Canyon Creek

Past Producer in Alaska, United States with commodity Gold

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10002462
MRDS ID A013392
Record type Site
Current site name Canyon Creek
Related records 10112646

Geographic coordinates

Geographic coordinates: -159.97276, 60.17931 (WGS84)
Relative position Canyon Creek is a headwater tributary of Fork Creek. According to coordinates given by Hoare and Cobb (1977), about 2.5 miles or almost all the creek upstream of its mouth, has been placer mined. The map site is the approximate midpoint of the placer workings. It is in the NW1/4 of section 13, T 1 N, R 62 W, of the Seward Meridian. This is locality 8 of Cobb (1972 [MF 455]) and of Hoare and Cobb (1977).
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Geographic areas

Country State
United States Alaska


Commodity Importance
Gold Primary

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) -159.97276, 60.17931

Comments on the geologic information

  • Geologic Description = Placer gold was discovered on Canyon Creek in 1913 and mining occurred almost every year up to and possibly after WW II (Hoare and Cobb, 1977). The creek has not been glaciated. Gravels in the narrow flood plain, up to 300 feet wide, were 14 feet thick at the mouth and thinned upstream to thicknesses of 1 to 4 feet (Maddren, 1915). About 2.5 miles of the creek were mined, mostly by crude hand methods that, before WWII, included ripping up and washing individual bedrock slabs. The recovered gold was coarse and included flat, pumpkin-seed-size nuggets. The grade ran from 0.06 to 0.12 ounce of gold per square foot of bedrock. Panning of the tailings after WW II recovered much fine gold (Hoare and Cobb, 1977, p. 6). An alluvial bench, with gravels up to 10 feet thick, is present along the east side of the creek. Gold is reported to be present throughout the bench gravels (Hoare and Cobb, 1977). Bedrock in the drainage is mostly clastic sedimentary rocks of the mid-Cretaceous Kuskokwim Group. These rocks are intruded and thermally metamorphosed by an Upper Cretaceous felsic stock in the headwaters of the creek; dikes and sills are present locally elsewhere (Hoare and Cobb, 1977; Box and others, 1993).
  • Age = Quaternary.

Economic information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Development status Past Producer
Commodity type Metallic

Mining district

District name Aniak

Comments on the workings information

  • Workings / Exploration = The creek has been mined by open-cut methods over about 2.5 miles of its length. Much of the mining before WW II was by crude hand methods; a dozer was not added to the the operations until 1947. The amount of mining since WW II has not been reported.

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS A013392
USGS Alaska Resource Data File ARDF BH003

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

    Maddren, A.G., 1915, Gold placers of the lower Kuskokwim with a note on copper in the Russian Mountains: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 622-H, p. 292-360.

  • Deposit

    Hoare, J.M., and Cobb, E.H., 1977, Mineral occurrences (other than mineral fuels and construction materials) in the Bethel, Goodnews, and Russian Mission quadrangles, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 77-156, 98 p.

  • Deposit

    Box, S.E, Moll-Stalcup, E.J., Frost, T.P., and Murphy, J.M., 1993, Preliminary geologic map of the Bethel and southern Russian Mission quadrangles, southwestern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-2226-A, 20 p., scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., 1972, Metallic mineral resources map of the Bethel quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-455, 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000.

Comments on the references

  • Primary Reference = Hoare and Cobb, 1977

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 24-MAR-2001 Travis L. Hudson Applied Geology