August 18, 2022 

Clips from Alleghany


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11/22/2005  7:15AM

Rae and Kyle are caught up with the paperwork that relentlessly flows through the mining operation. A recent report commissioned by the Small Business Administration found that small businesses are most severely impacted by environmental and tax compliance regulations. Environmental regulation compliance costs 364% more for small firms than large companies. Regulatory compliance and paperwork for costs for firms with fewer than 20 employees have soared to an estimated $7,647 per employee, the study said. One conclusion said that, "the regulatory burden we impose on our businesses has severely handicapped our ablity to be competitive in the domestic and international markets."

The gold sales department continues to receive orders for the grubstake pendants and other jewelry from the website and referrals. The company has an ad in the California/International Mining Journal that has been in each monthly edition this year. Time to order for the holidays.

Ian’s crew is staying the course with the headings. Mostly mucking until the vein is fully exposed and a spot is selected for drilling. The 910 front-end loader is acting tired and needs some maintenance before the snow sets down. It has been a great piece of equipment over the years.

Mike is off to sell some slab. The inventory of uncut quartz and gold is not looking too good. Production for 2005 may be the annual lowest in over two decades, but then again, the year isn’t over yet.

11/21/2005  3:18PM

Mining at the Sixteen to One fascinates most people. It is such a foreign operation to most people, even miners in the large open pit or high volume underground mines. Scoop has problems writing about the operation when most of the time the work is routine. Government snoops show up often because this blue-collar occupation attracts more inspectors than other more dangerous blue-collar jobs. Why? That is a question that has never been answered. It is probably a control thing. Gold is a world wide special product yet very few companies throughout the world actually produce it. Governments understand its economic significance. Politicians do not. There are more paper chasers than hard currency followers, so judging by the numbers of “financial players” paper is king.

The operation in Alleghany has scaled down its monthly outlay, thereby also cutting down its gold potential. One of the best improvements was the installation of an electricity device that shuts off the air compressor when there is no demand for air. The PG&E savings is significant with no downside in production ability. With a full crew in five or six active headings, the machine would run all the time, but with only one heading, the time of operation has been reduced about sixty to seventy percent.
 By Rick

11/19/2005  7:47AM

I've been re-reading much of the Forum this morning, and found Johnny Yuma's single-line question more than once, "What's going on at the mine?" One time I answered him and he responded, "What could be more important to the mine than the mine? Think about it mate."

Since then, I have been thinking more about it, and must thoroughly agree with him. Thanks Johnny. It made me remember that whenever I talk with Mike on the phone or in person, when it's usually about some upcoming court appearance or stategy, I always ask, "What's going on underground? How are the guys doing?" I ask because it is really the whole point. When I bring up the web-site and scroll down to the Forum, what I always anticipate and wish for is the news of a fantastic pocket.

Sure, it'd get me excited to read about a court victory, but then what? Those of you who've read some of my entries know how passionate I am about the legal stuff; challenging the illegal actions of the CDAA comes from my core, as I detest mis-representation, especially from an organization impersonating a public sector police force. Yet, isn't a court victory, whether it happens or not, to simply restore the value base that should already be recognized? While a fight in court over unconstitutional authority trying to shut the mine down is huge, when I reflect on how it should never have happened to begin with, we'd be back where we were some four years ago, mining for gold. An unfortunate accident presented some sharks a chance to score political points, and it didn't necessarily derail the focus, it broadened it.

It is impossible to say what would have happened if the CDAA had not been challenged. Would they continue to try their assault? They threw the first stone, and the mine took issue. It defines perseverence, much the way the guys break rock.

If the accident never happened, the mine goes mining. If the lawsuit is successful, the mine goes mining. If the lawsuit isn't successful, the mine goes mining. The accident did happen, and still, the mine goes mining.

Johnny Yuma, you must be a miner and have a gold-vein system as the core of your heart; you've been able to cut through all the crap and ask the most important question, (one I'm ill-equiped to answer since I'm not a miner), "What's going on at the mine?"
 By hapbird

11/03/2005  6:51AM

Glad to hear the safe explosives act inspection went so well !!
 By Crush

10/28/2005  7:02PM

Hows come that Goldmister dont right anymore? Shur seems like theres a bunch to right about, all, this stuffs bin goin on that were alway in his craw.

Guys, keep diggin cause its in there

10/28/2005  4:17PM

Department of the Treasury…Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Sends Agent to Sixteen to One Mine. President spends over three hours answering questions. Makes good headlines, huh? Now for the real story:

A federal agent made an appointment yesterday to inspect the two powder magazines at the mine. The authority is the Safe Explosives Act, enacted on November 25, 2002. Everyone who uses explosives in the United States must have an ATF permit. Once a permit is issued, the agency can make inspections, write up violations and regulate the storage and handling of explosives. Seems like a good idea as long as the rules are fair and reasonable. Explosives in California are already regulated by three governmental agencies: local sheriff permits, State OSHA and federal MSHA.

The Department of Justice entered 27CFR Part 555 into the Federal Register on March 20, 2003. It requires that all persons receiving explosives on and after May 24, 2003 obtain a license or permit. The worksheet used during the inspection has forty separate sections or definitions for review and is signed by the applicant and ATF officer. Mike had budget an hour for the inspection. It lasted over three. Scoop heard the final thirty minutes in the corporate office.

It is a felony to not report a theft. ATF estimates that the requirement to obtain a limited permit will impact 20,000 persons. One interesting and almost relevant condition of the new law covers possession by prohibited persons. Paragraph 555.26(c) excludes anyone who: “is under indictment or information for, or who has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.” The CDAA sponsored grand jury indictment would have eliminated President Miller from doing his job of corporate oversight of explosives. So, merely an indictment has the chilling effect of guilty until proven innocent under this law.

The inspection seemed to go pretty well. The magazines passed except for two of the four locks had a shank that was not thick enough. One of the protective covers of the locks was 1/16 too thin and must be replaced. The inventory records were perfect as well as everything else except a little loose gravel on the floor. This new law is good for the security of our country in the 21st century.

10/28/2005  8:21AM

Our first real soaking rains have hit Alleghany. In the early a.m. Wednseday it started raining and continued through early a.m. yesterday. The clouds broke up during the day for a starry twilight then it clouded up again last night and it is raining as I type. It was 34 degrees Fahrenheit this morning. We haven't had our first hard frost yet. Rae's tomato plants are still putting out a few fruits.

Not much new at the mine to report. The mine phone line up to the corporate office has been repaired and is working again. No gold this week.

Re-hab work continues.

The Empire Mine Tunnel is moving foward again after a stop order that was caused by the unexpected break-through to old workings was lifted late last week.

10/20/2005  5:39PM

Courtrooms are mysterious places. They can be intimidating at times for even a seasoned pro. One side will win. One side will lose. Interested spectators usually walk away wondering, “What just happened?” Courtrooms also are America’s last bastions of justice for the average American citizen. Courtrooms have a sacred quality, or at least they should.

The case of Miller and Original Sixteen to One Mine (Plaintiffs) v the California District Attorneys Association and four of its employees (Defendants) convened yesterday. Three motions were at issue: a motion to set aside a default Miller served on Defendants, a motion by Defendants to change the venue and a motion to throw out the case by Defendants. The motion to set aside Miller’s default was granted. Nothing else was decided. There was a shared agreement supporting Judge Young’s statement that the case will likely continue towards a jury trial in Downieville. While Superior Court Judge Stanley Young did not rule on defendants’ motion to move the venue from Downieville to Sacramento, they did not present a legal or otherwise compelling oral argument for moving from Sierra County. The Anti SLAPP motion by Defendants is rescheduled for November 16, 2005.

Judge Young acknowledged the tragic death of George Gilmour. His words were sincere and moving. Judge Young got to know George not only from his appearances in court but also from his clear, crisp and ethical portrayal of his pleadings. The arguments George made were sometimes flawed, but they were always scholarly and lawful. Even though George was not physically in the courtroom yesterday, his presence was felt.

Judge Young made it clear to everyone in the courtroom, but pointedly to the Defendants’ lawyer, Tom Knox, both with words and his hands that he wanted the paper bombardment to cease. He raised his hand two feet above his desk and inferred, no more! Mr. Knox’s filings stack about that high. With all the paper work filed, Knox has yet to answer the complaint. What a novel tactic these arrogant lawyers are showing: let’s paper them into insolvency. Since Lloyds of London is paying the bill, let’s make paper and make some billable hours. What will he and his clients, the most powerful corporation of lawyers operating in California, think of next in order to evade the inevitable justice? Unless Tom Knox is an idiot, he will consider modifying these tactics of bombing the court with paper and specious motions.

The next order of business was Klaus Kolb introducing himself as Original Sixteen to One Mine’s attorney. Klaus lives in Grass Valley and works in Sacramento. He is a Michigan graduate and his law degree is from Harvard Law School. He appeared comfortable and prepared to take over from George. The case intrigued him and he was one of the behind-the-scene attorneys working with Plaintiffs. The record was made clear that Klaus represented the mine only. Let the game begin.

Although Miller lost his default position, the day belonged to the Plaintiffs. Miller was prepared and badly wanted to confront Knox’s tactic of calling both him and George frauds. Instead he used good judgment and let the issue lay. Miller had made a promise to Knox that was conditioned that Knox treats him independently from George and that George could not speak for Miller. George could not speak for Mike on any issue. Knox broke his promise within 24 hours.

The remaining order of business was oral argument on Defendants’ motion to move away from Sierra County to Sacramento. Mr. Knox offered no new points to support his motion. Instead he argued that Dan O’Neill’s cartoons the Mountain Messenger articles (posted on this web site) and the web site itself poisoned the county against Defendants. His most absurd statement was that Miller intentionally used the web site to poison the jury pool in Sierra County. Plaintiffs filed a declaration that excluding employees, there were only three shareholders in Sierra County. The web site was established years ago to serve the 1300 shareholders living all over the world. Well, now to think about it, that was not Knox’s most absurd testimony. He told the judge that his clients were intimidated by these actions. Scoop unsuccessfully controlled his laughter and chuckled out loud. Here is a powerful lawyer from Sacramento standing in this courtroom, telling the Judge that his lawyer clients and CDAA are intimidated and afraid to return to Sierra County by a weekly newspaper, a cartoonist and a web site.

It was curious to watch the players from the visitor section. The judge was decisive and considerate. It was Judge Young, who extended the Anti SLAPP motion to November. It was amazing that the mine was prepared to go forward with oral argument even though Klaus could easily have asked for more time. It is a credit to George and Mike that the painful transition passed so smoothly. Klaus pointedly informed the court that he was prepared that day to proceed. It is in the record. Mr. Knox seemed surly. He never spoke to Miller and grunted once to Klaus. He left the courtroom ignoring a question presented to both lawyers from the local journalist.

Prediction: deny motion to change venue by November 16, 2005; deny Anti SLAPP motion after pleadings are put in crisper order by both sides and Klaus presents the law and the facts in oral argument. Bad guys will pull another paper jam that will fail. Loser will appeal decision. There are many tangential issues present in the events leading up to Plaintiffs filing their claims for damages. How did CDAA receive a fat State contract without the contract going to bid? Has the State of California suffered damages because CDAA broke terms of the contract? Grand juries are currently in the national news. Here in little Sierra County is proof (the transcript) that prosecutors, real ones or phony ones break or manipulate laws in order to get an indictment. In Texas it is speculation. In California it is fact.

10/19/2005  9:06AM

Scoop is riding shotgun over the back roads to the Downieville courthouse with Mike and Klaus, who has substituted in for George. Will try to post results today.

10/18/2005  9:41AM

Recently received correspondence.

October 4, 2005

Mr. Michael Miller, President
The Sixteen to One Mine
356 Main St.
Alleghany C.A. 95910

Dear Mr. Miller,

Every time I read an article about you in the Union I think I’m going to write to you, but never do – until now.

I married into the Miller family from Forest. My husband is now 84 and his sister just turned 90. She was born in Forest and when the mines shut down the Miller clan moved to Oakland. The family home in Forest burned down at some point. According to my sister-in-law, her father, George Miller was also a stagecoach driver to Sacramento, as well as a miner.

Uncle Ted (George’s brother) was the unfortunate miner who fell to his death. This miner was my husband’s favorite relative. At one time my husband could relate many stories about him, but in the pat year his memory of that period is gone.

My father-in-law remarried, and as so often happens, his second wife destroyed almost all of his photos of Forest.

But, to get on to the point of my writing, I can still hear, in the 1960s and 70s, George saying

“We left a lot of gold behind.”

I have no idea why I want to write this to you except that you seem a very determined individual and might appreciate some encouragement, even from some one like me, a displaced New Yorker.

I am sure that knowing old George as I did; he and other miners may well be looking down on you and saying:

“Look Up! We’ll help you find that gold.”

Well, I’ve finally done it. No reply is necessary. Just keep on digging.

Yours sincerely,
Helen and Norval Miller
17124 Alioto Drive
Grass Valley, C.A. 95949
 By Rick

10/16/2005  8:26AM

Hmm, least you didn't call me stupid, just my comment. Which part? I agree with you about the mine being the most important thing about the mine, yet see the legal stuff as an integral part of the success potential.

But, granted, the mine and the gold inside and the perseverence of the guys breaking rock will be around regardless of the outcome of a court decision.

Which, by the way, given the direction things have gone lately, will most likely be postponed again and again. The good news is that the guys continue to mine gold, right? Despite all the ongoing postponements in the courtrooms, I get most excited about success underground. (Even though I often come across sounding like the lawsuit stuff is more important, mining is the primary goal. I really don't see the court stuff coming to a resolution any time soon.)
 By John Yuma

10/12/2005  10:39AM

I think your comment is stupid. What is more important to a mining company than the mine.
Think it over mate

10/12/2005  9:16AM

Currently the 16 to 1 crew numbers five men. Two men are breaking rock on the 1,100 foot level and have been bringing up bits of gold almost daily. As one miner jokingly put it "We have it surrounded" so we'll see....

Re-hab work on the 800 level continues.

The men also have been busy getting things ready for winter. The road is almost winterized, water pipes have been wrapped etc.

The heliport at the old dry is functional again. This is in case a medi-vac helicopter is ever needed for either one of our workers or for a member of the community. The next closest landing spot is at Plum Valley.

The security system at the mine site has been upgraded and Rae has made some progress organizing the new mine office.

Gold Sales has had a steady stream of small orders and a few walk-in customers almost weekly.

Rae is starting quarter-end close on the books AGAIN Already?

There's been a bit of activity on OAU-Xmart as well.

The museum aquired a fire proof filing cabinet yesterday which will be put to use storing historical documents.

See why scoop has been neglecting to write? Do nag, your interest is appreciated.
 By Rick

10/11/2005  7:52PM

Here's what's going on:

First: Mining hard rock gold-quartz veins in the wold's best mine. When we don't hear much about success, relate it to the stretched rubber-band...the larger the pull, the bigger the snap. If you haven't made it up, come see for yourself. It'll make more sense.

Second, which could, (and I'll weigh in that it should, between today and a week or two from now,) define free enterprise mining for our entire nation in the future, not to mention whether your own property may be snatched from you in an un-Constitutional moment: October 19, Superior Court in Downieville, Mike Miller and hence the Original Sixteen to One Mine, will do what no other entity has had the balls to do (yes, I said balls); that being taking the CDAA to task for a bunch of crap that is the reason you've asked this question.

You should read all about it. Might wake up the entire free population.
 By John Yuma

10/11/2005  3:05PM

What is going on at the mine??

09/21/2005  5:28PM

The chance of rain yesterday was just that, only a chance. Summer returned today. The only excitement at the mine was the arrival of two MSHA inspectors for the quarterly review. The odds favored the inspectors: three miners reported to work and the feds brought up two inspectors. In years past one inspector was experienced, trained and skilled enough to hold an inspection. Maybe the feds can use the excess employees to help out down South, where they can earn their pay.

Mike wasn’t around today but Scoop knows Ian expects three non-serious citations. Two look like housecleaning items that had been around for years. Ian is miffed about one and will probably ask Mike to appeal. Writing paper may be a carry over from the past when MSHA agents were promoted not by helping the miner but by creating violations worth writing. Also the lawyers need some work. Things are better, though. It seems like the bosses in D.C. realize why there are so few underground gold mines in America to regulate may come home to roost at their hen house. Better yet, maybe they realize the foolishness on their past and its harm to the industry they are mandated to protect.

Why only three miners at work? Reid took a vacation, Kevin had personal business and Joey is in the hospital with a very serious infection in both hands. He may be out for a week. At times it looks like Alleghany is asleep. Today is one of those days.

Sure hope to see you returning to the FORUM. We miss George but he needs something stimulating to read from his new perch. Oh, tomorrow the Mountain Messenger will print its own “brilliant and eccentric” obituary. Look for it under NEWS.

09/14/2005  2:50PM

George and Mike spend a lot of time together, as previously reported by Scoop. They work well together to defeat “the bad guys” (an accurate and clear name they call the defendants). Scoop has observed, as well as others, their compatibility and sense of purpose. Hope you all realize what this team and their core of advisors bring to the table. They are unbeatable. Sure the bad guys wanted to imprison Mike, break the mining company and get their first victory in privatizing criminal prosecution (criminalizing accidents along the way). George somehow over the months successfully drove this reality into Mike’ head. No accountability plus getting a grant for the front CDAA non-profit corporation would be quite the coup for them, especially the leader, Gayle Filter. George understood the deep social issues interwoven into the case. He also quickly understood the total collapse of his profession. “When did we allow and accept lawyers to suborn perjury in the court room?” he would ask.

George entered the world of law after breaking away from the scholarly Jesuit order. But the why and how he so fully understood and grabbed onto the Original Sixteen to One Mine and Mike’s law suit is traceable to personal events between 1961-63, which remained with him. Few people know the following.

Scoop joined George and Mike at a gourmet Basque dinner in Nevada City at a table with three strangers so can report this as first hand info. Mike has developed a way of dragging out some of the stuff that George keeps inside, maybe because it was a painful memory or more likely because George can be so disinclined to reveal himself. Scoop thinks this action about exposing the bad guys has much to do about their shared passions, shared beliefs in America and its justice system but back to the story.

At twenty years old George left the Jesuits and shortly thereafter decided to drive from California to his parents home on the ease coast. He took the southern route. Along the way he talked to a young man who was headed to school in Mississippi. George said, “It is not far out of the way so I’ll drive you there.” It was a Negro college where early voter registrations were underway. George decided to help for a while, which turned into an extended stay. One afternoon he was sitting at a counter with the locals when the Mississippi police arrived to bust up the place. George slugged a cop who was beating up a five or six year old girl. Oops! He awoke in an all black prison where he was incarcerated for 9 ½ months. No phone calls out. No phone calls in. He just disappeared.

His treatment was sinful. The guards broke both arms, beat him and for sport would put their shotguns into his mouth and pull the trigger, adding, “Now you die, nigger lover.” George was a teacher to his fellow inmates. History, philosophy and especially music were his topics. One day the torture from the guards stopped. He later found out that the inmates told the guards that any more and there would be serious consequences. Within his battered body, the all black inmates and the all white guards a sense of harmony was found. George was abused no more.

One day a white guy from New York arrived to the prison yard. Since George was the only white face, he stood out. The man immediately approach him (the warden was there as well). Without a word the white guy took George’s arm and led him out of the prison. George refused medical attention in Mississippi and went instead to Saint Louis where he remained in a hospital’s care for ten months. When he finally reached his mother, she said, “Well, you got what you deserved for going to Mississippi.” George did not see it that way. He drove back to California and enrolled in school in order to become a lawyer. His life took on a new direction, driven by a judicial sense of purpose.

All at our table were stunned, except Mike because he knew the story. He kept on George to continue even when George probably preferred to stop talking about himself. Scoop was at another dinner table another time when George turned the tables on Mike. Mike seemed in denial about how serious, powerful and close to succeeding the bad guys were in putting him in prison. This particular night George silenced him with the reality of Mike’s plight and the powerful forces aligned against him and the mine. While George’s and Mike’s experiences were certainly different, they arrived at the same place at a time in their lives where so much opportunity as well as duty was at hand to go beyond the horizon. This is where they are headed.

Scoop now has the terrible responsibility to report to you that this Monday night about 7:30 pm an unexpected and unwanted twist in their game took place. George was killed in his car a few miles out of Alleghany when he slipped off the road and smashed into a tree. Scoop along with everybody he had met in Sierra County and Nevada County are deeply mourning. George’s wife, Betsey spent that morning with her husband at their Richmond home before he left for the mine. She said she had not seen him so poised, so confident and so much like the old George as that morning and told him so. George was at the top of his game: the sanctity of the law, the process of the judicial system and getting the bad guys. Scoop saw George in Alleghany two hours before the tragic accident and felt the same. George knew that bad guys are going down, the law and the evidence are impenetrable, the case is prepared and social justice as well as justice for his client will prevail. One look at Mike right now and you can tell that George is still at his side.

08/31/2005  9:06PM

Oops, Scoop hit the wrong key and failed to log this report written on August 29. Better late than never.

The 4100-volt electrical power to the pump transformer is kicking out 500 volts on one leg, 150 volts on another and fluctuates on the third. This condition was discovered about 10am today (Monday) when the pumps were turned on. The crew turned them off after work on Thursday because of a scheduled black out that night. PG&E was notified. Probably related to the power shut down.

Reid still reporting that his heading looks similar to the ground when the last pocket was found last July. The gold showing in the other headings does not have the potential ounces to drill now.

Unpatented claim fees due this week. Looks like about $14,000 with all the combined claims from Gold Crown, Plumbago, Brown Bear and Forest.

08/13/2005  10:13PM

It’s Saturday in Alleghany and this has to be a first. There are four lawyers in town. Cars and trucks were noticed going into the president’s house. Scoop can only wonder, “What is going on?” Four lawyers is four too many in a little gold mining village, or is it! Scoop will snoop, but whatever the story, this one may take a little time to sniff out.

08/09/2005  5:38PM

The mine will shut down for a three day mid summer break. The crew will have an opportunity to take on some personal chores. Even though the temperatures are in the 90”s plus, winter knocks at the door. Miners will be up on leaky roofs, cutting firewood, fixing broken glass or maybe fixing the old truck. Everyone is back to work on Monday.

New cameras have been installed at the 1500-foot station and the 2200-foot station to monitor the pumps and water level without physically walking to those locations. New cameras are also placed around the property and security gizmos have been placed in strategic locations. Maybe the crew anticipates a new pocket. Scoop thinks it unlikely the crew will move enough ground with the small number of miners currently employed to hit a pocket. Word is the gold and quartz from the last pocket (July 2004) is gone.

Ian decided to take care of some old business. The miners have been hauling good but unnecessary equipment fro underground to the lower shop. This effort will not ”break rock”, but is definitely in the best interest of the company. It does not show up on the balance sheet, but the company owns three million dollars or more of equipment at replacement costs. It makes no sense to let it depreciate underground due to moisture.

Years ago the cost of powder (explosives) was not a significant expense compared to labor, equipment other supplies and utilities. Times have changed. Scoop saw a recent purchase order to Alpha Explosives. Prell (ammonia nitrate) is $.32 per pound; dyno plus (dynamite) is $150.00 per 50 pound box; and non ells are $4.28 each no matter what number; boosters come 800 to a box and cost $.74 each. It was not long ago that non ells were $1.40. Thank you Homeland Security.

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