October 14, 2019 

Clips from Alleghany


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 By Rae Bell

02/05/2009  3:52PM

Missy the Mine Cat

One morning approximately eleven years ago, I was sitting here at my desk in the Sixteen to One office. Mike’s truck pulled up and he came running in. “I caught a kitten in my raccoon trap”. (Having raccoons in the house gets old fast. They wash their food in the toilet). “Oh” I replied hardly looking up. “What should I do with it?” he asked. I said “You can call animal control and they will take it”. As Mike runs back to his truck he says over his shoulder: “Maybe you should take a look at it”. I knew what that meant. In comes Mike with his “raccoon trap”. He sits the trap on the floor and peering out at us are two bright green eyes. The kitten is a tortoise shell with white feet, a white chest and strikingly long white whiskers. Mike says, “Maybe we should try having an office cat”. At the time Mike’s black cat Blondie was a senior citizen and a kitten would have been too much for her. (She already had raccoons to contend with). Skeptically I agreed; we could give it a try. We let the kitten out of the trap and she was WILD! Not feral wild (she would let us hold her) but freaked out wild. She was jumping around knocking papers off my desk, racing around, and hiding. This wasn’t playful wild, this was scared wild. We knew she might need time to adjust so we just tried to hold her and pet her. Near the end of the day Mike went home to get a litter box and some cat food for the kitten. About twenty minutes later he came back with ANOTHER kitten. This one was a gorgeous calico. The first kitten was delighted to see her sister. (Both kittens were girls.) We just laughed to watch them play and of course both cats ended up calling the office home. The Calico we named Doré and her sister Missy . They had distinctly different personalities. Missy was the most social. Social is an understatement for Missy’s behavior! Later we thought we should have named her Velcro Kitty. Every visitor who walked in the office door was greeted by Missy’s persistent affection. If she could get close enough to your face she would gently pat your mouth with a soft paw.

About six years ago Missy began to lose weight. After many visits to the vet, her problem was still a mystery. Further diagnostics would require a trip to the big city and $1,000 just to get started. We decided against that and fed her a special diet not expecting her to live much longer. About two years ago Mike, now catless decided to take Missy home where she would not have to compete with Doré and the latest addition to our office cat family Felix. (Another story.)

Sadly last Friday on January 30th Mike rushed Missy to the vet because she seemed a little worse. The vet put her down. Mike brought her back to Alleghany and gave her a proper burial last Saturday. Kitty heaven for Missy is a lap to sit on and a hand to rub her head FOREVER amen.
 By Rae Bell

01/27/2009  3:24PM

Thanks for letting us know. Sorry to hear it. Would love to see the obit. I'll let Don Russell know.
 By lightfoot

01/27/2009  1:04PM

Dear Mike, I'm raising a glass for Tom Crary, whose obit was in the S.F.hronicle today. I hope the Mountain Messenger remembers him. That is if you and the paper are still engaged. I haven't checked in for a long time but as always wish you and the mine well, BC

01/23/2009  11:19AM

Look under "news" on our home page for a new post.

01/22/2009  12:22PM

Rain in Alleghany. The three feet of snow that we had at the beginning of the month is about gone.

MSHA inspectors made a visit yesterday. Even though the mine is on "maintenance only" status, certain items still must be kept in compliance. The inspection went well, only one "paperwork" citation was issued.

Scoop heard a rumor that the specimen/carving collection will be broken up and pieces priced individually. Watch this web-site for the news.

Down at the mine, it is still pretty quiet. The pumps are going but not much else. WE are all hoping that this is the year we can get a crew mining again!!

Up at the office, a few gold and jewelry sales continue to trickle in. Enough to keep the lights on and the phone bill paid.

The Sierra County Fire Safe council was awarded a grant of $127,000 to create a defensible fire zone around Alleghany. The Forester will be up on Tuesday to meet with Mike. Most of the project is on 16 to 1 land. The Fire Department has been working on this for four years now. Our first application was declined and we had to revise the project. Alleghany will breath a little easier during fire season when the job is completed!
 By Michael Miller

01/01/2009  12:18AM

Welcome to 2009. It is welcomed because a line between true and false economic, monetary, sociologic, political, geographic values is visual to all with a brain and the time to read. To recognize the mores, history, culture, philosophy, blue and white-collar affects of this line may take all the New Year to determine true and false. But not for everyone. I already know a bunch that already knows the line, its truths and falsenesses. How will this line influence the Sixteen to One mine?

I drew a similar line years past after determining the above important human influences and behaviors and how they relate to me and my job as president of the mine. Our miners will blast into another pocket, one larger than any so far. It will not be easy to do but it will be done with or without fresh/new help. I just cannot tell you when it will arrive.

Thanks Scoop for letting me and those previous well wishers into your space.

January 1, 2009, just past midnight.
 By blackjack

12/30/2008  9:59PM

Happy Holidays to all from the Islands.
 By oakrockranch

12/30/2008  11:43AM

Seasons Greetings!
 By martin newkom

12/30/2008  10:05AM

Happy New Year to ALL!!
 By smithsgold

12/25/2008  9:55AM

Merry Christmas from the Smiths !!!!

12/22/2008  2:58PM

On this shortest daylight day of 2008 and with all the worldwide unknowns, Scoop reports for certainty that it will be a white Christmas in Alleghany. Thanks to miner Reid, the road to the Sixteen to One portal is passable. So as soon as you fence straddlers, gold investors, speculators or just plain adventurers face the realities of the current (and not all that long lasting) fantastic gains to be made in the Gold Sector due to the realities of the current and carefully projected financial scene, plan your trip down this road to the Sixteen to One mine in Alleghany, the most proven gold deposit in the world with the least amount of miners drilling, blasting and mucking its treasurers. Your savings will never be placed in a safer spot, one with class.It will happen in 2009. Don’t you want to be in at its beginning?

"The problem of our age is the proper administration of wealth, so that the ties of brotherhood may still bind together the rich and poor in harmonious relationships." Andrew Carnegie

There is little news to report so have a Merry Christmas as well as a safe one.

11/25/2008  12:08PM

Yawn!!! Alleghany isn’t asleep, although you may think so since it has been almost one month since Scoop tapped the computer keys for a report. Sorry about that.

No one seems particularly in a hurry for winter. It’s hard to do when the warm weather continues The six or seven inches of rain two weeks ago eliminated concerns for fires and settled all the new road work at the mine. A grader was transported to Alleghany yesterday to shape the mine’s roads and pull the ditches for run off. The roads have never been in better shape going into winter. This grading will be the final touch for perfection.

The maintenance crew picked up some small pieces of quartz with gold. Some were slabbed for the jewelry market but not nearly enough to fill the back orders. Maybe the crew will get lucky and find a nice chunk worth cutting.

Nothing to report on the sale of the gold collection. With all the hullabaloo about politics and $$$$ and the traditional year-end slow down, Mike is resigned to the likelihood that nothing positive will happen until 2009. Where are those visionaries who have stepped up to secure worthwhile histories for future generations? If you have a clue, tell the guys in Alleghany how to reach them.

Gobble, gobble gobble and have a safe holiday.

10/29/2008  4:05PM

Alleghany village gossip.

The maintenance crew and a shareholder spent a couple of days and plugged away in the 1000 plus tons of ore brought to the landing years ago for milling. The reward was only a dozen or so pieces. Not as much high-grade as estimated was found.

Turn some gold detecting pros or hobbyists loose on that pile for a weekend and see what happens. Could be interesting. Could be fun. Could be a shipwreck. Scoop told Mike this afternoon to consider the idea, make a fair entry price and set a percentage share formula. He sighed and said, “Oh, brother! What’s next? How much entrance fee? What about security?” Why bother? Scoop thinks plenty of people would pay $200 to detect this ore pile. So, Mr. Miller, why not?
 By emf

10/22/2008  7:17AM

Thanks Scoop. your updates about the mine and the Alleghany community are greatly appreciated.

10/21/2008  4:47PM

Alleghany is experiencing another great California fall, especially today. The villagers are burning their wood stoves at night but the daylight hours are shirtsleeves or less. The Sixteen to One roadwork stirred up a lot of waste rock. Also those 1000-ton ore piles on the landing above the mill have been spread over the landing. After last week’s rain a half a dozen quartz/gold specimens were found much to the gold sales department delight.

Some of the water lines had to be moved to get better erosion control culverts and water bars in place. The worst water situation is the four inch line that runs behind the upper shop. Those shareholders who walk down the path next to the historic superintendent’s house will remember this aged steel pipe. It’s on the list to be changed this week.

Mike says he is getting an increasing number of phone calls from people asking about gold. He added that most of the people are new to the gold game and somehow expect to become a gold dealer, making huge percentage profits by putting gold sellers and gold buyers together. He has a couple of serious inquires from out of the country. Americans with extra dollars to locate avoid gold as if it were the plague. After sixty years of the $$$ being king of the world, they continue to hang on to the belief that the dollar rules the financial world. Maybe they are right. Ha, ha, ha. To everything there is a time and right now the $$$ is out of time.

Scoop plans to look into some history that relates to gold and this old industry. A shareholder called the office this week suggesting that Mike list the gold collection on Ebay. Why not?

10/04/2008  1:39PM

The weather prognosticators got it right! Light rain began yesterday afternoon, poured during the night and sprinkles continue today. Now if it clears tomorrow and next week our “Indian Summer” continues, those weather speculators earn a gold star. This rain is particularly great for Alleghany. It settles the dirt and dust and allows anyone needing to reconfigure erosion control before serious weather sets in.

Data regarding the water entering the mine and pumping will help the company plan on using timers to avoid the high rates for electricity during peak hours. It costs less to pump over the weekends and evenings.

Sorry but there isn’t much fresh or revealing activity to report from the mine.

09/26/2008  5:20PM

Scoop as well as the mine is quite stable right now. Busy but happily getting ready for the upcoming winter. Mike always tells his crew each year, usually beginning in August, the one thing about mining in Alleghany that is reliable is that winter will come. Just like our furry four legged friends, those who prepare will have a happier time than those who don’t.

How does this relate to the Sixteen to One? A major road repair and maintenance program on the mine’s access roads is completed: grading, bump removal, dip filling refreshed water bars and new culverts. It had been years since the roads saw this much activity. After the first or second rain later on, a few hours with an expert driver at the controls of a blade will complete this significant improvement.

Cash remains non-existent for the beleaguered company. Those nasty (Scoop might add criminal) CDAA lawyers chose to turn the appeal court’s outrageous decision to make Mike and the Company pay for their legal fees over to a Sacramento collection agency. Imagine that! Paying a hefty percentage of the illegal ruling to a Sacramento collection agency instead of negotiating a payment plan. Then the collection agency took the action of taking all the money from Mike’s and the Company’s bank accounts: a levy or something. When Scoop heard this, it sounded like an ongoing harassment plan probable engineered by the criminal lawyers and the lawyer at the collection company, Steven D. Cribb, who initiated the writ of execution. How does one run a business with no banks accounts?

One hundred ounces of gold cleans the balance sheet from these predators. One hundred ounces at the Sixteen to One is not even a breath away. The Sixteen to One, the longest working gold mine in North America operated by the oldest US gold corporation, will not be closing down its gold production operation any time soon. Maintenance goes on. So will production.

09/03/2008  11:41AM

Mike has a student trainee helping in the office since David and Rae went to Butte, Montana early July. The maintenance program continues: water held at 1500 level, blackberry bushes and weeds are cut away from powder magazines and other important facilities, self rescuer devices weighed, fire extinguishers re-certified, broken water lines fixed, equipment serviced, second exit maintained and probably more items are taken care of during this period of the company’s history.

The company got an extension for filing its 10-Q with the SEC. The document will be electronically filed tomorrow.

Inquires but so offers for the gold collection. Some out-of-the-country investors are waiting for the US approval of visas so they can come to Alleghany to kick the rocks, talk over plans and make an investment. Ramadan, which started September 2, places travel restrictions that may also delay their trip to the United States.

The tomato crop is great in the community garden and the peppers have become a delicacy when stuffed with cheese and lightly fried. Sierra County DA and his wife must love fried green tomatoes because they walk to the garden for a regular harvest.
 By martin newkom

08/14/2008  7:14AM

The Downieville paper did a
fine job of displaying some
of the specimens. The one at
the bottom of the page (front)
is beautiful!

08/12/2008  10:36PM

Hot today and lowish humidity. Cedars and Oaks not happy right now. Summer closing into fall. How about that gold fall!
Date line, Alleghany:

A clean SUV with federal license plates parked in front of the office this morning and all afternoon. No other autos. Where was Mike’s truck, “Thunder”? He turned out to be with a MSHA mine inspector. The mine elected to change its operational status to “Maintenance”. This status precipitates changes in the federal regulations. For example, if the maintenance program can be done with no miner employees, does that significantly impact regulations and their interpretations?

Late afternoon the fed auto is gone and Thunder is back, so in goes Scoop .The president spies me and says,” The key with interpreting the regulations for an underground hard rock non-gassy mining operation is a subjective honor. It’s a good practice to keep sometimes and sometimes not, as it applies to each mine site and operation. Honor flows from mining’s ancestral hands and minds.” Scoop leaves shortly.

So, the mine has fresh CAL/OSHA and MSHA inspections, which fell onto the Sixteen to One for the first time as a maintenance operation. Rules stay the same but exceptions, qualifications and interpretations don’t. For no employees the current mining is successful in maintaining its maintenance.

That’s it for now. Scoop has his eyes peeled back and on the autos in the parking lot.

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PO Box 909
Alleghany, California 95910

(530) 287-3223      
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