Boulder Creek

Prospect in Alaska, United States with commodities Silver, Copper, Lead, Tin, Arsenic, Antimony

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10096772
MRDS ID A011559
Record type Site
Current site name Boulder Creek
Alternate or previous names Purkeypile Boulder Creek, Boulder Creek Tin Lode, Purkey Tin, Wonder, Scenic, Basin, Lead

Geographic coordinates

Geographic coordinates: -152.15286, 62.90259 (WGS84)
Relative position C.C. Hawley and Associates, Inc. (1978, Fig. 4.2 - C(3) - A(1)) locate the Boulder Creek occurrence about 300 feet north-northeast of the J+K discovery adit (TL004) below Boulder Creek Glacier on the east bank of Boulder Creek in the southeast quarter of Section 32, T. 33 N. R. 15 W., of the Seward Meridian.
(click for info)

Geographic areas

Country State
United States Alaska


Commodity Importance
Silver Primary
Copper Primary
Lead Primary
Tin Primary
Arsenic Secondary
Antimony Secondary

Comments on the commodity information

  • Gangue = manganosiderite

Materials information

Materials Type of material
Cassiterite Ore
Chalcopyrite Ore
Galena Ore
Tetrahedrite Ore
Calcite Gangue
Diopside Gangue
Epidote Gangue


  • (Local) Development of tactite mineral assemblage in host rocks because of thermal effects of nearby biotite granite. Locally intense silicification (C.C. Hawley and Associates, Inc., 1978).

Mineral occurrence model information

Model code 43
USGS model code 14b
Deposit model name Sn skarn

Host and associated rocks

  • Host or associated Host

Nearby scientific data

(1) -152.15286, 62.90259

Comments on the geologic information

  • Geologic Description = C.C. Hawley and Associates, Inc. (1978, Fig. 4.2 - C(3) - A(1)) locate the Boulder Creek occurrence about 300 feet north-northeast of the J+K discovery adit. Shallow shafts, dozer cuts and diamond drill holes have been used to explore the prospect. Host rocks are thermally metamorphosed calc-silicate rock, felsic schist, dolomite, and argillite approximately 300 to 600 feet north of Tonzona pluton. In plan the main exposure is circular with about a 40-foot diameter. Disseminated cassiterite, arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite, galena and pyrrhotite occur in clusters of narrow, open-space fracture fillings, suggestive of a stockwork-type deposit, and in veins up to five or six feet long and a foot wide. A six-foot-wide zone of manganosiderite is noted along the southern contact of one 18-inch-wide vein. Silicification and fracturing are intense. C.C. Hawley and Associates, Inc.(1978) report up to 4 percent tin, 0.3 percent copper, 2.8 percent zinc, 1 oz/ton silver and a trace of gold in rock chip samples. A nine-foot channel sample across a mineralized sheeted vein set averaging 1.57percent tin and 10.0 oz/ton silver is described by Conwell (1977). Selected samples from adjacent clusters contained as much as 18 percent tin and 230 oz/ton silver. Drill hole data suggest the deposit overlies a marginal cusp of the granite. Twelve of twenty-three drill holes intersected zones containing more than 0.53 percent tin. Intercepts were between 1.9 and 7.8 feet wide, with an average grade of about 2 percent tin. One interval contained 5 percent tin over an 11.5-foot intercept (Conwell, 1977; Warner, 1985). C.C. Hawley and Associates, Inc.(1978) suggest that the drill holes may have been drilled down dip and thus did not adequately test the configuration of the mineralization. Warner (1985) estimated this occurrence contains at least 136,000 kg Sn. ? In the entire Boulder Creek area there are widely separated, mineralized outcrops. Mapping and ground geophysical surveys, including magnetics and Chrone VLF, suggest extensive skarn development and skarn mineralization across Boulder Creek from the J+K adit. Little sub-surface exploration has been completed (C.C. Hawley and Associates, Inc.). Reed and others (1978) report that high tin values in pan concentrate samples collected along the northern granite-sedimentary contact suggest that tine mineralization occurs for at least 5 kilometers west of the Boulder Creek prospect and the possibility that addtional tin-silver deposits occur along this northern contact zone is considered excellent. The Boulder Creek region, probably due to its remote location and the low tin prices, is relatively under-explored.? the geologic setting of the Boulder Creek area is provided, as follows, from work done by C.C. Hawley and Associates, Inc. (1978) and Reed and Nelson (1980). Blocky slate, argillite, thin-bedded siliceous limestone and chert define a belt of lower Paleozoic sedimentary and metavolcanic rocks (possibly Keevy Peak, other Totalanika series, or equivalents) bordered by the Tonzona granitic pluton (Tmt), part of the McKinley sequence of Late Cretaceous and early Tertiary age intrusive rocks mapped by Reed and Nelson (1980). The granite has three phases; a coarse-grained, locally porphyritic biotite granite; a medium-grained biotite granite; and a late fine-grained, leucocratic, locally aplitic, muscovite-tourmaline granite in which ovoid clusters of small black tourmaline crystals give the rock a 'dalmatian' appearance. Muscovite may exceed biotite and accessory minerals include tourmaline with lesser amounts of topaz, fluorite, garnet, zircon, and apatite. Late-stage greissen veinlets contain muscovite, topaz, tourmaline, locally abundant beryl, and occasionally, cassiterite. Lead, silver and tin mineralization occurs in Paleozoic metasediments and metavolcanic rocks along the north and northeast contact of the pluton.
  • Age = Tertiary; mineralization in the Boulder Creek area is interpreted to be linked to the Tonzona granite (Tmt), part of the McKinley Sequence, that has been determined to range from 52.3 to 56.2 m.y. in age (Reed and Lanphere, 1972; Reed and Nelson, 1980).
  • Age = Chron age is for McKinley Sequence.

Economic information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Development status Prospect
Commodity type Metallic

Mining district

District name McGrath

Comments on the reserve resource information

  • Reserves = Warner (1985) estimates 136,000 kg Sn. Grab samples contain up to 18% Sn and 7,900 g/t Ag.

Comments on the workings information

  • Workings / Exploration = F. B. Jules and Ed Knutson of Poorman, Alaska concentrated their effort on the Jiles-Knudson prospect between 1910(?) and 1923. Mr. I.W. Purkeypile and son David Purkeypile 'rediscovered' and prospected the Boulder Creek area since the late 1940s (C.C. Hawley and Associates, Inc., 1978). The area was evaluated by numerous private mining companies in the 1970s and 1980s. ? Shallow shafts, dozer cuts and diamond drill holes have been used to explore the prospect. Mapping and ground geophysical surveys, including magnetics and Chrone VLF (C.C. Hawley and Associates, Inc., 1978, Fig. 4.2-C and Fig. 4.2C(3)-A(1)).

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS A011559
USGS Alaska Resource Data File ARDF TL073

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

    Brooks, A.H., 1911, The Mount McKinley region, Alaska, with descriptions of the igneous rocks and of the Bonnifield and Kantishna districts by L.M. Prindle: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 70, 234 p.

  • Deposit

    Capps, S.R., 1925, An early Tertiary placer deposit in the Yentna district: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 773, p. 53-61.

  • Deposit

    Maloney, R.P., and Thomas, B.I., 1966, Investigation of the Purkeypile prospects, Kuskokwim River basin, Alaska: U.S. Bureau of Mines Open-File Report 5-66, 12 p.

  • Deposit

    Berg, H.C., and Cobb, E.H., 1967, Metalliferous Lode Deposits of Alaska. U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1246, 254 p.

  • Deposit

    Reed, B.L., and Lanphere, M.A., 1972, Generalized geologic map of the Alaska-Aleutian range batholith showing potassium-argon ages of the plutonic rocks: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-372, 2 sheets, scale 1:1,000,000.

  • Deposit

    Conwell, C.N., 1977, Boulder Creek tin lode deposits: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Geologic Report 55, p. 35 -38.

  • Deposit

    C.C. Hawley and Associates, Inc., 1978, Mineral appraisal of lands adjacent to Mt. McKinley National Park, Alaska: U.S. Bureau of Mines Open-File Report 24-78, 275 p., 7 plates.

  • Deposit

    Reed, B.L., Nelson, S.W., Curtin, G.C., and Singer, D.A., 1978, Mineral resources map of the Talkeetna Quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-870-D, 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., and Reed, B.L., 1980, Summaries of data and lists of reference to metallic and selected nonmetallic mineral deposits in the Talkeetna quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 80-884, 106 p.

  • Deposit

    Reed, B.L., and Nelson, S.W., 1980, Geologic map of the Talkeetna quadrangle: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Investigations Map I-1174, scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    Warner, J.D., 1985, Critical and strategic minerals in Alaska: tin, tantalum, and columbium: U.S. Bureau of Mines Information Circular 9037, 42 p.

  • Deposit

    Nokleberg, W.J., Bundtzen, T.K., Berg, H.C., Brew, D.A., Grybeck, D.J., Robinson, M.S., Smith, T.E., and Yeend, W., 1987, Significant metalliferous lode deposits and placer districts of Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1786, 104 p.

  • 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

    Capps, S.R., 1927, The Toklat-Tonzona River region: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 792-C, p. 73-110.

  • Deposit

    Clark, A.L., and Cobb, E.H., 1972, Metallic mineral resources map of the Talkeetna quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-369, 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000.

Comments on the references

  • Primary Reference = Conwell, 1977; C.C. Hawley and Associates, Inc., 1978

General comments

Subject category Comment text
Deposit Model Name = Sn Skarn Deposits (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 14b).
Deposit Other Comments = In much of the literature the Purkeypile group of lode claims includes the Jiles-Knudson (TL004), Mespelt (TL005) and Hogback (TL006) prospects. The Jiles-Knudson prospect is probably on related mineralization and very likely part of the same mineralization and alteration event.

Reporter information

Type Date Name Affiliation Comment
Reporter 10-AUG-1998 Madelyn A. Millholland Millholland & Associates