level fluctuations.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Placer gold was discovered in beach sand at the mouth of Daniels Creek in 1899 but within a year the beach placer was largely mined out (Brooks and others, 1901; Mulligan, 1971). Placer gold was soon discovered on Daniels Creek but little mining took place until water was brought in by an extensive ditch system. This supported hydraulic mining. Most of the mining took place in the lower 3,000 feet or so of the creek which flowed on Paleozoic marble. The marble bedrock is characterized by irregular solution channels, crevices, sink holes, pits, and collapsed caverns that are in places tens of feet deep and below sea level. The mining was probably difficult and Mulligan (1971) notes the many buckets left along Daniels Creek that were used in mining the sink holes, pits, and caverns. In addition to the usual magnetite and ilmenite, the placer concentrates contained abundant cinnabar and some scheelite. (Onshore) Daniels Creek was probably largely mined out by World War I. As early as 1901, it was known that the channel of Daniels Creek continued offshore as miners had cut holes in the ice in the winter and sent divers down to mine (Spence, 1996). By the 1930s, the marine extension of Daniels Creek was being mined through the ice in the winter with churn drills and drag lines through a system of hoists, towers, and cableways. The winter, offshore mining persisted until about the beginning of World War II.
Indication of production Yes; medium
Reserve estimates The Daniels Creek placer was rich but allowing that it is short, it is well defined, and the intensity of the prospecting and mining effort was so great, is unlikely that there is any substantial amount of placer gold remaining in (onshore) Daniels Creek. However, there were attempts during the 1970's at offshore mining using various dredge technology. None were successful and the remains of a large screw dredge on a barge rusts on the beach a few hundred yards west of the mouth of Daniels Creek (D.J. Grybeck, personal observation, 2008).
Production notes Mulligan (1971) notes 4 phases of the gold mining on Daniels Creek and its marine extension. From 1899 to 1900, about 30,000 ounces of gold was produced, largely from the beach placers. From 1900 to 1920, about 45,000 ounces of gold was produced, almost all from the onshore portion of Daniels Creek. From 1920 to 1940, about 16,500 ounces of gold was produced, most from the marine extension of Daniels Creek. Perhaps another 60 ounces was produced from 1940 to 1965 from the onshore channel of Daniels Creek and beach placers. Thus the total gold production from Daniels Creek and its marine extension is about 90,000 ounces of gold.

References

MRDS Number A010715; D002604

References

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.
Millrock Resources Inc., 2010, Bering Straits Native Corporation Lands: http://www.millrockresources.com/index.php/projects/bering_straits/ (as of Feb 10, 2010).
Spence, C,.C., 1996, The northern gold fleet: Urbana, Illinois, University of Illinois Press, 302 p.
Stevens, D.L., 2010, Bluff Gold prospect, Seward Peninsula, western Alaska: NI43-101 Technical Report for Millrock Resources Inc., 153 p. (posted on www.sedar.com on February 4, 2010).
Reporters Travis L. Hudson (Applied Geology); D.J. Grybeck (Contractor, U.S. Geological Survey)
Last report date 4/2/2010