Candle Creek

Producer in Alaska, United States with commodity Gold

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10001885
MRDS ID A012710
Record type Site
Current site name Candle Creek
Related records 10257466

Geographic coordinates

Geographic coordinates: -162.03227, 65.83828 (WGS84)
Relative position Candle Creek is a northeast-flowing stream that crosses the northeast boundary of the Bendeleben quadrangle. The mouth of Candle Creek is on Spafarief Bay in the northwest Candle quadrangle. It is the most important placer gold producer in the Fairhaven district and mining has taken place along at least 8 miles of its length, including 4 miles in the Bendeleben quadrangle. This is locality 66, 67, and 68 of Cobb (1972; MF 417; 1975; OFR 75-429).
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Geographic areas

Country State
United States Alaska


Commodity Importance
Gold Primary

Comments on the commodity information

  • Gangue = unidentified uranium-thorium mineral

Materials information

Materials Type of material
Chalcopyrite Ore
Galena Ore
Gold Ore
Arsenopyrite Gangue
Garnet Gangue
Hematite Gangue
Ilmenite Gangue
Limonite Gangue
Magnetite Gangue
Pyrite Gangue
Rutile Gangue
Sphene Gangue
Zircon Gangue

Mineral occurrence model information

Model code 119
USGS model code 39a
BC deposit profile C01. C02
Deposit model name Placer Au-PGE
Mark3 model number 54

Host and associated rocks

  • Host or associated Host
    Rock type Sedimentary Rock > Carbonate > Limestone

Nearby scientific data

(1) -162.03227, 65.83828

Comments on the geologic information

  • Geologic Description = Over 8 miles of the channel and floodplain of Candle Creek, as well as many low level benches, have been placer mined for gold. Mining by hand started in 1901 (Mendenhall, 1902) but hydraulic, dozer, and dredge operations were subsequently employed (Cobb, 1975). The majority of the 578,000 ounces of gold and 32,000 ounces of silver recorded as produced from the Fairhaven district came from Candle Creek (Hudson and De Young, 1978). Mining was primarily at elevations less than 250 feet and included much was at lower elevations near the mouth of the creek. At least locally, gravels in the creek were 12 ro 18 feet-thick and covered by 10 to 20 feet of tundra and muck (Gault and others, 1953). Bench gravels were thinner, 4 to 10 feet thick, and covered by 5 to 10 feet of overburden. At the mouth of Willow Creek, a west tributary at the upper end of mining, 5 to 9 feet of gravel was present. Bench gravels at claim no. 19 were 4 to 5 feet of fine schist gravel covered by 10 to 12 ft of ice and 2 ft of muck. At claim no. 17 gravels were 8 to 18 feet thick with Au primarily present in the lower 6 in to 3 feet. A placer concentrate contained chalcopyrite, galena, gold, arsenopyrite, garnet, hematite, ilmenite, limonite, magnetite, pyrite, rutile, sphene, zircon, and an unidentified uranium-thorium mineral (Gault and others, 1953). Bedrock is extensively covered by tundra but what is exposed in the area is part of a Lower Paleozoic metasedimentary assemblage (Till and others, 1986). Intermediate to felsic dikes and sills locally crosscut the metasedimentary rocks along the drainage and one small granitic stock has been mapped on the ridge south of the creek valley (Till and others, 1986). Sandvik (1956) notes that granitic rocks have been identified in the headwaters of Jump Creek and Minehaha Creek. The low elevation of the creek and its proximity to the coast along its lower reaches indicate that Quaternary sea level fluctuations could have influenced the nature of the placer deposits here.
  • Age = Quaternary; two or more cycles of placer deposit development are indicated. The low elevation of Candle Creek and proximity to the coast indicates that Quaternary sea level fluctuations may have influenced the character of the placer deposits.

Economic information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Development status Producer
Commodity type Metallic

Comments on exploration

  • Status = Active

Mining district

District name Fairhaven

Comments on the production information

  • Production Notes = The majority of the 578,000 ounces of gold and 32,000 ounces of silver recorded as produced from the Fairhaven district came from Candle Creek (Hudson and De Young, 1978).

Comments on the workings information

  • Workings / Exploration = The long history of placer mining, including some in recent years, has employed many mining methods. Dredging has been extensive but hydraulic, dozer, and drift mining has also occurred. Much of the placer ground is frozen.

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS A012710
USGS Alaska Resource Data File ARDF BN074

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

    Mendenhall, W.C., 1902, Reconnaissance from Fort Hamlin to Kotzebue Sound, Alaska, by way of Dall, Kanuti, Allen, and Kowak Rivers: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 10, 68 p.

  • Deposit

    Sandvik, P.O., 1956, Report of diamond drilling for radioactive material near Candle, northeast Seward Peninsula: Alaska Territorial Department of Mines, 5 p.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., 1975, Summary of references to mineral occurrences (other than mineral fuels and construction materials) in the Bendeleben quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 75-429, 123 p.

  • Deposit

    Till, A.B., Dumoulin, J.A., Gamble, B. ., Kaufman, D.S., and Carroll, P.I., 1986, Preliminary geologic map and fossil data, Soloman, Bendeleben, and southern Kotzebue quadrangles, Seward Peninsula, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 86-276, 10 p., 3 plates, scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., 1972, Metallic mineral resources map of the Bendeleben quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-417, 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    Gault, H.R., Killeen, P.L., West, W.S., and others, 1953, Reconnaissance for radioactive deposits in the northeastern part of the Seward Peninsula, Alaska, 1945-47 and 1951: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 250, 31 p.

Comments on the references

  • Primary Reference = Cobb, 1975 (OFR 75-429)

General comments

Subject category Comment text
Deposit Model Name = Placer Au-PGE (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a)

Reporter information

Type Date Name Affiliation Comment
Reporter 15-MAR-1999 Travis L. Hudson Applied Geology