Sheep Creek

Past Producer in Alaska, United States with commodity Gold

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10097498
MRDS ID A011032
Record type Site
Current site name Sheep Creek
Alternate or previous names Sheep Gulch

Geographic coordinates

Geographic coordinates: -149.81333, 67.4997 (WGS84)
Relative position Sheep Creek drains the northwest flank of Poss Mountain and is a west-northwest-flowing tributary to Middle Fork Koyukuk River. The reference point is the mine symbol on the topographic map; it is approximately 1 1/2 miles above the mouth of the creek and 3 1/2 miles north-northeast of Minnie Creek Lake (sec. 21, T. 31 N., R. 10 W., of the Fairbanks Meridian). Placer mining has probably extended approximately 1/2 mile downstream and 1 mile or more upstream from the reference point. The location is accurate within a 1/2-mile.
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Geographic areas

Country State
United States Alaska

Commodities

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

Nearby scientific data

(1) -149.81333, 67.4997

Comments on the geologic information

  • Geologic Description = Reed (1938, p. 28-29) reported that the Sheep Creek placers are in both the present channel and a deep channel. The bench placers were discovered along the right limit of the present stream in about 1910 and were mined for a distance of approximately 7,000 feet upstream from the point where Sheep Creek valley opens into the Middle Fork valley. Above this point the channel grades into the present stream channel. At the lower end the depth to the deep channel was approximately 90 feet. There was little evidence of large boulders in the tailings from the mining of the deep channel. Values from the deep channel ran about $1 per square foot of bedrock (1937), but some small areas had much higher values. One of those areas returned $800 (1908) from 200 square feet. The deep channel probably extends some distance into Middle Fork valley but may have been cut off, as was the deep channel of Gold Creek just to the north (CH080).? Reed (1938) implied that mining had only just begun in the present channel about 1,000 feet above where Sheep Creek valley entered the valley of the Middle Fork. The depth to the schist bedrock there was about 6 ft, and the gravel was very coarse with many large schist boulders. The gold was said to be very coarse and water worn. Preliminary estimates of the values in the present channel in 1937 were about $0.50 per square foot of bedrock. Reed (1938) described the bedrock of Sheep Creek as schist. More recent mapping shows the area to be underlain by Devonian black slate, phyllite and phyllitic siltstone, chloritic siltstone and grit, and quartz-muscovite schist (Brosgi and Reiser, 1964).
  • 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 = Production reported sporadically from the early 1900s through the early 1960s. Total value of production is unknown, but from 1900 to 1909, $2,000 worth of gold reportedly was produced (Maddren, 1913).

Comments on the workings information

  • Workings / Exploration = Placer was worked by surface mining of the present channel and underground drift mining of the deep channel.

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS A011032
USGS Alaska Resource Data File ARDF CH029

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

    Brooks, A.H., 1912, The Alaska mining industry in 1911, in Brooks, A.H., and others, Mineral resources of Alaska, 1911: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 520, p. 17-44.

  • Deposit

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

  • 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., 1937, Mineral industry in Alaska in 1935: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 880-A, p. 1-95.

  • Deposit

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

  • Deposit

    Roehm, J.C., 1949, Report of investigations and itinerary of J.C. Roehm in the Koyukuk precinct, Alaska: Alaska Territorial Department of Mines Itinerary Report 31-1, 9 p.

  • Deposit

    Brosgi, W.P., and Reiser, H.N., 1964, Geologic map and section of the Chandalar quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Geologic Investigations Map 1-375, 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000.

  • 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

    Mulligan, J.J., 1974, Mineral resources of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline corridor: U.S. Bureau of Mines Information Circular 8626, 24 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., 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

    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.

  • Deposit

    Maas, K.M., 1987, Maps summarizing land availability for mineral exploration and development in northern Alaska, 1986: U.S. Bureau of Mines Open-File Report 10-87, 33 sheets.

  • Deposit

    Maas, K.M., 1987, Maps summarizing land availability for mineral exploration and development in northern Alaska, 1986: U.S. Bureau of Mines Open-File Report 10-87, 33 quadrangle overlays.

  • Deposit

    Maddren, A.G., 1910, The Koyukuk-Chandalar gold region: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 442-G, p. 284-315.

  • Deposit

    Reed, I.M., 1938, Upper Koyukuk region, Alaska (Wiseman, Chandalar, and Bettles): Alaska Territorial Department of Mines Miscellaneous Report 194-7, 201 p.

  • Deposit

    Brooks, A.H., 1911, The mining industry in 1910, in Brooks, A.K., and others, Mineral resources of Alaska, report on progress of investigations in 1910: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 480-B p. 21-43.

Comments on the references

  • Primary Reference = Reed, 1938

General comments

Subject category Comment text
Deposit Model Name = Placer Au (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a)
Deposit Other Comments = Alaska Kardex No. 031-029 (Kardex is a card file mining claim information system located at the State of Alaska DNR Public Information Center in Fairbanks).

Reporter information

Type Date Name Affiliation Comment
Reporter 17-NOV-1999 J.M. Britton U.S. Geological Survey