Mule Creek

Past Producer in Alaska, United States with commodities Gold, Silver, Copper

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10097494
MRDS ID A011010
Record type Site
Current site name Mule Creek
Related records 10233414

Geographic coordinates

Geographic coordinates: -149.35333, 67.59971 (WGS84)
Relative position Mule Creek is a small south-flowing tributary to the Bettles River. Its mouth is approximately 4 1/2 miles northeast of the north end of Bob Johnson Lake (formerly Big Lake). The exact location of the placer workings along Mule Creek is unclear. Maddren (1913) stated that good prospects were found 2 1/2 and 1 1/2 miles above the mouth, but that shafts nearer the mouth did not reach bedrock or find gold. The reference point is thus plotted approximately 2 miles above the mouth (sec. 16, T. 32 N., R. 8 W., of the Fairbanks Meridian). The location is accurate within a 1/2-mile radius.
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Geographic areas

Country State
United States Alaska


Commodity Importance
Gold Primary
Silver Secondary
Copper 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

Nearby scientific data

(1) -149.35333, 67.59971

Comments on the geologic information

  • Geologic Description = Mule Creek is one of several tributaries to the Bettles River in this area that are reported either to have produced gold or to have good prospects. Maddren (1913) described good prospects 2 1/2 and 1 1/2 miles upstream from the mouth of Mule Creek. At 2 1/2 miles, there is a low bench in 8 feet of gravel; at 1 1/2 miles, gold was found in 2 feet of gravel which yielded $1 per man-hour. Maddren also noted small nuggets of native silver and native copper nuggets as heavy as 7 pounds on Mule Creek. Reed (1938) reported that the gravel was coarse and waterworn, with many large boulders, and that depth to bedrock was 3 to 8 feet. The gold is on bedrock and in the lowest foot of gravel; it is well worn and has a fineness of 908. Values of approximately 10 cents per square foot of bedrock were reported in 1938. Mule Creek heads in limestone. Dillon and others (1996) map this limestone as Devonian Skajit Limestone, which is in contact with Ordovician to Cambrian(?) calc-schist and Ordovician phyllite and marble.
  • Age = Quaternary.

Economic information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Development status Past Producer
Commodity type Metallic

Comments on exploration

  • Status = Inactive

Mining district

District name Koyukuk

Comments on the production information

  • Production Notes = Maddren (1913) estimated $1,000 of Au produced from 1900 to 1909.

Comments on the workings information

  • Workings / Exploration = Mule Creek was mined sporadically in the early 1900s and was being worked in 1937 by booming and shoveling in (Reed, 1938). Several shafts 75 to 80 feet deep near the alluvial fan at the mouth of the creek were flooded before reaching bedrock.

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS A011010
USGS Alaska Resource Data File ARDF CH067

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

    Maddren, A.G., 1913, The Koyukuk-Chandalar region, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 532, 119 p.

  • Deposit

    Heiner, L.E., and Wolff, E.N., eds., 1968, Mineral resources of northern Alaska, Final report, submitted to the NORTH Commission: Mineral Industry Research Laboratory, University of Alaska, Report 16, 306 p.

  • Deposit

    Brosgi, W.P., and Reiser, H.N., 1972, Geochemical reconnaissance in the Wiseman and Chandalar districts and adjacent region, southern Brooks Range, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 709, 21 p.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., 1972, Metallic mineral resources map of the Chandalar quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-457, 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., 1973, Placer deposits of Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1374, 213 p.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., 1976, Summary of references to mineral occurrences (other than mineral fuels and construction materials) in the Chandalar and Wiseman quadrangles, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 76-340, 205 p.

  • Deposit

    DeYoung, J.H., Jr., 1978, Mineral resources map of the Chandalar quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-878-B, 2 sheets, scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    Dillon, J.T., 1982, Source of lode and placer gold deposits of the Chandalar and upper Koyukuk Districts: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Open-File Report 158, 25 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., and Cruz, E.L., 1983, Summaries of data and lists of references to metallic and selected nonmetallic mineral deposits in the Chandalar quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 83-278, 91 p.

Comments on the references

  • Primary Reference = Maddren, 1913

General comments

Subject category Comment text
Deposit Model Name = Placer Au (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a)
Deposit Other Comments = Reed (1938) pointed out that Maddren (1913) incorrectly identified Spruce Creek as Mule Creek and that Mule Creek was unnamed.

Reporter information

Type Date Name Affiliation Comment
Reporter 17-NOV-99 J.M. Britton U.S. Geological Survey