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Slate Creek Mine, Iditarod District, Yukon-Koyukuk Borough, Alaska, USA

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Location: The Slate Creek Mine is actually composed of two separated placer deposits in the basin of Slate Creek, a tributary of Otter Creek. The eastern placer extends for about 2.2 miles in the main valley of Slate Creek (as labeled on the USGS topographic map). Its center is at an elevation of about 500 feet and it extends through the E1/2 of section 24, T. 27 N., R. 47 W., of the Seward Meridian. The coordinates above are the center of the eastern placer. The other placer is about a half mile to the west. It extends for about 1.2 mile through the SE1/4 of section 23 and the NE1/4 of section 24, T. 27 N., R. 47 W., of the Seward Meridian. The main (east) Slate Creek deposit is locality 35 of Cobb (1972 [MF 363]); also described in Cobb (1976 [OFR 76-576]).
Geology: The Slate Creek Mine consists of two separated, north-trending, paystreaks in the Slate Creek valley, a tributary of Otter Creek. The western paystreak is an ancestral channel of Slate Creek that is perched about 250 feet vertically above the modern stream. The western paystreak is about 1.2 mile long and about 320 feet wide. The eastern paystreak, which follows the modern channel of Slate Creek, is about 2.2 miles long and about 250 feet wide. The eastern paystreak lies wholly on slate and sandstone of the Cretaceous Kuskokwim Group; the western paystreak lies in part on volcanic and plutonic rocks of the Upper Cretaceous, Chicken Mountain volcano-plutonic complex (Bundtzen and Miller, 1997). Placer gold was found in the lower 10 feet of gravel with little gold on or in bedrock (Cobb, 1976 [OFR 76-576]). A panned concentrate sample contained 8.5 ounces of gold per ton, 2.6 ounces of silver per ton, 0.03 percent tungsten, 0.28 percent mercury (Maloney, 1962). From 1915 to 1952, Slate Creek produced 3,483 ounces of gold and 592 ounces of silver (Miller, Bundtzen, and Gray, 2005). Slate Creek has lower grade gold values compared to other placers in the Iditarod district and mining was not always profitable.
Workings: There was open cut placer mining on Slate Creek from 1915 to 1962 (Cobb, 1976 [OFR 76-576]; Bundtzen and others, 1992).
Age: Probably Tertiary and Quaternary by analogy with other placer deposits in Interior Alaska (Hopkins and others, 1971).
Production: From 1915 to 1952, Slate Creek produced 3,483 ounces of gold and 592 ounces of silver (Miller, Bundtzen, and Gray, 2005). Peter Miscovich mined here from 1924 to 1931 with an operation that featured a hydraulic lift. Gus Uotila and John Ogriz initiated bulldozer mining of the paystreak in 1932 and continued intermittently until 1952. 1921 and continued until about 1925. Slate Creek has lower grade gold values compared to other placers in the Iditarod district and mining was not always profitable.

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

Mineral List

3 entries listed. 3 valid minerals.

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Bundtzen, T.K., and Miller, M.L., 1997, Precious metals associated with Late Cretaceous-early Tertiary igneous rocks of southwestern Alaska, in Goldfarb, R.J., and Miller, L.D., eds., Mineral Deposits of Alaska: Economic Geology Monograph 9, p. 242-286. Bundtzen, T.K., Cox, B.C., and Veach, N.C., 1987, Heavy mineral provenance studies in the Iditarod and Innoko districts, western Alaska: Process Mineralogy VII, The Metallurgical Society, p. 221-246. Bundtzen, T.K., Miller, M.L., Laird, G.M., and Bull, K.F., 1992, Geology and mineral resources of Iditarod mining district, Iditarod B-4 and eastern B-5 quadrangles, southwestern Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys Professional Report 97, 46 p., 2 sheets, scale 1:63,360. Cobb, E.H., 1972, Metallic mineral resources map of the Iditarod quadrangle, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-363, 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000. Cobb, E.H., 1976, Summary of references to mineral occurrences (other than mineral fuels and construction material) in the Iditarod and Ophir quadrangles, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 76-576, 101 p. Maloney, R.P., 1962, Investigation of mercury-antimony deposits near Flat, Yukon River region, Alaska: U.S. Bureau of Mines Report of Investigations RI 5991, 44 p. Miller, M.L., and Bundtzen, T.K., 1994, Generalized geologic map of the Iditarod quadrangle, Alaska showing potassium-argon, major oxide, trace element, fossil, paleocurrent, and archeological sample localities: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-2219-A, 48 pages; 1 sheet, scale 1:250,000. Miller, M.L., Bundtzen, T.K., and Gray, J.E., 2005, Mineral resource assessment of the Iditarod quadrangle, west-central Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Field Studies Map MF-2219-B, scale 1:250,000, pamphlet.

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