August 18, 2022 

Clips from Alleghany


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10/06/2010  8:48AM

Rain has finally ended the fall fire danger in Alleghany. There is an audible sigh of relief as the firefighters put their wildland gear back on the shelf. The last fire of the season was just about a week ago and too close to home at the Forest City turn-off on Ridge Road three miles from Alleghany. Luckily it was not windy and it was spotted early. The fire was contained within 30 minutes and burned only a quarter acre. Kudos to the fire crews! CDF,USF, Pike and Alleghany all responded. Air tankers were called in and made a couple drops as well.

Today attorneys from the Dept. of conservation are coming to do an inspection of the surface around the mine with Mike Miller and Klaus Kolb.

Sad news is that Felix the mine office cat has been missing since June. We doubt that he'll return. Dore is now the lone office cat and tomorrow she goes to the vet for her annual shots. Evidently animal control has picked up over 10 stray cats in Alleghany recently and they all had Feline Aids, which is very common in Ferrel cats. Felix was current on his shots, so we don't think that's what took him out.

Rehab on the 1,000 level underground continues to take longer than expected. Money is tighter than tight.

On the bright side the PM london fix today for gold is $1,346.50 and the NY Market broke $1,350 today.

08/31/2010  8:08AM

Half the crew is working on extending electrical power from the Tightner 1000 foot station north to the 1064 winze (about half a mile). The budget is tight so the guys gathered wire from the Rainbow mine and other places where it was no longer in use. Power is needed for electric saws. This level requires tender maintenance, which includes timber support. No matter how careful the crew measures posts and lagging and braces, the actual application usually changes the measurements. Driving half a mile underground just to make a cut is bad mining; therefore power is needed closer to the working face.

This morning two men are moving a large transformer from the Ballroom to the 1064 winze. Backs and muscles will be sore tonight.
 By martin newkom

08/29/2010  1:58PM

My grpa, Leiter Armstrong and his
brother, John, both being the owners of Armstrong Bros. store
in Alleghany at one point decided
to go mining and leased the Eldorado from H.L. Johnson. Well
they did better at the store than
at the mine. It was sad but they
knew the risks. Luckily we now
haqve metal detectors and $1,200
per troy ounce GOLD.
 By mnewkom

08/28/2010  2:56PM

Well, To continue, old Jule(s)
Auradou went from san Francisco
to Healdsburg and got involved
with another part of the family
who had vinyards and a winery
and then, the "gold" began to
flow.Later on old Jule(s) being
extremely spent his twilight years
in the hostile at the San Francisco French Hospital where
he was interviewed about his
life. He died there in 1932
just short of his 100th birth-
day. His great grandaughter,
my wife will be giving a talk
at the residence of the French
Consulate on M. Auradou.
The word, auradou, we are told
means "God's Gold".
 By Rae Bell

08/26/2010  8:43AM

A note to Martin:
Please keep sharing your stories!

08/21/2010  2:12PM

What is with your weather? In Alleghany potential rain clouds are moving by today. It is windy and warm right now but last night a light blanket was helpful. The community garden has an abundance of yellow squash, struggling corn and late blooming tomatoes. The apple and pear trees that were planted by gold miners years ago are barren. Everyone could fill a bucket with wild blackberries but not this year. It must be climate change. Spring was cool and sometimes downright cold. This summer is also cool. The local bears may find it tough to fill their stomachs. The young bucks (they really look healthy) are grazing at these lower elevations much sooner than normal. Local squirrels began hiding pinecones and few humans have the winter firewood cut and stacked. Yes America is at a period of uncertainty. It is evident in this mountainous mining camp.

Workers underground at the Sixteen to One have two shifts during the weekdays. There seems to be some bad ground that giving them trouble. But if you see a worker and ask, “What’s up?”, he’s likely to reply, “Just the normal problems It’s no big deal. Mining is hard, it just takes time, have patience.”

What is the California Highway Patrol driving through Alleghany at 5pm on a Friday? A month ago one cruised the community and issued multiple warnings. One guy got chewed out for leaving his jeep unattended whit a battery charger running. One miner got a speeding ticket ($330 fine) for driving above the 55mph limit on the only straight stretch of the 19-mile road from Alleghany to Highway 49. That cost him the equivalent of three days labor. A warning would have been appropriate in this instance.

The final bitch is with the USFS, which refuses to issue operation permits because of a new demand (Unreasonable) by the California Water Agency. Government extortion best describes the situation. It is disgusting! As more people learn what is taking place in the Tahoe National Forest, the outrage may stop this un-American direction of both federal and state employees. For Scoop, over and out.
 By martin newkom

08/20/2010  7:18PM

My wife's great Gr Pa, Jule
Auradou came from France in the
late 1840's and mined the creek
in Kanaka Canyon and after laying back some overburden found a nugget undeneath which
weighed in at over 20 oz troy.
His exclamation at the discovery
was "Bigre!" in french. Well,
he and his father mined for another 5years and went back
to San Francisco with their treasure and opened a meat packing firm. Later Jules sold
that and moved to Healdsburg
and went into the winery business. I've this story before.

08/19/2010  1:24PM

“Who is coming forward to take my place?” This question appeared yesterday on Main Street Alleghany. Scoop overheard Mark and Mike in a conversation about the future of the underground traditional hard rock gold mine’s labor force. “Where is the pride of work and accomplishment that we grew up with?”, Mark pondered. Mark just completed a summer of mining with his son, Steven, who is heading back to school after tomorrow’s shift. Steven entered the work force inexperienced, took it seriously and responsibly. He learned to lay track, drive a trammer, operate a mucking machine, set timber and more. His attendance was first rate. He is trustworthy, polite and willing to learn. He will be missed. Mark wondered, who would take Steven’s place. So does Mike.

The skills of an Alleghany hard rock miner are multifaceted, yet teachable and learnable. It takes willingness for both teacher and student to make it a success. The work is physically demanding. The Sixteen to One has the teachers and is looking for the students. Mark and Mike walked off in the same direction. Who is coming up to take our places?

WANTED: Young Men with a desire to become a gold miner. No experience necessary. Must be eighteen or older. Attitude counts. Apply now.

07/20/2010  5:11PM

A federal mine inspector arrived in Alleghany. He was seen driving down the Sixteen to One road. For those unfamiliar with mineral extraction industry in California, each operator (under very specific authority) may qualify for both California and United States government inspections. Cal/Osha hit Alleghany a few weeks ago. Today it is a division of the Department of Labor called MSHA (Mine Safety & Health Administration.
 By elitemuser

06/27/2010  5:08PM

Would love to make it another meeting sometime in the future. Here is a picture from the '95 meeting... -- the date is approx

We're now in Maryland, and its a bit of a chore to travel...
 By smithsgold

06/27/2010  10:29AM

We had a great time yesterday at the Shareholders meeting..
Learnd some new information during the meeting I'm sure it will all make it to the forum soon..
Highlight of the day for me was getting to go under ground and see the mine workings.. Already waiting to come back next year !!!!!!A big thanks to Mike and the crew for making my first time to the Sixteen to One a very special one....
Jeff Smith
 By Rick

06/26/2010  6:12PM

My spirit and heart were at our Mine today, but alas, obligations at home trumped my chance to attend.

How's it?!!!

For me, it will be grand to hear from as many of us as possible, considering my inability to attend today. I'm very interested to read what any or all of you had to say about the water-board's relentless prosecution of an environmental non-issue, and all the unchecked crap.

And, of course, the most important and vital course of action to start mining again.
 By smithsgold

06/25/2010  6:59PM

We will be there tomorrow for our first Share Holders meeting we cant wait !!!!!!!!


06/23/2010  11:54AM

Ah, early summer in Alleghany means the annual Sixteen to One shareholder meeting. This meeting took place in San Francisco since 1911 until the Miller proxy battle for bringing the company back to mining was won in 1983. The corporate office moved to Sacramento, where a couple of annual meeting were held. The new board of directors changed the meeting site closer to the mine at the K through 12 school in Pike, about twelve miles from Alleghany. An invitation to tour the mine property was offered after the formal meeting was completed.

The next progression took place in 1991, after the company bought the interests of its non-performing lessee and took over the operation of the mine. The buy out was $300,000. The money came from a shareholder and university friend of Mike. He also put up another $300,000 for working capital and off the company went taking all the risks of gold mining.

In 1992 the directors opened the underground workings to the owners. It was a huge success. Year by year the event expanded. The walk to the famous Ballroom by way of the fishpond established in 1993 became very popular. After the crew established a mining heading in 2003 from the Ballroom up dip into the quartz vein, this section of the mine became off limits for everyone except the crew. (Scoop misses going to the Ballroom. It is breathtaking and ever so humbling to sit in this giant stope and marvel at the sights and sounds. Rumor is the company is willing to shore up the area but does not have the resources to do so at this time. Volunteers anyone?)

Other areas on the mine have been open to shareholders over the years. The Rainbow mine, Plumbago and Forest. Lately the walking tour covers the 800-foot level. A few years ago a crew drilled and blasted the north end, pursuing a splattering of gold in the quartz. It never wired into a pocket and management called it “deep enough”. There is a nice fishpond where one heading sunk down twelve feet and ran a short drift north.

Something new and exciting is planned for this year’s annual meeting underground inspection. Scoop has an invitation along with local and regional media and will write an account of the meeting. Right now the crew is setting up both tents and the large overhead shade where the meeting takes place. Weed eaters are whacking away, plumbing is under repair, landings are graded, trucks are gassed up (several times a truck that transports shareholders up or down to the portal have overheated or run dry of gas), ice is in the freezer, chairs are on the way to the mine, gold specimens for sale are inventoried and 200 delicious Cornish pasties have been ordered.

Pre registers are lighter this year. For shareholders who have flexibility on Saturday, June 26, come to Alleghany by 9:30 am for a treat you will enjoy and remember.

06/04/2010  12:19PM

Unfamiliar cars parked at the Sixteen to One office yesterday. Other than the strange weather this spring, little news is coming from Alleghany, so perhaps strangers in town could be a story. Turns out a California Deputy Attorney General, court reporter and company lawyer, Klaus Kolb, drove up for a deposition hearing (Rae was the intended victim.) Rae undertook testing Kanaka Creek during 2004 and the water agency’s prosecutors questioned her involvement. She withstood the questioning quite well.

The group seemed friendly, sitting very close together in Mike’s office. The California water agents believe that the company and Mike broke the laws that govern water reporting and created a “public nuisance” along Kanaka Creek. They claim $3,000,000 in damages, that’s what the Attorney General seeks in his lawsuit.

What? Three million dollars damages cause to this clear, clean and beautiful life supporting small creek has no credibility or evidence to support it. Scoop thought California courts and its “officers” had rules and penalties for misleading the court! If the government people win the civil suit, expect criminal prosecution next. The Central Valley water management has mistreated the Sixteen to One for over two decades. The whole matter doesn’t seem civil at all. It has become an unreasonable and harmful to the public.

Scoop thinks it resembles extortion, and the allegations offered by the Deputy Attorney General are the means to get money and put this old company out of business. The young lawyer working for the Attorney General seemed like a pleasant chap, one without a grudge or axe to grind. So, WHO IS DRIVING THIS LITIGATION?

Interruption for some news… The high voltage power to the mine failed this morning. PG&E was called and the response was fast. Power is restored. The malfunction was determined to be two small mice that bit off more than they could chew in a transformer.

The questions are, who is driving this litigation and WHY? No other company working in the natural resource industry of Sierra County was regulated to perform a schedule of water tests as the ones put forth by the Central Valley Regional Water Control Board in Sacramento. Scoop reports this whole water situation is a travesty and not in the public’s interest, not only for Californians but also for all Americans. The federal government should step in and sue the water agency for breach of its professional duty and responsibility. This is a disgusting waste of taxpayers money and contrary to working for the benefit of the public. Write your state and federal representatives and demand an investigation into the politics and practices of this over reaching public agency.

Now for the weather. Rain continues but not likely to turn to snow. The PG&E repair men think the weather is related to the volcano activity in Iceland, similar to the unusual weather experienced after Mount Saint Helens blow off. Many are getting worried about fire due to the lush vegetation in the forest.

Scoop signing off with those words of president Miller in his annual message to shareholders, “Less talk and more rock.”

05/11/2010  8:13AM

Hey Rae Bell isn't that old! If 60 is the new 40 then she's not even 30 yet.

Four inches of fresh snow on the ground in Alleghany. Still the birds are chirping this morning. They know it's spring.

Maintenance work continues on the 1,000 level underground. Steel is replacing wood.

Rae Bell has the draft 10-K done and is waiting for Mike to give his input. Edda is ready to start on the annual report.
 By martin newkom

05/05/2010  4:24PM

Congrats to Rae "Ma" Bell on her
recovery. I hope the old bones
are still in good shape, all things considered.
 By Rae Bell

04/22/2010  8:57AM

My Dr. appointment went well. The bone is 3/4 filled in as far as thickness goes and the Dr. said that is good. When I asked him if I can drive yet he said I have to call my insurance co. and DMV!

I start physical therapy next week.
 By Rae Bell

04/16/2010  9:50AM

Thanks for asking Rick Bob. I'm doing better everyday. I am using only one crutch now and I can walk a little without it. Next Wednesday I go to get an xray and see the Doctor. I'll let you know what he says.
I'll be glad when the snow is all gone and stays gone though!
 By Rick

04/12/2010  5:10PM

Rae, how are you???? xoxo

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PO Box 909
Alleghany, California 95910

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