Big Hurrah Creek

Mine, Active?

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities W
Ore minerals gold; scheelite
Gangue minerals garnet; ilmenite; magnetite

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale SO
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale C-5
Latitude 64.653
Longitude -164.247
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Big Hurrah Creek is an east tributary to the Solomon River. The mouth of Big Hurrah Creek is 3.4 miles upstream of Lees Camp and 2.8 miles downstream from East Fork. Big Hurrah Creek has been continuously placer mined for about 4 miles upstream from the mouth. This is locality 100 of Cobb (1972, MF 445; 1978, OF 78-181).

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Gold was discovered and placer mining started on Big Hurrah Creek in 1900 (Collier and others, 1908). This was apparently the richest creek in the lower Solomon River area (Smith, 1910). Lu and others (1968) compiled records that indicate at least $120,606 worth of gold or about 6,000 ounces (at $20 per ounce) were produced from Big Hurrah Creek. Dredging took place mostly in the 1920s and open-cut (probably dozer) operations took place in the 1930s (Cobb, 1978, OF 78-181). Stream gravels near mouth were 3 to 5 feet thick and the pay streak was 100 to 500 feet wide. At the upstream limit of mining (at the mouth of Lions Creek), the gravels were 2 to 3 feet thick and the pay streak 10 to 20 feet wide. The active drainage is incised 10 to 30 feet and bench gravels above the active creek were also auriferous. Much of the gold was fine but some nuggets were recovered, including many with attached quartz reflecting proximity to gold-quartz veins in bedrock (such as the Big Hurrah mine, SO022). Garnet was abundant in heavy mineral concentrates. Coats (1944) estimated that there was about 0.87 pounds of scheelite in a 1/4-cubic-yard sample of concentrate. This indicated that the scheelite content of the stream gravels was probably less than 0.1 pound per cubic yard. The bedrock in this drainage is part of a lower Paleozoic metasedimentary assemblage that includes a distinctive black, very fine-grained, graphitic schist (Sainsbury and others, 1972; Till and others, 1986).
Geologic map unit (-164.249606074362, 64.6522584739822)
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 (75 to 250 feet) of this area indicate that it was affected by Quaternary sea level fluctuations; more than one cycle of erosion and deposition is indicated.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration Big Hurrah Creek has been continuously placer mined for about 4 miles upstream from the mouth. Small-scale operations took place in the 1900s, dredging occurred in the 1920s, and open-cut (probably dozer) operations were carried out in the 1930s.
Indication of production Yes; small
Production notes Lu and others (1968) compiled records that indicate at least $120,606 worth of gold or about 6,000 ounces (at $20 per ounce) were produced from Big Hurrah Creek.

References

MRDS Number A012597; A012598; D002599

References

Lu, F.C.J., Heiner, L.E., and Harris, D.P., 1968, Known and potential ore reserves, Seward Peninsula, Alaska: University of Alaska, Mineral Industry Research Laboratory Report 18, 107 p.
Reporters Travis L. Hudson (Applied Geology)
Last report date 8/19/1999