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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook 1990
Year 1990, Volume 2 (1990)

Pittman, Tom L.
Alaska,   pp. [54]-70 ff. PDF (3.5 MB)

Page 61

ALASKA— 1990  61of about 50 cubic yards per hour that mined through
the 1990 season. The new plant mined, washed with less water than usual,
and reclaimed the ground during the mining operation. Some of the larger
mines in the district were: Paul and Company on Porcupine Creek; Greenhorn
Mining Co. (Stan Gelvin), Crooked Creek; and Alaska Ventures (Vince Halverson)
on Mammoth Creek. The State listed these other placer mines active in 1990:
Gold Post Mining Co. on Deadwood Creek; Ron Wrede, Deadwood Creek; Superstock
Mining, Crooked Creek; Points North (Bob Cacey), Portage Creek; Jim Belfield,
Switch Creek; Steve Olson, Eagle Creek; Dugger Mining Co. , Mastodon Creek;
Lyle Colledge and Vern Stepp, Bottom Dollar Creek;Magic Circle Mining, Deadwood
Creek; Aurora Mining, Pup Creek; John- Sipes, Deadwood Creek; Dick Blevins,
Portage Creek; John Hendrickson, Sourdough Creek; George Seuffert, Cripple
Creek; Last Hope Mining, Harrison Creek; and Clyde Henry, on 43 Creek. 
There were three placer mines active in the Livengood district in 1990. Alaska
Placer Development Inc. was the largest operator again, as it has been for
at least the last 6 years. The company hydraulically stripped muck overburden
and mined and sluiced a gravel paystreak overlying a rough limestone bedrock.
Mine effluents are contained in a pond of about 160 acres that was constructed
by a previous operator. Process water is reclaimed and recycled. Scott Rendich
mined on Willow Creek and Dick Geraghty mined on Olive Creek. The Eureka-Tofty
and Rampart districts supported 15 placer mines in 1990 compared to 9 in
1989. The State survey reported Shoreham Resources recovered 1 ,074 troy
ounces of gold, 208 troy ounces of silver and 2,600 pounds of tin from Cache
Creek, in the Tofty district. The company washed 26,000 cubic yards ofpay
gravel. Mechanical problems, deep overburden and low metal prices adversely
effected the operation. Alaska Placer Development Inc. started a new placer
mine on American Creek east of Manly Hot Springs. 
Smaller placer operators in the district 
included: Robert Roberts on Skookum 
Creek; Ric Swenson, Doric Creek; Orval 
McCormach, on American Creek and on 
Eureka Creek; Mike Krenzke, Eureka 
Creek; Jim Wood, Little Boulder Creek; 
Salter and Associates, Joe Bush Creek; 
Delima Placers Inc. , on Colorado and on 
American Creeks; Harold Bergman, on 
Cache and on Sullivan Creeks; Vern 
Petefish, Little Boulder Creek; Anna 
Russell on Trail Creek; John Shilling on 
Slate Creek in the Rampart district; and 
Frank Wilford on Hoover Creek bench 
gravels, also in the Rampart district. The Fortymile district had 28 placer
mines in 1990, an increase from 16 in 1989. The State survey characterized
the operations as "small mechanized sluicing plants or scaled-up suction
dredges normally associated with recreational mining or ground testing. "
Listed operators were: Mike Buzby mined on Chicken Creek, on claims leased
from Alaska Gold Co. ; Velvet Mining Co., South Fork of Fortymile River;
Dome Creek Mining and Development, Dome Creek; Leo Regner, Lillywig Creek;
and Charles Hammond, 45 Creek. Smaller operations were: Mike Chambliss and
Clyde Baldwin on the South Fork of the Fortymile River; Hank and Sons, Lost
Chicken Creek; Maxwell Mine and Exploration and Al Ruddick on Canyon Creek;
Ken Wise, Mosquito Fork of the Fortymile River; Dave Moss, Liberty Creek;
Freedom Mining and Exploration, Robinson Creek; Richard Goodson, Fortymile
River; Hayden Exploration and Mining and Maxwell Exploration, each on Baby
Creek; Lone Spruce Mining, Squaw Creek; Frank Lockner, 60 Mile River; Joe
Trudeau; Jefferson Creek; Franklin O'Donnell, Moose Creek; Mike Williams,
Kenyon Creek; Steve Bills, O'Brien Creek; and Judd Edgerton on Robinson Creek.
Suction dredge miners in the district included: Ostler Mining, Tom Erickson,
John Roop and Wesley Devore. The most controversial operation was probably
David Likins' "New Zealand Dredge" on the Fortymile River. It was
in news stories as a smaller plant using a recovery system similar to that
used on bucketline stacker 
dredges. The publicity was picked up by environmental organizations, misinterpreted
and the fight was on, partly because the Fortymile River had been designated
a Wild and Scenic River in 1980. 
In the Bonnifield district, the number of active mines increased to 12 in
1990 from 9 in 1989. This district is east of Healy and north of the Alaska
Range. Alaska Unlimited Inc. , on Gold King Creek, was again the largest
operator in the district. The gold is believed to have been eroded from Nenana
Gravel of Tertiary age or from the Nenana coal-bearing formation. Gypsy Luck
Mining Co. mined on Walker Creek, near Gold King Creek. Other medium to small
capacity operators were: P & P Mining on Newman Creek; Barney Harrod,
Bonnifield Creek; Old Yeller Mining and Kerry Knapp, each on T.otatlanika
River; Tom Faa, Moose Creek; The Four Stewards, Iron Creek; Glenn Parr, Walker
Creek; the Annabelle Mine (Jim Rowland), Moose Creek; Tommy Van Inc. , Flat
Creek; Fred Cook, Portage Creek; and Jackson Mining Co. on the Totatlanika
Several old camps in the Alaska Range had new activities: Tok Gold and Exploration
mined on the Tok River near Stibnite Creek; Law Iosua and MVM Associates
mined on Rainy Creek and Richard Knutson mined at Broxson Gulch, west ofRainy
Creek. Rainy Creek and Broxson Gulch contain both gold and platinum. David
Jensen mined gold from July and McCumber Creeks, near the Granite Mountains.
The south-central region produced an estimated 16,670 troy ounces of gold
in 1990, down from 73, 100 troy ounces estimated production in 1989, according
to the State survey. Employment dropped from 280 to 160 employees. Cambior
Alaska Inc. , the operator of the Valdez Creek placer mine, rerouted Valdez
Creek to allow upstream work under the upper channel of the creek. It mined
for 5 weeks in the fall and produced an estimated 8,03 1 troy ounces of refined
gold from about 138,000 cubic yards of pay gravel. The Alaska Department
of Fish and Game required the creek diversion to protect the fishery and
as a 

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