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Lower White Creek Mines, Valdez Creek District, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Alaska, USA

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Location: This site represents an area of gold placer mines on lower White Creek. The map site is at the junction of White and Rusty creeks, at the west-central edge of sec. 11, T. 20 S., R. 2 E., of the Fairbanks Meridian. With its tributaries, Rusty, Little Rusty, and Big Rusty creeks, White Creek has a total drainage basin of more than ten square miles.
Geology: White Creek drains the west slope of Gold Hill, which probably is the source of much of the placer gold. The productive part of White Creek is its lower end, which consists of a prograde delta containing a large volume of low-grade auriferous gravels. Intercalated with the gold-bearing fluvial gravels are several extensive fine-grained, black, delicately cross-bedded, barren lake sediment deposits up to twenty feet thick. The best paystreaks appear to be high-energy channels cut through the low-grade gravels and lake sediments. These channels contain boulders up to four feet in diameter but are not incised into bedrock to any appreciable extent. The lower end of these channels appears to spread out over older gravels to form blanket deposits that contain elevated gold values. These gold-bearing gravels merge with lower grade Valdez Creek gravels at the lower end of White Creek. The White Creek gravels probably were the source for most of the gold reconcentrated in the Valdez Creek channel deposits farther downstream (D.L. Stevens, personal observations). Other auriferous ground is on the lower slopes of Gold Hill just above White Creek. Systematic ground sluicing downslope from a water ditch revealed auriferous gravels and rock derived from up slope. The lode source of this gold has not been found.
Workings: Lower White Creek was first drilled in 1987, and has been mined each summer commencing about 1990. The lower slope of Gold Hill was mined during the 1930's, and there has been small-scale mining more recently.
Age: Stratigraphic relations suggest that the pay streak on White Creek is younger than the paleochannels on lower Valdez Creek.
Reserves: Confidential data.

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

Mineral List

11 entries listed. 11 valid minerals.

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Brooks, A.H., 1908, The mining industry in 1907: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 345-A, p. 30-53. Mendenhall, W.C., 1905, Geology of the central Copper River region, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 41, 133 p. Moffit, F.H., 1909, Mining in the Kotsina-Chitina, Chistochina, and Valdez Creek regions: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 379-D, p. 153-160. Moffit, F.H., 1912, Headwater regions of Gulkana and Susitna Rivers, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 498, 82 p. Moffit, F.H., 1914, Preliminary report on the Broad Pass region: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 592-H, p. 301-305. Reger, R.D., and Bundtzen, T.K., 1994, Multiple glaciation and gold-placer formation, Valdez Creek Valley, western Clearwater Mountains, Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Professional Report 107, 30 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:63,360. Ross, C.P., 1933, The Valdez Creek mining district, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 849-E, p. 289-333. Smith, T.E., 1971, Geology, economic geochemistry, and placer gold resources of the western Clearwater Mountains, east-central Alaska: Reno, University of Nevada, Ph.D. dissertation, 440 p. Smith, T.E., 1981, Geology of the Clearwater Mountains, southcentral Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Geologic Report 60, 72 p., 3 sheets, scale 1:63,360. Tuck, Ralph, 1938, The Valdez Creek mining district, Alaska, in 1936: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 897-B, p. 109-131. Wiltse, M.A., 1988, Preliminary litho-geochemistry of Gold Hill and Lucky Hill, Valdez Creek mining district, Healy A-1 quadrangle, southcentral Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Public-Data File 88-41, 9 p., 1 sheet, scale 1:12,000. Wiltse, M.A., and Reger, R.D., 1989, Geologic map of Gold Hill and Lucky Hill, Valdez Creek mining district, Healy A-1 quadrangle, Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Public-Data File 89-5, scale 1:12,000, 1 sheet.

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