Many of the placer deposits within the Porcupine Creek Area are pronoun to the early discovery of gold in gravel-bedrock. These foremost discoveries were what had led to a major staking rush prior to making the water voyage to the Klondike Gold Rush in Yukon, Northwest Territory, Canada in 1898. Prospecting of the area soon had led to several other gold discoveries on Cahoon Creek, and McKinley Creek and Porcupine Creek.. Geological reports of the area indicate that most of the valuable spots of placer was in association with abundant slate rock. Area’s such as the mouth of Porcupine Creek were also prospected for the rich placer gold discoveries that returned traces of gold past the slate beds of rock. This generally could mean that the gold deposits of the area are derived from the slate overtime, which is also an important metamorphic rock in forming gold deposits. Slate is rather known to come in several different colours depending on the mineralogy and oxidization conditions of the original sedimentary environment. These foremost environments include black slate that forms in poor oxygen environments and reds are formed from oxygen rich environments. Slate is rather a made-up rock that occurs naturally when slate, shale or felsic volcanic rocks are buried and subjected to warm temperatures and pressures. Porcupine Creek is apart of the mountainous region in southeastern Alaska that is characterized by abundant glaciers that are related to erosional and deposition features. One importance in the area of the derived placer gold deposits are related to a major structural fault known as the Chilkat River Fault, which is segment of the Chatham Strait Fault, that’s a tectonic element in southeastern Alaska. This foremost major structure is rather known for underlying the linear Chilkat River Valley and separates quadrangles into two distinctive geological terranes.
The Terrane to the east of this fault is rather dominated by igneous rocks of Cretaceous and early Tertiary Age. These foremost ages of rocks are known to mainly be made up of mafic and ultramafic assemblage that includes metamorphosed lavas, gabbro, diorite, pyroxenite and younger quartz diorite related rocks of the coast range batholith. Structural and topographic trends east of the faults have a linear northeastward orientation, which is typical of large parts of Southeastern Alaska. The Porcupine District of Southeastern Alaska, contains of the most significant deposits of gold, titaniferous magnetite, barite that is associated with silver and base metals and non-metalic commodities such as marble, sand, and gravel. Some of the most gold bearing placer deposits in the early days had also produce significant amount of gold totalling 60,000 ounces in the Porcupine District, but none of the other deposits have been mined. These foremost deposits of rich titaniferous magnetite and barite-rich lodes are of economical standards. The titaniferous Magnetite Deposits are known to widely be distributed in the pyroxenite mass that outcrop in the Takshanuk Mountains and in klukwan alluvial fan along the base of the mountains. In other words, the Barite-Rich Lode Deposits, which were first discovered in 1969 and 1970, are localize mainly in the fault zone that cut metamorphic rocks near Glacial Creek. Geochemical sampling conducted during the fieldwork revealed many minor anomalous concentrations of metals. The climate for the most part, is rigorous with long, cold, winters and frequent storms throughout the year.
The discover of placer gold deposits in gravel beds was the most extensive excitement that brought several prospectors to the area. Much of this resulted in staking several mining claims that brought the attention of finding gold gravel beds. It wasn’t like todays mining that uses extensive equipment for excavating these rich grounds to bedrock, which are also known as cuts. Cuts for the most parts are the working areas that have produced significant gold discoveries within the Porcupine Creek District. Within late 1890’s and early parts of the 1900’s, placer deposits of the region were subjected to very minimal mining. Most of this was due to the cause that technology was very scarce at the time in making the need for heavy machinery. Porcupine Creek at the time was subjected to damming of the creek in partition to develop these rich gravel beds. At later time in this article, we will discuss what was used in provide the necessary damming of the river back in the earlier parts of the 1900’s.
One of the main geologist at the time of these discoveries who did further investigations on the Porcupine District was Brooks in 1899. This also resulted in minor geological work that was done from different parts of the early, mid, and late 1900’s. Most of this was rather confined to the extensiveness of very small placer gold deposit that produce 60,000 ounces of gold from 1898 to 1945. The table provided below shows how much gold was taken from the Porcupine District of Southeastern Alaska. Much of the main productive zone for these gold placer deposits was known to have been produce from Porcupine Creek with minor production coming from Glacier Creek, Cahoon Creek, McKinley and Nugget Creek. Much smaller deposits of placer gold were also being obtained on the Klehini River near Jarvis Creek, on Big Boulder Creekm, and also on the upper stretches Tahkin and Tsirku Rivers. Within that time period, down falls had also occurred due to the ravaging floods and by the presence of big boulders that have curtailed mining operations back then significantly. Many of the placers within this area had also included operations on the creek, side benches, and high-bench gravels. These creek gravels are also commonly known for occupying modern streams and merger laterally and upward with older gravels of the sulphide benches. The high-bench gravels rather occupy the part of ancient stream channels that have withstood the depredations of erosion. Many of these placers are also known to be mainly of fluviatile origin, while glaciers processes that shaped much of the region probably had influenced the formation and localization of many deposits.
Placer gold deposits in the Porcupine District of South-Eastern Alaska are much warn and flattened and ranges from minute flakes and four gold to nuggets weighing several ounces. The only gold that was detected in the stream sediment samples from the B-3 and B-4 quadrangle was from Porcupine Creek and its tributaries. The Placer Gold is also believed to be of local derivation and reflect concentrations of gold from multiple nearby lode sources that are described in this article. Almost all known lode gold deposits are within the mountains bounded by the Klehenin and Tsirku Rivers and the west edge of the B-4 quadrangle. Only a few ever been staked and exploration on these lode gold deposits was rather very minimal, in which none has produced. Much of these lodes consist of closely spaced quartz and calcite veinlets, disseminations of suriferous pyrite and discrete quartz and calcite veins. In addition to this, gold is a minor constituent of the barite-rich lodes near Glacier Creek. Quartz and calcite veinlets and the pyrite disseminations are rather components of several mineralized zones, although they apparently trend northwestward. These zones contain much abundant closely spaced quartz and calcite veinlets, less than an inch thick, that typically cut the foliation at high angles. Slate samples that contain sparely to abundantly disseminated pyrite, chiefly as pseudocubes, also characterize the mineralized zones. Veinlets are also spaced at intervals varying from about an inch to 3 to 4 feet and generally they do not persist for more than 50 feet along strike. These foremost veinlets contain pyrite, local sphalerite, and rare trace amounts of galena and chalcopyrite.
Years of production Troy Ounces Produce value of the gold produce
1898 – 1906 44,000 ounces Au $900,000
1907 – 1916 15,000 ounces Au $300,000
1920 – 1929 1,000 ounces Au $ 20,000
1935 250 ounces Au $ 10,000
1941 14 ounces Au $ 500
1950 – 1955 100 ounces Au $ 3,500
Almost all lode deposits within the Porcupine District are in mountains between Klehini and Tsirku Rivers and the west edge of the B-4 Quadrangle. Only a few of these have also been ever staked and the exploration on them is very minimal, which mean none have ever produced. These foremost lodes contain a zone of closely spaced quartz-calcite veinlets, disseminations of auriferous pyrite and discrete quartz and calcite veins. In addition to this, gold is also a minor contributor towards the Barite Rich Lode Deposits that also contain base metals near Glacier Creek. Quartz-Calcite veinlets and pyrite dissemination are rather in association with several mineralized zones in the slate terrane in the B-4 Quadrangles between Glacier Creek and Tsirku Rivers. Very little is rather known about the shape, size and grade of these zones, although they apparently trend northwestward. These zones contain abundant closely spaced quartz and calcite veinlets, less than 1 inch thick, that typically cut the foliation at right angles. Slates that contain sparsely to abundant pyrite, chiefly as pseudocubes, also characterizes the mineralized zones. Quart-Calcite veinlets are also spaced at intervals from about 3 to 4 feet and generally they do not persist for more than 50 feet along strike. These foremost veins contain pyrite, sphalerite, and rare trace amounts of galena and chalcopyrite. In addition to this, its also some altered mafic dikes of the Porcupine District that are similarity mineralized and distributed that contain stockworks of quartz-veinlets and disseminated pyrite. Wright in 1904, had reported that the assays on grades taken from slate mineralization from Porcupine Creek had given off 0.12 ounces Au and 0.08 ounces of silver per tonne. Random samples taken across mineralized slate belt near the mouth of Cahoon Creek yielded values of $1 to $2 in gold per tonne at a price of $20.00 an ounce at the time. A sample of pyrite-bearing slate from Cahoon Creek contained 0.02ppm of gold Au. These assays rather islustrate that the Cahoon Creek carries some gold in very minor quantities as placer gold deposits demonstrate by the T.V Series Gold Rush White Water. Most of the individual veins, although not so abundant as the veinlets, are more widely distributed and cut most of the metamorphic and granitic. Most of these are best developed in the slate and in the schist and phyllite and granitic rocks in the west central part of the B-4 Quadrangle. The veins are also generally between ½ and 1 foot thick and are traceable for at least 100 feet, which typically dip steeply, but their strike are more diverse. Most of these veins are mineralogically similar to the veinlets and besides quartz and calcite, they contain abundant pyrite and its altercation produces, locally abundant pyrite and its altercation products, locally abundant sphalerite and in a few places, trace amounts of galena and chalcopyrite. Many of these veins contain little to no sulphide minerals and are associated with sericite and chlorine. These veins and veinlets probably have a common genesis and may be late stage hydrothermal derivatives of quartz diorite-granodiorite magmas. A few quartz rich ledges that contain minor amounts of gold that have been prospected in the area and described by (Wright 1904), are also iron stained. A quartz vein containing gold has also been widely prospected in Canada near the boundary line of the International border. This foremost vein that rather cuts granitic rock has also been traced for some length of 2000 feet along strike and between 1 to 4 feet wide.
(Robertson 1956) had rather done economical scale assessments on the other deposits of the area such as Iron and Titanium. These deposits included the magnetite bearing pyroxenite lode of the Takshanuk Mountains North of the Klukwan Alluvial Fan and similar fans for a mile northwest. These had rather produce much smaller scale magnetite deposits that are distributed in contact metamorphic rocks, which are locally north of the Saksaia Glacier and have economic potential. These foremost deposits of magnetite were additionally staked in 1908 and had been re-staked various times up to 1919 by various companies. Early staking at the time had resulted in very little exploration and development, which would lapse and become re-staked in the middle of World War 2. Renewed interest at the time had resulted in re-staking these deposits and renewing the claims in 1946, and had underwent major development planning. This included making access roads, geological mapping the area, and concentrations test on the grade of the magnetite ore.
The Barite, Silver, and Base Metal Deposits of the Porcupine District outcrop In the western part of the area near Glacier Creek. A prospect near the mouth of summit creek had also contained silver-lead-copper deposits. The foremost economical deposits of the area are mainly located in Glacier Creek with very high-assays that are over 10,000 ppm copper. These foremost deposits of Barite-Rich Lode Ore are at an altitude between 3,500 to 5,700 feet, which are 6 miles from Haines Highway but separated by the Klehini River. These deposits at the time were discovered during the summer of 1969 and 1971 by Merrill Palmer of Haines and his associates. It was at this point in time when the deposits were called the main lode and the Nunatak, are a mile northwest of Glacier Creek and in the Saksaia Glacier. Additionally, two other deposit of smaller size are also known to outcrop in the steep mountain north of Saksaia Glacier. The main deposit described further in this article is rather in a large altered fault zone that cuts rock of the schist and phyllite unit. At a close proximity to this deposit, is known to consist of greenschist and subordinate quartzite with foliation quartz veins, which are dikes consisting of grain assemblages of chlorite and alabite, with small amounts of calcite and quartz. They also contain rare hematite, sphene, and muscovite. Blocks of schist quartzite enclosed within the fault zone generally are known to also be bleached and altered to a quartz sericite, and contains some barite, pyrite, and traces of galena and sphalerite. The fault zone is also apparently 100 feet wide and can be traced from the north side of Glacier Creek to the upper reaches of Little Jarvis Glacier. The main Barite-Rich Lode, as much as 30 feet wide is intermediately traceable for about half a mile along strike through a vertical extent of more than 1,000 feet. Most lode outcrops appear to conform the alignment with the attitude if the fault zone. However, Continuity of the lode has not been conclusively established because of many outcrops are separated by sizeable snow or talus covered slopes. This main Barite-Rich Lode is also buff, dull, white or light gray with local yellowish-brown weathered gossan surfaces. Some of the near surface part of the lode are also porous and friable, in which is sheared in places and consists mainly of sulphide-flecked mosaic of barite crystallization. Beside the sparsely disseminated sulphides, the lode locally contains narrow sulphide rich bands that are parallel to its strike. Minor amounts of sericite, chlorite, and quartz occur along interfaces between some of the barite crystals. The sulphides include pyrite and lesser amount of galena, sphalerite, and chalcopyrite, with the secondary minerals being gypsum, azurite, chryscolla, limonite, and rare anglesite, cerussite, and smithsonite locally in near surface fractures or encrusts small part of the lode. Semiquantitative spectrographic analyse of samples from the lode are place in detail below and contain strontium, although the strontium sulphate, celestite was not observed. Ore serves that were previously drilled on this claim, but had been worked, would also give of a substantial tonnage of 154,649,230 tonnes in ore-reserves of these base-metal deposits.
7A-1 to C -3 Au – 6 ppm, 14 ppm, 10 ppm, 19 ppm, 26 ppm, 37 ppm, 77ppm, 12 pmm, 5 ppm, 139 ppm
Ag – 800 ppm, 321 ppm, 122 ppm, 128 ppm, 254 ppm, 50 ppm, 678 ppm, 432 ppm, 951 ppm,
Br – 19.55% - 39.2% - 42.3% - 43.9% - 46.9% - 43.0% - 47.9% - 35.1% -28.9%
Cd – 129 ppm, 92ppm, 59ppm, 12ppm, 347ppm, 483ppm, 103 ppm, 291 ppm, 27ppm,
Cr – 3,854 ppm, 2,321 ppm, 4,567 ppm, 3,004 ppm, 2,011ppm, 4,891 ppm, 322ppm,
5,218 ppm, 2,189 ppm, 1,089 ppm.
Co – 150 ppm, 71 ppm, 62 ppm, 32 ppm, 89 ppm, 203 ppm, 129 ppm, 210 ppm, 133 ppm, 77 ppm
Cu – ppm, 8,543 ppm, 3,526 ppm, 4,321 ppm, 2,381 ppm, 1,006 ppm, 9,525 ----------------------- ppm, 6,832 ppm, 15,002 ppm, 20,133 ppm
Mb – 32 ppm, 86 ppm, 94 ppm, 124 ppm, 111 ppm, 26 ppm, 48 ppm, 73 ppm, 98 ppm
Ni – 217 ppm, 143 ppm, 196ppm, 300 ppm, 122ppm, 127ppm, 1,023 ppm, 23 ppm,
11ppm, 237 ppm
Pb – 20,119 ppm, 1,534 ppm, 712 ppm, 159 ppm, 122 ppm, 348 ppm, 56 ppm, 674
ppm, 571 ppm, 630 ppm
Much of the sedimentary rocks are rather made up of limestone and slate which are also metamorphic. The Sandstone beds and fine conglomerates are also known to be distributed within the slate rocks. Limestone beds within the Porcupine District are also known to occupy several areas of the Porcupine District and some areas are of slate are devoid of limestone bed. Some of the massive limestone bed are known to also occur in a broad band along the south margin of the Klehini Valley, forming the walls of Porcupine and Glacier Creeks. Limestone is rather main composed of Calcite which is abundant and occurs in thick extensive, multiple layers. It also generally forms in warm, shallow seas from the precipitation of calcium carbonate from sea water of the accumulation of the shells and skeletons of calcareous marine organisms. Some limestones can also be compact, while others are grainy or friable. Many have sedimentary structures such as cross bedding and ripple marks. In line with this band are large areas of mountains north of Jarvis Glacier which occupied similar beds in the Porcupine District. For about several miles up the Klehini Valley and above Jarvis Creek, only limestone outcrops were found several hundred feet thick. These foremost rocks had rather underwent an altercation that are light grey in color and are locally fossilferous that show a regular bedded thick structure. Slates without interbedded limestones are also known to be exposed on McKinley and Cahoon Creek, and the upper parts of Glacier Valley, and also in Jarvis Creek Valley below the glaciers. In each locality these rocks are thin bedded, dark, clastic sediments. For the most part, its an obvious distinction between different beds and is in their graphitic content. Much respect of the grades from the soft, richy graphitic type hard, relatively pure quartzose slates.
The narrow belt at the head of Porcupine Creek is known to contain more biotite and segregation of hornblende, and also mica that’s prominent in the area. Much of the continuation of this belt to the east at Cottonwood Creek is also characteristic by microline feldspar and large amounts of quartz. Examinations under a microscope had revealed some of the mineralization had underwent a crushing, which indicates the intrusion of the diorite had subjected to pressure and movement. The diorite rock is also locally termed granite, in which it resembles very closely and form that it can be distinguished by only careful examination. The sedimentary rocks in the area have more or less mineralization by stringers and veins of quartz-calcite, but specifically noteworthy impregnation of iron sulphides forms an interrupted zone of mineralization in the southern portion of the sedimentary series.
To the southeast of the main placer area, on the slope north of Salmon River, are also a number of narrow silver-lead veins that represent another type of mineralization. So far as known the largest are rather less than a foot in width. These maximum metal content of the veins is said to be about 0.10 ounces of Gold and 60 ounces of silver, and 35% lead per tonne. One sample that was taken in 1989, had also showed a grade of 8% copper that was associated with these veins. Some of the mineralization that furnishes Bear Creek has not been geologically study or mined. Prospecting along the ridge on a zone to the west of Bear Creek had revealed further mineralization that showed commercial grade copper ore. The main mineralization of the area also contains pyrite, pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite, and sphalerite that associated with a quartz gauge. Zinc sulphide in the area occur as marginal bands and the main mass of the vein is dominantly chalcopyrite, and pyrrhotite.
Gold distributions in the Porcupine District are main confined to auriferous gravel as placer deposits. Most of the workable places that were the first discoveries of these gold placer gravel beds were being worked on Glacier and Porcupine Creek drainage basin. Some of the placers of nugget creek were also formerly worked at a much smaller scale, but this ground is now abandoned. Some other placer deposits were also found on Bear Creek, on the Klehini bottoms near porcupine, and in the Salmon River Valley near Nugget Creek. Some extensive prospecting in these areas by manual methods on Bear Creek and in the Salmon River valley, and by drilling on the Klehini bottoms, failed to develop workable deposits and the claims were left to become abandoned. Gold of the placer deposits are generally well worn of a bright color, and of medium fineness, assaying on the average of $17 an ounce. This texture of the fold dust also shows a lack of assortment, the particles ranging in sinze from flour gold to nuggets weighing several ounces. Flour gold is rather present in unusual amounts along the coarse particles and it occurs also in deposits of glacier mud or rock flour associated with the placers. These foremost distributions are also believed to be caused due to glacial abrasion during certain epochs in the erosion of the valleys and concentration of the placers. A sample of the mud that was taken at random places on Porcupine Creek near the lower canyon gave an assay of 1.10 ounces of gold per tonne. Other assays of sediments reported by local operators show that considerable gold is commonly present in them. Flour gold for the most part, is also completely loss in the present mining operation. As the placers are all of similar genesis, great importance should be attached to further investigate on the distribution of flour gold and to the adaption of methods to its recovery.
Much of the gold that is found in Porcupine Creek is known to be in conjunction with the intrenchment of the steams in the hanging valleys wherever there are course traversed zones of mineralization. The placer are therefore two distinct ages, corresponding with the separate period of stream erosion. Gold concentrations are mainly found in a thin stratum of stream gravels lying on the bedrock bottoms of the canyon. Other area where gold has been found without being associated to gravels but widely in bedrock is below the falls of McKinley Creek. Gold that’s associated with the bedrock is overlain by barren or very low-grade gravels that are deeper down stream. Some of the stream gravels in the lower section of Glacier Creek overlie the glacial fill of the older canyon, which extends to a great depth below the present stream and has a much steeper grade. At the lower ends of the modern canyons, where alluvial fans begin, there are also certain concentrations that extend out into the gravel deposits somewhat above bedrock. These are less regular in form and are lower of grade than the gravels within the confines of the canyons and extend to a short distance out into the Klehini Valley.
Prospecting of these rich gold placer gravels was officially started in 1899, when the are was first discovered for its placer deposits in 1898. This had rather sent many prospectors to look for the richness in placer gold deposits on Porcupine Creek and tributary. Some of the other creeks which were widely prospected at the included Bear Creek, on several tributaries of the Salmon and on the head of Takhin River, productive operations up to present were mainly confined to Porcupine Creek. A small scale mining project was also undertaken on Nugget Creek from 1902 to 1911, in which the ground was abandoned due to floods. Estimations from this area are also known to have produced $6,000 worth of gold that came from the area of Nugget Creek. The start of gold production in the area in 1898, had yield $1,000, this was also followed by production in 1899, that produce a value of $9,000, it was later followed by 1900, when $50,000 in gold was produced. This would also result in production during 1901, which had yielded $110,000 in gold and the production period of 1902, had produce $140,000 in gold, and the last period of production in the Porcupine Region had produced $150,000 in 1902. The total value of all the gold that was produced from these placers had rather amounted to $460,000 that was taken from this area from 1898 to 1902. Production that continued after that was rather being achieved at a rate of $150,00, up till 1906, when principal works were destroyed by unusual flooding. Not a lot of these have ever been worked out due to the low mine placer life that was done with minimal technology. From 1907 to 1909, much of the larger operations were discontinuous and the only production was made by a few laymen, who worked small lots of ground by manual methods. Production at a much larger scale was once again resumed in 1910, and it is estimated that average yearly production had produce $50,000 in gold till 1915. The total output for the district from 1898 to 1916, was estimated to have produced $1,200,000 in gold from these placer deposits.
In 1908, the Porcupine Mining Co, was organized to exploit the placers of the main Porcupine area at a large scale. Much of the work was financed in Eastern States, and in view of the equipment installed in the next few years it must have had a large investment fund. The first move the company was aimed to construct a flume for a mile long, 24 feet wide, and 6 feet deep, that would support the piles, to carry the water of Porcupine Creek past the Placer ground to be worked. This piece of construction at the time had required nearly a million feet in lumber and several thousand piles, was completed late in the summer of 1909, and mining was first commenced at the lower end of the canyon. This company at the time had operated up until August, 1915, when the lower part of the flume was demolished and pits were filled.
After the devastating flood of 1915, the company would end up selling of their mining operation to the Alaska Corporation. The company at the time had now repaired the upper section of the old flume, in which they would construct a new high-line flume to deliver water to the giants and began the re-excavation of the buried workings. Besides this small wave of placer mining in Porcupine Creek, other tributaries were also being mined in 1908. This resulted in the organization of the Cahoon Creek Gold Mining Company Co. who began work on McKinley and Cahoon Creeks. Operations by this company were continuous, in which had worked out the placers in Cahoon Creeks near its mouth, and for about 2,000 feet down McKinley Creek below Cahoon. Most of the plans that were followed on McKinley Creek were also similar to that taken place at Porcupine Creek. Below McKinley Creek the stream runs through a narrow box canyon, which was very hard to manage to production of placers of these rich gravel beds. The company in 1916, was mainly engage in working the high glacially filled channel on the right side of McKinley Creek, opposite to reach of the modern channel that had been worked out.
A little mining was also done on the head of Cahoon Creek in the early days of the camp, but those operations were said to have met with little success. Some of the most economical development at the time had also been focus on Glacier Creek placers by drilling and the installation of a large hydraulic plant to work this ground. Glacier Creek placers were first staked in the early days of mining, and repeated attempts to mine this area by ordinary mining methods failed, due to the depth of the gravels and abundant of ground water. In 1911, these claims, which had been abandoned by previous holders, were staked and systematic drilling was done. Drill intersection across the valley bottom were done for more than a mile upstream from the margin of the Klehini Valley. On the basis of results from these intersections, a plan was made to work the lower section of the valley, for a length of 4,000 feet by hydraulic methods.
The Delta Claims are rather situated on Porcupine Creek and are located near the mouth of the Gravel bench formed by the old delta that was formerly staked. Not a lot of mining at the time was done prior to these discoveries as most of the area was being followed up by assessment work. A few test pits which were put down on these claims were also reported to have given of a low gold value to be worth mining them.
Another claim known as the Cranston Claim, was the first on the creek under development, and is 1 mile from the mouth of the Porcupine. The gravel bed that was currently being worked on was also 40 feet in length, with the top of the deposit forming a bench on the east side 20 feet above stream. Gravel beds in this area were reported to have carry good gold values, and the gold was not uniformly distributed. Next to bed rock was a layer 2 to 3 feet deep carrying high values in gold, though this was sometimes cut off by ridges in the bottom of the channel. Overlying this is a 15-foot bed less rich in gold values, containing many quartz pebbles and blueish clay. The next two feet was clay and small gravel, which was most likely of glacial origin. Material taken from this section was suppose to be quite barren, in which a sample summited to fire assay gave off 1 ounce in gold. Above the clay there is 15 to 20 feet of yellow gravel averaging 150 feet in width and also carrying good gold values. Beside gold platinum was also found during assays of these gravel beds, and other resources such as galena, magnetite, chalcopyrite, and some arsenopyrite, with large amounts of pyrite that occur in the concentration. In order for the company to develop this property, a 1,200-foot flume was built along the creek bank, in which supplied a hydraulic hose to work the gravel, and to supply power to the bucket elevator, centrifugal pump, and sawmill. A 6-horsepower Derrick, receiving power from a steam engine, had been installed to hoist boulders of large. An old creek channel was also worked 65 feet above the Porcupine, at the upper end of the claim, which had returned $3,000 in gold, but was left abandoned due to difficulty in getting water to that elevation. Most of the work on this channel and claim was done by lessors who expect to produce a large quantity of gold from this area. On the next claim above in 1901, it was reported that a pit 20 feet deep was sunk which exposed 80 square feet of limestone bed rock, that gave a recovery of $10,000. Most of the property at the time was abandoned due to high-water and the excavations were filled in.
The Discovery Claim was another property being examined for development with in the Porcupine District of Southeastern Alaska. Much of the bedrock that was exposed within this claim was an altered bed of flinty and graphitic slate, in which natural troughs had been formed. The gold produce from this claim was concentrated in these natural riffles and often nuggets had been worked down into the softer slate for 2 to 3 feet. In addition to this, the creek gravels on this claim are known to also average 12 feet in depth, with no defined layers, excepting that most of the pay dirt lies on the bed rock. Gold was first discovered in small gravel at a height of 30 feet above the creek on the west bank, in which $15,000 was taken out with shovel and sluice box. The stream had also been diverted into a flume 20 feet wide, 5 feet deep, and 1,400 feet long, with a 3 ½ per cent grade. Through this the water had rushed at a rate from 3,000 to 5,000 miner inches per minute. At about 100 feet above the outlet of this flume a pit was sunk and a sump 10 feet deep was excavated in bedrock. All the gravel that was worked down through a shore sluice box, which save the large nuggets, into this sump and are then lifted by a bucket elevator, of 4,000 cubic yards capacity per twenty-four hours, to the surface sluice boxes. A water wheel that had recived power from a small flume drives the elevator, pump, derrick and sawmill. Other plans at the time were aimed at continuing prospecting the area upstream In order to secure sufficient grade for ground sluicing.
The Mix Claims was mainly confined to work that was being done on a gravel bench from 20 to 80 feet wide and 5 feet deep, occurring on both sides of Porcupine Creek. There is a broad bed of creek gravels that were additionally deposited through glacial processes. It’s also believed that the claim was leased by a mining company during the summer of 1901, but the operations did not prove success and nothing further was done. A present time the property was also leased to a miner who would end up recovering several nuggets of gold from this location in 1969.
Prospecting at the time was ongoing within the Porcupine District of Southeastern Alaska, United States. This also resulted in the staking and excavation of the Finley Claim in the prospective year of 1901. Much of the Finley Claim was also in correspondents to the Wiley Claim that had not been developed. The gravel bed in this area is reported to be 100 feet wide, 6 to 10 feet deep, and 80 feet above porcupine creek. It was also during 1901, when a fairly large production was achieved on this claim but would become suspend from any further mining operations. These claims that were mentioned at the time became successor of the great Porcupine Creek Gold Rush that sent lots of prospectors looking to stake ground.
Other areas of interest were also widely prospect at the Junction of McKinley and Porcupine Creeks in the early time periods of claim staking. Another claim that was adjacent to the Wiley Claim was known as the Lewis Claim on McKinley Creek. This claim for the most part had extended for more than 800 feet along Porcupine to the fork, before going 500 feet up McKinley Creek. At about 1 steps above the fork, there is also a waterfall known as McKinley Falls, that 60 feet high, and good gold values were reported from this section.
One other claim that was staked on McKinley Creek is commonly known as the Chisholm Claim. Prior to the staking rush this was rather known as a succession of the Chisholm and Hall Properties These foremost claims were rather actively being prospected by the United Gold Mining Company. It was also on the former of these properties that a great amount of work was being undertaken in developing these claims. Upon good gold results, the property was also one of the first to use sluicing operations that have taken place. Its at this section of McKinley Creek when the creek was diverted into a 600-foot flume that was built along one side of the creek and large boulders from the bed were piled along the bank. These were also used to form a narrow channel in which it was confine to the stream and increased it velocity. Much of the rapid currents that are within this section of the creek are also known to have carried most of the gravel downstream. Mining was mainly confined to surface gravels that were removed and much of the gold that came from these areas was concentrated on bed rock from the shallow deposits. Very good returns at the time were made from this section of the Creek that had produce fairly good gold concentration from the gravel. A small size saw mill was also the only piece of machinery that was used on this claim at the time.
Claim staking was ongoing within the area when the Woodin Claims were discovered and many other claims were already staked up by the McKinley Creek Mining Company. Some of the very first work on this property was mainly confined to the creek bed, but in 1903, all operations were confined to a high bench deposit on the south side of the valley, and 200 feet above the creek bed. The gravels here rather fill to parallel ancient channels, one being 15 feet deep and 40 feet wide, and the other 30 feet deep and 30 feet wide. It was in the deeper section of the two channel where a profitable deposit of gravel contain gold concentration was being examined/worked. Another bed that located within this section of the property had underwent a gravel wash, consisting of diorite cobbles and slate fragments, which contain good gold values. Overlying this there is also a deposit of clay or rock flour some 3 feet deep, carrying logs and branches of trees, and regarded so valueless. Above this clay there are also several feet of coarse wash, capped by a bed of gravel cement 2 to 3 feet thick. This cemented gravel was not disintergraded by hydraulic stream, and was even difficult to loosen with hammer and picks. Gold within this section is rather very coarse, and not much worn as that in Porcupine Creek, and contains high silver values. This foremost property also borders an area of mineralized slates, containing many calcite veins, with some crosscutting quartz veins, all of which are heavily charged with pyrite. A sample of the well mineralized slate had rather given off $2.48 in gold per tonne. In order to develop this property sluice boxes had been placed along the bottom of the channel and through these the gravels are washed by hydraulic giant, capable of working down this bench deposit to about 200 feet. A ditch at the time was developed in order to lead the water from the upper part of Cahoon Creek to a penstock 400 feet above the workings. From here a pipeline was added in order to supply the giant and to furnish power for an overhead trolley, which once carried the larger size boulders to a dump at the lower end of this claim.
At a point higher up on McKinley Creek, other bench deposit were being further prospected but had not showed any importance in gold values. Some of the creek deposits above the Woodin Claim had also not been extensively developed at the time in order to prove their value, some unsuccessful attempts were also being done on Cahoon Creek at the time. It was also claimed by several prospectors at the time that there was no good pay gravel on Porcupine Creek above the forks, nor beyond the mouth of Cahoon Creek on McKinley Creek.
Nugget Creek was also a site of rapid gold rush due to the finds of gravel beds that had become prospected. A camp at the time was also made and had been reached by portaging up the Salmon River, by some 20 miles, or by way of Porcupine Creek, over the divided head of McKinley Creek. From here it had flown through a narrow canyon-like-valley for a distance of 2 ½ miles into Salmon River. The gravel beds at the present creek and low side benches rather form the principal deposits of Nugget Creek. Most of the gold found in nugget creek is associated with rich pockets, which fill the small glacier-scooped basin, commonly called pot holes. These foremost low bench deposits are rather very narrow and show more or less well defined beds. On bed rock a 2-foot layer of glacier mud, in which about this is a foot or more of cemented slate wash, then a 10-foot bed of pay dirt, consisting of large and small gravel wash and capping this with a few feet of rock slide, and dirt. Many large angular blocks of diorite, several feet in diameter, occur in these creek gravels, adding greatly to the cost of mining them at the time.
A total of 7 claims were additionally staked on these creek deposits, in which two were staked below and four above the Discovery Claim. At present time it was also reported that most of these claims were being prospect with little success but the Discovery Claim was rather the only one developed. In order to work the gravels on this bed, the stream at the time was diverted into a flume, freeing the creek bottom and furnishing the required power for a derrick of considerable capacity, which had handled the large boulders of diorite. Installation at the time resulted in placing a pipe line, that was fed from an upper flume, which had supplied water under a 200-foot head to the hydraulic plant. This became the main process at the time in working these gravel beds through long sluice boxes that were 2-feet wide resting on the bed. From this property, it was also stated that development which was completed became done with encouraging results at the time and future explorations would yield large returns.
There was no extensive bench deposits which were found in the tributary creek, but along the Salmon River between Nugget and Cottonwood Creek, there is a bench deposit. This foremost bench deposit was rather known to have possibly marked a former ancient river level, which has an average width of 1,500 feet and is from 20 to 40 feet above the present river. Much of the greater portion of this bench has rather been located, and plans are being made in order to work it by drifts and raises, using underground sluices supplied with water from Nugget Creek. Near nugget creek, the beds of the Salmon River, over which the river flows has many channels, and is a mile in width. Color of gold may be obtained along the gravel deposit from a point a mile below Nugget Creek and above Cottenwood Creek. Fifty or more claims were staked during the summer months of 1903, on these river bars, and an attempt will be made to work them in the near future by dredging extensive part of these deposits. The foremost discoveries on Nugget Creek were made in 1899, by a prospector known as C. H. Anway, who first found gold on the banks of the Salmon River. Discoveries at the time had soon led to other placer coarse gold deposits on Nugget and Cottenwood.
Nugget Creek is also known as the uppermost large tributary of Cache Creek, joining it a few miles below its head. Its foremost source is in the Dutch Hills, through which it flows in a wide U shaped valley, which shows strongly erosion that had taken place through geological processing and a great glacier that once occupied it. In the hills of this basin, much of the rocks a composed of slate-greywacke series, and the stream flows in a postglacial canyon which is shallow towards the valley, and is shallower at the head but becomes narrow and deeper downstream. At a point where it leaves the slate hills, the creek rather occupies a canyon cut 200 feet into rocks, but at the base of the hill the slate give in to softer rocks of the coal bearing series. Nugget Creek was first discovered as a placer spot in 1905, and much of the ground was being worked at the lower portion of the Canyon. Since that time period, mining operations were rather carried on within the valley during the summer months. Some of the claims that lie below above the mouth of the canyon, known as the No. 1, 2, and 3, were the most productive claims in the area.
Mining during the summer months of 1910, was done by four parties, with the largest of these parties being up to 10 men, working the No. 4 Placer claim below the No. 1, 2 and 3 Placer workings. Much of the stream gravels from this section were 6 to 8 feet thick, and had once lie upon the soft bedrock of the coal bearing series. Gold concentration that came from this area was rather reported to have been recovered from gravels bed in association with bedrock. The bedrock material was rather reported to have been a much sandy, clay material, or conglomerate that was a foot thick. Gold within this porion of the creek is rather rusty, and modernly worn or smoothed, in which was coarse gold. Some nuggets worth up to 0.80 ounces were found below this canyon, and in the canyon one worth up to 3.00 ounces was recovered. Most of the mining that was done became completed by simple ground methods of groundslucing the gravel with water used under pressure. Much of the gravel above the bedrock was also reported to have carried values in gold, which was shoveled, and than sluiced. Workable placers at the time of the century were being discovered, and had also been worked on.
The last known gold deposits that were discovered at the turn of the century, were located on Bear Creek, within the Chilkat Drainage Basin, at about 40 miles north of Chilkat Inlet. At about 15 miles above its mouth, Bear Creek is joint from the west by Clear Creek. Both of these discoveries at the time had also cause excitement during the prospecting stage in the early 1900’s, but hadn’t been productive. Most of these discoveries were mainly done with difficulty due to high-water in the creeks, the extreme depth of bed rock, and the presence of quicksand. During the early parts of the 1900’s, the creek was still filled with mines encourage that shallow gravel beds did exist in this location. Much of the claimed area was also Alaskan Territory that was filled with many Americans who came to this area in 1904. None of these benches that were worked at the time were reported to have been large, and the paying gravel in this section of Nugget Creek was fairly small.
A total of three men were also confined to mining at the Junction of the No. 1 and 2 claims, in which Nugget Creek lies in a slate canyon 70 feet deep. The stream here is rather described as crooked and flat narrow, in which only small patches of gravel appear between the creek bed and the base of the canyon walls. Most of the mining within this portion of the creek was done by hydraulic methods, which were employed at stripping away the upper portion of the gravels. Bedrock here rather consisted of slates, and greywackes, which stand at high angles and strike in the general direction of the coarse of this creek. Where the bedrock is rough, much of the gold is found, but where its smooth there is not stuffiest gold in place to be economical for mining.