Glacier Creek (includes Bonanza and Bergstrom Gulches)

Past Producer in Alaska, United States with commodities Gold, Silver, Tin, Tungsten

Geologic information

Identification information

Deposit ID 10308955
MRDS ID A012830
Record type Site
Current site name Glacier Creek (includes Bonanza and Bergstrom Gulches)
Related records 10257401, 10001986

Geographic coordinates

Geographic coordinates: -165.42278, 64.59628 (WGS84)
Relative position Glacier Creek is an east tributary to Snake River. It has been placer mined over a distance of at least 7,000 feet, starting at an elevation of about 75 feet downstream of the Snake River road crossing and extending upstream to an elevation of about 125 feet. The map location is at the approximate midpoint of the placer workings, in the NW1/4 section 26, T. 10 S., R. 34 W., Kateel River Meridian. This is locality 101 of Cobb (1972 [MF 463], 1978 [OFR 78-93]).
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Geographic areas

Country State
United States Alaska


Commodity Importance
Gold Primary
Silver Secondary
Tin Secondary
Tungsten Secondary

Materials information

Materials Type of material
Cassiterite Ore
Gold Ore
Scheelite 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) -165.42278, 64.59628

Comments on the geologic information

  • Geologic Description = Significant placer mining took place on Glacier Creek starting in 1900 when more than 36,000 ounces of gold were produced (Brooks and others, 1901). Mining continued to at least 1922 and included dredge operations from 1916 to 1922 (Cobb, 1978 [OFR 78-93]). About 1.4 miles of the creek have been placer mined, in places more than once, starting 1 mile above the mouth and extending upstream to beyond Snow Gulch (NM222). The lower part of the creek, in the Snake River valley, contained fine gold throughout 10 to 15 feet of gravel and in 2 to 3 feet of creviced bedrock in a 300-foot-wide pay streak (Collier and others, 1908). Near the mouth of Snow Gulch (NM222), the 6 feet of gravel over schist bedrock was gold-bearing, although richest in the lower 2 feet (Brooks and others, 1901). About one mile below the mouth of Snow Gulch, the placer was about 20 feet thick on chloritic schist bedrock and the paystreak about 300 feet wide. About the upper 3 feet of the schist was also gold-bearing. The gold was reported as fine, bright, and well-rounded (Collier and others, 1908, p. 193). The heavy mineral concentrate contained garnet, scheelite, and cassiterite (Brooks and others, 1901; Anderson, 1947). Some scheelite was recovered by dredge operations during WW I and from a residual placer (NM221) on the north side of the creek (Mertie, 1918 [B 662-!, p. 425-449]). Gold-bearing quartz veins and stringers in sulfidized schist were also identified along the north side of the creek valley, where rich bench placer deposits containing coarse gold were mined (NM219). An occurrence of mineralized bedrock near the mouth of Snow Gulch (NM221) reportedly is concordant to schistosity. The occurrence consists of sulfide-bearing quartz veins separated by sulfide-rich schist. The deposit was discovered in 1898. Mining began soon afterward. Mining in 1900 in Glacier Creek and adjacent parts of Snow Gulch produced 750,000 dollars or more than 35,000 ounces of gold (Brooks and others, 1901, p. 69). The existence of scheelite in the concentrates was reported at this time. The recovered gold had a fineness of about 900 (Purington, 1905, p. 209). Mining appears to have progressed through shovel-in operations to hydraulic elevators, other hydraulic operations, and then to dredging. Brooks (1904) reported the installation of hydraulic elevators in 1903. A dredge was in operation at least by 1916 (Mertie, 1918, p. 452, 455); dredge operations were reported up to at least 1922 (Brooks and Capps, 1924). Some of the ground was rich. Collier and others (1908, p. 193) thought ground mined prior to 1903 contained more than 5.00 dollars per cubic yard (about 1/4 ounce of gold per cubic yard). In 1916, a period of high tungsten prices during World War I, scheelite was saved in dredge concentrates from this mine as well as at the Lynx (NM221) lode claim (Mertie, 1918, p. 457). Coats (1944) considered Glacier Creek to be potentially important as a scheelite resource. Anderson (1947) reported scheelite and cassiterite in the placer concentrates and stibnite in nearby lodes. The sources of placer gold in Glacier Creek appear to include nearby older bench placer deposits to the north of Glacier Creek, Snow Gulch, upper Glacier Creek and in lower Glacier Creek, Bonanza Gulch and Bergstrom Gulch. Bedrock along Glacier Creek is locally graphitic chloritic schist and some marble (Collier and others, 1908, p. 193). The nearest bedrock mapped by Bundzten and others (1994) is chlorite-rich metaturbide schist and marble. The bedrock is probably is probably of early Paleozoic protolith age (Hummel, 1962 [MF 247]; Sainsbury, Hummel, and Hudson, 1972 [OFR 72-326]; Till and Dumoulin, 1994; Bundtzen and others, 1994).
  • 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 Nome

Comments on the production information

  • Production Notes = Production from as early as 1900 through 1922; possibly some activity in the 1930s. Production cannot be subdivided, but more than 750,000 dollars worth of gold (35,000 ounces) was recovered in 1900.

Comments on the workings information

  • Workings / Exploration = Glacier Creek was an early discovery in the Nome district. Claims were staked covering part of Glacier Creek and lower Snow Gulch on September 20 and November 28, 1898, by the Pioneer Mining Company owned by Lindeberg, Lindblom, and Brynteson. Claims on the lower part of Glacier Creek were located as early as October 19 and November 2 and 28 in 1898. These claims, known as No. 1, 2, and 3 Below Placer and the Joe Bench claim were patented to the Miocene Ditch Company in 1912. The Miocene Ditch Company was closely related to Pioneer Mining Company. One unpatented claim, the Utica, separated the upper (Snow Gulch) and lower Glacier Creek claims.

Reference information

Links to other databases

Agency Database name Acronym Record ID Notes
USGS Alaska Resource Data File ARDF NM220
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS A012830
USGS Mineral Resources Data System MRDS D002585

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

    Brooks, A.H., 1904, Placer mining in Alaska in 1903: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 225, p. 43-59.

  • Deposit

    Purington, C.W., 1905, Methods and costs of gravel and placer mining in Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 263, 273 p.

  • 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

    Brooks, A.H. and Capps, S.R., 1924, Mineral industry in Alaska, 1922: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 755, p. 1-56.

  • Deposit

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

  • Deposit

    Hummel, C.L., 1962, Preliminary geologic map of the Nome C-1 quadrangle, Seward Peninsula, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-247, 1 sheet, scale 1:63,360.

  • Deposit

    Sainsbury, C.L., Hummel, C.L., and Hudson, Travis, 1972, Reconnaissance geologic map of the Nome quadrangle, Seward Peninsula, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 72-326, 28 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000.

  • 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., 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

    Till, A.B., and Dumoulin, J.A, 1994, Geology of Seward Peninsula and St. Lawrence Island, in Plafker, G., and Berg, H.C., eds., The Geology of Alaska: Geological Society of America, The Geology of North America, DNAG, v. G-1, p. 141-152.

  • 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

    Coats, R.R., 1944, Lode scheelite occurrences of the Nome area: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 17, 6 p.

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 10-JUL-00 Hawley, C.C. and Hudson, Travis L. Hawley Resource Group