Fay Creek

Mine, Active

Alternative names

Fay Gulch
Faye Creek

Commodities and mineralogy

Main commodities Au
Ore minerals arsenopyrite; boulangerite; gold; jamesonite; pyrite; pyrrhotite; stibnite
Gangue minerals quartz

Geographic location

Quadrangle map, 1:250,000-scale WI
Quadrangle map, 1:63,360-scale B-1
Latitude 67.4889
Longitude -150.1997
Nearby scientific data Find additional scientific data near this location
Location and accuracy The mouth of Fay Creek is about 1.4 miles north-northeast of the old town of Nolan on Nolan Creek. Placer mining extended from near the mouth of Fay Creek to more than 4,000 feet upstream. The coordinates are just upstream from its mouth, about 0.5 mile north of the center of section 27, T. 31 N., R. 12 W. The location is accurate.

Geologic setting

Geologic description

Placer gold in Fay Creek occurs in the modern channel, in a deep channel, and in a high channel. The discovery in 1901 of gold in the shallow gravels near the mouth of the modern channel of Fay Creek sparked the initial interest in the Nolan Creek valley. These shallow gravels were first mined in 1903 but were exhausted within a few years.
Gold in portions of a high channel along the north side of Fay Creek was mined prior to 1930. These high-channel placers begin about 1,000 feet upstream from the mouth of the creek and are about 275 higher in elevation than the modern steam valley (Reed, 1938). A gold-bearing deep channel near the mouth of the creek, which probably was a deep channel of Nolan Creek, was mined out in the early 1900s. This deep channel was about 20 feet below the surface. The high channel was being prospected in 1929 (Reed, 1938) but the modern stream channel and the deep channel were considered to have been mined out by 1937. Brosge and Reiser (1960) noted probable post-World War II mining activity and Dillon (1982) noted reports of recent mining activity.
Maddren (1913) noted that the placer gold in Fay Creek appeared not to have moved very far from its bedrock source inasmuch as it generally occurred in rough and angular grains attached to quartz. There are reports of lode gold occurrences nearby on Smith Creek Dome (WI110 and WI127) near the head of Fay Creek, as well as on on Thompson Pup (WI128), a tributary of Fay Creek. A sample of gold from Fay Creek was 842 fine, and contained 16 percent silver, 94 parts per million (ppm) copper, 16 ppm lead, and 0.625 percent mercury (Mosier and Lewis, 1986).
Most years between 1979 and 2007, Silverado Gold Mining Inc. mined along Nolan Creek (WI101) and its tributaries Fay Creek, Archibald Creek (WI113), and Smith Creek (WI116) (Bundtzen, 2008, 2009). Silverado mined on Fay Creek in 1979 and produced 12 ounces of gold. They continued to mine on Fay Creek and Archibald Creek in 1981, 1984, and 1987, and produced 2,372 ounces of gold from the two creeks. The mining on Fay Creek took place from its mouth to the mouth of Thompson Pup (WI124), probably in open cuts. Silverado did no further work on either Fay Creek or Archibald Creek during their considerable mining in the area until 2007, although they mined on Thompson Pup (WI124), a tributary of Fay Creek, in 1993. In his 2008 estimates of the gold resources of Nolan Creek and its tributaries, Bundtzen (2009) did not include any on Fay Creek.
According to Maddren (1913), Fay Creek produced about $30,000 of gold (about 1,500 ounces) between 1900 and 1909. Eden (2000) reports that a total of about 1,865 ounces of gold were produced from Fay Creek between 1904 and 1999.
Kurtak and others (2002) sampled several quartz veins that cut bedrock on lower Fay Creek. The veins trend northwest and contain sparse pyrite, pyrrhotite, arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite, stibnite, and either boulangerite or jamesonite. Samples contained up to 167 parts per billion gold.
Geologic map unit (-150.202450549862, 67.4884745336853)
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 modern and deep channels of Fay Creek were mined in the early 1900s, but there is no record of the mining methods. Sections of the high channel were mined in the early 1900s and the high channel was being prospected in 1929 (Reed, 1938). Brosge and Reiser (1960) noted probable post-World War II mining activity and Dillon (1982) noted reports of recent mining activity. Silverado Gold Mining Ltd. mined on Fay Creek in 1979 and produced 12 ounces of gold (Bundtzen, 2008, 2009). They continued to mine on Fay Creek and Archibald Creek in 1981, 1984, and 1987, and produced 2,372 ounces of gold from the two creeks. The mining on Fay Creek took place from its mouth to the mouth of Thompson Pup (WI124), probably in open cuts. Silverado did no further work on either Fay creek or Archibald Creek during their considerable mining in the area until 2007, although they mined on Thompson Pup (WI124), a tributary of Fay Creek, in 1993.
Indication of production Yes
Reserve estimates In his 2008 estimates of the gold resources of Nolan Creek and its tributaries, Bundtzen (2009) did not include any on Fay Creek.
Production notes According to Maddren (1913), Fay Creek produced about $30,000 of gold (about 1,500 ounces) between 1900 and 1909. Eden (2000) reports that a total of about 1,865 ounces of gold were produced from Fay Creek between 1904 and 1999. Kurtak and others (2002) indicated that the production was considerably greater, a total of 3,295 ounces from 1903 to 1987, with mining in 14 of the years from 1903 to 1923, and then in 1987.

References

MRDS Number A011944

References

Kurtak, J.M., Klieforth, R.F., Clark, J.M., and Maclean, E.A., 2002, Mineral investigations in the Koyukuk mining district, northern Alaska: Final Report: U.S. Bureau of Land Management Technical Report 50, v. 1 and 2, 845 p.
Reporters J.M. Britton (Anchorage); D.J. Grybeck (Contractor, USGS)
Last report date 2/1/2011