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Deadwood Creek; Forty Three Pup; Twenty Five Pup; Sixteen Pup; Fifteen Pup; Nine Pup; Discovery Gulch; Tommys Pup; Switch Creek; Twenty Two Pup; Twenty Six Pup Mine, Circle District, Yukon-Koyukuk Borough, Alaska, USA

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The entire length of the Deadwood Creek flood plain has been mined for gold, and the creek has a reputation among miners as being the most 'mined-out' creek in the Circle district (Yeend, 1991, p. 17). See also Switch Creek, ARDF no. CI056.
Location: The location is the confluence of Discovery Gulch and Deadwood Creek about 9 miles southwest of Circle Hot Springs. The placered area extends about 4.5 miles upstream and downstream from this point, and up the following tributaries to Deadwood Creek: Fortythree Pup, Twenty-five Pup, Sixteen Pup, Fifteen Pup, Nine Pup, Discovery Gulch, Tommys Pup, Switch Creek, Twenty-two Pup, and Twenty-six Pup.
Geology: Deadwood Creek flows through a northeast-trending valley for about 16 km where it then enters the Tintina fault trench and flattens into a broad fan. The creek meanders for another 8 km before emptying into Crooked Creek. Almost all of the gold produced to date has come from the portion of Deadwood Creek above the Tintina fault trench. Deadwood Creek drainage lies within the 'Lower Schist' bedrock unit described by Wiltse and others (1995) as 'medium to dark gray and medium greenish-gray, fine to medium grained, commonly slightly calcareous quartz-muscovite schist, and lesser amounts of quartzose porphyroblastic-albite-chlorite schist and chlorite schist.' Numerous quartz veins ranging from less than a centimeter to almost a meter in width are present in the schists. Some quartz veins are folded with the enclosing schist; however, most veins cut across the foliation and are not folded. Disseminated pyrite and galena are locally present in the schist in the upper part of Deadwood Creek valley (Yeend, 1991). Granite outcrops are seen in the lower 6 km of the creek valley, south of the Hot Springs Fault contact. Gravel in Deadwood Creek ranges from 1 to 5 meters in thickness, with as much as 3 meters of muck overburden. Boulders are up to 1 meter in diameter, but more commonly are 0.3 meter in diameter. Several wide benches mantled with gold-bearing gravel occur along the northwest side of the valley. The paystreak was as much as 130 m in width. In areas of quartzite bedrock, gold was found as deep as 1 m in cracks and crevices. Some nuggets weighed as much as 0.5 oz, but in general the gold was flaky and fine, averaging 5 to 6 mg (Mertie, 1938). Large amounts of wolframite and cassiterite (1 to 2 pounds per cubic yard) were present in the heavy-mineral fraction of the concentrates recovered in several mining operations, especially those immediately above the mouth of Switch Creek (Johnson, 1910). Mertie (1938) reported that tin and tungsten mineralization in the bedrock occurred south of the southernmost outcrop of granite. Other heavy minerals detected in concentrates are magnetite, ilmenite, arsenopyrite, pyrite, galena, limonite, garnet, scheelite, and cinnabar. Small amount of uranium were detected in several of these minerals (Eberlein and others, 1977). Burand (1965) reported anomalous amounts of copper, zinc, and lead in sediments. A reconnaissance soil sampling program on a ridge near Discovery Gulch outlined an area of seven samples ranging in value from 30 to 1125 ppb Au and associated elevated arsenic values (La Teko Resources Ltd, news release, January 6, 1998).
Workings: Mining on Deadwood Creek has been nearly continous since the original gold discovery. In the early years, placers were mined by drifting and shallow opencuts. After 1909, hydraulic mining became the primary method. In 1936, there were six individually owned placer mining operations on the creek - two hydraulic plants, two opencut operations, one drift mine and one mechanical excavation operation (Mertie, 1938). A dragline excavator used in 1936-37 cleared 3000 sq ft of bedrock daily. A dredge used in 1937-38 had 60 buckets of 4 cf capacity running at 27 buckets per minute (Mertie, 1938). Recent mines have been operating on the gravel near and just upstream from the Hot Springs fault (Yeend, 1991). In 1996 and 1997, LaTeko Resources Ltd. conducted geological mapping, soil sampling, and trenching with results indicating anomalous gold values. The anomalies appear to be associated with a northwest-trending granitic intrusion. Several samples returned better than 100 parts per billion gold (LaTeko Resources Ltd. Annual Report, 1997).
Production: 110 men working 8 out of the 47 claims produced approximately 5,000 oz of gold during 1896 (Dunham, 1898). Yield of 2 to 3 oz 'to the shovel' were not uncommon (2 to 3 oz of gold could be recovered from the gravel shoveled by a man in a 10-hour day). Total production from 1894 to 1906 was 33,865 fine ounces (Brooks, 1907).

Commodities (Major) - Au; (Minor) - Ag, Hg, Pb, Sn, W
Development Status: Yes; small
Deposit Model: Placer gold deposit (Cox and Singer, 1986; model 39a); Polymetallic mineraliz

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References

Barker, J.C., 1979, A trace element study of the Circle mining district, Alaska: U.S. Bureau of Mines Open-File Report 57-79, 74 p. Berg, H.C., and Cobb, E.H., 1967, Metalliferous lode deposits of Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1246, 254 p. Brooks, A.H., 1904, Placer mining in Alaska in 1903: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 225, p. 43-59. Brooks, A.H., 1907, The Alaskan mining industry in 1906: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 314-A, p. 19-39. Brooks, A.H., 1908, The mining industry in 1907: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 345-A, p. 30-53. Brooks, A.H., 1909, The mining industry in 1908: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 379-A, p. 21-62. Brooks, A.H., 1911, The mining industry in 1910, in Brooks, A.K., and others, Mineral resources of Alaska, report on progress of investigations in 1910: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 480-B p. 21-43. Brooks, A. H., 1916, The Alaskan mining industry in 1915: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 642, p. 16-71. Brooks, A.H., 1918, Mineral resources of Alaska, 1916: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 662, 469 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. Chapin, Theodore, 1914, Placer mining in the Yukon-Tanana region: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 592-J, p. 357-362. 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. Cushing, G.W., and Foster, H.L., 1984, Structural observations in the Circle quadrangle, Yukon-Tanana Upland, Alaska, in Coonrad, W. L., and Elliott, R.L., eds., The United States Geological Survey in Alaska--Accomplishments during 1981: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 868, p. 64-65. Eakins, G.R., Bundtzen, T.K., Lueck, L.L. Green, C.B., Gallagher, J.L., and Robinson, M.S., 1985, Alaska mineral industry, 1984: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Special Report 38, 57 p. Ellsworth, C.E., 1910, Placer mining in the Yukon-Tanana region: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 442-F, p. 230-245. Ellsworth, C.E., 1912, Placer mining in the Fairbanks and Circle Disctricts: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 520-H, p. 240-245. Ellsworth, C.E., and Davenport, R.W., 1913, Placer mining in the Yukon-Tanana region: 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. 173-217. Hess, F.L., 1912, Tin resources of Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 520-B, p. 89-92. Joesting, H.R., 1942, Strategic mineral occurences in interior Alaska: Alaska Territorial Department of Mines Pamphlet 1, 46 p. Johnson, B.L., 1910, Occurrence of wolframite and cassiterite in the gold placers of Deadwood Creek, Birch Creek district: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 442-F, p. 246-250. Malone, Kevin, 1965, Mercury in Alaska, in Mercury potential of the United States: U.S. Bureau of Mines Information Circular 8252, p. 31-59. Martin, G.C., 1919, Alaska Mining Industry in 1917: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 692-A, p. 11-42. Mertie, J.B., Jr., 1932, Mining in the Circle district: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 824-D, p. 155-172. 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 Matsko, J.J., (1952) 1954, Reconnaissance for radioactive deposits in eastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 348, 21 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., 1906, The Yukon-Tanana region, Alaska; Description of Circle quadrangle: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 295, 27 p. Prindle, L.M., 1913, A geologic reconnaissance of the Circle quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 538, 82 p. Purington, C.W., 1905, Methods and costs of gravel and placer mining in Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 263, 273 p. Orris, G.J., and Bliss, J.D., 1985, Geologic and grade-volume data on 330 gold placer deposits: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 85-0213, 173 p. Smith, P.S., 1930, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1927: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 810-A, p. 1-64. Smith, P.S., 1932, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1929, in Smith, P.S., and others Mineral resources of Alaska, report on progress of investigations in 1929: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 824-A, p. 1-81. Smith, P.S., 1933, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1930: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 836-A, p. 1-83. Smith, P.S., 1933, Mineral industry of Alaska in 1931: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 844-A, p. 1-81. 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. 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 by H.B. Goodrich: U.S. Geological Survey 18th Annual Report, Part 3, p. 87-392. Wedow, Helmuth, Jr., White, M.G., and Moxham, R.M., 1952, Interim report on an appraisal of the uranium possibilities of Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 52-165, 124 p. Wedow, Helmuth, Jr., 1953, Preliminary summary of reconnaissance for uranium and thorium in Alaska, 1952: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 248, 15 p. Wedow, Helmuth, Jr., and White, M.G., 1954, Reconnaissance for radioactive deposits in east-central Alaska, 1949: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 335, 22 p. Wiltse, M.A., Reger, R.D., Newberry, R.J, Pessel, G.H., Pinney, D.S., Robinson, M.S., and Solie, D.N., 1995, Bedrock geologic map of the Circle mining district, Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Report of Investigations 95-2B, 1 sheet, scale 1:63,360. Yeend, W.E., 1991, Gold placers of the Circle district, Alaska--Past, present, and future: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1943, 42 p.

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