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Independence Creek Mine, Circle District, Yukon-Koyukuk Borough, Alaska, USA

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See also Mammoth Creek, ARDF no. CI036, Mastodon Creek, ARDF no. CI037 and Miller Creek, ARDF no. CI039.
Location: Independence Creek was mined from just above Harrison Fork to the confluence with Mastodon Creek. The placered areas extend from about 3,000 ft to 6,000 ft upstream of, to about 7,500 ft downstream of, the intersection of the coordinates. Independence Creek is a major fork of Mammoth Creek.
Geology: Independence Creek is about 6.5 km long. Below the junction of Independence and Mastodon Creeks, the drainage is known as Mastodon Creek. Bedrock in the Independence Creek drainage is the Lower Schist unit described by Wiltse and others (1995) as a slightly calcareous quartz-muscovite schist and porphyroblastic albite-quartz-chlorite-muscovite schist. The bedrock is cut by numerous quartz veins. Pay gravel was as much as 425 ft wide but generally no more than 325 ft wide. Gravels are 4 ot 5 ft thick and overlain by 0 to 10 ft of muck. The gold is fine-grained and lies mainly within 3 ft of the gravel-bedrock contact. In one part of the creek, weighted mean fineness (eight assays) was 787 Au and 201 Ag. In another part it was 810 Au and 175 Ag (five assays representing 1500 oz of gold) (Mertie, 1938, p. 219-222). Gold fineness increases progressively downstream. The source of gold, according to miners, is localized in the area around Mastodon Dome. Heavy mineral concentrates contain wolframite, xenotime, zircon, garnet, and hematite (Nelson and others, 1954). Drift mining occurred in the early days. A dredge operated near the mouth of Independence Creek for a short time in the 1920's (Mertie, 1938). Most mining was by hydraulic methods. This early mining yielded values of 0.05 to 0.4 ounces per cubic yard (Mertie, 1938). Much of the gravel has been washed at least three times during multiple mining operations spanning 90 years. Recent mining has focused on the margins of the creek under old mine tailings (Yeend, 1991, p. 23).
Workings: Drift mining occurred in the early days. A dredge operated near the mouth of Independence Creek for a short time in the 1920's (Mertie, 1938). Most mining was by hydraulic methods. Much of the gravel has been washed at least three times during multiple mining operations spanning 90 years. Recent mining has focused on the margins of the creek under old mine tailings (Yeend, 1991, p. 23).
Production: Early mining yielded values of 0.05 to 0.4 ounces per cubic yard (Mertie, 1938).

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

Mineral List



6 entries listed. 5 valid minerals.

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References

Brooks, A.H., 1907, The Alaskan mining industry in 1906: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 314-A, p. 19-39. Brooks, A.H., 1915, Mineral resources of Alaska; report on progress of investigations in 1914: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 622, 380 p. Brooks, A.H., 1919, Alaska's mineral supplies: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 666-P, p 89-102. 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. 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. Martin, G.C., 1919, Alaska Mining Industry in 1917: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 692-A, p. 11-42. 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. 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., 1913, A geologic reconnaissance of the Circle quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 538, 82 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. 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.

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