Bear Creek (upper)

Past Producer in Alaska, United States with commodities Gold, Platinum

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10307460
Record type Site
Current site name Bear Creek (upper)

Geographic coordinates

Geographic coordinates: -161.14271, 59.39927 (WGS84)
Relative position Bear Creek is a south tributary of Canyon Creek. Its confluence with Canyon Creek is 3/4 mile downstream of the outlet of Canyon Lake. This placer mine is the upper of two located on Bear Creek. It is 1 3/4 miles upstream of the confluence of Bear Creek with Canyon Creek. The map site is at the junction of Bear Creek and an unnamed west tributary, in the SW1/4 of section 18, T 9 S, R 70 W, of the Seward Meridian. It is locality 17 of Hoare and Cobb (1977) and of Cobb and Condon (1972).
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Geographic areas

Country State
United States Alaska


Commodity Importance
Gold Primary
Platinum Secondary

Materials information

Materials Type of material
Gold Ore
Platinum Ore
Palladium Ore
Iridium Ore
Osmium Ore
Rhodium Ore
Ruthenium Ore


  • (Local) Iron-staining and cementation.

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) -161.14271, 59.39927

Comments on the geologic information

  • Geologic Description = Placer gold was discovered on Bear Creek as early as 1916 and mining was reported intermittently up to 1934 (Hoare and Coonrad, 1978). This site is the upper of two placer mine locations on Bear Creek shown by Cobb and Condon (1972). Harrington (1921) visited Bear Creek in 1919 and reported that initial mining had opened up a 15- by 50-foot pit, in which 2 to 3 feet of black clayey muck overlay 2 to 5 feet of gravel. The gravel was post-glacial, locally iron-stained and cemented, and mostly sedimentary material, all locally derived. Only a few very small colors were obtained in pans taken from the base of the gravels (not necessarily on bedrock). Fechner (1988) described about 1 mile of workings along this part of Bear Creek and estimated that a total of 12,000 cubic yards of material had been mined. Pay from various mine pits is reported to have run 0.002 to 0.011 ounce of gold per square foot (Reed, 1931). Fechner (1988) collected 4 samples of Bear Creek sediments; pan concentrate from these samples contained a trace to 0.624 ounce of gold per ton. A float sample of limonite-stained intrusive rock containing pyrite and arsenopyrite assayed 725 ppb gold (Fechner, 1988, sample 44). One of the sediment samples, from the main west tributary to Bear Creek (locally called Danielson Creek), yielded heavy-mineral concentrate containing more than 10 ppm platinum and anomalous As and Cu values. Minor platinum was recovered with the gold from Bear Creek and some prospecting for platinum was completed here by the Goodnews Bay Mining Company (Mertie, 1969, p. 89). An analysis of PGE material recovered from Bear Creek showed it to contain 72.82 percent platinum, 15.58 percent iridium, 8.17 percent osmium, 2.29 prcent ruthenium, 0.78 percent rhodium, and 0.36 percent palladium (Mertie, 1969, Table 38). Bedrock in the area includes Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary and volcanic rocks locally intruded by Upper Cretaceous to Lower Tertiary granitic rocks and Jurassic mafic/ultramafic plutonic rocks (Hoare and Coonrad, 1978).
  • Age = Quaternary.

Economic information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Development status Past Producer

Comments on exploration

  • Status = Probably inactive

Mining district

District name Goodnews Bay

Comments on the production information

  • Production Notes = Fechner (1988) estimated that a total of 12,000 cubic yards of material had been mined. Pay from various mine pits is reported to have run 0.002 to 0.011 ounce of gold per square foot (Reed, 1931). Production could therefore have ranged from 24 to 132 ounces of gold.

Comments on the workings information

  • Workings / Exploration = Fechner (1988) described about 1 mile of open-cut workings along this part of Bear Creek and estimated that a total of 12,000 cubic yards of material had been mined.

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
USGS Alaska Resource Data File ARDF GO017

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

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

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., and Condon, W.H., 1972, Metallic mineral resources map of the Goodnews quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-447, scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    Hoare, J.M., and Cobb, E.H., 1977, Mineral occurrences (other than mineral fuels and construction materials) in the Bethel, Goodnews, and Russian Mission quadrangles, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 77-156, 98 p.

  • Deposit

    Hoare, J.M., and Coonrad, W.L., 1978, Geologic map of the Goodnews and Hagemeister Island quadrangles region, southwestern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 78-9-B, two sheets, scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    Fechner, S.A., 1988, Bureau of Mines mineral investigation of the Goodnews Bay mining district, Alaska: U.S. Bureau of Mines Open-File Report 1-88, 230 p.

  • Deposit

    Reed, I.M., 1931, Notes on the creeks in the Goodnews River gold area: Alaska Territorial Department of Mines, 3 p.

  • Deposit

    Harrington, G.L., 1921, Mineral resources of the Goodnews Bay region: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 714-E, p. 207-228.

Comments on the references

  • Primary Reference = Fechner, 1988

General comments

Subject category Comment text
Deposit Model Name = Placer Au-PGE (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a)

Reporter information

Type Date Name Affiliation Comment
Reporter 20-MAR-01 Travis L. Hudson Applied Geology