Hoosier Creek

Mine, Probably inactive

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Cu; Hg; Pb; W
Ore minerals barite; cinnabar; galena; gold; hematite; ilmenite; magnetite; native copper; pyrite; scheelite

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale TN
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale B-1
Latitude 65.44901
Longitude -150.09114
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy The Hoosier Creek placer mine is marked by tailings, starting from about 0.5 mile from the mouth of the creek, upstream for about 2 miles (Cobb, 1972). The site is at about the midpoint of the tailings, in the northeast quarter of section 7, T. 7 N., R. 12 W., of the Fairbanks Meridian. The location is accurate. The site corresponds to location 48 of Cobb (1972), and roughly to the site for Hoosier Creek, U.S. Bureau of Land Management MAS number 0020480078.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Hoosier Creek drains an area underlain upstream by Cambrian or late Proterozoic quartzite, feldspathic quartzite, grit, calcareous siltstone, limestone, and chert (Reifenstuhl and others, 1997 [RI 97-15a]). The placer operations are underlain by Triassic(?) Rampart Group mafic and intermediate volcanic and intrusive rocks, chert, and tuff.
Gold was discovered before 1902 (Mertie, 1934), and by 1904 preparations were made for hydraulicking 2 miles above the mouth of the creek (Prindle and Hess, 1905). The dimensions of the pay zone were never well defined, but averaged between 100 and 150 feet wide (Mertie, 1934).
By 1928, Hoosier Creek was being drift mined, mostly during the winter, because there was not enough water or enough gradient in the stream to run the sluiceboxes during the summer (Mertie, 1934). U.S. Geological Survey reports describe mining on the stream fairly continuously through 1938 (Smith, 1939 [B 917-A]; Cobb, 1977).
In 1957, Saunders (1957 [MR 194-17]) reported that the Weisner Trading Company intended to mine on Hoosier Creek, and implied that mining had occurred on the creek in the recent past. Mining or mining claims were active in 1967 (Heiner and others, 1968). Eakin and others (1985) and Bundtzen and others (1987) reported that the Hoosier Creek Mining Company was successful. In 1988, Willford Mining cleared ground, stripped overburden and constructed settling ponds in preparation for mining, and mined into 1990 (Green and others, 1989; Bundtzen and others, 1990; Swainbank and others, 1991).
In 1991, Lucas Mining, and in 1992, Jimmy Dale, operated on Hoosier Creek (Bundtzen and others, 1992; Swainbank and others, 1993). Mining was reported on Hoosier and Little Hoosier creeks in 1996 (Swainbank and others, 1997), and in 1997, Frank Willford mined a tributary to Hoosier Creek (Swainbank and others, 1998).
Some of the gold mined was coarse, including a $250 nugget (gold at $20.67? per ounce). The gold was about 941 fine (Mertie, 1934). The heavy minerals collected with the gold included hematite, ilmenite, barite, magnetite, pyrite, garnet, picotite, scheelite, zircon, native copper and cinnabar (Mertie, 1934; Waters, 1934). The stream gradient is 100 feet per mile.
Eight gold grains, including several small nuggets and one large nugget from Hoosier Creek were analyzed by electron microprobe (Newberry and Clautice, 1997). Five of the grains had nearly identical compositions characterized by cores with fineness of 800 to 810, Cu and Hg below detection, and Bi and Te at detection levels. Two other grains had cores of higher fineness, and rims with a fineness of up to 990. Most of the grain compositions are similar to those of the gold recovered from the nearby Elephant Mountain (TN067) deposit (Newberry and Clautice, 1997).
Diabase bedrock in Hoosier Creek (TN063) contains auriferous quartz-pyrite veins that possibly are the source of some of the placer gold (Hess, 1908). The diabase is covered by 6 to 15 feet of alluvium. White mica from one of the veins yielded an Ar40/Ar39 age of 72.2 +/- 0.3 Ma (Reifenstuhl and others, 1997 [PDF 97-29h]).
Geologic map unit (-150.093658500383, 65.4485395057948)
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
Mining on Hoosier Creek began sometime before 1904. Both hydraulicking and drift mining techniques were used, but the stream gradient was not high enough for sluicing in midsummer (Mertie, 1934). Mining activity appears to have been continuous through 1938. Annual reports were not published by the U.S. Geological Survey after 1940 and reporting became sporadic (Cobb, 1977). Saunders (1957 [MR 194-17]) reported that the Weisner Trading Company intended to mine on Hoosier Creek in 1957 and implied that mining had occurred on the creek in the recent past. Mining or mining claims were active in 1967 (Heiner and others, 1968). Eakin and others (1985) and Bundtzen and others (1987) reported that the Hoosier Creek Mining Company successfully mined on Hoosier Creek in 1984 and 1986. In 1988, Willford Mining cleared and stripped overburden and constructed settling ponds in preparation for mining in 1990 (Green and others, 1989; Bundtzen and others, 1990; Swainbank and others, 1991).
In 1991, Lucas Mining, and in 1992, Jimmy Dale, operated on Hoosier Creek (Bundtzen and others, 1992; Swainbank and others, 1993). Mining was reported on Hoosier and Little Hoosier creeks in 1996 (Swainbank and others, 1997), and in 1997, Frank Willford mined a tributary (Swainbank and others, 1998).
Indication of production Yes; small
Production notes By 1904, $2,000 worth of gold (at $20.67 per ounce) had been produced from Hoosier Creek (Hess, 1908). By 1931, claims 13 and 14 above Discovery produced a total of $50,000 worth of gold (at $20.67 per ounce) (Mertie, 1934). The gold was about 941 fine.

References

MRDS Number A015227; D002620

References

Heiner, L.E., Wolff, E.N., and Lu, F.C.J., 1968, Mining regions and mineral commodities, in Heiner, L.E., and Wolff, E.N. eds., Final Report - Mineral Resources of Northern Alaska: Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, University of Alaska Report No. 16, p. 3-137.
Reporters G.E. Graham (ADGGS)
Last report date 12/10/2000