Fourth of July Creek

Past Producer in Alaska, United States with commodities Gold, Silver, Mercury, Iridium, Palladium, Platinum

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10308822
MRDS ID A015241
Record type Site
Current site name Fourth of July Creek
Alternate or previous names Bauer, Ellington, Fourth f Julys Co., July Creek Mining Co., July Creek Placer Co.
Related records 10002778, 10135825

Geographic coordinates

Geographic coordinates: -141.98179, 65.13678 (WGS84)
Relative position Fourth of July Creek is a northeast-flowing tributary of the Yukon River. Its confluence with the Yukon is near the town of Nation. Placer mining and exploration took place along the entire creek, which is about 16 miles long. Coordinates given are for the approximate center of the placer ground, which is in section 35, T. 4 N., R. 28 E., of the Fairbanks Meridian. The location is accurate.
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Geographic areas

Country State
United States Alaska

Commodities

Commodity Importance
Gold Primary
Silver Secondary
Mercury Secondary
Iridium Secondary
Palladium Secondary
Platinum Secondary

Materials information

Materials Type of material
Gold Ore
Silver 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) -141.98179, 65.13678

Comments on the geologic information

  • Geologic Description = The upper basin of Fourth of July Creek lies in Cretaceous to Tertiary sandstone, mudstone, and conglomerate derived from erosion of older metamorphic rocks (Dover and Miyaoka, 1988). The conglomerate is auriferous and probably is the source of all or most of the placer gold in Fourth of July Creek (Brooks, 1907). The placers immediately downstream from the upper basin also are underlain by conglomerate and other sedimentary rocks. The bench deposits on the northwest side of the valley are also auriferous but were not mined (Mertie, 1938). Platinum metals and silver are alloyed with the gold; a report of mercury is unverified. The mean of 22 assays of the gold indicates the average fineness is 892 parts Au per thousand, 99 parts Ag per thousand, and 9 parts dross per thousand. In 1942, one gold specimen assayed 0.23 percent platinum and iridium, with a trace of palladium (Mertie, 1938). The first claims along Fourth of July Creek were staked in 1898, and within 10 days most of the creek had been staked (National Park Service, 1990). There were about ten miners left working on the creek in 1904, and six in 1906. Production between 1898 and 1906 was between $25,000 and $30,000 (1906 dollars) (National Park Service, 1990). A hydraulic plant was installed along the creek in 1916 (Brooks, 1918). In 1938, the pay streak was reported to be 400 to 500 feet wide, and the bedrock was overlain by 6 to 10 feet of gravel and 2 to 7 feet of muck. The gold was mainly found on and in the top 2 feet of bedrock (Mertie, 1938). The last year that productive mining was done on the creek was 1951. Mining ended due to high production costs (National Park Service, 1990).
  • Age = Quaternary.

Economic information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Development status Past Producer
Commodity type Metallic

Comments on exploration

  • Status = Probably inactive

Mining district

District name Eagle

Comments on the production information

  • Production Notes = Production between 1898 and 1906 was between $25,000 and $30,000 (1906 dollars) (National Park Service, 1990).

Comments on the workings information

  • Workings / Exploration = Discovery of gold at Fourth of July Creek was in 1898, and since then mining and exploration were nearly continuous until 1973 (Cobb, 1976 [OFR 76-632]). Most mining was by hydraulic methods, and the first hydraulic plant was installed in 1916 (Brooks, 1918). In 1941, the Fourth of July Creek operation was the largest in the Eagle district (Smith, 1942).

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
USGS Alaska Resource Data File ARDF CY015
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS A015241
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS M045827

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

    Brooks, A.H., 1907, The Alaskan mining industry in 1906: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 314, p. 19-39.

  • Deposit

    Ellsworth, C.E., and Parker, G.L., 1911, Placer mining in the Yukon-Tanana region: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 480, 325 p.

  • Deposit

    Prindle, L.M., and Mertie, J.B. Jr., 1912, Gold placers between Woodchopper and Fourth of July Creeks, upper Yukon River: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 520-G, p. 201-210.

  • Deposit

    Ellsworth, C.E., and Davenport, R.W., 1913, Placer mining in the Yukon-Tanana region: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 542, 303 p.

  • Deposit

    Chapin, Theodore, 1914, Placer mining in the Yukon-Tanana region: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 592-J, p. 357-362.

  • Deposit

    Mertie, J.B., Jr., 1942, Tertiary deposits of the Eagle-Circle district, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 917-D, p. 213-264.

  • 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., 1972, Metallic mineral resources map of the Charley River quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-390, 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 Charley River and Coleen quadrangles, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 76-632, 45 p.

  • Deposit

    Dover, J.A., and Miyaoka, R.T., 1988, Reinterpreted geologic map and fossil data, Charley River quadrangle, east-central Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-2004, 2 sheets, scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    National Park Service, 1990, Final environmental impact statement, volume 1, Mining in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, Alaska: National Park Service, Anchorage, Alaska, p. 36-44.

  • Deposit

    Mertie, J.B., Jr., 1938, Gold placers of the Fortymile, Eagle, and Circle districts, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 897-C, p. 133-261.

  • Deposit

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

Comments on the references

  • Primary Reference = Mertie, 1938

General comments

Subject category Comment text
Deposit Model Name = Placer Au (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a).
Deposit Other Comments = This site is within the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve.

Reporter information

Type Date Name Affiliation Comment
Reporter 07-APR-00 Cameron, C.E. Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys