The Hope district comprises
the area drained by streams flowing into Cook Inlet from a point midway
between Kenai and Salamatof to Portage and the area drained by the
Kenai River above Skilak Lake. The eastern boundary is the divide
between Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound.
Gold in many of the placer deposits of the Hope district was derived
directly from nearby auriferous quartz veins, many of which were sites
of lode mining. Some productive placers were in stream and bench gravels
in which at least a portion of the heavy minerals was reconcentrated
from glacial and glaciofluvial deposits derived from areas in which
gold-bearing lodes are known or might reasonably be.
Although gold was discovered on the Kenai River in 1848, large-scale
placer mining in the Hope district did not begin until nearly 50
later. By 1900, most of the streams that ever became productive were
being mined. Mills (17, fig. 10) and Canyon (17, 18, fig. 10) Creeks
were the most productive streams in the district. On both creeks,
bench gravels as well as the pres¬ent stream beds were mined,
mainly by hydraulic methods. Mills Creek was worked as recently
1961, the last year in which a placer operation larger than a small
drift mine was reported from any part of the Kenai Peninsula. Small
dredges were used on the Kenai River (7, fig. 10) and on Sixmile
(11, fig. 10) and Resurrection (9, 10, fig. 10) Creeks, but the
evidently were not satisfactory, as other mining methods supplanted
the dredges after a year or two of operation on Sixmile and Resurrection
Creeks. All mining on the Kenai River ceased with the
abandonment of the dredge in 1913.
Few data are available on the minerals, other than gold, in concentrates
from placers in the Hope district. Native silver was reported from
Bear Creek (9, fig. 10), native copper from Lynx Creek (21, fig.
and a few sulfide minerals from other streams. In 1966 Jasper (1967a)
collected concentrate samples along highways on the Kenai Peninsula
as part of a regional geochemical study and reported scheelite, gold,
or various sulfide minerals from many localities. Of particular interest
was cinnabar from Bertha Creek (22, fig. 10) and from a gully (8,
fig. 10) near Cooper Creek, as no lode occurrences of mercury have
been reported within 50 miles.