Mystery Creek

Mine, Inactive

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Ore minerals gold

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale SO
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-5
Latitude 64.644
Longitude -164.453
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Mystery Creek is a west tributary to Shovel Creek (SO017). Shovel Creek is a major northeast tributary to the lower Solomon River. The mouth of Mystery Creek is 1.6 miles upstream from the confluence of Shovel Creek and Solomon River. This is locality 86 of Cobb (1972, MF 445; 1978, OF 78-181).

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Hydraulic placer mining started on this creek as early as 1903 (Collier and others, 1908). Production was mostly at elevations from 150 to 200 feet between the Puzzle and Problem Creek tributaries, especially from benches that had a pay streak 100 to 150 feet wide (Smith, 1910). A shaft on this bench encountered 6-8 feet of gravel overlain by 2-18 inches of angular limestone fragments and about 30-35 feet of overburden; this shaft was located at an elevation 35 feet above the nearby stream bottom but encountered bedrock at a depth of 43 feet indicating an older and deeper channel than that of the present stream. Only 2 to 3 feet of gravel over bedrock is common in the present stream. The gold from the bench placer was fairly coarse, dark and rusty. Smith (1910) estimated that annual production from the early mining here was worth $30,000 or about 1,450 ounces. Bedrock is part of a lower Paleozoic metasedimentary assemblage (Sainsbury and others, 1972, OFR 511; Till and others, 1986).
Geologic map unit (-164.455613155629, 64.6432546599078)
Mineral deposit model Placer Au-PGE (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a).
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Quaternary; the location and elevation (150 to 200 feet) of this area indicate that it was affected by Quaternary sea level fluctuations.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Mostly small-scale hydraulic placer mining operations, but a dredge operated in 1911 and winter drift mining took place on the benches.
Indication of production Yes; small
Production notes Smith (1910) estimated that annual production from the early mining here was worth $30,000 or about 1,450 ounces. The gold was worth between $17.50 and $18.75 per ounce at the time when the price of gold was $20.67 per fine ounce.