August 18, 2022 

Clips from Alleghany


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 By Rae Bell

06/03/2008  3:08PM

I organized the event for six years and burned out. Drunken miners became a huge liability concern as far as the drilling contest goes. (It only takes a few to create a scene)

Maybe somebody will decide to bring it back next year.
 By blackjack

06/03/2008  1:43PM

Is it true that Old Alleghany Days will not happen this year. I found it to be a very enjoying day and thought it was quite a successfull event. I have over forty photos on file from last year. Hope it is not to late for Scoop or Rae or someone to put it together !!
 By Rae Bell

05/23/2008  8:28AM

It was very hot last Sunday (90's) and has cooled off progressively throughout the week. The weather forcast is calling for snow showers above 6,000 feet tonight. Such is spring in the mountains. It is weedeating time in Alleghany!

The 10-Q (1st Quarter Financial Statement) was filed timely with the SEC on May 14th. I did the filing from the Public Library in Butte MT. E-mail a note to corp if you would like a copy or click on the link to the SEC site under "The Company". My page breaks on the SEC site don't work for some reason so if you want a formatted copy send an e-mail.

The museum had its annual membership meeting last Sunday. Six members attended in addition to three Board Members. Re-elected to the Board of Directors were: Ian Haley, Dr. Ed Metz and Rae Bell.

There will be a small ceremony at the Firehouse in Alleghany today as Fireman's Fund Insurance Company presents a Grant check to the Department for the purchase of equipment. There should be a photo in the Mountain Messenger next week. I wrote the grant and we got $7,500 for specific equipment requested plus a Thermal Imager that retails for about $13,000.

The 16 to 1 annual meeting mail-out will probably go out at the end of next week. There have been a couple glitches that are slowing things down.

Not a lot to report from the mine. The water level is down and everything is being maintained as well as it can be. Time to start cleaning up for the annual meeting!
 By gfxgold

05/13/2008  12:06AM

Hey Scoop, you might want to lay low after that crack about dented pick-ups. About half of Sierra County might take notice of that one. But, if you were just commenting on Mikes truck... Nope, can't help you out there, either. Boy, talk about painting yourself into a corner!!!

05/12/2008  3:40PM

Mike is working with an old friend, Fred, to market and sell the 100 piece gold collection. Fred has been at the forefront of selling and buying Americana stuff for many years. He also was involved when the sixteen to One contracted with Butterfield & Butterfield (San Francisco) to hold the first gold collection auction way back in 1995.

Mike wanted the catalog in circulation last month, but at last it is in the hands of the printer. The catalog is on eighty-pound glossy paper, 28 pages of high quality photos, descriptions and text. Soon it will be up to some wise, wealthy and fortunate person to purchase the mine’s gold collection for his own. Scoop wishes he were that lucky person.

The mine (underground) maintenance program has been on hold for ten days. A vital part for a broken piece of equipment was ordered out of Canada and has yet to arrive in Alleghany. There is always surface work to do, especially before the annual meeting the end of June.

During the past three weeks some very fancy cars parked outside the mine’s office. The financial situation is very open and transparent and Mike certainly is actively seeking out the most favorable way to implement the work he proposed months ago. Although fancy cars don’t always mean rich drivers, fancy cars are probably better than dented pick-up trucks.

It is an interesting fact that little attention has been given the Gold Sector while the spot price of bullion has been strongly held at all time highs.

Weather report: clear and warm. A week ago the most impressive lightening show surrounded Alleghany. It was the event of the year. No fires were reported.
 By blackjack

05/01/2008  6:29PM

Us gold hounds here in the tradewinds appreciate the latest weather report. Keep the temps in the 80s and will see you in a few weeks.

04/30/2008  11:04AM

For you out-of-the-area gold-hounds, here what Scoop sees and feels outside. It's a no burn day but there is no wind. Temperatures dropped the past two days from the high 70's. Blue sky with a couple of helicopters crusing the ridges of the Middle Yuba River. If your wood styove was cold last night, you hated to get out of bed this morning.
END of weather report.

The April 28, 2008 issue of COIN WORLD hit is subscribers with a story. “California gold mine struggles in ‘famine’ see page 18. Editor Beth Deisher wrote a terrific story complimented by nine impressive photos of the Sixteen to One gold collection. It might be available at newsstands or coin dealers. It is a very worthy prize to find and keep.

The company of Hollabird, Kagin Americana is marketing the sale of the gold collection. It has a catalog ready for printing, which will be circulated to its list of customers. Fred Hollabird said copies are available for $25. The address is 3555 Airport Drive, Suite 308, Reno NV 89511. Phone number (775) 843-0229.


Last year’s gold production at the Sixteen to One mine was a bust says Michael Miller, the company’s president. Facing famine he pragmatically concluded that in order to keep operating and searching for gold, the company must sell its museum quality specimen collection. “For me it’s personal,” Miller said. “Its almost an indication of defeat. I’m intimately involved with each piece.”

The collection comprises 100 items, many crystalline gold specimens existing in their natural state. Some of the pieces were commissioned. These artistic gems were created by lapidary artists carving the prized high-grade, gold in quartz from the mine. The creations include a bear, an eagle, a trout, a complete jug band and other miniatures depicting miners and life from California’s Gold Rush era.

The mining company valued the collection at $3.5 million shortly before the recent rapid increases in the price of gold. Many of the pieces will be on display today (May 1) in downtown Downieville at Sierra Gold store from 4pm to 6pm. This will be the first major public display and regrettably, perhaps, the last. The store will be open to the public and there is no charge to view the collection.
 By blackjack

04/21/2008  10:49AM

Hey Scoop, It would be nice to get a weekly weather report from Alleghany for us Sierra County property owners in the Islands, Mahalo
 By martin newkom

04/12/2008  9:58AM

Mike did a fine interview with
Bob Sims on the KFBK outdoor
show aired this morning. Need more of that. Mike is an excellent communicator as we
all know.
 By bluejay

04/11/2008  6:12PM

Large gold nugget sold at auction

Published: Jan. 21, 2008 at 10:39 PM
Print story Email to a friend Font size:DALLAS, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- A gold nugget weighing more than 26 pounds has been sold for $1,553,500 in a public auction in Dallas.

The fabled "Boot of Cortez," a nearly 12-inch-long gold nugget weighing 389.4 ounces, was purchased in Sunday's auction conducted by Heritage Auction Galleries.

"It's the largest surviving gold nugget ever discovered in the Western hemisphere," said David Herskowitz, director of natural history for the auction house. "It was found in the Sonora Desert near Caborca, Mexico, in 1989 by a local man using a metal detector he'd just bought at RadioShack."

The more than 24-pound nugget was displayed last year in the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The buyer is an American philanthropist who wishes to see it return to public display "in the very near future," Heritage said in a news release.

A total of 418 lots of fossils, gems and other items sold for a combined total of $4,187,227 at the auction, Heritage said.

04/11/2008  12:45PM

For those of you who have called the office over the years, you know that a real person usually picks up the phone. Starting next week you will most likely get an answer machine asking you to leave a message. Scoop has always had easy and liberal access to the office gang but it will be less spontaneous for the next couple of months. Why?

David (gold sales) and Rae are striking out for Montana tomorrow morning for a month. Mike will be spending time out of the office with mostly surface chores. He and Ray (geologist) always escape underground, which is time well spent. The biggest task is marketing the gold collection. It is 100 pieces and valued by the Company at $3.5 million before the run up in gold prices and the sale of the Boot of Cortez (over a million bucks). Mike cannot get over something that happened at the Numismatic and Money Show in Phoenix last month. An exhibitor had a one-ounce gold coin and a one-ounce silver coin for sale. Price for two these two ounces was $4,735,000. Yowie! Seems the Sixteen to One collection would be more valuable than these two coins. Trouble will be getting the word about its availability spread around to those fortunate to have the dollars to own it.

Those photographs under NEWS on the forum are worth a look.
 By Rae Bell

03/31/2008  8:38AM

Another set of collection photos was posted under "news" this morning.
 By Rae Bell

03/27/2008  12:31PM

Look under "news" for something entertaining!

03/27/2008  9:14AM

President Miller and Company Geologist Wittkopp spent yesterday underground at the main Sixteen to One mine workings. They studied six areas for future mining once the Company has the money to pursue gold targets. In mining, each area (target) has different costs based upon access, set up time, rehabilitation needs and finally actual mining costs. It may not be commonly known but handling the muck is usually the primary concern (cost). Fortunately, at this mine millions of cubic feet of abandoned stopes exist throughout the mines that are capable of becoming a home for muck. These stopes are carefully reviewed for any future mining when the Company has built its 21st century gold detector. Increasing the current depth of detection will expose any remaining pockets of gold in the vein that surrounds the old stopes.

Each of these six targets are studied not only for the costs and time for development but also the potential amount of gold that may be expected from the area. All six were rated for gold potential. Additional planning will refine the targets. Don’t expect much production until the gold collection is sold or some adventuresome and smart gold investors give Mike a call and check out the Sixteen to One. It’s a winner.
 By Rae Bell

03/20/2008  1:10PM

For recent photos of the gold collection look under "news".

Will be updated as time allows. Need a clone!
 By Rae Bell

03/07/2008  9:21AM

No word from Scoop means he’s been too busy to write. It has been very busy here at the Corporate Office. A board of Directors meeting was held on Friday the 29th. The date of record for proxies was set at May 4th. The annual meeting is scheduled for June 28th. Packets will be mailed no later than May 28th.

The 2007 10-K ( year-end financial statement) was filed with the SEC this morning. To receive a formatted copy e-mail and I will send you one.

With gold getting close to $1,000 an ounce the “gold bugs” are getting restless and crawling out of the woodwork. I imagine it will be a busy dredging season this summer. The phone has been ringing more than usual with individuals wanting prospecting advice, an opportunity to get involved or whatnot.

The snow is still thick in places and completely gone in others. Mike’s driveway is still a challenge. Just yesterday morning somebody got stuck in his driveway and had to be pulled out.

Thanks for the suggestions Gerard. The U-tube idea is good, just need to make time to do it. As you can imagine Mike has not made much progress moving his vehicles off your property. If we make it a FORUM topic maybe something will give!

Alleghany Days has been cancelled this year. I organized it since its inception in 2001 but decided I need a break this summer. Nobody else stepped up to the plate to take it on so it won’t be happening.

Mike is at a nuministic convention in Phoenix AZ with Fred Holobird. The are trying to peddle the gold collection. Minimum bid 3M.

The museum had a board meeting on Feb. 23rd. The annual membership meeting was set for May 17th. A special note of thanks to all who donated money for specimens! We actually have to file a tax return this year! I also am taking a break from mine tours this summer. So far nobody has stepped up to the plate for that either. I will continue to do the bookkeeping, secretarial duties etc.

Not much to report from the mine. The water level rose quite a bit while the power was out. The pumps were run continuously since the power came back on and finally early this week the water level was down to where it should be and the pumps were shut off. Under normal conditions the pumps are run three days on, two days off, four days on, five days off etc.

The severe windstorms we had this winter took their toll on many tin roofs in Alleghany including those at the upper shop. Most of the repairs have been done. A couple large pine trees fell in Alleghany. One crushed a shed and the other severely damaged a house. Luckily nobody was in the house. This is one of the reasons it is NOT a good idea to let trees grow tall near houses! I’m really razzing Mike today. You see we argue about cutting trees down. There are three cedar trees almost touching the corporate office building that I think should be removed. They are getting to the point where they don’t allow the snow to slide off the roof. Also they can be a fire hazard. Same is true of the museum building. We compromised a few years ago and he let me cut two out of five trees down that are next to the museum building. (Mike owns the building) The remaining three are also keeping the snow from sliding off that roof now. I love trees, don’t get me wrong. I just know what they can do to buildings.

The caretaker at the Plumbago has been snowed in for 11 weeks now. I grew up at the Ruby Mine and the heavy snow this year has been bringing back many memories from my childhood. My dad snowmobiled three kids (I was the oldest with two younger brothers) to school five days a week for several years. It was 14 miles round trip and he would drop us off, go home, then come back and get us. He loved it! My brothers and I felt so safe with him driving and we went FAST up on top of the hill! (Henness Pass Road)

One time he let our only neighbor “Gary” come pick us up from school. Gary had been snowed in for months and wanted to go out. This was not planned in advance so my brothers and I were surprised when we walked up Hell’s Half Acre after school to find Gary instead of our dad waiting for us. Rather than putting us all on the snowmobile like my dad did he made me ride in the “sled” being towed behind. It was a warm day and snow (slush) started flying in my face. I was yelling at him to stop but he wouldn’t until he got stuck. I got pissed and threw a fit and tried to make him let me walk. He violently threw me back on the sled and told me I would be sorry if I jumped off. He got stuck again and again where my dad wouldn’t have. I was able to turn around so the snow hit my back instead of my face but I cried all the way home. My dad heard all about it when we got home and Gary NEVER was allowed to drive the snowmobile with us kids again!

After months of riding the snowmobile to school when we would ride in an automobile we would all lean into the curves on the road by reflex. We also would “duck” for branches. Then we would all crack-up when we realized what we were doing.

02/25/2008  9:55AM

Ouch! There wasn’t as much snow this last storm, which ended in rain and slush last night. For those of you who live or lived in snow country, need Scoop say any more?

Everyone is or was stuck in this morning. Layers of ice, snow and slush make for tough driving. But the sky is deep blue and the sun is shining like high-grader gold on a backing of snow white quartz.

02/21/2008  5:07PM

Some interesting numbers jumped out of the year-end SEC 10-K financial comparisons of 2006 and 2007. Accountants are reviewing the papers before they are electronically filed with the SEC. No significant revisions are expected. The losses were greater: 2006= $111,500; 2007= $291,000. Operating expenses stayed about the same for each year (increased about 6% in '07). The revenue side, however, decreased by 18%. Gold production is historically the great unknown. When a company can find and sack over 3 Million dollars in one shift or can quadruple that in one week, it can also go a whole year with practically nothing. The expenses will be about the same either way. That can be the life of a miner.

At last year’s annual meeting director Scott Robertson, a CPA, brought up the fact that the company has cut expenses down to the basics. It is revenue or gold production that makes for a profitable or losing year. The Sixteen to One mine operation is a difficult one to project a realistic budget. It has always been that way going back to the beginning of the twentieth century. What set this company apart from the other companies in the Alleghany Mining District (or other areas in the Sierra Nevada) was the Sixteen’s ability to buy (or bank) its labor, utilities and supplies well in advance of their depletion. It has always been the revenue side that makes for exciting gold mining. Nothing has changed over the years.

This wily group uses previously discovered gold locations in the mine and inventory as the bank. Some were identified with metal detectors and some by the geology of the deposit. Some of those underground “bank accounts” remain, but for operational reasons the miners cannot get to them. A multi million-dollar inventory remains, but it has shrunk. If no wild, adventuresome and smart people appear at the Sixteen’s door with their checkbook and plans for investment, the inventory must be marketed to develop the mine. What a mine it is! What an opportunity lies ahead. What an opportunity to miss and not see!
 By Dick Davis

02/18/2008  9:59PM

Dear Mike,

Maybe you could suggest to the purchaser-philanthropist, via Heritage Auction Galleries, that the UGMC Museum would be glad to exhibit, on loan, the Boot of Cortez along with the Whopper. And perhaps the Whopper could likewise be exhibited elsewhere.

Best regards,

 By Michael Miller

02/18/2008  12:24PM

An article last week in the Sacramento Bee relates a recent purchase of a 26-pound nugget found in the Sonora Desert in 1989 for $1,553,500 or roughly $4,000 per ounce. (Nuggets do not bring the same multiple over spot price as other specimens.) All of the Sixteen to One mine inventory has a book value based on the spot price of bullion at the close of the accounting period. The entire inventory has a market value greater than the spot price. The entire inventory is available for purchase.

The 100 piece company collection is dynamic, which means that some pieces are replaced if a specimen is sold and some pieces are replaced when a new gold find will add a unique perspective or a better example of an existing perspective. In other words the specimens in the collection change over time.

Private parties hold the Whopper and others as security for their cash advances to the company. These individuals are strong supporters of the mine and its plans for future development, which means their collateral will not be sold to cover their cash loans.

Underground Gold Miners of California museum owns outright five specimens, which were formally included in the Company’s collection. These purchases were made at different times and made possible by the farsighted and gracious donations of Sixteen to One shareholders and museum members. The sale price for all of these remarkable specimens was $36,355.

One specimen from the collection recently sold at the Tucson show for $21,000. It was named “the Tower”. Another specimen in the collection is very similar, so nothing was lost with the sale of “the Tower”. A specimen that does add a new, one-of-a-kind improvement that heretofore was in the non-collection inventory replaced it. Year-end gold inventory was 739.287 fine ounces (fau). The gold collection accounts for about 400 fau.

One of my favorite specimens has about twenty dollars of gold. It is incredible and more than likely we will never see another one like it. It is very small and will take the breath away from the most devoted collectors. It is by far the most difficult to price; therefore, it will only be sold to whomever buys the entire collection. It is priceless.

A shareholder came to Alleghany last Friday and took some pictures. He plans to create a slide show and put it on the Internet. When this happens, I’ll tell you how to find it.

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