Morelock Creek

Mine, Inactive

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Sn
Ore minerals cassiterite; gold

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale TN
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale B-3
Latitude 65.3171
Longitude -151.32198
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy This placer mine is on Morelock Creek (Cobb, 1972, location 19). For this record, the site is at the cabin adjacent to the creek, at the east edge of section 30, T. 6 N., R. 18 W., of the Fairbanks Meridian.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Bedrock in the area of the Morelock Creek gold-cassiterite (tin) placer deposit consists of greenstone, metachert, dolomite, marble, calcareous schist, and siliceous mica schist (Mertie, 1934; Chapman and others, 1982). Although granitic rocks were reported by Eakin (1916), none were found in later mapping by Chapman and others (1963, 1982). The bedrock is complexly folded, faulted, and locally cut by sulfide-bearing quartz-calcite veins (Thomas and Wright, 1948 [RI 4322]; North Star Exploration, Inc., 1999 [Report 99-34]).
As early as 1901, gold and tin mining had begun on Morelock Creek, mainly near the mouths of Bonanza and Homestake creeks (Thomas and Wright, 1948 [RI 4322]). The placer deposits consist of approximately 6 feet of thawed gravels that lie on an irregular bedrock surface. The gravels, which contain boulders as large as 24 inches, are overlain by 2.5 feet of organic matter.
Although the local bedrock apparently is not the source of gold or cassiterite, the irregularities in the bedrock surface are excellent sites for collecting these heavy minerals. The gold and cassiterite are concentrated in the lower two feet of the gravels and occasionally in the upper few inches of the bedrock, where they have worked into joints (Thomas and Wright, 1948 [RI 4322]).
Early reports describe mining on Morelock Creek in the years 1937 and 1938 (Smith, 1939 [B 910-A, B 917-A]). The U.S. Bureau of Mines conducted a drilling program in the area in 1943 (Thomas and Wright, 1948 [RI 4322]). At least 23 churn drill holes were tested, including two fences across Morelock Creek and one across Bonanza Creek (TN030). In addition, test pits, caisson shafts, and open-pit mining were used to sample the Morelock Creek area. Drilling on line 8.5 showed 0.27 pound of cassiterite and 0.0085 ounce of gold per square foot of bedrock. Line 15 (on Bonanza Creek) yielded weighted averages of 0.1492 pound of cassiterite and 0.0328 ounce of gold per square foot of bedrock. Line 10 contained no cassiterite or gold.
North Star Exploration, Inc. (1999 [Report 99-34]) worked Doyon block 20 in 1998, and reported that Morelock Creek (along with other prospects) had potential for stockwork and vein gold deposits. Trenching of some of the placer deposits exposed mineralized quartz-calcite veins (TN034).
Geologic map unit (-151.324496578254, 65.3165965833267)
Mineral deposit model Placer Au (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a).
Mineral deposit model number 39a
Age of mineralization Quaternary.

Production and reserves

Workings or exploration
The Morelock Creek area was worked using surface techniques, due to the shallow depth of the placer deposits. According to Smith (1939 [B 910-A, B 917-A]), open-cut mining was employed.
The U.S. Bureau of Mines conducted a drilling program in the area in 1943 (Thomas and Wright, 1948 [RI 4322]). At least 23 churn drill holes were tested, including two fences across Morelock Creek and one across Bonanza Creek (TN030). In addition, test pits, caisson shafts, and open- pit mining were used to sample the Morelock Creek area. Drilling on line 8.5 showed 0.27 pound of cassiterite and 0.0085 ounce of gold per square foot of bedrock. Line 15 (on Bonanza Creek) yielded weighted averages of 0.1492 pound of cassiterite and 0.0328 ounce of gold per square foot of bedrock. Line 10 contained no cassiterite or gold.
Indication of production Yes; small
Production notes North Star Exploration, Inc. (1999 [Report 99-34]) reported that Morelock Creek (which is in Block 20 of the Doyon holdings) produced most of the 11,400 ounces of gold credited to the Gold Hill-Melozitna mining district.

Additional comments

Morelock Creek flows through lands selected by or conveyed to Doyon, Ltd. For further information, contact Doyon, Ltd., at 1 Doyon Place, Suite 300, Fairbanks, Alaska, 99701-2941.

References

MRDS Number A015192

References

Reporters G.E. Graham (ADGGS)
Last report date 12/10/2000