Willow Creek

Past Producer in Alaska, United States with commodities Gold, Tin, Titanium, Zirconium

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10103636
MRDS ID M045407
Record type Site
Current site name Willow Creek
Alternate or previous names Big Willow Creek, Little Willow Creek, Wilson Creek, Hansen, Jennings, Rice, Rocky Gulch, Slate Gulch, Snow Gulch

Geographic coordinates

Geographic coordinates: -150.83973, 62.57454 (WGS84)
Relative position C.C. Hawley and Associates, Inc. (1978, Fig. 4.2-B(3)) show this locality about one-and- one-half miles upstream north of the confluence of Little Writer Creek with Willow Creek, a tributary to Cottonwood Creek in the northeast quarter of Section 30, T. 29 N., R. 8 W., of the Seward Meridian.
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Geographic areas

Country State
United States Alaska

Commodities

Commodity Importance
Gold Primary
Tin Primary
Titanium Secondary
Zirconium Secondary

Materials information

Materials Type of material
Cassiterite Ore
Gold Ore
Ilmenite Ore
Magnetite Ore
Platinum Ore
Pyrite Ore
Garnet Gangue
Quartz Gangue
Zircon Gangue

Alteration

  • (Local) Argillic alteration along fault zones (Clark and Hawley, 1968).

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) -150.83973, 62.57454

Comments on the geologic information

  • Geologic Description = Willow Creek drains across the contact between Mesozoic slate and graywacke (KJs) and Tertiary strata of the Sterling (?) (Tcp) and Tyonek (?) (Tts) Formations of the Kenai Group (Reed and Nelson, 1980). The placer gold deposits within Willow Creek are mostly hosted in Pleistocene stream gravels. C.C. Hawley and Associates, Inc. (1978) describe a Tertiary (?) white quartz conglomerate at the head of the main placer pay streak near the contact of the Tertiary strata on the Mesozoic strata. The conglomerate is a limonite- cemented, angular quartz grit consisting of sand- to pebble-size fragments. Hydrothermally altered intrusive rocks with associated quartz veins are found within a fault zone in the Willow Creek drainage and could represent a source for some of the placer gold (Capps, 1925; C.C. Hawley and Associates, Inc., 1978). ? Mertie (1919) reports 20% tin in concentrates, equivalent to 25% cassiterite from Willow Creek. Gold, ilmenite, magnetite, platinum, pyrite, garnet, quartz, and zircon are also reported in the concentrates. He believed that the gold and cassiterite were derived from mineralized bedrock within the drainage. The gold is fine with an average fineness of 870, as reported by Clark and Hawley (1968). ? the white quartz conglomerate placers (e.g. Willow Creek, Thunder Creek, TL032, 058, Dollar Creek, TL031) represent the oldest placers in the Cache Creek area. Capps (1925) describes the white quartz conglomerate as the basal unit of the Tertiary Kenai Formation. However Clark and Hawley (1968) suggest that the white quartz conglomerate is older and that the Kenai Group was deposited on it. They believe the auriferous conglomerate is near its original source in part because the characteristics of the gold show a common source that has not moved far or has not been reworked. Further, they indicate that the conglomerate is a product of shearing and weathering in situ of argillic altered, auriferous Tertiary quartz porphyry intrusive rocks and associated quartz veins that were emplaced along northeast, high angle normal faults. The lineaments in Dutch and Cache Creeks represent two of these faults. ? Tributaries to Willow Creek which have been mined include: Ruby Creek (TL041), Gopher Creek (TL074), Falls Gulch, Rocky Gulch, Slate Gulch, and Snow Gulch. Also see Peters Creek (TL045).
  • Age = Tertiary and Pleistocene (Clark and Hawley,1968).

Economic information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Development status Past Producer
Commodity type Metallic

Comments on exploration

  • Status = Undetermined.

Mining district

District name Yentna

Comments on the workings information

  • Workings / Exploration = Garrett (1998) reports current placer mining by mechanical cut-and-fill techniques and feed hopper, trommel and sluice processing. Exploration has been conducted by test drilling and pits. ? According to Garrett (1998) Willow Creek and its tributatries were mined as early as 1906. He describes the mining history of the area as follows: In 1911 pick and shovel and hydraulic methods were used. Gold pieces weighing one-half ounce were common. In the mid-30's about 2000 ounces of gold were produced from Little Willow Creek. Owners Frank and Helena Jenkins conducted hydraulic and hand-mining operations until 1939, when they and two other persons were murdered on the property. Exploration and mining was sporadic until 1979, when 4920 ounces of gold were recovered from a bench on the north side of Willow Creek. Mining has continued in this area until the present.

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS M045407
USGS Alaska Resource Data File ARDF TL042

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

    Brooks, A.H., 1913, Mineral resources of Alaska, report on progress of investigations in 1912: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 542, 308 p.

  • Deposit

    Capps, S.R., 1913, The Yentna district, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 534, 75 p.

  • Deposit

    Brooks, A.H., 1914, Mineral resources of Alaska in 1913: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 592, p. 340-341.

  • Deposit

    Brooks, A.H., 1921, The future of Alaska mining, in Martin G.C. and others, Mineral resources of Alaska, 1917: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 714, p. 5-57.

  • Deposit

    Capps, S.R., 1924, Geology and mineral resources of the region traversed by the Alaska Railroad: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 755-C, p. 73-150.

  • Deposit

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

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1930, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1927: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 810-A, p. 1-64.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1930, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1928: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 813, p. 1-72.

  • 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

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

  • 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., 1939, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1938: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 917-A, p. 1-113.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1942, Mineral Industry of Alaska in 1940: U. S. Geological Survey Bulletin 933-A, p. 1-102.

  • Deposit

    Robinson, G. D., Wedow, Helmuth, Jr., and Lyon, J. B., 1955, Radioactivity investigations in the Cache Creek area, Yentna district, Alaska 1945: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1024-A, p. 1-23.

  • Deposit

    Clark, A.L., and Hawley, C.C., 1968, Reconnaissance geology, mineral occurrences, and geochemical anomalies of the Yentna district, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 68-35, 64 p.

  • Deposit

    Koschmann, A.H. and Bergendahl, M.H., 1968, Principal gold producing districts of the United States: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 610, 283 p.

  • Deposit

    Mertie, J.B., Jr., 1969, Economic geology of platinum minerals: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 630, 120 p.

  • Deposit

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

  • Deposit

    Hawley, C.C., and Clark, A.L., 1973, Geology and mineral deposits of the upper Chulitna district, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 758-A, p. 1-10, 2 sheets, scale 1:250,000 and 1:500,000.

  • 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

    Garrett, D. R., 1998, The Blue Ribbon Mine, Yentna Mining District, Alaska: Worldwide Web URL http://www.alaska.net/~freegold/brm.html.

  • 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

    Mertie, J.B., Jr., 1919, Platinum-bearing gold placers of the Kahiltna Valley: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 692-D, p. 233-264.

  • Deposit

    Paige, Sidney, and Knopf, Adolph, 1907, Reconnaissance in the Matanuska and Talkeetna basins, Alaska, with notes on the placers of the adjacent regions: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 314-F, p. 104-125.

  • 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., 1941, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1939: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 926-A, p. 1-106.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1942, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1940: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 933-A, p. 1-102.

  • 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.

  • Deposit

    Smith, P.S., 1930, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1928: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 813-A, p. 1-72.

Comments on the references

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

General comments

Subject category Comment text
Deposit Model Name = Placer Au-PGE (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a).
Deposit Other Comments = Similar deposits occur on Thunder Creek (TL032, 058) and Dollar Creek (TL031), both tributaries to Cache Creek. See also Peters Creek (TL045). The structural grain of the area is defined by major northeast-trending, steeply dipping faults (Hawley and Clark , 1968).

Reporter information

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