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Klery Creek Mine, Kiana District, Northwest Arctic Borough, Alaska, USA

Latitude: 67°10'48"N
Longitude: 160°23'23"W
Klery Creek has a large drainage area and a confined stream bed which causes water to rise rapidly during heavy rains. This causes severe wash-out problems for placer mine operations.
Location: This location includes placer ground on Klery Creek extending from the confluence of Bear Creek upstream to the confluence of Gold Run Creek downstream, a distance of approximately 13 miles. The description of Klery Creek includes Joe Gulch, a small left-limit tributary about 2 miles long, and Caribou Creek, a small right-limit tributary about 3 miles long just north of Jack Creek. Coordinates are for the mining camp of Klery Creek in section 34, T. 21 N., R. 8 W., of the Kateel River Meridian. Cobb (1972, MF-386), location 6 and Schmidt and Allegro (1988), location 281.
Geology: Rocks in the area of Klery Creek include quartz-mica schist, mafic greenschist, calcareous schist, chloritic quartz schist, phyllite, graphitic schist and limestone of lower to mid-Paleozoic age. The limestone is bluish-white, thick bedded, fractured, and folded. The rocks are cut by steeply-dipping to vertical, milky quartz veins ranging from an inch to 30 feet wide. The bedrock in most of Klery Creek is schist. In the area of Klery Creek camp and downstream for perhaps 1/2 mile bedrock is a massive, much fractured, steeply-dipping limestone which transversely intersects the creek (Smith, 1913). The gold placer deposits along Klery Creek are both in stream channel and bench deposits. Some of the richer deposits may have resulted from the reworking and reconcentrating of gold eroded from a paleo-channel. Smith (1911) reported two types of gold. One is coarse, angular, dark in color and often attached to or enclosed by quartz or black, graphitic schist . This type of gold occurs in a few locations along the streambed and in bench deposits. It is thought to be derived from the paleo-channel. Gold forms filaments in the black schist country rock, indicating that some of the placer gold was derived from this unit (Smith, 1913). The other type of gold is very fine and brightly colored. It is the more common gold found on the creek. An 8.5-ounce nugget of this type was found during the 1915 mining season (Brooks, 1916). Pay gravels from 12 to 18 inches thick overlie schist bedrock. The pay gravels are overlain by 4 to 5 feet of overburden. During mining, the upper 1 to 2 feet of bedrock is taken up and processed. Depth to pay in the bench deposits varies from 6 to 20 feet. At the mouth of Klery Creek about 500 feet southeast of the mouth of Bear Creek, a shaft was sunk to a depth of 135 feet in frozen ground without hitting bedrock (Reed, 1932). The ground on Klery Creek was said to run $1.10 per cubic yard in 1933 (gold at $20.67/ounce). This was a combination of both coarse and fine gold from a depth of 14 to 30 feet (Reed, 1932). Fineness of the coarse gold from Klery Creek was determined as 888.5 or a value of $18.50 per ounce. The fine gold, although not assayed, has a higher gold tenor and was worth $18.37 per ounce (Smith, 1913). Concentrates contained much magnetite, some ilmenite, pyrite, limonite and very little garnet (Cobb and others, 1981). Three pan concentrate samples collected from the central portion of Klery Creek in 1978 contained tungsten values ranging from 10 to 18 ppm (Degenhart and others, 1978).
Workings: Gold was first discovered on Klery Creek in 1909. Placer deposits were worked more or less continuously up to World War II. Mining operations resumed in the late 1940's when the ground was worked with a 3-cubic-yard dredge. The dredge worked for 6 years and was abandoned on the creek. In the late 1980's a small mine was in operation just upstream from the mining camp on Klery Creek for several years.
Age: Quaternary.
Alteration: Limonite thought to be oxidized from pyrite.
Production: Production from Klery Creek through 1931 estimated at 31,300 ounces (Schmidt and Allegro, 1988).

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


Anderson, Eskil, 1947, Mineral occurrences other than gold deposits in northwestern Alaska: Alaska Territorial Division of Mines Pamphlet 5-R, 48 p. Brooks, A.H., 1912, The mining industry in 1911: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 520, p. 17-44. Brooks, A.H., 1914, The mining industry in 1913: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 592, p. 45-74. Brooks, A.H., 1915, The mining industry in 1914: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 622, p. 15-78. Brooks, A.H., 1916, The mining industry in 1915: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 642, p. 16-71. Brooks, A.H., 1922, The mining industry in 1920: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 722, p. 7-69. Brooks, A.H., 1923, The mining industry in 1921: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 739, p. 1-44. Brooks, A.H., 1925, Alaska's mineral resources and production, 1923: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 773, p. 3-52. Brooks, A.H. and Capps, S.R., 1924, The mining industry in 1922: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 755, p. 3-49. Brooks, A.H. and Martin, G.C., 1921, The mining industry in 1919: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 714, p. 59-95. Cobb, E.H., 1972, Metallic mineral resources map of the Baird Mountains quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-386, 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., 1975, Summary of references to mineral occurrences (other than mineral fuels and construction materials) in northern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 75-628, 106 p. Cobb, E.H., Mayfield, C.F., and Brosge, W.P., 1981, Summaries of data on and lists of references to metallic and selected nonmetallic mineral occurrences in eleven quadrangles in northern Alaska, Part A: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 81-767A, 38 p. Degenhart, C.E., Griffis, R.J., McQuat, J.F., and Bigelow, C.G., 1978, Mineral studies of the western Brooks Range performed under contract to the U.S. Bureau of Mines, Contract #JO155089: U. S. Bureau of Mines Open-File Report 103-78, 529 p., 11 sheets. Grybeck, D., 1977, Known mineral deposits of the Brooks Range, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 77-166C, 45 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:1,000,000. Martin, G.C., 1919, The Alaskan mining industry in 1917: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 692, p. 11-42. Moffit, F.H., 1927, The mining industry of Alaska in 1925: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 792, p. 1-39. Reed, I.M., 1932, Report of the placer deposits of the Squirrel River gold field: Alaska Territorial Department of Mines, Miscellaneous Report 27-1, 15 p. Schmidt, J.M., and Allegro, G.L., 1988, Map showing mineral occurrences and indicators in the Baird Mountains quadrangle, northwestern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-1992, 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000. Smith, P.S., 1911, The Squirrel River placers: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 480, 306-319 p. Smith, P.S., 1913, The Noatak-Kobuk region, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 536, 160 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., 1932, Mineral Industry of Alaska in 1929: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 824, p. 1-81. Smith, P.S., 1933, Mineral Industry of Alaska in 1930: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 836, p. 1-83. 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, 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. Stevens, D.L., 1986, Report on a brief reconnaissance of the Klery Creek area, Baird Mountains quadrangle, Alaska: Stevens Exploration Management Company, Anchorage, Alaska, unpublished industry report, 8 p. (held by NANA Regional Corporation, Anchorage, Alaska).

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