August 18, 2022 

Clips from Alleghany


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 By Hans Kummerow

12/04/2017  12:22AM

Here are my X-mas and New Year wishes:

A merry X-mas, a little dry walk on the lower level and several million dollar days in 2018 for the entire Origsix-Crew.

Regards from Bavaria,

08/04/2017  9:22AM


A public administration hearing takes place in Nevada City California on August 8 through 11 beginning at 9am at the Nevada City Council room on Broad Street. The topic regards around citations issued by Mine Health Safety Administration to Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. (Respondent). Sixteen to One is the oldest American gold mining company and the last traditional underground hard rock-high grade operation in California. It was incorporated in San Francisco in 1911. Home town is the small mining town, Alleghany, about an hour drive from Nevada City.

The hearing is under the management of Judge William Moran (ALJ), who calls Washington DC his workplace. The Secretary of Labor is responsible for both the ALJ and the prosecuting solicitor Laura Pearson, who works from Denver; however an ALJ must administer the hearing in a fair manner. All mining operations that affect interstate commerce are subjected to Congressional law passed in 1977, creating standards or regulations to improve the safety of miners. The hearing is open to the public.

Michael M Miller, director and president of Sixteen to One, represents the Respondent. His interest in California gold mining began in 1974. After a seven year proxy fight to replace an old, tired and ineffective board of directors, he took control of the company in 1983. The focus of this hearing has broad federal impact on mining throughout the United States. At issue is not over regulating as this topic does have merit but questions the background training and experience of enforcement, the inspector.

Nevada County and all the Sierra Nevada Mountain range is steeped I hard rock gold mining history. Miners developed a wide variety of skills and this holds true today, even more so. A lead mine know about carpentry, engineering, plumbing, electrical and diesel maintenance, structural geology, and above all the common and not so commonsense of working in an hostile environment. Miller will introduce evidence to show that an inspector without these behaviors may not be able to interpret an underground work environment. The lack of skilled underground mining inspectors is recognized by MSHA District Headquarters in Vacaville, CAlifornia. It will be up to the ALJ to evaluate the harsh reality that California gold miners have suffered and continue to suffer lost time and many times lost ability to mine due to this ongoing problem.

06/03/2017  2:33PM

Most miners in our area and Northern California only use Douglas Fir for ground support. A very colorful part of the Sixteen to One mine has 1800 or early 1900 peeled Doug Fir uncut (round like the way they grew) timber. Much of these ancient old growth trees are as sound today as they were when brought unde4rground.
 By cw3343

06/01/2017  11:44AM

What is used for the timbers? Pondorosa Pine?

05/31/2017  8:59AM

When there is no news from Alleghany, Scoop shan’t fake news. Seems the great California weather not gold mining is the news to write you this morning: wonderful late spring rain. For all outside California, our greenery is lush, vibrant, a joy to see and very healthy. Starve vegetation for years in a drought and when record setting rain and snow happens, the earth is like a sponge and the forest is responding with renewed life.

Yesterday some radio person asked listeners to support soap. My old ears took interest. Soap? What is he asking me to do about soap? It didn’t take long for SOAP means, “Save Our Ailing Planet”.

Scoop wants details, clarifications presented with current and historical facts. Scoop sends off a mental email to the radio guy: What?
If soap means Save Our Ailing Planer and the organization is asking for money and support, WHAT means:

Where’s Health Ailing Today?

According to reports about the Sixteen to One and action around town, the miners are helping the lumber industry because truckloads of beautiful mine timbers keep coming. This winze project is a major improvement for the company.
 By fredmcain

04/11/2017  11:17AM

Mike and "Scoop",

There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever. The 16 to 1 has some very dedicated people at all levels. That's one reason that I have faith in this enterprise.

One day, one fine day, you will all be "discovered" and rewarded as well for all your efforts.

Keep the faith !

Fred M. Cain

03/31/2017  12:39PM

Winter’s waning days plummeted Alleghany with water. Snow or rain makes little difference with temperatures being warmer than long historical averages. For most folks, wet land, high winds and tree covered properties brought hardships as roots of the towering pines and firs eroded. Coupled with the bark beetle infestation throughout the Sierra Nevada, our landscape is very different from a year ago. Trees are down everywhere.

But what about those underground miners? Did they have problems? If you’ve been underground in the Sixteen to One or similar gold mines, you know the temperature stays about the same (fifty degrees) winter or summer, day or might. This is a real plus on knowing how to dress. A miner needs a very simple or regular wardrobe. Our guys in Alleghany had a big time problem with the water this month. They needed rain coats.

The Sixteen is a combination of many mines. About thirty-five miles of tunnels extend under Alleghany. This creates a big collection box for surface water. This winter the creek (Kanaka Creek) that flows through the mine property was so high it backed up and flowed into the mine. Since adits are driven slightly uphill, water didn’t travel deep into the mine, but it sure was different.

So, the big collection box and surface water did impact the mine’s operation. Miners constructed as many channels above the discharge point (portal) into Kanak Creek to get water out of the underground without pumping. All other water underground must be raised by pumping. The crew told Scoop repeatedly that the underground tunnels, stopes and raises looked like rivers: water running where it was never seen before. Not all of it could be removed with gravity alone, putting more pressure on pumping.

If you are still following Scoop’s report, guess what came next. Pause while you figure it out.

The pump quit pumping is what happened next. Pumps are electric powered. This one is a high horse power, three phase, 480 volts and a long way from the portal and a longer way down to water level. If you’ve ever tried to fix something that quit, you know that most times you should change one potential source of the problem at a time, unless the problems are obvious. The problem was not obvious.

The disconnect problem could be within the two thousand feet of wire, the power supply. It could be in one of four necessary metal circuit/ starter/safety boxes. It could be the pump motor or even the multistage pump itself. One by one Reid and Danny worked through the system searching for the flaw. During this period the water continues to rise, of course. Before the problem the water level lapped a wooden deck just above the 1700 level: great progress over six months of pumping. The ultimate destination is the three thousand level. (No one alive has been on the three thousand level. No metal detector has sung on the three thousand level.) Mike and the miners want to change this.

Yesterday, you could see the water a couple of yards below the 1500 level, quite a loss of ground. Noon yesterday, after a pow wow of pump speculations, two choices remained as the most likely fix: the motor or the pump stages were compromised, thus binding the motor. (All pump systems have a safety reset button, like the one on your garbage disposal.) At last everything that could be wrong up to the pump itself was working… the reset button held open. At 2pm Reid and Danny headed into the mine and down to where the pump was tied out of the water. Not much space available to work on the pump, barely enough for the two of them. Reid told Scoop, “We have all the tools we need. A back up motor is already down there, so let’s change it and hope it works.”

Scoop is walking the dog about 8am this morning and the Sixteen to One mine truck stops with Reid and Danny inside. They seem out early driving here. They also seem whipped. Scoop thinks, the fix didn’t work so what’s next? No, changing motors did work. The pump is doing its thing again. The water level is receding, but where are they going at this hour? They stare at Scoop. “We’re going home. It took all night but we got it done.”
These boys, all this crew, will see that three thousand level some day. Scoop places his bet on it.

02/09/2017  4:15PM

If you live in Northern California you are very familiar with what Scoop writes now: rain, more rain and rain melting a lot of snow. Area dams are at or nearing capacity with weather projections for storms through Saturday. This morning a new slide closed Highway 49 near the South Fork Yuba River Bridge. It is a big one. Expect closure estimates range from two days to a long time. Trees are uprooted everywhere. Last storm knocked out electrical power for a couple of days and phone lines out almost a week.

Here’s the exciting news: Kanaka Creek is raging. The creek water is higher than the Twenty One portal; so creek water is flowing into the mine. Mike picked up a hundred sand bags and the miners will block the water before it flows down an old raise. The pumps aren’t keeping up with increased water seepage that cannot be diverted out the drain tunnel. This is a first anyone knows, where the creek flowed into the mine. This weather beats the 200 year flooding of 1996-97.

Twenty three Northern Cal counties are declared red alert for flooding. Oroville Dam (about forty miles north of Alleghany) has a serious issue. Water going over the spillway eroded chucks of concrete. People saw chunks flying away and notified the govt.

Water is diverted above the dam (earth filled) but still more water is flowing in than is released. A radio report assured everyone downstream not to worry. The water engineers are looking into the issue. This dam is the tallest dam in USA and stores 3.5 million acre feet of water. An acre foot equals 325,851 gallons. In other words, the govt. news release means: don’t worry folks living downstream from the dam. (Right!)

Pack the car, honey; gather the pets and be ready to boogey!

01/10/2017  1:14AM

Before the Pineapple Express hit our remote mining camp called Alleghany, everyone from Pike to here lost electric power and phone land lines. Now most of you won’t think that a lost phone line is significant. Doesn’t everybody have a pocket phone? Think again. Some refuges from city boundaries have zero outside communication when a land line goes down, and they do. It took days for AT&T and PG&E to fix the problems. Rumor creeps into our conversations that the phone companies want to eliminate land lines. Hey out there! Help us stay alive. Don’t let it happen.

In the 1930’s the feds put a law down that rural areas must be served lifesaving utilities like the telephone. Scoop doesn’t know the law’s name but it is still on the books. Rural California is at the whims of that urban crowd. So are rural Idaho, Kansas, Ohio and Maine. Acceptance of rurality stretching across the great America is an endangered concept.

Oh, balls, sidetracked again from directly responding to the stalwart, Bluejay.. Bluejay, thanks for the well wished. Pineapple Express gave Alleghany relief from the piles of snow and slush on our roads and driveways: Snow gone; Sacramento Valley flooding; Sierra Nevada Mountain summits happy.
 By bluejay

01/07/2017  5:53PM

Good luck to all the residents of Alleghany when the Pineapple Express hits this weekend.
 By Hans Kummerow

12/25/2016  5:06AM

Hello Scoop!

There is a little favour I would like to ask you.
As long as there is not too much snow on the ground please find someone to check the surface area where the new shaft is planned with the best Minelab Equipment at hand.
And I wish you that you will find an outcropping reef just beneath the surface.

11/29/2016  12:11AM

Hello out there! Hello outside world!

Our Alleghany community is without phone service beyond Alleghany. There has never been any cell phone service here, so that little pocket phone is out. Sometime last Saturday (November 26) all AT&T phone service to anyplace but Alleghany quit. Strange that Alleghany people could call other Alleghany people but no other phone numbers. No incoming calls reached our little mining camp.

If anyone is calling Alleghany, you hear a voice saying that the lines are disconnected, no service. AT&T says service will be restored by Thursday, December 1. We are here. Are you still there?

11/10/2016  12:04AM

In addition to the splendid Northern California “Indian Summer”, interesting stuff makes today a good day to be excited about life. Who can deny (with credibility) that the election of Mr. Trump gives the Sixteen blue collar miners a more prosperous and safer future than the continuation of ‘the establishment’ in government. The expectation that the changes in Washington D.C. expressed by the President elect was cheered by the entire crew. Hooray may be premature but the move is in the right direction. Good luck and best wishes for your success.

Last week Mike brought a diversity of people who study ground water in fractured systems underground. The group comprises geologists, hydrologists, graduate students from UC at Davis and academics. (Scoop was invited on the underground tour.) One guy stood out.. Mr. Vasant M. Wagh is an Assistant Professor , Department of Environmental Science at the Swami Ramanard Teerth Marathwasa Univewrsity in Maharashtra, India. While water was the focus, he had more questions about the gold deposit. Mike made a comment that India’s culture appreciates gold much more than American culture. He smiled and agreed.

A fresh approach towards detection technology was suggested last week. The sponsor will soon meet in Saxony to draw up a plan for further action. The mine’s message is the same now as twenty years ago: exploration with detection to economically improve mining strategy will find an obscene amount of gold.

Pumping the flooded levels of the Sixteen is about to open the 1700 level. Future benefits are assured.
 By Michael Miller

10/28/2016  12:00AM

Remember all our time listed as the time of sending an email to the Forum is off. I will send this at 3pm on the dot.

Our web master is in Hungary and we are having difficulty reaching him. We sent a deposit to a California web site group to take over this job.

10/18/2016  2:45AM

It is a small group, those who operate mining companies, small compared to other basic industries. Forget what you learned from any retail experiences. Discount much of what you learned in manufacturing, research and development as well. Pay keen awareness into economic fundamentals areas, such as: risk to reward, supply and demand, laws of diminishing returns and market values. Natural resource companies require spinning ones brain in unfamiliar territories. Is it worth the effort? That depends on many things, but your intentions always are paramount. Our rules are very different for each mine and miner because our ores vary and our intentions are individually driven and executed.

10/14/2016  6:45PM


and many more

The Sixteen to One mine was located 120 years ago yet the rarity of this history is that the same Company, incorporated in San Francisco, is still operating. Go get that next 83,000 ounce pocket!! There is another one somewhere nearby. Best wishes for turning 105 years old this week.

07/29/2016  7:22PM

SLEEPLESS IN ALLEGHANY. Why are the locals walking around with bloodshot eyes?

Northern California is in a heat spell and even at 4500 feet elevation the nights are unusually hot. One guy told Scoop that he woke up, looked for the temperature and at midnight is was 85 degrees inside. Residents up here rarely have cool air conditioners and hot bedroom aren’t a good place to fall asleep.

06/19/2016  5:57PM

If you’re familiar with the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range and listen to northern California weather reports, you have heard countless times, “Scattered thunderstorms and showers in the Sierra.” This can mean anything anywhere but yesterday in Alleghany from midnight to 6am it meant buckets of rain. Talk about throwing a wet blanket onto the shareholder meeting!

The crew adjusted the locations of the gold display and gold sales, the food location and transportation resulting in another delightful shareholder meeting. Traveling through the ZERO LEVEL was taking a walk through history said shareholders. In the back of the shop building two large Ingersoll Rand air compressors are mounting and look ready to run. Their date of installation is believed to be 1917. Let’s get some help and start them up for next year. If you ever have heard the thump, thump, thump of one of these, the sound will continue in your memory forever. Likely you haven’t, SO, Mike get some help, grease all the parts and give them some power. Maybe Ingersoll will send us some help.

The surprise was a visit from an old Cornish miner from the glory days of gold mining in Bodie. His true and factual account captivated the audience. For that moment he was William Hicks. The fundamentals of underground mining haven’t changed much.

Mike Miller and Dan O’Neill were re-elected and a new director Robert Besso, takes the place of the vacancy open with the retirement of Scott Robertson. Scot served as a director for nineteen years. While his presence will be missed, his sage advice remains as it does with all past directors, said Mike.

The mine property never looked better. Congratulations to this small and mighty group.
 By cw3343

06/19/2016  2:58AM

I am wishing that I could have made it to the meeting today. I hope that the meeting went well, and I hope no shareholders fell down the Tightner shaft!

It is always nice to visit the Mine, and Alleghany. It is definitely one of the better areas of our great state of CA.

Shout-out to this company for all of the work they do to create an interesting and fun annual shareholder meeting!

06/16/2016  2:38AM

What’s with the California weather? Last week it was in the 80’-90’s. This morning it iwas 44 degrees and perhaps snow in the high elevations. Next week the weatherman predicts low 100’s. Alleghany is looking pretty good. Weed eaters are purring about the community. The Spring brought much vegetation. The mine site looks better than it has in years.

Shareholder meeting is this Saturday and the museum has a two day show.. There will be a very high quality gold specimen display. Yes, it is father’s day but anyone within driving distance from Alleghany should take the chance and come.

Underground Gold Miners of California phone number is (530) 287-3330.

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© 2022 Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc.
PO Box 909
Alleghany, California 95910

(530) 287-3223      
(530) 287-3455

      Gold Sales:  

(530) 287-3540

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