My primary objective for the company is always to find gold. Unlike all the other gold producing companies, foreign or domestic, we have no assurances where it is located in the mine. This has been true over hundred years and is unlikely to change. Even without reserves, Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. has sustained itself to become the oldest operating United States gold mining company. There are reasons for this which, unfortunately, gold analysts fail to recognize.
Our mining efforts failed to locate and produce enough gold to pay our bills last year. Coupled with an accounting procedure that eliminated the underground infrastructure in the southern portion of the Sixteen to One mine as a corporate asset, we suffered a financially dismal year.
Due to the dreadful cash flow status of the company, our choices for mining were severely restricted. Some of the best choices of where to mine are not feasible because we lack the working capital to develop access to these geologically attractive targets.
The ground above the Ballroom on the 800 foot level continues to be our best bet for immediate gold. Since January, production has been spotty, nothing much to write about and certainly not enough to pay the bills. Just to give you an idea how bad life in Alleghany has been, our utility bills doubled over the last year. We continue in a payday-to-payday mode. Recently the propane supplier refused to deliver propane even though we could pay C.O.D. It was cold inside the office but no one complained. Have you ever tried to type on a computer with fur gloves? We have survived by working to cut expenses, including this annual report.
On an upbeat topic, we have not hit rock bottom yet but hope to achieve that goal in June. Opening the flooded Tightner shaft to the 2700 foot level is ambitious and a step towards that goal. A driving inspiration is our knowledge that no one has used modern gold detection equipment in the flooded workings. I guess we are no different from the Argonauts during the gold rush regarding our passion to keep on looking for that big pocket of gold.
Shareholders both large and small continue to contribute their time, money and expertise towards gaining our objectives. It is unusual in today's business environment for such genuine support in helping a company through tough times.
Michael M. Miller