September 19, 2020 

Clips from Alleghany


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02/29/2020  11:46AM

SCOOP[- Haven’t heard much from you this year. The community saw the fed car last week. What’s up?

MIKE- As readers/ knowledgeable members of America’s mining industry know, USA mines, cement plants and rock plants are federally inspected, once each quarter. Started in 1978, MSHA (Mine Safety Health Administration) became a positive force for aiding mine operators with safe environment standards. MSHA gets wacky at times, if you review past experiences on the FORUM. Enforcement seems cyclical.
MSHA arrived to inspect the operation for its regular quarter inspection. No underground or surface violations of standards were cited.

SCOOP- Wasn’t that the same as the third and fourth quarter in 2019? Why the change?

MIKE- Yes, our miners take care of business and always do just that, each day, each shift. Nothing new regarding how they conduct business. In past interviews you raise a wide-spread “miners’ malaise” or ignorance idea, real social or public ignorance about real mining. We haven’t changed about safe mining practice, maybe MSHA changed.

SCOOP- Two weeks ago I stopped by the office to see you. Edda said you were in Sacramento for a water tutorial? Why and what were you being taught?

MIKE - Interpretations of California water standards for our site are questionable. Let’s not get into that topic but its history is well established on our website. California adopted an odd requirement for receiving quarterly or monthly water testing results. The system was not user friendly. When I was offered the opportunity to sit and go over the system step by step, I jumped for the opportunity, took careful notes and brought the knowledge back to Alleghany. Edda and I followed the procedure and it was a success. No more trouble for this once in a quarter responsibility.

SCOOP- Neighbors told me you unloaded high-grade sacks frequently in February. Where are you mining? Are you rich?

MIKE- Scoop, I gotta go. It’s leap year and I have some outdoor plans today and what a great spring climate. See me next Tuesday and we can continue.

12/04/2019  3:56AM


Office or paper requirements: NO VIOLATIONS!

Shop and surface: NO VIOLATIONS!

Mine underground work headings: NO VIOLATIONS

Congratulations and well deserved by all parties. Get rid of water blocking the lower levels! Go get that gold!
 By fredmcain

10/30/2019  12:08AM


Actually, I'm not sure how bad the fire danger is up there right now. I'm thinking that it's mostly the lower elevations that are so tinder dry.

At any rate, I can tell you that there are some subtle changes beginning to take place over the Eastern Pacific Ocean in the Jet Stream.

It's possible that rain is only a little more than a week away if you can just manage to make it until then.

Best Regards,
Fred M. Cain

10/26/2019  4:57AM

Tahoe National Forest is going powerless in two hours along with an estimated 10% of the land mass of California. PG&E implements # 5 black out expected to last through October 28th. High winds expected this afternoon and evening into Sunday and perhaps longer coupled with hot temperatures has residents on edge. For the MINE, no electricity means the water is a rising!

Notice has been given last week to be prepared to evacuate: have a “to go bag”, gas in your vehicle, water and food, including food for Fido and Sylvester.

One safe haven in south west Tahoe is the underground Sixteen to One.

If all exit roads are on fire and fire is near, go underground. Sounds like a hippy battle cry from the late 60’s.

10/08/2019  6:12AM

No fire threat PG&E shut offs yet in Alleghany. Possibility announced fro tomorrow. Beautiful wind.
 By cw3343

10/07/2019  4:47AM

Has Alleghany been subjected to the PG&E blackouts during hot windy days?

If so, has that affected mining activity?

10/03/2019  3:16AM

Fall burst upon Sierra County last week end with freezing temperatures and a dusting of snow. No big deal forunderground gold miners.

Lightning and heavy rain hit Alleghany. Third quarter federal mine inspectors (MSHA) wrote no citations for the underground.

Some tail lights were broken on the surface loaders and one report was not filed in July. That super pocket of gold remains hidden. “It’s in the next round” is miners response to how’s it going.
 By fredmcain

08/06/2019  11:17PM

WOW ! ! ! ! Judging from the accuweather radar, northern California appears to be getting some rare summer rain this year. This year continues to be something else!

I assume that some rain has fallen on Alleghany, as well. There probably will not be much of a fire season up there this year but I'm sure no one will be disappointed about that!

Looks like you might just get a break in the fires!

Best Regards,
Fred M. Cain

07/30/2019  6:08AM

Rural America, off-the-path with country and city dwellers, encounters distinctive, not ordinary challenges. Alleghany raises the bar for jumping through life’s rural challenges. For example: Alleghany and the mine have lots of electric power. There are numerous outages year round. Yesterday, Alleghany had full power but the mine had no power. This means no compressed air and no water pumping. PG&E was notified, arriving mid-morning today. Power back on about 11am.

A squirrel made a fatal mistake. It climbed the utility pole, stepped onto the ground wire and then touched the high voltage wire. Oops. It was all over fast. Shareholders probably know your mine buys 500 amps of three phase 4160 volts from PG&E. Monthly bill is $5,500.

Our rural is in southwest Tahoe National Forest, of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Alleghany has an abundance and variety of wild life: bears, cougars, bobcats, foxes, deer, pigs, hawks, owls, ravens and smaller feathered friends, ringed tail cats, raccoons, coyotes, frogs, lizards, bouncing rabbits (multiple sizes), snakes, mice, giant wood rats, banana slugs and one less squirrel. Who can honestly infer that all mining is hostile environment for wild critters?

Alleghany is technologically rural: satellite internet only, no cell phone service and peculiarly odd hard wire phone service. A giant dish sends messages miles north to a screen that looks like the old drive-in movie screens. Scoop has no clue where that message goes; but something Alleghany knows for sure: unsecured phone communication and erratic operations. Moments ago all phone service except calling another Alleghany number is gone. Alleghany cannot dial the outside world. Are we isolated or not? This outage may last for days. So, if you are calling the mine office, Buena suerte.
 By cw3343

06/11/2019  12:46PM

you live/work in a beautiful area! Internet shminternet.

You could live in Bakersfield, and get very consistent internet & cell phone service...

Hoping for a safe fire season in your area this year!!!

05/31/2019  3:29PM

Lightning strikes take out Sixteen's office Internet service yesterday and others in Alleghany. Alleghany is 19 miles from California highway 49. Pavement ends at museum. Hell's Half Acre is one of three dirt roads out of this remote mining camp. It has no cell phone service, regular phone service bounces off a dish miles away located on Hennes Pass. Now no Internet. Does it get any better than this?

05/16/2019  4:43PM

Positive hard information about the value and need of a strong mining industry is picking up speed. The next two paragraphs lead a lengthy report you can find at:

Over the past 50 years, the United States has ignored and even shunned the importance of its mineral wealth like no other country in the industrial world.
Australia, Canada, Sweden, Russia, China and most other industrialized economies value their mineral resources and use them to their defense and economic benefit, and even for geopolitical advantage. Not so the United States. Indeed, our nation “boasts” a growing list of groups that are openly hostile to extractive industries, especially mining.

Wake up America. Wars were fought for minerals from a a neighbors country.

04/16/2019  1:51PM


Tree and brush fellers ontracted by PG&E arrive in Alleghany this morning to clear thirty feet around the new substation. The contract calls for no standing trees less than ten feet apart within 100 feet of the substation. The Paradise fire was a disaster which could have been reduced with forest management. Many in Sierra County, part of Tahoe National Forrest, screamed for understory and thinning for decades. Environmental pressure persuaded political and government personnel at the highest levels to ignore. California needs to get with this program immediately. Don’t spend another nine years studying a plan.
 By karld

04/12/2019  8:47AM

Happy to help, Scoop! Thanks for the details. (Does anybody know how to retrieve a lost password? I have it stored and hidden in this old computer, but I can't log in from my phone, as I lost the password)

04/11/2019  11:25AM

Karld, you just scooped scoop with your entry. According to reliable gossip about 100 ounces. One specimen with 15 ounces of gold sold for $48,195. Scoop needles Mike to write some narrative about each photo. How about that icicle?
 By karld

04/10/2019  12:09PM

OSTO’s Facebook page showed some delicious new gold/quartz that was mined about 2 weeks ago. Do we know the quantity that has been mined recently?

03/15/2019  10:38AM

That Sixteen crew of miners did it again. For anyone doubting their capabilities, dedication and all other traits to be a California hard rock miner, blow it off. You’re ill informed. New 25 HP motor installed and pumping. Replaced a $500 high amp circuit breaker. Sixteen mine has enough power to run Alleghany. Mike said to thank PG&E line man, Armondo, a very thorough technician.
 By fredmcain

03/14/2019  7:33AM


I sure hope that PG&E compensates you for this. They did this to my parents one time when they lived in Yountville.

In that case, an errant motorist hit a pole that caused the surge. (Surges happen when a higher voltage wire makes contact with a lower voltage wire or lightning can also do it).

That surge took out Mom & Dad's stereo, microwave and something else, can't remember now.

But anyhow, PG&E did reimburse them for their loss.

Fred M. Cain

03/13/2019  11:29AM

Heavy snows, winds and poor power line management cause extensive and expensive damages in Sierra County’s Alleghany/Downieville areas. Power surges of 60,000 wasted the main lines. Fifteen PG&E and contractor trucks at a time parked along Ridge Road near the Alleghany dump for days and the new substation in Alleghany. Surges took out Sixteen’s computer equipment and the pumping system. All is expected back working by tomorrow.

02/01/2019  2:25PM

Storm Alert announce for California beginning two hours from now. Heavy rain turning to snow as low as 2,000 foot elevation. Eight to ten feet high atop sierra Nevada Mountain. Flooding possible in southern CA and northern CA near fire areas. High winds expected. Sixteen to One miners worked into the late hours this week. Indicates gold was mined. Over and out.

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Alleghany, California 95910

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