August 18, 2022 

Clips from Alleghany


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 By anonymous

05/08/2007  8:04AM

Hi is there any new pictures of underground and the headings being worked right now? Thanks
 By martin newkom

05/05/2007  7:26AM

That CAN'T be the real chopper
used by "Tricky Dick". Siller
Bros. has one of those type
along with one or two sky-
cranes. Their chopper shop is
near me in Yuba City.

05/02/2007  3:26PM

It’s more than a spring shower today. It is a pouring rain at about 36 degrees. Yesterday was a warm one. A logging truck slipped into a ditch going up Hell’s Half Acre Road. The driver got lost in Alleghany, something rather difficult to do. The owner called the mine for help. Mike drove the Cat 966 loader from the lower portal through town and up the dirt road. Ian took over and pulled the fully loaded log truck out of the ditch until the driver got enough traction to get the *#^&* out of town. Monday another log truck flipped on Stud Horse Grade. The driver was air evacuated to the hospital. A major clearing plan and timber harvest started near Alleghany. During March we could hear the helicopter used to transport logs to a landing throughout the daylight hours. Scoop had to check it out. The chopper was former president Nixon’s. The inside was completely striped but it is a very impressive machine and fun to watch.

Other Unusual Happenings Today. Trucks from Oregon headed down the mine road this morning with three or four guys inside. They came to move a gold concentration machine that the mine bought for $65,000 over ten years ago. It’s headed to their gold mine in Grants Pass. Their operation unexpectedly hit some free milling gold which was not being recovered with the existing flow sheet. Their company rented the machine for five weeks to keep the mill flowing without the loss.

Did Scoop ever tell you about the guy from Marin County with the gemstones and minerals buried by Sir Francis Drake? It is a fine story. Mike got a phone call from a stranger last spring with a plausible but wild story. He had dug thousands of pounds of “treasure” and needed a place to separate the rare minerals from waste. Mike agreed to help him as long as he paid the bills. They built a rock screening plant, which belongs to the mine when his screening is completed and have processed about forty tons of stuff. His bills to date total $38,645. His balance is $7,120. He arrived about noon in a U-Haul truck to take 500 pounds back to Marin County to evaluate and sell. The project will be completed before the June shareholder meeting. Everyone has a dream or so it seems.

Oh, the mine! The big cave-in on the 1000 level is almost gone. The level is blocked 200 feet ahead with what is believed to be the last cave-in. Fingers are crossed that it will be removed within two to three weeks. The track is holding up. The dump pocket is not full but the tramming time to dump the ore cars is increasing. There are no other down-dip workings to shorten the distance. All utilities are in place to the face and will be extended to the 1064 winze once the level is clear. Then the crew will seek out the gold.

The final draft of the annual report is in the printer’s hands. It will be in the mail by May 21, 2007. Shareholders will like the back cover. A new map of the current active working was drawn. The map will be a great help for those interested in following the summer activities underground.

04/24/2007  3:29PM

Ian says he can see the end of the blockage at the face of the rehab on the 1000 level. Twenty-five to go. Let’s not get too excited. One more cave-in is about 100 feet away. This one should be easier to remove. When the miners were on the 1064 winze side of it, they could hear the miners working a couple of hundred feet away. Also smoke was visible from a blast. The level still requires stulls, posts and lagging on the up-dip side. The old timers actually had timbered the area twice, as evidenced by the debris.

The newest heading is called the 1020 North Wing Raise. A numbering program has existed at the Sixteen to One mine for many years. Even numbers from the Tightner Shaft begin with the level (600 or 800 or 1000) and are designated to the north. Odd numbers go south. So, the 1020 raise goes up from the 1000 level and is pretty close to the Tightner Shaft. The crew is clearing the level to reach the 1064 winze (farther to the north). The 1016 Raise connects with the 800 level and the new heading is headed north, hence its name. Expect Scoop to report gold from this heading in the near future. If not expect Scoop to report about some very discouraged miners.

For all you readers who like more than mine talk, something very troubling happened at the office last week. The entire internal networking program and the Internet service failed on Monday. Rae and Kyle traced the problem to the router. The router failed because it was a favorite bathroom spot for the office cats. Kyle found a replacement and shouts of joy echoed down Main Street on Thursday, when the UPS truck pulled into the parking lot.

04/12/2007  8:32AM

Ten boxes of new phone wire arrived via UPS last week. “Out with the old and in with the new”. The phones at the mine have been wreaking havoc this winter. Already there is a noticeable improvement.

The miners are extending the 800 level north. A little gold came out yesterday. Another crew is plugging away at the cave-in on the 1,000 foot level.

A bunch of new ladders for the second exit were manufactured last week.

A Mine Safety Health Administration (MSHA) inspector was here Tuesday and Wednesday. The inspection went well.

Ore cars, trammers and other equipment are being rehabbed for the anticipated mining off the 1,000 foot level once the cave-in is cleared.

Scoop saw a bunch of cars at the Alleghany Firehouse yesterday morning. A meeting to discuss the Fire Safe Grant that has been awarded to create a defensible space downslope of Alleghany was held. Representatives of the Sierra County Fire Safe Council, the Forest Service, Pliocene Ridge CSD and both the PIke and Alleghany Fire Chiefs were in attendance as well as the Registered Forester who will be helping with the project and a couple community members. Word is a town meeting will be scheduled in May to educate the community about the project.

Alleghany got a blanket of snow yesterday morning that was washed away by rain in the afternoon. By evening it was snowing again. The clouds cleared out in the early am and it was 22 degrees Fahrenheit this morning.

04/05/2007  5:28PM

“Deep enough” echoed down the Tightner Shaft, flowing south into the lower working of the mine. “It just didn’t look good enough to continue spending valuable time and money”, said Ian. The two miners working the heading gathered their tools and headed to a new location. Although geologic signs that have proven to be positive for exploration were present, the new heading has gold showing in the quartz. “There’s no better arrow pointing the way than gold”, Ian puffed, as he carried and dragged a bucket of tools up the raise to the 1000-foot level. “We may be back”, Ian said. “We know the quartz ledge is turning and it definitely is the right thickness. The ‘bluejay’ on the hanging wall and footwall is beautiful, like a semi-precious stone.” (For those who forget or never knew, ‘bluejay’ is the name miners gave to a siliceous variety of muscovite. It’s greener than bluish and is a mineral found close to a high-grade pocket.) “I want to return for a few more rounds someday, but we have gold showing, little recent production and limited manpower.”

Scoop has witnessed this before. Good for the Sixteen to One boys. Knowing when to quit a spot is just as important as picking a spot to mine. Deep enough! Glad Scoop doesn’t have to make that decision. Good for those Sixteen to One boys. Can’t let ego get in the way of a sound but tough decision.

The news about the 1000-foot level rehab is mixed. Report is it may take seven more weeks to get to the 1064 winze. Mike is rolling the dice on his miners clearing the level before money runs out. The width of the tunnel is so narrow that a mucking machine and man can just fit. Scoop was invited for a look. It’s dirty, noisy and scary. Wall rock and roof rock the size of small cards can be seen for about sixty feet in the level as well as gooey clay and other debris. The crew installs wooden and steel stulls and has drilled rock bolts everywhere to support both the ribs and roof. They will get through and the bosses were right in mining through the level instead of drifting around the existing level. What a highway it will be when it is finished.

While snooping around the office, Scoop learned that Klaus Kolb, attorney extraordinaire, requested additional time for oral argument in the upcoming appeal hearing in Sacramento. He bases this request because the CDAA lawbreakers filed a brief of 10,324 words and cite 30 cases not cited in their Opening Brief, the misguided Amicus Brief filed by California’s Attorney General (Lockyer not Brown) raised additional arguments that were not raised in the lawbreakers Reply Brief, and that the lawbreakers’ claims of absolute immunity are “sufficiently novel and complex”. Mr. Kolb is so polite. Scoop has never met him but is sure he would rather write that the lawbreakers are perverting the integrity of a once proud justice system with this false appeal. “Sufficiently novel and complex” could only come from a Harvard graduate. Scoop graduated from high school and the school of hard knocks. Gail Filter, his cronies and their lawyers are feeding California’s second to highest court ‘bull sheet’ says Scoop. Come see for yourself on April 18, in Sacramento.
 By martin newkom

03/28/2007  5:28PM

If they would let us use DDT
again we could take care of the little SOB. (beetle)

03/27/2007  4:08PM

Snow yesterday. Snow today. Tomorrow supposed to be sun. No one had trouble getting to work but an unexpected and unwanted problem hit Alleghany: Bark Beetles.

At the intersection of Foote’s Crossing Road, Main Street and Miners Street the dreaded little bug found a home in the Ponderosa pines. This western beetle (Dendroctonus brevicomis) attacks the midtrunk, then spreads up and down; larvae feeds on inner bark and completes development in outer bark.. First sight is right at the top of a tree. The needles turn brown and very quickly the entire tree turns brown.. It happens fast.

Adults can emerge at any time of year, weather permitting, but emergence is most common in late spring and again in late summer to early fall. The nasty bug commonly attacks trees weakened or predisposed to infestation by drought, disease, injuries or other factors that may stress the tree. Management against the beetle is limited. Fifteen trees are goners and more may show infestation over the coming days. The unseasonable warm weather must have triggered the outbreak.

If left alone the whole forest could fall prey to the insect. Even though it rained and snowed yesterday, Mike, Ian, Chico and a town volunteer fell, limbed and decked ten trees. High winds stopped cutting the remaining five. If the Western pine beetle comes to your neighborhood, attack the infestation immediately.

03/23/2007  3:40PM

The week ends on a high note. It’s not a gold high. It’s an “at last we know how much muck must be mucked to clear the 1000-foot level” high. Some may wonder why this relates to high feelings. As many of the crew told Scoop, “It’s the unknown we’ve been dealing with.. We live with it daily with the gold but it’s been hell not knowing how big the cave-in.”

Late yesterday, a hole or opening appeared at the top of the level where the muck, up until then, was a solid wall. It opened enough for one of the baby miners to crawl through and get on the level behind the cave in. Today the crew worked with renewed spirit and energy. Everyone had been a little edgy because the primary target was not to find gold. This crew’s job is to get that level accessible. Gold is in the future. A gold mining employer without gold becomes a company without employees. Maybe that’s why most of the small companies, unlike this one, get their operating capital from stockbrokers not gold miners mining gold.

There are two new faces at the mine. Mike seems to do some things opposite from other managers. As money is getting low, he adds miners instead of laying them off. Not always but his strategy is grounded in his own experiences. Scoop cornered him to explain. “When revenue or sales are down and orders are shrinking, it is wise to cut employees and other expenses. Our sales are up and orders are backlogged. Ian and I have a plan and it’s a good one. The guys need to get to where we are confident of good odds of finding gold before other expenses restrict our ability to get there. This mine is not a crapshoot, as some are led to believe. It is actually fairly predictable, enough to still be producing for 111 years.”

The level will still take sometime to clear so stay tuned.

In other news you probably know this already. The California Court of Appeals in Sacramento set a date for oral arguments on April 18, 2007 at 2pm. Let’s fill the spectator seats and support justice. Why the Attorney General decided to side with provable lawbreakers is a question that needs an answer. Do any of you have one? Do you think it may have been because the former head. Bill Lockyer is a fool or approves lawyers breaking the law? Does the new Attorney General, Jerry Brown share Lockyer’s sentiments about lawbreakers? Scoop works the rural environment, so maybe some of you can answer these questions. This appeal is even more bizarre because its legal foundation requires that Mike and the mine some how took away constitutional rights of crooked lawyers and private prosecutors. This story should be appearing in all California newspapers and some of the national big ones. As the NY Times said in its article about the CDAA private prosecution, “As California goes, so goes the nation.” Help, please.

03/13/2007  12:56PM

Lots of wood and outdated rock bolts were being loaded on flat cars at the portal and heading underground. The outside miner said that the muck on the 1000-foot level continues to slop into the level. Muck slopping onto the level didn’t explain much so Scoop went to the books. The miners are spiling, which means to drive spiles. A spile
is a large timber driven into the ground to serve as a foundation. When you look in the historic mines in California, you will see old wood, old pipe and bent mine rail or track used for spiling. Miners would grab any material at hand to stop muck from seeping into the workings.

The miners are clearing a pinch zone. It isn’t a dangerous situation but a nasty one because the up dip back continues to break loose and make its way to the area that was just cleared. There are times when a miner will muck in one place for days, unable to stop the flow, catch up with his support or secure the sliding of material. The worse and most frightening time is when the rock breaks loose from overhead. Have heard stories it got real hairy one time at the Red Star heading. Even the bravest miner felt he was tempting death by stepping into a spot where, without warning rock would fall from above. A decision was made to abandon this spot and drive a new tunnel around it.

Ian and Mike knew this spot on the 1000-foot level could be a problem and even discussed drilling and blasting around it. They decided to give it a try first. It looks like the miners are going to hold back the muck and continue forward.

Scoop asked, “Why is the muck flowing? Thought this is a hard rock mine.” The snarly reply wasn’t enough of an answer. So Scoop went to the books again.

According to maps, the crew is stuck in a “pinch zone”. It appears to run from above the 600 level to the 1500 level. Records show that in mid 1990’s the miners went through a similar situation on the 1500 level. Over 300 ounces of gold were found in the pinch. The still reliable United Stated Geological Service professional paper #172, Quartz Veins of the Alleghany Mining District emphasizes the importance of geologic structure in locating the gold. Gold deposition has a relationship to such occurrences as faulting, structure of the bedrock, size and structure of the veins, origin of the deposits, and mineralogy.

Scoop hears from time to time a negative perception about the wealth of the Sixteen because it seems to have an “unproven history”. Ha, ha, ha. In all the veins that have been productive there are certain structural features, which appear to be generally associated with the high-grade shoots, and within such favorable areas there are closer guides furnished by the mineralogy of the veins. Miners believe that the major control of the deposition of gold in the high-grade shoots lays in the presence in the vein of conditions which favored the local shattering of the quartz, hence a ready entrance of the solutions that deposited the gold. Other useful words are: shearing, stresses, irregularities, swellings and pinches.

Maybe the perception of current mining and its historical culture and benefits to society is so off base in America these days because its terminology has unique and sometimes colorful words and definitions. Here is how a dictionary of mining, mineral, and related terms defines spiling (spilling) and pinch. Spiling: Forepoling over timber and steel supports in weak, loose beds. Driving timbers ahead of an advancing tunnel through treacherous, loose, watery ground. Pinch: A marked thinning or squeezing of a rock layer. A thin place or a narrow part of an ore body; the mineral zone that almost disappears before it widens out in another place to form an extensive ore body. No doubt, mining and its economic and enviromental impacts are misunderstood.

Ian keeps saying, “just another piece of the puzzle, just another piece to study”. People have been working on this puzzle for three centuries. Each ounce of gold production is another piece, as is each foot of the ground the miners pass through on their journey. If geologists' opinions count, we can expect more than another million of gold pieces to be found as the footage progresses.
 By Rick

02/26/2007  8:50PM

Down here in the valley I feel clogged up, with the too-huge number of people and the reigning PC mentality. When I read about Rae's frog's, Mike's snow-shoes and Ian's upbringing foresight I realize I'm living in the wrong place.

02/26/2007  2:14PM

Two more things (for more see message below this one):

The 10-K was filed today. If you would like to recieve a copy e-mail Rae and she will e-mail it to you. The formatting for the SEC filing is difficult to read. The one available by e-mail is formatted better.

If you would like a map of the Sixteen to One Mine we have two options. For $25 postage paid you will be sent a black & white 2'x3' map. For $75 postage paid we will send you a full color copy of a map of the mine that was colored in by Michael Miller. This map shows the location of gold pockets and has them marked by size. The map is 82" long x 36" tall.

02/26/2007  2:06PM

Three feet of snow in Alleghany and it's still coming down hard. It is supposed to continue through tomorrow.

The power flickered earlier today but so far is on. A couple phone lines are down across Main Street.

Mike Miller was seen on snowshoes walking down main street. Scoop hears that his truck is stuck and he was heading to the mine to get somebody to pull him out.

Ian's truck has all four tires chained up. Considering no plowing was done on the mine road Scoop was surprised Ian made it in and out of the mine. Ian's reply "I was raised up here!"

A flu epidemic struck Alleghany last week. Attendance has been down because of it. Hopefully we are "over the hump" and everybody will be feeling human this week.

Rae's observation of the frogs in her pond. "With the warm weather the frogs were having a free-for-all and going like gang busters. As the storm rolled in and the mercury began to drop the number of croaks slowly diminished. However, there were a couple of die-hards out there who were still croaking when it was 34 degrees. Finally as the snow started falling they fell silent."

There was a dog party scheduled at Casey's Place last Sunday. Our traveling vet was going to be there as well as some animal rescue folks. The people who own the dog bakery in Grass VAlley were providing treats. Due to the bad weather the party has been cancelled to next Sunday.
 By martin newkom

02/19/2007  4:32PM

Thank you for the location of
the 1064. I get the feeling
that 16's crew is goin' to hit
a dandy one.

02/19/2007  11:00AM

The 1064 winze is at the far right side of the map (north along the strike of the vein). It connects the 1000-foot level to the 1500-foot level. So it is to the right of the Tightner shaft. There was good gold above the 1000-foot level. No mining has occurred below the 1500 level and very little between toe 1000-foot level and the 1500. There are two levels between the top and bottom of the winze called 1150 level and 1250 level. The known gold pay shoot that is identified above the 1000-foot level is one of the reasons the company chose to open the 1000 level.
 By martin newkom

02/19/2007  9:29AM

Looking at the mine map, where
is the 1064 winze? Is it the
Tightner shaft or in that neighborhood?

02/16/2007  2:41PM

Spirits seem high regarding the 1000-foot level rehabilitation heading. The machinery is holding together; two-inch pipe and fittings, one-inch rubber air hose, ¾ inch water hose and other supplies are at the portal; and there is plenty of ground support (rock bolts or wood).

Ian took the plunge yesterday. He walked the 600 -foot level north, climbed down to the 1000 -foot level and started walking south towards the cave-in. It has been years since anyone made the trip. Britt was his companion and each carried gold detectors. Why not? The cave-in blocked water from flowing down the level, building a dam and creating a lake. It reached their waists. If any of you go fishing in high mountain streams in water up to your waist, you can imagine the sensation, especially since these two wore regular cloths. Ian said it was worth the pain. Gotta love those miners! The ground is good for about two fifty feet from the 1064 winze to the point where the crew is mucking and the track is clear. They found a very good signal in the quartz, so everyone is relieved that this was their heading of choice several months ago.
 By martin newkom

02/14/2007  7:30AM

A big thankyou to both Rae and
"Scoop" for the very informative discussions on how
things are done and considered.

02/12/2007  9:33AM

To answer Martin’s question: When gold is shipped to the refinery after it is refined it goes into our “pool” account in New York. When we are ready to sell it we call the refinery in New York and ask them to price it for us. They look up the current New York Market Price and give us that price for the gold. We receive a wire two days after pricing it.

Another option we have but do not exercise is “hedging”. This is pricing the gold in advance locking in a specific price for future sales. If we were to hedge our price choice would be either the a.m. or p.m. London Fix on the day of the hedging. Hedging causes ulcers so our policy is to price the gold at the time we sell it.

It takes the refinery a minimum of two weeks to refine our gold and the mail sometimes takes up to a week to get the gold to the refinery. The refinery does allow “advances”. Advances can only be done after the gold has been received at the refinery and the pre-melt and assay have been completed. The pre-melt and assay are usually done the day the gold is received. The assay is done by x-ray. The refinery charges a fee of 3% per annum for advances. They will advance up to 90% of the assay. Last Friday Rae advanced ounces into the pool account in order to cover payroll this week.

To answer the second part of Martin's question: All gold sales are reflected in the Revenue portion of the Financial Statements. (10-Q's and 10-K's)

Speaking of 10-K's that is what Rae has primarily been working on. It should be completed this week. While the fourth quarter was profitable thanks to some slab material recovered in October the Company shows a loss of $100,000 for the year. It is noteworthy that the actual gold content of the slab material found in October was only 178 ounces but because it was jewelry grade gemstone material (unfortunately it was fractured) the company turned a profit of $50,000 for the quarter. Also some of the slab from the October production is still being sold so the benefit will spill over into this year.

On another note: Much needed rain finally arrived in Alleghany last Wednesday. It rained on and off all week and is still cloudy. It is unseasonably warm. The frogs in Rae’s yard were having a party all weekend and her tulips are two inches tall!

A flock of geese flew over very low yesterday heading south. Another flock flew over this morning, also heading south. Does this mean late winter??
 By martin newkom

02/10/2007  4:16PM

rae's gold sale: do we have gold on deposit in New York?
will that sale be reflected
in the next 10Q? Interesting!!

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Alleghany, California 95910

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