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Jack Wade Creek; Wade Creek Mine, Fortymile District, Southeast Fairbanks Borough, Alaska, USA

Latitude: 64°9'9"N
Longitude: 141°27'28"W
Location: Jack Wade Creek, also known as Wade Creek, is a north tributary of the Walker Fork of the Fortymile River. Extensive placer tailings on Jack Wade Creek are shown on U.S. Geological Survey 1:63,360-scale topographic maps of the Eagle A-1 (1956) and A-2 (1956; revised in 1971) quadrangles. Placer tailings on Jack Wade Creek start near the mouth of Gilliland Creek (see EA141) and extend downstream for approximately 5 miles. The tailings end near the mouth of Ophelia Creek. The mine coordinates are at the village of Jack Wade along the Taylor Highway, near the approximate center of the tailings, in section 3, T. 27 N., R. 20 E., of the Copper River Meridian. The location is accurate. Jack Wade Creek is locality 99 of Burleigh and Lear (1994), locality 62 of Eberlein and others (1977), and locality 59 of Cobb (1972 [MF-393]).
Geology: Bedrock in Jack Wade Creek consists of Paleozoic amphibolite-facies metamorphic rocks that have been intruded by Jurassic plutons and dikes (Werdon and others, 2001; Szumigala and others, 2002). Quaternary terrace-gravel deposits are common on benches along the lower part of Jack Wade Creek, and deposits of alluvium and colluvium are more common in the upper parts of the creek. Placer gold on Jack Wade Creek characteristically occurs as small flat pieces; there is little flour gold (Mertie, 1938). Most of the gold is bright and fairly well worn, but near the head of the creek and at the mouths of gulches, the gold is commonly iron stained and only slightly worn. Gold attached to quartz is common, and some large pieces of quartz filled with gold have been recovered. Jack Wade Creek is also known for the occurrence of large gold nuggets; nuggets of 25, 33, 56, and 70 ounces have been found (Yeend, 1996). The fineness of placer gold mined from 1926 to 1935 ranges from 807.5 to 842.5 parts of gold per thousand and from 131 to 189 parts of silver per thousand (Mertie, 1938). The average fineness in the upper valley of Jack Wade Creek is 830 parts of gold per thousand and 165 parts of silver per thousand, but the fineness for the entire creek is varied (Mertie, 1938). Smith (1941 [B 910-C]) reported assays of 23 gold samples from Jack Wade Creek and the samples ranged from 807.5 to 865 parts of gold per thousand, with an average of 834 parts of gold per thousand. Smith (1941 [B 910-C]) observed no systematic change in the gold fineness down the creek. Placer concentrates contain as much as 50 percent barite; magnetite, ilmenite, hematite, and garnet are common. Minor cinnabar, pyrite, and cassiterite (both crystalline and wood tin varieties) are also present (Mertie, 1938). Rounded barite pebbles, black shiny rounded grains of hematite, and scheelite grains are sometimes found associated with gold in the heavy fraction (Yeend, 1996). Placers on Jack Wade Creek were first discovered in 1895 by Jack Anderson and Wade Nelson (Mertie, 1938). Gold has been mined on Jack Wade Creek almost continuously since its discovery (Yeend, 1996). In the early (pre-1910) history of the creek, mining was by drifting, hydraulicking, sluiceboxes, and open cuts. Large-scale open-cut mining has been used largely in the upper part of the Jack Wade Creek valley. Prindle (1905) reported that by 1904 much of the ground in the creek had been worked out and only about 50 men were mining on the creek. Production from 1904 through 1907 totaled about 16,230 ounces (Eberlein and others, 1977). A hydraulic plant was in operation on the creek in 1928 (Mertie, 1930 [B 813]), and during the 1936 season, one hydraulic plant and several small shoveling-in operations were present. In the winter of 1935-1936, the Russel King dredge was purchased by the North American Mining Company and moved to Jack Wade Creek from just above Franklin Creek on the South Fork of the Fortymile River (Mertie, 1938). The dredge began operating in 1936, and it operated until 1941. Gold was recovered at the rate of 70 to 100 ounces per day (Naske, 1977). Following the war, the Wade Creek Dredging Company continued to mine on Jack Wade Creek using bulldozers and sluice boxes. Between 1946 and 1947, the company recovered slightly more than 5,000 ounces of gold (Naske, 1977). The Wade Creek Dredging Company ceased mining operations at the end of the 1951 season. Small-scale mining operations using bulldozers have operated almost continuously on Jack Wade Creek from 1951 to 1990. From 1990 to 1993, small suction dredges occasionally mined in the creek (Eakins and others, 1985; Bundtzen and others, 1987; Swainbank and others, 1993). Jack Wade Creek has several placer gold-bearing tributaries, including Gilliland Creek (EA141), Robinson Creek (EA142), and Jefferson Creek (EA145).
Workings: Gold has been mined on Jack Wade Creek almost continuously since its discovery in 1895 (Yeend, 1996). In the early (pre-1910) history of the creek, mining was by drifting, hydraulicking, sluiceboxes, and open cuts. Large-scale open-cut mining has been used largely in the upper part of the Jack Wade Creek valley. Prindle (1905) reported that by 1904 much of the ground in the creek had been worked out and only about 50 men were mining on the creek. A hydraulic plant was in operation on the creek in 1928 (Mertie, 1930 [B 813-C]), and during the 1936 season, one hydraulic plant and several small shoveling-in operations were present. In the winter of 1935-1936, the Russel King dredge was purchased by the North American Mining Company and moved to Jack Wade Creek from just above Franklin Creek on the South Fork of the Fortymile River (Mertie, 1938). The dredge began operating in 1936, and it operated until 1941. Gold was recovered at the rate of 70 to 100 ounces per day (Naske, 1977). Following the war, the Wade Creek Dredging Company continued to mine on Jack Wade Creek using bulldozers and sluice boxes. Between 1946 and 1947, the company recovered slightly more than 5,000 ounces of gold (Naske, 1977). The Wade Creek Dredging Company ceased mining operations at the end of the 1951 season. Small-scale mining operations using bulldozers have operated almost continuously on Jack Wade Creek from 1951 to 1990. From 1990 to 1993, small suction dredges occasionally mined in the creek (Eakins and others, 1985; Bundtzen and others, 1987; Swainbank and others, 1993). Jack Wade Creek has several placer gold-bearing tributaries, including Gilliland Creek (EA141), Robinson Creek (EA142), and Jefferson Creek (EA145).
Age: Quaternary.
Production: Production from 1904 through 1907 on Jack Wade Creek totaled about 16,230 ounces (Eberlein and others, 1977). Between 1946 and 1947 the Wade Creek Dredging Company recovered slightly more than 5,000 ounces of gold (Naske, 1977).
Reserves: Yeend (1996) considers the unmined gold resource in Wade Creek to be small because there are only small pockets of unmined gravel on the valley margins.

Commodities (Major) - Au; (Minor) - Hg, Sn, W
Development Status: Yes; small
Deposit Model: Placer Au (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a).

Mineral List

Cassiterite
Cinnabar
Gold


3 entries listed. 3 valid minerals.

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References

Brooks, A.H., 1900, A reconnaissance from Pyramid Harbor to Eagle City, Alaska, including a description of the copper deposits of the upper White and Tanana Rivers: U.S. Geological Survey Twenty-first Annual Report, p. 331-391, plate 2. Brooks, A.H., 1904, Placer mining in Alaska in 1903: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 225, p. 43-59. Brooks, A.H., 1905, Placer mining in Alaska in 1904: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 259, p. 18-31. Brooks, A.H., 1906, The mining industry in 1905: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 284, p. 4-9. Brooks, A.H., 1907, The mining industry in 1906: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 314, p. 19-39. Brooks, A.H., 1908, Report on progress of investigations of mineral resources of Alaska in 1907: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 345, p. 187-197. Brooks, A.H., 1909, The Alaskan mining industry in 1908: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 379-A, p. 21-62. Brooks, A.H., 1915, The Alaskan mining industry in 1914: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 622-A, p. 15-68. Brooks, A.H., 1916, The Alaskan mining industry in 1915: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 642-A, p. 16-71. Brooks, A.H., 1922, The Alaskan mining industry in 1920: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 722-A, p. 7-67. Brooks, A.H., and Capps, S.R., 1924, The Alaskan mining industry in 1922: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 755, p. 5-49. Brooks, A.H., and Martin, G.C., 1921, The Alaskan mining industry in 1919: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 714, p. 59-95. Bundtzen, T.K., Green, C.B., Deagan, J., and Daniels, C.L., 1987, Alaska's mineral industry, 1986: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Special Report 40, 68 p. Burleigh, R.E., and Lear, K.G., 1994, Compilation of data for phase 1 of the mineral resource evaluation of the Bureau of Land Management Black River and Fortymile River subunits: U.S. Bureau of Mines Open-File Report 48-94, 116 p. Chapin, T., 1914, Placer mining in the Yukon-Tanana region: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 592, p. 357-362. Cobb, E.H., 1972, Metallic mineral resources map of the Eagle quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-393, 1:250,000 scale, 1 sheet. Cobb, E.H., 1977, Summary of references to mineral occurrences in the Eagle quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 77-845, 122 p. Eakins, G.R., Bundtzen, T.K., Lueck, L.L., Green, C.B., Gallagher, J.L., and Robinson, M.S., 1985, Alaska's mineral industry, 1984: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Special Report 38, 57 p. Eberlein, G.D., Chapman, R.M., Foster, H.L., and Gassaway, J.S., 1977, Map and table describing known metalliferous and selected nonmetalliferous mineral deposits in central Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 77-168-D, 132 p., 1 map sheet, scale 1:1,000,000. Ellsworth, C.E., 1910, Placer mining in the Yukon-Tanana region: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 442-F, p. 230-245. Ellsworth, C.E., and Davenport, R.W., 1913, Placer mining in the Yukon-Tanana region, in Brooks, A.H., ed., Mineral resources of Alaska, report on investigations in 1912: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 542-F, p. 203-222. Ellsworth, C.E., and Parker, G.L., 1911, Placer mining in the Yukon-Tanana region: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 480-F, p. 153-172. Foster, H.L., 1969, Reconnaissance geology of the Eagle A-1 and A-2 quadrangles, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1271-G, p. G1-G30. Foster, H.L., 1976, Geologic map of the Eagle quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Investigations Series, Map 922, 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000. Foster, H.L., and Clark, S.H.B., 1970, Geochemical and geologic reconnaissance of a part of the Fortymile area, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1312-M, p. M1-M29. Foster, H.L., and Keith, T.E.C., 1969, Geology along the Taylor Highway, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1281, 36 p. Joesting, H.R., 1942, Strategic mineral occurrences in interior Alaska: Alaska Department of Mines Pamphlet 1, 46 p. Joesting, H.R., 1943, Strategic mineral occurrences in interior Alaska--Supplement to Pamphlet No. 1: Alaska Department of Mines Pamphlet 2, 28 p. 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. Malone, Kevin, 1965, Mercury in Alaska, in U.S. Bureau of Mines, Mercury Potential of the United States: U.S. Bureau of Mines Information Circular 8252, p. 31-59. Martin, G.C., 1919, The Alaskan mining industry in 1917: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 692-A, p. 11-42. Mertie, J.B., Jr., 1930, Mining in the Fortymile district: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 813-C, p. 125-142. Mertie, J.B., Jr., 1931, A geologic reconnaissance of the Dennison Fork district, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 827, 44 p. 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. Nelson, A.E., West, W.S., and Matzko, J.J., 1954, Reconnaissance for radioactive deposits in eastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 348, 21 p. Pinney, D.S., 2001, Surficial-geologic map of the Eagle A-2 quadrangle, Fortymile mining district, Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Preliminary Interpretive Report 2001-3c, 1 sheet, scale 1:63,360. Porter, E.A., 1912, Placer mining in the Fortymile, Eagle, and Seventymile River districts: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 520-G, p. 211-218. Powers, J.B., 1935, Brief history of the Fortymile and Eagle Mining Districts to 1935: Alaska Territorial Department of Mines Mineral Report MR 60-2, 19 p. Prindle, L.M., 1905, The gold placers of the Fortymile, Birch Creek, and Fairbanks regions, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 251, 89 p. Prindle, L.M., 1906, Yukon placer fields: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 284, p. 109-127. Prindle, L.M., 1908, The Fortymile gold-placer district, in Brooks, A.H., ed., Mineral Resources of Alaska, Report on progress of investigations in 1907: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 345, p. 187-197. Prindle, L.M., 1909, The Fortymile quadrangle, Yukon-Tanana region, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 375, 52 p. Purington, C.W., 1905, Methods and costs of gravel and placer mining in Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 263, 273 p. Roehm, J.C., 1949, Report of investigations and itinerary of J.C. Roehm[, associate mining engineer, Territorial Department of Mines] in the Fortymile Precinct, Alaska: Alaska Territorial Department of Mines Investigation Report IR 60-1, 9 p. Saunders, R.H., 1966, A geochemical investigation along the Taylor Highway, east central Alaska: Alaska Division of Mines and Minerals Geochemical Report 9, 17 p. Smith, P.S., 1926, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1924: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 783, p. 1-30. Smith, P.S., 1929, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1926: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 797, p. 1-50. Smith, P.S., 1930, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1927: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 810, p. 1-64. Smith, P.S., 1930, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1928: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 813, p. 1-72. Smith, P.S., 1933, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1931: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 844-A, p. 1-82. Smith, P.S., 1934, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1932: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 857-A, p. 1-91. Smith, P.S., 1934, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1933: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 864-A, p. 1-94. Smith, P.S., 1936, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1934: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 868-A, p. 1-91. Smith, P.S., 1937, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1935: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 880-A, p. 1-95. Smith, P.S., 1938, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1936: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 897-A, p. 1-107. 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, Fineness of gold from Alaskan placers: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 910-C, p. 142-272. 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. Spurr, J.E., 1898, Geology of the Yukon gold district, Alaska, with an introductory chapter on the history and conditions of the district to 1897: U.S. Geological Survey Eighteenth Annual Report, Part 3, p. 87-392, 3 plates. Swainbank, R.C., Bundtzen, T.K., Clough, A.H., Hansen, E.W., and Nelson, M.G., 1993, Alaska's Mineral Industry 1992: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Special Report 47, 80 p. Szumigala, D.J., Newberry, R.J., Werdon, M.B., Athey, J.E., Flynn, R.L., and Clautice, K.C., 2002, Bedrock geologic map of the Eagle A-1 quadrangle, Fortymile mining district, Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Preliminary Interpretive Report 2002-1b, 1 sheet, scale 1:63,360. Thorne, R.L., Muir, N.M., Erickson, A.W., Thomas, B.I., Heide, H.E., and Wright, W.S., 1948, Tungsten deposits in Alaska: U.S. Bureau of Mines Report of Investigations 4174, 22 p. Werdon, M.B., Newberry, R.J., and Szumigala, D.J., 2001, Bedrock geologic map of the Eagle A-2 quadrangle, Fortymile mining district, Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Preliminary Interpretive Report 2001-3b, 1sheet, scale 1:63,360. Williams, J.A., 1950, Mining operations in the Fortymile district, Fairbanks Recording District: Alaska Territorial Department of Mines Mineral [Miscellaneous] Report MR 60-3, 5 p. Williams, J.A., 1951, Active mining operations in the Fortymile District of the Fairbanks Precinct in 1951: Alaska Territorial Department of Mines, Mineral [Miscellaneous] Report MR 60-3A, 3 p.

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