California Creek

Producer in Alaska, United States with commodities Gold, Tungsten

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10003420
MRDS ID A106177
Record type Site
Current site name California Creek

Geographic coordinates

Geographic coordinates: -149.18262, 61.00954 (WGS84)
Relative position The headwaters of California Creek are approximately 1/2 mile west of the summit of Raggedtop Mountain. The creek flows dominantly southward into Glacier Creek (in the Seward D-6 topographic quadrangle), about 2 miles upstream from the mouth of Glacier Creek. Majority of mining activity occurred in the Seward quadrangle.
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Geographic areas

Country State
United States Alaska

Commodities

Commodity Importance
Gold Primary
Tungsten Secondary

Materials information

Materials Type of material
Gold Ore
Scheelite 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

Nearby scientific data

(1) -149.18262, 61.00954

Comments on the geologic information

  • Geologic Description = Erratically distributed placer gold occurs in the California Creek valley. The creek occurs in a steep, narrow avalanche debris-filled glacial valley having little accumulation of gravel. The gravels exposed along California Creek contain considerable clay and are probably glacial till. An alluvial fan at the lower end of the creek contains fine-grained gold. The middle section of the creek is in a bedrock gorge. Grades are reported to be extremely variable (Moffit, 1906; Jansons and others, 1984).? the bedrock through which California Creek flows are Late Cretaceous metasedimentary rocks of the Valdez Group. The metasediments are locally intruded by felsic dikes and plugs. Creek float consists of graywacke, argillite, and granite. Jasper (1967) reported that stream sediment concentrates collected from the lower stream course contained 20 grains of scheelite, about 5 percent magnetite, a little pyrite, and about 20 grains of zircon. Two 0.1 cubic yard bench samples collected at the canyon mouth yielded 0.0006 and 0.0007 oz Au/cubic yard (Jansons and others, 1984).
  • Age = Quaternary

Economic information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Development status Producer
Commodity type Metallic

Comments on exploration

  • Status = Active?

Mining district

District name Anchorage

Comments on the production information

  • Production Notes = Total estimated production since 1898 is 400 oz (Jansons and others, 1984).

Comments on the workings information

  • Workings / Exploration = In the Turnagain Arm area, the first gold north of the arm was found in 1895 by F.J. Perry and Christopher Spillum, on California Creek (Moffit, 1906). The placer deposits were worked intermittantly, with hand placer operations, between 1898 and 1914. In the late 1920s, work was begun along the creek in preparation for a mine that was to be in place by 1930. However, late in 1931, the operators decided to abandon the project. Since 1975 some hand placer activity has also occurred. ? Jasper (1967) reported that stream sediment concentrates collected from the lower stream course contained 20 grains of scheelite, about 5 percent magnetite, a little pyrite, and about 20 grains of zircon. Two 0.1 cubic yard bench samples collected at the canyon mouth yielded 0.0006 and 0.0007 oz Au/cubic yard (Jansons and others, 1984). Jansons and others (1984) indicated a low to moderate mineral development potential for a small scale mechanized operation at the lower end of the creek, and for hand placer mining and suction dredging operations.

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS A106177
USGS Alaska Resource Data File ARDF AN105

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

    Martin G.C., Johnson, B.L., and Grant, U.S., 1915, Geology and mineral resources of Kenai Peninsula, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 587, 243 p.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1932, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1929, in Smith, P.S., and others Mineral resources of Alaska, report on progress of investigations in 1929: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 824-A, p. 1-81.

  • Deposit

    Park, F.C., 1933, The Girdwood District, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 849-G, p. 381-424.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1933, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1930: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 836, p. 1-83.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1933, Mineral industry in Alaska in 1931: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 844-A, p. 1-82.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1934, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1932: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 857-A, p. 1-91.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1934, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1933: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 864-A, p. 1-94.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1936, Mineral industry in Alaska in 1934: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 868-A, p. 1-91.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1938, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1936: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 897-A, p. 1-107.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., and Richter, D.H., 1972, Metallic mineral resources map of the Seward quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-466, 2 sheets, scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    MacKevett, E.M., Jr., and Holloway, C.D., 1977, Map showing metalliferous and selected non-metalliferous mineral deposits in the eastern part of southern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 77-169-A, 99 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:1,000,000.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H. and Tysdal, R.G., 1980, Summaries of data on and list of references to metallic and selected nonmetallic mineral deposits in the Blying Sound and Seward quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 80-621, 276 p.

  • Deposit

    Jansons, Uldis, Hoekzema, R.B., Kurtak, J.M., and Fechner, S.A., 1984, Mineral occurrences in the Chugach National Forest, Southcentral Alaska: U.S. Bureau of Mines Open-File Report 5-84, 218 p., 2 sheets, scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    Hoekzema, R.B., and Fechner, S.A., 1986, Placer Gold sampling in and near the Chugach National Forest, Alaska: U.S. Bureau of Mines Information Circular 9091, 42 p.

  • Deposit

    Capps, S.R., 1916, Gold mining in the Willow Creek district: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 642-G, p. 147-194, 195-200.

  • Deposit

    MacKevett, E.M., Jr., and Holloway, C.D., 1977, Map showing metalliferous mineral deposits in the western part of southern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 77-169-F, 38 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:1,000,000.

  • Deposit

    Moffit, F.H., 1906, Mineral resources of Kenai Peninsula, Alaska; Gold field of the Turnagain Arm region: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 277, 80 p.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1933, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1930: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 836-A, p. 1-83.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1933, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1931: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 844-A, p. 1-81.

  • Deposit

    Tysdal, R.G., 1978, Mines, prospects, and occurrences map of the Seward and Blying Sound quadrangles, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-880A, 2 sheets, scale 1:250,000.

Comments on the references

  • Primary Reference = Moffit, 1906

General comments

Subject category Comment text
Deposit Model Name = Placer Au (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a)
Deposit Other Comments = Most of the mining activity along California Creek occurred in the Seward D-6 1:63,360-scale quadrangle.

Reporter information

Type Date Name Affiliation Comment
Reporter 30-JUL-1998 D.P. Bickerstaff U.S. Geological Survey