McKinley Creek

Producer in Alaska, United States with commodities Gold, Silver

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10002183
MRDS ID A013080
Record type Site
Current site name McKinley Creek
Related records 10258383

Geographic coordinates

Geographic coordinates: -136.23213, 59.37974 (WGS84)
Relative position These placer gold mine workings extend at least 2 miles upstream along McKinley Creek from its junction with Porcupine Creek. Cobb (1972 [MF 424]) included them in his location 26 with other placer gold workings on Porcupine and Cahoon Creeks.
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Geographic areas

Country State
United States Alaska


Commodity Importance
Gold Primary
Silver Secondary

Materials information

Materials Type of material
Gold Ore

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 Unconsolidated Deposit > Gravel
    Stratigraphic age (youngest) Holocene

Nearby scientific data

(1) -136.23213, 59.37974

Comments on the geologic information

  • Geologic Description = Gold occurs in modern stream gravels and in older gravels in a high bench deposit on the south side of the valley 200 feet above the modern creek level (Wright, 1904 [B 225 and B 236]). According to Wright , mining of a bench deposit 150 feet above the creek was complicated by a cap of, 'gravel cement 3 feet thick,' that could not be disintegrated with a hydraulic nozzle and was difficult to break with even a hammer and pick.? the following is summarized from Hoekzema and others (1986). McKinley Creek is the largest northwest flowing tributary to Porcupine Creek. It has an average gradient of nearly 500 feet per mile. The Golden Eagle lode gold deposit (SK047) is located adjacent to the creek at an elevation of 1,800 feet approximately 2 miles above its junction with Porcupine Creek. Free gold can be panned from sulfides in the lode deposit. Reconnaissance placer samples collected above the lode deposit contained from less than 0.0004 to 0.0056 ounces gold per cubic yard. Samples from below the lode deposit contained from less than 0.0004 to 0.0539 ounces gold per cubic yard. Placer gold consists of rough, angular fragments. Placer gold from McKinley and Cahoon Creeks ranges from 786 to to 859 fine and averages 821. Gold from two lode gold sources in the area averages 750 fine. Placer gold fineness increases downstream from the probable lode gold source. Pan concentrates contain up to 30% magnetite, 10% pyrite, and minor chalcopyrite, galena, garnet, scheelite, sphalerite, and zircon.? the McKinley Creek placer mineralization lies within the northwest trending zone of quartz-sulfide veining in sediments and slates in the Skagway B-4 quadrangle that is described by Wright (1904 [B 225 and B 236]), Eakin (1918 and 1919), and MacKevett and others (1974) and considered to be the source of placer gold in this area.
  • Age = Quaternary placer.

Economic information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Development status Producer
Commodity type Metallic

Comments on exploration

  • Status = Active?

Mining district

District name Juneau (Skagway subdistrict)

Comments on the production information

  • Production Notes = A total of at least 79,650 ounces of gold was produced jointly from Porcupine (SK041), Cahoon (SK044), and McKinley Creeks, mostly prior to 1926. Approximately 4,500 ounces of gold were taken from a plunge pool at the base of McKinley Falls located at the junction of McKinley and Porcupine Creeks (Hoekzema and others, 1986) (See Production notes for Porcupine Creek, SK041) Significant production has not been reported from upper McKinley Creek above its junction with Cahoon Creek (Hoekzema and others, 1986).

Comments on the reserve resource information

  • Reserves = Hoekzema and others (1986) identified resources 1 mile upstream from the junction with Cahoon Creek that consist of narrow point bar and channel deposits totaling approximately 20,000 cubic yards with from 0.001 to 0.054 ounces of gold per cubic yard. The section below Cahoon Creek has been mined several times and grades of the remaining gravels are unknown.

Comments on the workings information

  • Workings / Exploration = Hoekzema and others (1986) state that placer mining on lower McKinley Creek (below Cahoon Creek) began at about the same time as on Porcupine Creek (1898) and that most of this section was mined out by 1904. However, Eakin (1918, 1919) states that little mining was conducted on the Porcupine Creek tributaries before 1908 when the Cahoon Creek Gold Mining Co. began work on Cahoon and McKinley Creeks. The stream was diverted into a wooden flume and the creek bed was hydraulically mined.? Hoekzema and others (1986) also indicated that from 1903 to 1916 old channels of McKinley Creek up to 200 feet above the current creek level were mined by Cahoon Creek Mining Company. A tunnel dug in 1916 diverted the stream to Porcupine Creek and allowed mining of a plunge pool and the lowermost section of McKinley Creek immediately above Porcupine Creek. Hydraulic booming techniques were reportedly used on upper McKinley Creek above Cahoon Creek in 1926. Suction dredges and hand techniques were used recently in upper McKinley Creek.

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS A013080
USGS Alaska Resource Data File ARDF SK045

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

    Wright, C.W., 1904, The Porcupine placer mining district, Alaska in Emmons, S.F., and Hayes, C.W., eds., Contributions to economic geology 1903: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 225, p.60-63.

  • Deposit

    Wright, C.W., 1904, The Porcupine district, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 236, 35 p.

  • Deposit

    Eakin, H.M., 1919, The Porcupine gold placer district, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 699, 29 p.

  • Deposit

    Stewart, B.D., 1926, Notes on placer operations in Porcupine District: Alaska Territorial Department of Mines Miscellaneous Report 109-1, 5 p.

  • Deposit

    Beatty, W.B., 1937, Geology of the placer deposits of Porcupine, Alaska: University of Washington, Seattle, Bachelor of Science thesis, 97 p.

  • Deposit

    Winkler, G.R., and MacKevett, E.M., Jr., 1970, Analyses of bedrock and stream-sediment samples from the Haines-Porcupine region, southeastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 369, 91 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:125,000.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., 1972, Metallic mineral resources map of the Skagway quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-424, 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    MacKevett, E.M., Jr., Robertson, E.C., and Winkler, G.R., 1974, Geology of the Skagway B-3 and B-4 quadrangles, southern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 832, 33 p.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., 1978, Summary of references to mineral occurrences (other than mineral fuels and construction materials) in the Mt. Fairweather and Skagway quadrangles, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 78-316, 123 p.

  • Deposit

    Berg, H.C., 1984, Regional geologic summary, metallogenesis, and mineral resources of southeastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-file Report 84-572, 298 p., 1 plate, scale approx. 1:600,000.

  • Deposit

    Still, J.C., Weir, K.R., Gilbert, W.G., and Redman, E.C., 1984, Stream-sediment, float, and bedrock sampling in the Porcupine mining area, southeast Alaska: U.S. Bureau of Mines Open-File Report 173-84, 19 p.

  • Deposit

    Bundtzen, T.K., Eakins, G.R., Green, C.B. and Lueck, L.L., 1986, Alaska's mineral industry in 1985: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Special Report 39, 68 p.

  • Deposit

    Hoekzema, R.B., Fechner, S.A., and Bundtzen, T.K., 1986, Distribution, analysis, and recovery of placer gold from the Porcupine mining area, southeast Alaska: U.S. Bureau of Mines Open-File Report 89-86, 49 p., 4 sheets.

  • Deposit

    Still, J.C., 1991, Bureau of Mines mineral investigations in the Juneau mining district, Alaska, 1984 - 1988, v. 2, Detailed mine, prospect, and mineral occurrence descriptions, section A, Haines-Klukwan-Porcupine subarea: U.S. Bureau of Mines of Mines Special Publication, 214 p.

  • Deposit

    Still, J.C., Hoekzema, R.B., Bundtzen, T.K., Gilbert, W.G., Wier, K.R., Burns, L.E., and Fechner, S.A., 1991, Economic geology of Haines-Klukwan-Porcupine area, southeastern Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Report of Investigations 91-4, 156 p., 5 sheets, scale 1:63,360.

  • Deposit

    Eakin, H.M., 1918, Gold placer mining in the Porcupine district: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 662-B, p. 93-100.

  • Deposit

    Bundtzen, T.K., 1986, Placer geology of the Porcupine Mining District, Skagway B-4 Quadrangle, Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Public-Data File 86-27, 26 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:40,000.

Comments on the references

  • Primary Reference = Hoekzema and others, 1986

General comments

Subject category Comment text
Deposit Model Name = Placer gold deposits that include mineralized modern stream gravels, paleo-stream channels, and bench gravels (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a).

Reporter information

Type Date Name Affiliation Comment
Reporter 04-FEB-2001 T.C. Crafford T. Crafford & Associates