Hunter Creek

Mine, Probably inactive

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Ag; Cu; Hg; Sn
Ore minerals cassiterite; cinnabar; copper; galena; gold; mercurian silver; pyrite

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale TN
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale B-1
Latitude 65.47735
Longitude -150.05099
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy The Hunter Creek placer mine in the Tanana B-1 quadrangle is marked by tailings in sections 32, 33, and 34, T. 8 N., R. 12 W., of the Fairbanks Meridian. The site is at the cabin near the east boundary of section 32. The site corresponds to locations 51 and 52 of Cobb (1972). Cobb's location 52 extends into the adjacent Livengood quadrangle (ARDF site LG185 in Freeman and Schaefer, 1999). This site also corresponds with the location of Hunter Creek, U.S. Bureau of Land Management MAS number 0020480024.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Hunter Creek is a deeply incised tributary of Minook Creek, which it joins about 3 miles above its junction with the Yukon River. It was named for William Hunter, who discovered gold there in 1896. The discovery claim is approximately 8,000 feet upstream from the confluence with Minook Creek (Waters, 1934). The original mining claims apparently stretched at least several miles up the creek into the feeder creeks, and into the adjacent Livengood quadrangle (Freeman and Schaefer, 1999; ARDF site LG185).
Reifenstuhl and others (1997 [RI 97-15a]) mapped the underlying bedrock as undivided Triassic Rampart Group gabbro and intermediate plutonic and volcanic rocks, tuff and chert. These rocks locally are weakly foliated and metamorphosed. Tertiary volcanic rocks lie nearby to the north and west.
Mining on Hunter Creek began in 1896 (Spurr, 1898). Spurr reported that gold was found throughout the stream but that mining initially took place 1.25 miles above the mouth. Mining quickly spread upstream into the Livengood quadrangle (Freeman and Schaefer, 1999).
Hunter Creek also contains the only bench placer deposit known in the Rampart district (Mertie, 1934). The discovery claim was 16 feet above the creek and the gravels were 5 to 12 feet thick with up to 40 feet of muck overburden (Mertie, 1934). The gold was concentrated in the upper 18 inches of fractured diabase and quartzite bedrock. The gold was mostly smooth and fine-grained, although some nuggets weighed as much as 10 ounces. A bench south of the valley mined in 1957 produced coarser gold than the middle and north parts of the valley, where the stream now flows (Saunders, 1957 [MR 194-17]). Barite, cassiterite, magnetite, ilmenite, cinnabar, pyrite, galena, silver, hematite, and native copper also occur in the placer concentrates (Prindle and Hess, 1905; Hess, 1908; Waters, 1934).
Three nuggets of mercurian to nearly pure silver were examined by the Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys (Forbes and Cannon, 1991). One nugget was compositionally similar to silver from a Bonanza-type silver deposit (such as the Chanarcillo deposit in Chile; Guilbert and Park, 1986), which suggests the possibility of a silver lode nearby.
Eleven gold grains, including several small nuggets and one large nugget from Hoosier Creek were analyzed by electron microprobe (Newberry and Clautice, 1997). Seven of the grains had Ag-Hg depleted rims indicative of significant residence in the near-surface environment; the other four grains were essentially unzoned (Newberry and Clautice, 1997). One of the gold grains contained up to 2 percent copper and inclusions of bornite-chalcocite and galena.
From about 1900 to 1940, Hunter Creek was mined by surface methods (Cobb, 1977). Hydraulic mining on Hunter Creek in the late 1920s was the largest operation in the Rampart district. Williams (1951) reported that Emil and Albert Swanson were mining on lower Hunter Creek in the early 1950s. They mined six cuts covering about 80,000 square feet of bedrock. Bill Thomas (T and T Mining Company) mined the left limit bench on lower Hunter Creek in 1957, using hydraulic giants (Saunders, 1957 [MR 194-17]). In 1962, the Idaho Bar Mining Company was preparing to mine Idaho Bar, a ridge between Hunter and Little Minook Creeks (TN066) (Saunders, 1962). Mining claims were held or worked by Hunter and Swenson in 1967 (Heiner and others, 1968). William Carlo operated a hydraulic giant on Hunter Creek in 1975 (Carnes, 1976).
More recent mining on Hunter Creek includes work in 1989 by Bill Carlo and Steve Losonsky, and in 1991 by Bob Bettisworth (Bundtzen and others, 1990, 1992). In 1996, Green Mining and Exploration operated upstream from Losonsky's smaller operation. Losonsky continued mining in 1997 (Swainbank and others, 1998).
Geologic map unit (-150.053512580647, 65.4768812394441)
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
Gold was discovered in Hunter Creek in 1896. By 1911 four claims were being worked using two hydraulic plants. By 1914, the creek was the largest producer and competed over time with Little Minook Creek (TN066) for this honor. Hunter Creek was a major producer through 1940, after which monitoring placer gold production in this area became limited.
Williams (1951) reported that Emil and Albert Swanson were mining on lower Hunter Creek in the early 1950s. They mined six cuts covering about 80,000 square feet of bedrock. Bill Thomas (T and T Mining Company) mined the left-limit bench on lower Hunter Creek in 1957, using hydraulic giants (Saunders, 1957 [MR 194-17]). In 1962, the Idaho Bar Mining Company was preparing to mine Idaho Bar, a ridge between Hunter and Little Minook Creeks (Saunders, 1962). Mining claims were held or worked by Hunter and Swenson in 1967 (Heiner and others, 1968). William Carlo operated a hydraulic giant on Hunter Creek in 1975 (Carnes, 1976).
More recent mining on Hunter Creek includes work in 1989 by Bill Carlo and Steve Losonsky, and in 1991 by Bob Bettisworth (Bundtzen and others, 1990, 1992). In 1996, Green Mining and Exploration operated upstream from Losonsky's smaller operation. Losonsky continued mining in 1997 (Swainbank and others, 1998).
Indication of production Yes; small
Production notes The amount of gold recovered from the part of Hunter Creek in the Tanana quadrangle is not known.

References

MRDS Number A015230

References

Guilbert, J.M., and Park, C., Jr., 1986, The geology of ore deposits: New York, W.H. Freeman and Co., p. 829-830.
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 12/8/2000