Oregon Creek

Producer in Alaska, United States with commodities Gold, Bismuth, Titanium, Tungsten

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10308937
MRDS ID A012869
Record type Site
Current site name Oregon Creek
Related records 10002023, 10112168

Geographic coordinates

Geographic coordinates: -165.65529, 64.69058 (WGS84)
Relative position Oregon Creek is a east tributary to Cripple River; the mouth of Oregon Creek is just above where the Nome-Teller road crosses Cripple River. The Oregon Creek placer consists of auriferous gravel in or near modern Oregon Creek and nearly parallel bench deposits on the southeast flank of the creek. The bench deposits terminate upstream at Short Creek (in Short Gulch), a south tributary to Oregon Creek. The placer deposit in Oregon Creek was mainly developed below Mountain Creek (NM145), a north tributary. Mountain Creek has also been called Greenstone Creek by Herreid (1970). The location is the approximate mid-point of the bench deposits. The creek and bench locations are the same as localities 71 and 72 of Cobb (1972 [MF 463], 1978 [OFR 78-93]).
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Geographic areas

Country State
United States Alaska


Commodity Importance
Gold Primary
Bismuth Secondary
Titanium Secondary
Tungsten Secondary

Materials information

Materials Type of material
Bismuth Ore
Galena Ore
Gold Ore
Hematite Ore
Magnetite Ore
Rutile Ore
Scheelite Ore
Sphalerite Ore
Stibnite Ore
Garnet Gangue

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) -165.65529, 64.69058

Comments on the geologic information

  • Geologic Description = Gold was discovered in Oregon Creek and adjacent bench deposits before 1901 (Brooks and others, 1901, p. 69, 92-94); the deposits were worked extensively before 1918. Gold, accompanied by magnetite, garnet, bismuth, rutile, and scheelite, occurs in the placer deposits (Collier and others, 1908, p. 211-213; Cobb, 1975 [MR-66]; Anderson, 1947). Boulders of schist containing galena and sphalerite were found in the placer open cuts (Herreid, 1970). Stibnite and quartz boulders occur upstream in Mountain Creek, and stibnite was found in place in schist on the south side of Oregon Creek by Kennecott Exploration Company in 1992. Calcareous schist and schistose marble boulders containing galena and sphalerite are similar to rocks found upstream at the Aurora (NM140) and Christophosen (NM141) prospects. The boulders are either derived from these deposits or another deposit closer to the placer deposits. Boulders of gneiss, apparently derived from the Kigluaik Mountains, are also found at Oregon Creek. The placer deposit in the active creek was covered by only a few feet of gravel. Bench deposits were covered by about 20 to 25 feet of gravel. These deposits were mined both by drift and surface hydraulic methods. The pay zone on Oregon Creek was about 70 feet wide but less than 1 foot thick. Bedrock in the Oregon Creek area is mainly calc-schist, but outcrops on the north side of the creek appear to be a felsic schist, similar to the felsic schist unit exposed at Aurora Creek (Bundtzen and others, 1994).
  • Age = Quaternary.

Economic information

Economic information about the deposit and operations

Development status Producer
Commodity type Metallic

Comments on exploration

  • Status = Active

Mining district

District name Nome

Comments on the production information

  • Production Notes = Patented claims cover most of the bench placers.

Comments on the reserve resource information

  • Reserves = There is at least a small placer resource left in the area, especially in the bench deposits.

Comments on the workings information

  • Workings / Exploration = The placer deposits have been worked by surface hand operations, hydraulic cuts, and drift mining. Placer mining began in 1900; the gold produced in 1900 from Oregon and nearby Nugget (NM147), Mountain (NM145) and Hungry Creeks (NM149) was estimated at about 2,400 ounces (Brooks and others, 1901, p. 69). Mining was reported by Moffit (1905), Collier and others (1908), in 1914 by Eakin (1915 [B 622-I, p. 369-370]), in 1916 (Mertie, 1918 [B 662-I, p. 455]), and in 1918 (Cathcart, 1920, p. 189). The area was worked by non-float mechanical methods in 1940 (Smith, 1942, p. 57). Some mining by open-cut methods on the patented claims occurred in the 1990's.

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
USGS Alaska Resource Data File ARDF NM146
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS A012869
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS A012870
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS A012871
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS D002573

Bibliographic references

  • Deposit

    Brooks, A.H., Richardson, G. B., and Collier, A. J., 1901, Reconnaissance in the Cape Nome and Norton Bay regions, Alaska, in 1900: U.S. Geological Survey Special Publication, p. 1-180.

  • Deposit

    Collier, A. J., Hess, F.L., Smith, P.S., and Brooks, A.H., 1908, The gold placers of parts of Seward Peninsula, Alaska, including the Nome, Council, Kougarok, Port Clarence, and Goodhope precincts: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 328, 343 p.

  • Deposit

    Eakin, H.M., 1915, Placer mining in Seward Peninsula: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 622-I, p. 366-373.

  • Deposit

    Cathcart, S.H., 1920, Mining in northwestern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 712, p. 185-198.

  • Deposit

    Anderson, Eskil, 1947, Mineral occurrences other than gold deposits in northwestern Alaska: Alaska Territorial Division of Mines Pamphlet 5-R, 48 p.

  • Deposit

    Herreid, G.H., 1970, Geology and geochemistry of the Sinuk area, Seward Peninsula, Alaska: Alaska Division of Mines and Minerals Geologic Report 36, 61 p., 3 sheets, scale 1:42,000.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., 1972, Metallic mineral resources map of the Nome quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-463, 2 sheets, scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., 1975, Tungsten occurrences in Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Mineral Investigations Resource Map MR-66, 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000.

  • Deposit

    Cobb, E.H., 1978, Summary of references to mineral occurrences (other than mineral fuels and construction materials) in the Nome quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File report 78-93, 213 p.

  • Deposit

    Bundtzen, T.K., Reger, R.D., Laird, G.M., Pinney, D.S., Clautice, K.H., Liss, S.A., and Cruse, G.R., 1994, Progress report on the geology and mineral resources of the Nome mining district: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys, Public Data-File 94-39, 21 p., 2 sheets, scale 1:63,360.

  • Deposit

    Moffit, F.H., 1906, Gold mining on Seward Peninsula, Alaska, in Brooks, A.H., and others, Report on progress of investigations of mineral resources in Alaska in 1905: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 284, p. 132-144.

Comments on the references

  • Primary Reference = Collier and others, 1908

General comments

Subject category Comment text
Deposit Model Name = Alluvial placer Au (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a).

Reporter information

Type Date Name Affiliation Comment
Reporter 12-MAR-00 Hawley, C.C. and Hudson, Travis L. Hawley Resource Group