Omega Creek

Mine, Active?

Alternative names

Alpha Creek

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Other commodities Hg; W
Ore minerals cinnabar; gold; ilmenite; pyrite; scheelite

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale TN
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale A-1
Latitude 65.17893
Longitude -150.3386
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy The Omega Creek placer mine is marked by about a mile of tailings in the north half of section 14, T. 4 N., R. 14 W., of the Fairbanks Meridian. The site is at the junction of Omega Creek and Alpha Creek. The location is accurate within a few hundred feet. The site is included in location 38 of Cobb (1972), and roughly corresponds with the site for Alpha Creek, U.S. Bureau of Land Management MAS number 0020480042. The site for Omega Creek, MAS number 0020480021, is downstream from the ARDF site.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

The Omega Creek area is underlain by Mesozoic clastic sedimentary strata that are cut by thrust faults and locally intruded by Cretaceous monzodiorite (Chapman and others, 1982; Reifenstuhl and others, 1998). In part, the upper valley of the creek is parallel to the N70E strike of the country rocks and of the thrust faults.
The local bedrock is fissile slate and sandy phyllite (Mertie, 1934). Gravel deposits range in thickness from 5 to 10 feet under very thin overburden, and contain cobbles of slate, vein quartz, and quartzite. According to Prindle (1906), the gold-bearing bench gravels stretched over a couple of miles. The gold commonly was rough and contained quartz fragments (Prindle and Hess, 1905). Hess (1908) reported that crystal faces could be seen on many of the gold grains and many small crystals of pyrite occur in the mining concentrates. Other heavy minerals include ilmenite, zircon, picotite, garnet, scheelite, and cinnabar (Waters, 1934).
Newberry and Clautice (1997) analyzed four gold grains by electron microprobe. Three have almost identical compositions, lack zoning, and contain anomalous tellurium. The other grain has a core with abnormally low (less than 0.2 percent) mercury content and low mercury-silver rims. Gold compositions are similar to those of placer gold at Rhode Island Creek (TN125) and Eureka Creek (TN130).
Gold was discovered on Omega Creek in 1899 (Mertie, 1934). According to Prindle and Hess (1905), mining began in 1903, and by 1904 Omega Creek was established as economically important, having produced, in conjunction with Thanksgiving Creek (TN118), $18,200 in gold, which Cobb (1977) estimated to equal about 880 ounces.
There are reports of fairly consistent mining on Omega Creek after 1904. In the late 1930s Omega Creek was considered to be a major producer in the Eureka area, and in 1938, it was the largest producer (Smith, 1939 [B 917-A]). Tony Lanning mined on Omega Creek In 1951 (Williams, 1951); Trumpey mined there in 1967 (Heiner and others, 1968); and Lloyd Hubbard ran a bulldozer on the creek in 1975 (Carnes, 1976). The only recent reference to mining was in 1998, when Richard Ott mined on Omega Creek (Szumigala and Swainbank, 1999). No official production figures have been made public, but Cobb (1977) estimated that several tens of thousands of ounces of gold were probably mined from Omega Creek.
Geologic map unit (-150.341085398082, 65.1784498811437)
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 According to Mertie (1934), Omega Creek had been mined intermittently since 1901. There are reports of both surface and drift mining on Omega Creek (Eakin, 1912; Chapin, 1914; Mertie, 1934). The surface work included ground sluicing and open-cuts. Mining was continuous until at least 1940 (Cobb, 1977). Tony Lanning mined on Omega Creek In 1951 (Williams, 1951); Trumpey mined there in 1967 (Heiner and others, 1968); and Lloyd Hubbard ran a bulldozer on the creek in 1975 (Carnes, 1976), while Martin H. Ott operated a bulldozer and monitor about one mile downstream (Carnes, 1976). Richard Ott mined on Omega Creek in 1998 (Szumigala and Swainbank, 1999).
Indication of production Yes; medium
Production notes Although no data for total production was published, Cobb (1977) estimated that as much as several tens of thousands of ounces of gold may have been mined from Omega Creek.

References

MRDS Number A015214; D002618

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), D.J. Szumigala (ADGGS)
Last report date 2/10/2004