October 14, 2019 

Clips from Alleghany


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10/27/2004  9:07AM

The first real snow storm hit Alleghany the past two days. October snow is rare. No one has a full shed of firewood in town. It looks like there will be sunshine for a while and everyone can get busy to prepare for winter.

Electric power stopped yesterday morning. It returned late afternoon but the miners took the day off. It always is interesting to listen to the conversations of a bunch of Sixteen to One miners, sitting around a fire. Mining and gold are the two major topics, probably boring to women and dogs. There is always an abundance of dogs in Alleghany and an absence of women. The dogs don’t seem to mind. Anyway the conversation moved from the likelihood of just where the pocket greater than the 83,000-ounce leader was and how, can or should it be found and mined.

All the guys have seen the maps and have an understanding about the nature of the gold. The Rainbow mine had a huge pocket. It is written to be greater than the 83,000 ouncer off the 800-foot level between the Tightner shaft and Ballroom in the Sixteen. Another area of speculation is below the fault (2400 level in south) where the crew sunk the Eighty-Three Winze in 1995. Up dip from the 83,000 ouncer was suggested, as it is possible to follow the pattern of previously mined pockets and project where additional ones could be. To no ones surprise the evidence supporting the new number one is where the Plumbago and Sixteen to One veins converge. The Red Star area held the high ground for the biggest pocket to be mined in California. (Somewhere on this web site is a list of the ten largest pockets found in California. The Sixteen had a number of them as well as the Oriental, also in the Alleghany Mining District.)

Of particular interest to this reporter were the discussions about sinking a new shaft in the Red Star and the failures in sinking the Eighty-Three Winze in 1995. Progress there was very slow. Three of the miners had worked on the winze and carefully explained how it was done, why it was done that way and collectively the group talked about how it will be different next time. The single biggest afterthought was that the winze was built too large. Sink small and ream up is faster. The five-member management team at the time decided to build the winze to meet future needs. Well, the company grew short of money before the future happened. Drifting on the 2600- foot level began too close to the fault and was rough going. Also it cut down on the backs for mining. The pumps were too small to quickly dewater the winze. The miners spent too much time before they could begin drilling. Another key factor was blasting the full area of the winze each round. No one knew that it would be easier and faster to sink the winze by blasting half of the area each time. It was impressive to hear their candid discussion. This group has learned a thing or two over their experiences in the mine. Planning amongst them and a couple of other miners with years of experience in sinking should pay big rewards. One other thing: this crew is motivated to beat the old record of production. They had better get going because all of them are getting older and time is not on their side.

10/15/2004  5:20PM

Warm weather continues. For those in Northern California, you know about the three forest fires. The closest to Alleghany is near Lake Tahoe. The air continues to be smoky from this fire. Weather report said a chance of rain on Sunday, much needed rain to downgrade the current high level of fire danger.

The pump on the 1700-foot level failed Monday. It was repaired ($1468) and the mine was back pumping on Thursday. The water was just below the 2200 foot –level.

Gold Sales continue to cut the quartz from the July pocket. It is beautiful, but many of the slabs are just too heavy for the designs of our jewelry manufacturers. Therefore, $100,000 or so remains unsold. It is a shame to crush the high grade and turn the gold into bullion. The saw sands from the slab saws yielded seventy ounces of “dust” or about $28,000.

The crew continues to fix stuff both underground and on the surface. The company is looking for a couple of miners qualified to work at the Sixteen to One mine. Soon management will unleash the crew to again drill, blast and muck the “kitchen” raise where everyone is confident that another pocket rests beyond the face.

10/02/2004  11:53AM

Water was the primary issue last week at the mine, no not underground water and pumping, but the water supply to the mine from the Company’s spring. The steel 20,000-gallon tank developed some holes and was leaking. A smaller tank has been plumb into the system until the large tank is repaired. The problem that required the most labor was a loss in flow to the tanks. The old lines were plugged with rock and silt and in two spots the connections collapsed. The “fix” is simple but time consuming.

Other surface work centers around the portal shop. It no longer resembles its former appearance. A small air compressor was set up so miners needing air when the big system is shut down can get the air they need. Everyone is working to improve efficiency (cut down on electricity and labor). It is a relief to have the time to do the things that were on hold.

09/15/2004  5:54PM

No, Scoop was not waiting for someone to ask for his return, but thank you anyway.
All of the Sixteen to One computers were infested with viruses. The Internet server blocked the computers from going on-line. The computers were taken to Grass Valley for a complete cleansing. One machine had 750 viruses. Who does this? Could it be the people paid to rid computers of viruses?

Work is progressing in the Tightner shaft. A mucking machine is ready to be lowered to the 1000 foot level so the crew can prepare the area as a travel way. The objective is to mine the vein between the Ballroom and shaft (not the entire area but those sections with proven features that indicate a high likelihood of gold). No one expects any gold production until later because everyone’s attention is still focused on surface and underground “dead work”. The miners express confidence that more gold will be mined from the area near the July pocket and in the larger area. To them, gold’s existence is proven by earlier production and the lay-of-the-land.

Ray Wittkopp, company geologist, returned from the mining convention in Las Vegas today. He said that the interest in gold was very high. Nobody was promoting diamonds, which is also telling. There are fewer established choices of gold companies for investment than during the bull market or spikes in the 80’s and 90’s. Supply and demand will eventually work through the numbers every time. This bodes well for ORIGSIX.
 By smithsgold

09/11/2004  11:14PM

I hope you guys are finding lots of gold and thats why there hasnt been any new posts.
Good Luck, I enjoy reading about whats going on at the mine.
Congrats on the big find a while back I like the photo of it with the drill hole in it.

08/30/2004  10:06PM

Four fires started about 11:35 am on Saturday about twenty miles down the road from Alleghany near Mother Truckers store. Arson anyone? At 3:25 pm power in Alleghany went dead. Although none knew for sure, everyone suspected the power loss was connected to the fires. It was. Power was restored on Sunday about 5:30 pm. Pike, Camptonville, North San Juan also went dark. People get used to power outs during the winter but this was new. It was warm, down right hot. Fortunately, the moon shown bright and the village simmered with the faint glow of candles.

08/17/2004  6:38PM

Sparks are flying outside the portal as the miners prepare the equipment necessary to open the Tightner Shaft for transport. Four miners worked outside today and four miners worked underground. The block of unmined vein material between the shaft and the Ballroom has honest potential. When the geology and past production records are reviewed, even a novice newcomer to high-grade gold mining will see the potential. Mining will concentrate near the recent pocket, but the improved via the Tightner access will open the large area up for serious inspection.

Mike sold the fresh cut slab to Orocal yesterday for $36,250. Some of the quartz is very heavy with gold, in fact too heavy to bring in top dollar. The top grade sells for $1,200 per ounce (quartz and gold weight). The demand is greater than what the Company can produce. Cash flow remains a concern of management. It is too soon to throw high-grade into a crusher and turn it into bullion at $400 per ounce.

The MSHA appeal is due August 23. It must be in the hands of the US Ninth Court of Appeals in San Francisco. MSHA is an agency undergoing some appropriate changes in its operation. Taxpayers pay these guys to protect miners and their industry. For almost a decade they were a prime deterrent to the well being of the miners and their profession. Perhaps a favorable court decision will redirect the agency’s interpretation of the laws of the land in a more productive light for all Americans. Time will tell. Also the decision by the Court will be revealing about itself and its understanding of the rights of American businesses.

08/14/2004  8:32AM

High grade in the muck pile, always a good sign. Alleghany Days is underway.
 By Rick

08/11/2004  8:34PM

Hey Scoop, we're still excited about the last rock pop! Talk more rock, whether angular or roundy, we're tuned in.

08/10/2004  10:47PM


08/07/2004  12:53PM

Two recent articles not yet on web: front page headline of Mountain Messemger August 5, 2004, “Miller, Sixteen to One File Amended CDAA Lawsuit”, and ICMJ’s Prospecting and Mining Journal, August 2004, “Mine President Seeks Opinions From Peers”. (www.icmj.com).

Company is advertising for administration assistance in Grass Valley paper. Amber left yesterday for Montana where she will marry and move to Nevada. Two young sons of Sixteen to One miners are being considered for training and employment underground. Both have the right attitude to contribute to the operation as it carefully rebuilds its workforce.

Because David and Mike are working to maximize the jewelry value of the last 1000 plus ounces of gold from the “Ballroom Stope”, revenue will be steady for four to six weeks. The manufacturers will be able to fill the back orders on their books. All parties dependent on their livelihood from the great Sixteen to One precious gemstones are relieved. No additional production is expected in August as the miners take care of “dead work”. Gold is currency and last months production could be immediately converted to cash by crushing the quartz. Cash flow remains something difficult to manage for the office, but not abnormally stressful with possibly a million dollars in safe places.

08/04/2004  9:44PM

Miners are 'rehabing' the Tightner Shaft from the 800 foot level to the 1000 foot level. No work has been done in theis area since the fire in 1954.

CBS television from Sacramento has scheduled a visit to the mine tomorrow at 11am. Nothing like a little gold to perk up interest in the old operation.

08/02/2004  6:55PM

The miners are working on projects that stood behind the mining for gold. Much of August will be surface and underground maintenance and new additions. Plans include a large air slusher for the Ballroom. It makes sense because when the electric air compressor comes on line to replace the diesel one, the mine will have more air than is required for the “as is” operation. Drilling is not as hard as moving the shot rock. This is where production slows down.

The office trailer down by the portal is getting some attention. It needs electrical power and some steps installed. The shop is also getting a face-lift. Parts that are unlikely to ever be used are being hauled off to increase the storage for the good stuff in demand.

07/28/2004  9:49PM

This quote from a miner today at the Sixteen to One mine in Alleghany says it all. “If we hit another pocket this week, the company had better hire a psychiatrist.”

07/26/2004  9:51PM

Ian, Joe and Reid took a couple of days rest away from the physical and mental quest to find the gold they believed was deposited near the ballroom. No one worked underground Friday, Monday or tomorrow. Britt and Farris replaced the 200-horse power electric motor in the air compressor today. Mike called the factory service reps to schedule a service call before the compressor fires up. Cost of operation is a consideration yet electric power is preferred over diesel. The draw back is the 1200 cfm electric compressor will produce much more air that the small crew requires.

KNCO radio in Grass Valley called about the recent strike. Mike talked to the reporter and asked for a copy of the interview when it is aired tomorrow. Maybe Rae knows how to add a vocal newscast to the web site. If so, you can hear the story along with me.

07/20/2004  6:07PM

Extracting real high-grade ore, the kind that is measured in ounces per pound, is a sensitive process. Why?

Joe drilled a four-foot round in the vein above the lenses carrying the gold and shot it about noon today. Tomorrow the waste quartz can be slushed in order to lightly blast the ore with out diluting the gold with waste. The raise is about five feet wide. Gold is visible at the face and on both the left and right ribs couple of feet down the raise. These targets will be mined later. Estimates are difficult, but all the miners have experience and seem to like the process of the guessing game. Maybe they multiply their estimate by $400 per ounce and feel a sense of relief for living their dreams and beliefs.

Tomorrow should be a productive day for gold. Most agree that this pocket will exceed 1000 ounces. Company geologist inspected the heading today. When the mining is mapped and gold locations are identified, the picture will be informative for the present and future. One significant feature at the face is a definite ancient watercourse. Old time Alleghany miners related the importance of watercourses and gold but never explained why.

07/19/2004  5:06PM

Sixteen to One miners know when to keep their mouths shut. Security is one issue but the Company is experienced in protecting its gold, whether in storage or at the face. When stock was listed and traded on the now defunct Pacific Stock Exchange, management wrestled with a good problem: when is a public release about production appropriate or necessary? Mike wants to keep his shareholders and the public informed but he doesn’t want to broadcast hype. He prefers hard numbers verses speculation.

Scoop readers know that the miners believe in the ballroom headings. Their active mining area looked like the right place to find Mister Pocket. That’s why they show up and turn on the air compressor each morning.

Now the way things have been these guys would be smiling over a fifty-ounce day. Work has been difficult. Emotions have been stretched: hard work, high hopes and little gold. How long can the miner say, “It could be the next round?” Bills still arrive; the wife swears at the mine; the muscles are sore and a cold beer never tastes better.

Well, last Thursday production was estimated at thirty ounces, but the face looked great. Spirits were definitely high after work and everyone held onto the dream. What will tomorrow bring? Joe’s drill actually stopped. David and Mike panned Thursday’s drill cuttings and confirmed the presence of “cornflakes”. Everyone knew that Joe drilled into solid gold! It takes a heavy concentration to stop a drill bit under 100 psi. There were no reasons for sealed lips in Alleghany. Excitement was high at Caree’s bar with no need for concealment.

Friday after work was different. The crew dragged in with 350 pounds of high-grade ore. It was the heavy arseno type but the quartz was the whitest in a long time. The jewelers will be pleased. It was a good payday for everyone, but something else was in everyone’s minds, the indicators suggested that the pocket was growing. (For those of you unfamiliar with the Sixteen to One vein system, when a pocket is encountered its size and direction of concentration are not easily determined. It is like entering the tail of a comet.) Word spread that the Sixteen to One hit and was confirmed by the miners. No one was hiding that fact, but how big will it be remained a secret to keep.

Production expectations for Monday were to equal or exceed the estimated 400 ounces on Friday. It did not happen but the crew is still smiling. It is not time for a press release, but it is time to let our friends know. The best is yet to come.

07/16/2004  5:32PM

Steady progress in developing the block of ground called the ‘kitchen’ raise. A little gold is the best geologic indicator and is the reason the crew remains mining this area. This area is below the 83,000-ounce pocket, to the north of the “million dollar day “ mined in 1993, and above the rich two million dollar week in 1995. Confidence remains high.

The 200-horse power electric motor is in the shop to be rewound and refitted with new bearings. Cost estimate is $4,000. It will be ready by Friday next week. When the mine harnesses its waterpower to convert it into electric energy, it will be a major milestone of accomplishment. Right now the crew is slushing two headings with air driven slushers. An electric slusher makes a world of difference in production. Right now the air is produced from a diesel compressor. Placing the electric compressor back on line saves labor but is more expensive to operate.

Mike has 50 ounces of pretty good slab to sell next week . So far, David has not filleted the quartz and gold golden trout. This carving has more lives than a cat. Gold sales ordered a new grinder, which will be shipped from Barstow, California next Tuesday. It cost $2,900 plus tax and shipping.

07/09/2004  8:29AM

Outside weather continues to defy any criticisms. It is beautiful and invigorating. Underground remains the same. The crew has drilled two rounds per shift this week. Reid got himself twisted; well the drill sort of swung him around when the bit penetrated into a vug or some space or different material. He didn't get hurt, but his curiosity about what he hit is high. Miners like sudden changes in their heading, especially when the drill cuttings turn yellow. Cornflakes, that is what the miner likes to see. Joe took some time this week to give the equipment some heavy service. Britt has removed the 150 horsepower motor from the broken electric air compressor. Mike will take it to be repaired on his next trip to town. Ian conducted an inspection with the Cal OSHA mine inspector with good results. Rae and Amber are closing out the accounting records for the second quarter. David has been busy with phone orders. He placed an ad in the International (California) Mining Journal, which has been running for three months. The next issue of the magazine may contain a story about the MSHA appeal in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth District. Mike is off to Oroville to sell slab. Later in the day he meets with a team of lawyers who have expressed an interest in the action against you know who.

07/05/2004  4:54PM

Happy Independence Day

Wealth is a contributor to freedom and freedom plays a significant role in independence. Gold is society’s most noted storage of wealth as recorded over an historical 6000 years. Shareholders will be pleased to know that a short crew (5) worked today and moved the company five shifts closer to Mister Pocket. The Sixteen to One poses no question about holding pockets of unmined gold. No geologist or learned student of the Alleghany Mining District doubts this as fact. Scoop stays intrigued with this mine because the question of its success is not “if”. The question is “when”.

Rae was organizing after the shareholder day sales. Receipts were $13,560. If Mike, David or Rae read this, take some pictures of the new T-shirt and put them on the web page so people can check them out! Oops, reporters are supposed to report facts and avoid opinions.

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