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Faith Creek; Deep Creek Mine, Circle District, Fairbanks North Star Borough, Alaska, USA

Latitude: 65°22'4"N
Longitude: 146°16'44"W
Location: The location is the confluence of Deep Creek and Faith Creek. Deep Creek is a tributary to Faith Creek. Most mining was near the mouth of Deep Creek, along the lower part of Deep Creek, and near the mouth of Faith Creek. Faith Creek is approximately 75 road miles northeast of Fairbanks, accessible via the Steese Highway.
Geology: The following is a summary extracted from a report by Freeman and Adams (1988): The Faith Creek area is situated within a northeast-trending belt of polymetamorphic rocks of probable Proterozoic to early Paleozoic age. The belt is characterized by regional-scale open folds which trend plus or minus 20 degree from east-west. These regional structures often postdate earlier north-south trending structures. Within the Fairbanks and Circle mining districts, a distinctive metamorphic package of sedimentary and bimodal volcanic rocks can be correlated with most placer gold-producing creeks as well as known lode occurrences. This belt of rocks, known as the Cleary Sequence is present in several outcrops in the Faith Creek area and forms the bedrock for most of the claims on the property. These rocks have undergone regional metamorphism to the lower and middle greenschist facies. On the Faith Creek property the Cleary Sequence is exposed in a northeast-trending antiform whose axis trends through the property from the left limit of Deep Creek through the uplands to the south of Homestake Creek. In this area, the Cleary Sequence is characterized by a lower member consisting of massive gray quartzite with interbedded calcareous graphitic pelitic schist. This member is over 450 feet thick in the Faith Creek area. The base of the middle member of the Cleary Sequence on Faith Creek is marked by a 50 foot thick sequence of black fissile calcareous graphitic schist overlain by nearly 200 feet of quartz-eye lapilli tuff of volcaniclastic origin. The remainder of the measured section on Faith Creek (250 feet) is predominantly gray quartzite and interbedded calcareous graphitic schist. Detailed petrographic studies of the Cleary Sequence in the Fairbanks and Circle districts indicate that lithologic units which have been mapped as 'quartzite' commonly contain a significant volcaniclastic component. Sulfide content of the Cleary Sequence is highest in the calcareous graphitic quartzites of the lower member. Sulfide mineralogy is predominantly pyrite and arsenopyrite with lesser galena, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, stibnite, jamesonite, boulangerite and possible tetrahedrite. There is very little specific information on the placer mining on Faith Creek other than placer gold mining reported as early as 1937 (Smith, 1939, p. 48). Deep Creek, the right limit tributary to Faith Creek, was reported to have a small placer mine as early as 1946 (Wedow and others, 1954, p. 8). There is no information on production during these early years of mining but production was likely small judging from the workings (Wedow and others, 1954, p. 8). Continuous operations occurred from 1964 through 1988 on Faith, Hope, Deep, Charity and Homestake Creeks. In 1986 and 1987 the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys conducted a mapping and mineral evaluation study which covered the Faith Creek area north of Deep Creek. Results indicated the possible presence of a bedrock source for the placer deposits in the Faith Creek drainage (Smith, 1987). In 1993, A-J Mining spent part of the summer mapping and sampling on Faith Creek (Bundtzen and others, 1993). Sam Koppenberg reported production on Faith Creek in 1994 (Swainbank and others, 1994). KMM Mining successfully mined Faith Creek from 1986 to 1996 (Swainbank and others, 1996).
Workings: Placer gold mining was reported as early as 1937 (Smith, 1939, p. 48). Little information is available concerning mining activities in the Faith Creek area between 1945 and 1964. A small placer operation on Deep Creek in 1946 was reported by Wedow (1954, p. 8). Continuous operations occurred from 1964 through 1988 on Faith, Hope, Deep, Charity and Homestake Creeks. In 1986 and 1987 the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys conducted a mapping and mineral evaluation study which covered the Faith Creek area north of Deep Creek. Results indicated the possible presence of a bedrock source for the placer deposits in the Faith Creek drainage (Smith, 1987). In 1993, A-J Mining spent part of the summer mapping and sampling on Faith Creek (Bundtzen and others, 1993). Sam Koppenberg reported production on Faith Creek in 1994 (Swainbank and others, 1994). KMM Mining successfully mined Faith Creek from 1986 to 1996 (Swainbank and others, 1996).
Production: There is very little specific information on the placer mining on Faith Creek other than placer gold mining reported as early as 1937 (Smith, 1939, p. 48). Deep Creek, the right limit tributary to Faith Creek, was reported to have a small placer mine as early as 1946 (Wedow and others, 1954, p. 8). There is no information on production during these early years of mining but production was likely small judging from the workings (Wedow and others, 1954, p. 8). Continuous operations occurred from 1964 through 1988 on Faith, Hope, Deep, Charity and Homestake Creeks. In 1988, placer mining on Faith Creek below the mouth of Hope Creek recovered approximately 476 fine troy ounces. Bullion fineness averaged 879 with a range of 851 to 927. Approximately 150 troy ounces of bullion in nugget form were retained by the owners as jewelry grade gold (Freeman and Adams, 1988). Unknown quantities were producted by KMM Mining from 1986 to 1996, and by Sam Koppenberg in 1994.

Commodities (Major) - Au
Development Status: Yes; medium
Deposit Model: Placer gold deposit (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a)

References

Brooks, A.H., 1907, The Alaskan mining industry in 1906: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 314-A, p. 19-39. Bundtzen, T.K., Eakins, G.R., Green, C.B., and Lueck, L.L., 1986, Alaska's mineral industry, 1985: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Special Report 39, 68 p. Bundtzen, T. K., Swainbank, R. C., Clough A.H., Hansen E.W., Nelson, M. G., and Henning, M. W., 1993, Alaska's mineral industry 1993: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Special Report 48, 84 p. Burand, W.M., 1965, A geochemical investigation between Chatanika and Circle hot springs, Alaska: Alaska Division of Mines and Minerals Geochemical Report 5, 11 p. Cobb, E.H., 1972, Metallic mineral resources map of the Circle quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-391, 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000. Cobb, E.H., 1973, Placer deposits of Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1374, 213 p. Cobb, E.H., 1976, Summary of references to mineral occurrences (other than mineral fuels and construction materials) in the Circle quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 76-633, 72 p. Freeman, C.J., and Adams, D.D., 1988, Lode and placer gold potential of the Faith Creek prospect, Circle mining district, Alaska: Fairbanks Exploration Inc., FC 88-1, 21 p. Menzie, W.D., Foster, H.L., Tripp, R.B., and Yeend, W.E., 1983, Mineral resource assessment of the Circle quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 83-170-B, 61 p., 1 sheet, 1:250,000. Prindle, L.M., 1908, The Fairbanks and Rampart quadrangles, Yukon-Tanana region, Alaska, with a section on the Rampart placers, by F.L. Hess, and a paper on the water supply of the Fairbanks region, by C.C. Covert: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 337, 102 p. Prindle, L.M., 1910, Sketch of the geology of the northeastern part of the Fairbanks quadrangle: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 442-F, p. 203-209. Prindle, L.M., and Katz, F.J., 1913, Detailed description of the Fairbanks district, in Prindle, L.M., A geologic reconnaissance of the Fairbanks quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 525, p. 59-152. Smith, P.S., 1939, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1937: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 910-A, p. 1-113. Smith, P.S., 1939, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1938: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 917-A, p. 1-113. Smith, P.S., 1941, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1939: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 926-A, p. 1-106. Smith, P.S., 1942, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1940: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 933-A, p. 1-102. Smith, T.E., Pessel, G. H., and Wiltse, M.A., 1987, Mineral assessment of the Lime Peak-Mt. Prindle area, Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Miscellaneous Paper 29, 712 p., 13 sheets, scale 1:63,360. Swainbank, R. C., Bundtzen, T. K., Clough A.H., Henning, M. W., and Hansen E.W., 1994, Alaska's mineral industry 1994: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Special Report 49, 77 p. Swainbank, R. C., Bundtzen, T. K., Clough A.H., and Henning, M. W., 1996, Alaska's mineral industry 1996: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Special Report 51, 68 p. Wedow, Helmuth, Jr., Killeen, P. L., and others, 1954, Reconnaissance for radioactive deposits in eastern interior Alaska, 1946: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 331, 36 p.

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Gold


1 entry listed. 1 valid mineral.

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