Resurrection Creek and Palmer Creek

Mine, Active

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Ore minerals gold

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale SR
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale D-7
Latitude 60.8623
Longitude -149.606
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy Resurrection and Palmer Creeks are located in T. 8 and 9 N., R. 2 W., of the Seward Meridian. The map site representing this placer mine is in the NE1/4 section 22, T. 9 N., R. 2 W. Resurrection Creek flows north into Turnagain at the town of Hope. Palmer Creek is a tributary of Resurrection Creek and flows west. The productive portion of Resurrection Creek is from its junction with Palmer Creek to Turnagain Arm (Seward D-8 quadrangle). Palmer Creek was most productive near its junction with Resurrection Creek (Seward D-7 quadrangle). This is location 138 of Cobb and Richter (1972), locations 163, 182, and 183 of MacKevett and Holloway (1977), location 11 and 12 of Cobb and Tysdal (1980), and location P-90 of Jansons and others (1984).

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Resurrection Creek flows north through a broad valley 21 miles long, floored with a thick deposit of gravels. Throughout the greater part of its length, the stream has incised a deep canyon-like channel. Near the lower end of the valley, the stream flood plain widens, and a short distance below the mouth of Palmer Creek, it is 1,000 feet wide. High bench gravels flank both sides of flood plain.
Bedrock in this drainage is sedimentary rock of the Valdez Group of Late Cretaceous age (Nelson and others, 1985). Gravels consist of sandstone, slate, minor conglomerate, granite, and a little clayey matrix (Cobb and Tysdal, 1980). Boulders as much as 3 feet wide are common, and locally some are much larger. Graywacke boulders predominate, while granite and conglomerate boulders are much less abundant. The average thickness of the productive gold-bearing gravels, which rest on a bluish-yellow clay so-called bedrock, is 7 feet (Johnson, 1912). Production grades of 0.01 ounce of gold per cubic yard of gravel have been reported, along with locally higher grades. The gravel below the clay is barren (Tuck, 1933). In a few places the gravel is slightly consolidated and boulders as large as 4 feet in diameter are common.
Upper Palmer Creek flows 6 miles through a fairly broad valley filled with avalanche and glacial debris, including large boulders. Lower Palmer Creek occupies a narrow canyon cut partly in bedrock and partly in gravel terraces associated with Resurrection Creek (Moffit, 1906). Bedrock in the Palmer Creek drainage is graywacke and slate of the Valdez Group (Nelson and others, 1985). The gravels are derived from the country rock, although there are a few granitic boulders that may not be of local origin. The gravels are largely angular and coarse, containing 5 percent or more of boulders that are more than 18 inches in diameter (Moffit, 1906). Below the surface, the gravels are roughly stratified, but at the surface they are irregularly distributed. Some 30 to 40 percent of the gold that has been recovered lay on bedrock surface (Moffit, 1906). The gold is coarse, typically flattened, and smooth. Most of the gold is bright yellow, but some is whitish. Native silver nuggets weighing as much as a pennyweight have been reported, in addition to a little black sand.
Geologic map unit (-149.608169788911, 60.8617277539468)
Mineral deposit model Placer Au (alluvial) (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a).
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Quaternary.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration
Operations on Resurrection and lower Palmer Creeks begin in 1888. Extensive hydraulic and hand placer mining began in 1895 and continued intermittently into the 1950s (Jansons and others, 1984). There was an unsuccessful attempt to use a hydraulic elevator on Resurrection Creek, which failed due to lack of water and to an abundance of large boulders (Moffit, 1906). A five-foot Risdon open connected dredge was installed in 1905 but was unsuccessful due to the shallowness of the ground and the presence of large boulders (Johnson, 1912). Mechanized mining replaced hydraulic mining in the 1960s. Mechanized mining on Hope Mining Company claims occurs intermittently up to the present (2000) (C. S. Huber, oral communication, 2000).
Considerable recreational mining currently (2000) occurs on Resurrection Creek below Palmer Creek in an area known at the old St. Louis mining claims. This mining consists of panning, sluicing, and small-scale suction dredging. Within the St. Louis claim block is the Paystreke, a patented claim. The Paystreke currently serves as a tourist attraction and offers gold panning (C. S. Huber, oral communication, 2000).
The U.S. Bureau of Mines has sampled Palmer Creek. Their pan samples contained traces of gold (Jansons and others, 1984).
Mining on Palmer Creek, has been confined primarily to channel gravels, chiefly in the lower 1.5 miles (lower canyon area) (Moffit, 1906). Two hydraulic plants were at work in 1904, employing about 10 men (Moffit, 1906). The efficiency of these plants was hampered by the large number of boulders that required removal by hand. Probably less than 100 yards a day was moved by either of these plants (Moffit, 1906).
Palmer Creek gold is coarse and typically much flattened and smooth. Native silver is present in some deposits (Moffit, 1906). Some small-scale suction dredging is taking place on lower Palmer Creek (C. S. Huber, oral communication, 2000).
Indication of production Yes
Reserve estimates The U.S. Bureau of Mines has estimated the inferred placer gold reserve base for Resurrection-Palmer Creeks at greater than 2,000,000 cubic yards (Jansons and others, 1984).
Production notes
The U.S. Bureau of Mines has estimated total gold production since 1895 to be 30,000 to 40,000 ounces, of which approximately 2,000 to 3,000 ounces have been produced since 1980 (Jansons and others, 1984). Production grades of 0.01 ounce of gold per cubic yard have been reported, but higher grades occur locally (Jansons and others, 1984).
Stream gravels mined in the early 1900s on lower Palmer Creek, reportedly yielded about $1 per yard (gold at $20.67 per troy ounce), but 30 to 40 percent of the gold lay on the bedrock surface (Tysdal, 1978 [MF-880-B]).


MRDS Number A010611


Hoekzema, R.P., and Sherman, G.E., 1983, Mineral investigations in the Chugach National Forest, Alaska (Peninsula study area): U.S. Bureau of Mines in-house report; held at U.S. Bureau of Land Management Alaska State Office, Anchorage, 524 p.
Smith, S.S., 1917, The mining industry in the Territory of Alaska during the calendar year 1915: U.S. Bureau of Mines Bulletin 142, 65 p.
Reporters Jeff A. Huber (Anchorage)
Last report date 4/30/2000