September 22, 2020 

Clips from Alleghany


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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.

06/27/2004  11:15AM

Shareholders Day…June 26, 2004…Alleghany, California

The weather was perfect. Not too hot; deep blue sky, and the trees in the forest surrounding the landing at the mine where the meeting took place drew many comments about their healthy appearance. No bugs. No noise, just the peace of the mountains.

Two yellow tents were erected, one for the gold collection and company specimens and the other for the mess hall. Bales of straw were placed around as benches. A large canopy was tied to the old office buildings, a couple of stakes in the ground and to the hillside. Over one hundred chairs were placed facing a single microphone stand. A large map of the Sixteen to One mine hung as a backdrop.

The Saturday crew wore the newest T-shirt. It was lime green which clearly told the 200 plus people whom to see if they needed help. Many former employees showed up to help manage the event along with the current contract miners and employees. After the meeting, which ran about an hour and twenty minutes, the shareholders and their guests had the option to inspect the underground workings. Miners were spaced in strategic locations and offered information about the mine. The gold sales tent had four and sometimes five people helping with sales or just answering questions about the gold and quartz inventory. Many bought the newest shirt in two styles and five colors but with the same print …Mister Pocket meets sweet Sixteen while dancing before a full moon.

The meeting began about 10:35am with an offer by Michael Miller to address questions that he did not plan to cover under old business or new business. About 11am when the seats filled and the rear tent was also crowded with people, he called the formal meeting to order. About nine million of the twelve million shares were submitted, constituting a quorum. A copy of last year’s meeting was available for review. Mike asked four, no five people to speak before the crowd: Charles Brown, past director who flew in from Denver for the meeting, Ray Wittkopp, resident geologist and one of the planners of the proposed new shaft into the northern strike of the Sixteen to One vein, Scott Robertson, director and treasures, Rae Bell Arbogast, secretary and George Gilmour, attorney representing the corporation in its prosecution of Filter et al.

After the meeting Mike said, “It was the most attentive gathering of shareholders I have seen since the serious take over meeting held in Sacramento in 1983. I could see their faces and look into their eyes. They were paying attention and wanted more information even when I was ready to cut them loose. It was a great meeting to witness.”

The event broke up about 4:30pm. Many went into town to see the drill collection at the Underground Gold Miners Museum. A small crew packed up the gold, gathered the trash so the bears stayed away, broke down the PA system and saved the remaining pasties and other food and headed to the office. (Scoop spotted them sucking down a couple of beers to end a perfect day).

06/27/2004  10:52AM

It appears to us that the learned trial Judge has failed to consider the total effect of the facts relied on by the prosecution, in such manner as was required in a case of circumstantial evidence, and that he has been led into committing this error by acceding to the application to go into the matter before the close of the case for the prosecution.

Page 161

06/19/2004  11:48AM

Last week was just another productive yet uneventful period of operation. Maintenance, organizing the mine site for shareholders’ day, gold teasing in the “kitchen” raise and paperwork were some of the activities.. This weekend the Clampers come to town. The museum has several underground tours scheduled. About 100 have pre registered for the June 26, annual shareholder meeting. Rae ordered 200 pasties and 360 drinks for the day.

06/11/2004  12:11PM

The past week of mining was 80% maintenance, up from about 20% for the past month. Gold production remained spotty from the “kitchen” area. The slusher cable is creatively rigged to drag the broken rock down the raise. In the process a great deal of tension is placed on the cable, causing it to break. Mike was in Oroville selling slab yesterday and bought 500 feet of 3/8” airplane cable to replace the smaller diameter. The strength increases from about 7000 pounds to about 14,000 pounds. Should eliminate the problem.

The CAT 910 wheel loader has been tagged out for emergency brakes. New pads were installed yesterday. Looks like the old machine needs new U joints, which will arrive tomorrow. The Company is looking for a Cat 966 C loader. It does not have to be pretty, just pass all safety standards.

With all the action in the office Rae and Amber took turns with a 24-hour sickness. A lot of work got done with the annual report, shareholder data, Superior Court hearing, and preparation for the appeal to the US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. The two office cats continue to do their job without complaints. No mice have been spotted in the building for some time.

Had off and on rain this week. This is typical springtime in Alleghany. Rain this time of year is our friend even though it feeds the underbrush. The community is abuzz with fire prevention activities all over town. Last year’s fire is a reminder of the towns vulnerability. All in all it was a good week and next week looks even brighter.

06/03/2004  9:07AM

Expecting ninety-degree weather today. MSHA inspectors (2) arrived yesterday for the quarterly examination of the mine. Should finish today. An untested fire extinguisher was picked up inadvertently and placed in service, so the mine can expect a citation. The crew is doing maintenance that occurs each year when winter turns into spring. MSHA comes unannounced (the element of surprise) and gets to see a mine operation at work. There will always be some project or some situation that will appear to violate a regulation; however MSHA management has placed a zero tolerance approach to safety on its field inspectors. They have been intimated to make sound judgment decisions for fear of criticism even though four findings must exist in order to write a ticket. Oh, well, it likely will not improve until their insanity is day-lighted.

The print shop left out two pages of the annual report and may not have it ready for mailing until tomorrow. The office crew has the proxy forms ready to go and the envelopes are all addressed.

Air compressor moved up the hill away from the lower shop and near the fuel tank. A great improvement. The 800 level maintenance on the trail to the ballroom should be finished this week.

05/26/2004  9:29AM

Yesterday’s broad signal in the face of the raise remains a mystery. Gold mining mysteries occur more often in a high-grade gold mine than in the large open pit disseminated gold deposits. Maybe the reflective signal bounced off a Tommy knocker. The Sixteen has always been a roller coaster ride for everyone…owners and miners especially. Reminds Scoop of a song, “Dark as a dungeon
Damp as the dew.
Danger is plentiful.
Pleasures are few.
Where the rain never falls…and the sun never shines….it’s dark as a Dungeon way down in the mine.”

Scoop unlatched the lock at the portal after the crew left and personally examined the heading. Every indicator identified by geologists Ferguson, Gannett, Cooke and Wittkopp as favorable for gold are visible in the vein, muck and wall rock. Reid and Jay will put in another round today and tomorrow and after that until the mining phrase ‘deep enough’ is invoked and they move on the greener pastures. So it goes in the pursuit of Mister Pocket at the Sixteen to One mine.

The annual report is off to the printers today. Mailing was set back because of a delay in getting the NOBO (non objecting beneficial owner) list from the proxy company in New York. NOBO’s receive a report, as do those shareholders who hold title in their own name. Another type of shareholder is the OBO (objecting beneficial owner). These shareholders remain anonymous and do not receive a report from the company. The proxy company votes their shares. SOR’s (shareholders of record) have the most direct link to the Company.
 By Oak

05/26/2004  7:38AM

YES!!!!!!!!!!!! Go for it guys----Could be one hell of a celebratory annual meeting! Everyone keep your fingers crossed and say your prayers!

05/25/2004  11:02AM

The kitchen crew identified a two-foot wide signal at the face with no visible gold showing yesterday. These are very positive indicators of a significant concentration of gold. Whether this is an isolated cluster or the beginning of an encounter with Mr. Pocket remains to be seen. This signal excites the crew and is one reason everyone shows up for work. You followers of the mine deserve to share the anticipation with the crew in Alleghany. We will know the answer late today or tomorrow. Maybe , just maybe ……

05/21/2004  6:44PM

Reid’s heading continues to kick out pieces of quartz with gold. He will break through his second raise in one more round into the 1100-foot level. He plans to fall back and wing to the left below the pay shoot next week. Mark Loving, the former mine foreman when Ian Haley was superintendent, returned. He has installed some steel sets on the 800- foot level near the Ballroom trail. Mark set a Company record for footage , when he advanced a raise 22 feet during one shift. He is March in the 1992 photo essay, if any of you have one.

Ian and Joe are in the middle of relocating the air compressor and fuel tanks near the portal. Trucking diesel everyday got to be a chore. Andy and Charlie are doing maintenance but got a couple of slab rounds in on MD signals. These guys really could use a pocket about now. They deserve it. Are you helping with the miners prayer?

The office crew seems to be especially busy. It is always demanding during the days before the annual shareholder meeting (June 26 in Alleghany). Mike went to the Brown Bear the beginning of the week. He relieved the caretaker for “indiscretions” and authorized Jack to assume caretaker duties. Real estate prices have sharply risen from two years ago.

Did you see the newspaper article about the CDAA lawyer looking for an out? It’s on the web site. Scoop thinks that CDAA lawyers will pay the price for breaking the law. Scoop will be at the hearing on May 28, 2004, in Downieville. Maybe the LA Times will cover the lawsuit since they gave front-page space to the criminal proceedings.

It is raining in Alleghany. That is good news, so let’s end on that note.

05/06/2004  11:04PM

There is some really strong glue that holds the Sixteen To One together. It must have also been true years ago, say after WWII, when political decisions destroyed the gold mining industry in the United States, maybe even in the world. Why? Anyone who has seen felt and pondered about the gold veins running through this rich high-grade district are affected in some way. It could be the excitement of day lighting the gold, displaying it to humanity or it could be from knowing how important an asset it is during extreme periods. The glue can be ones recognition of just how great these groups of owners past and present reflect the American virtues. There are many and today this band perseveres, for reasons as personal as in the past. They are also growing in number.

As a reporter, Scoop is expected to dig into the subject and report what is found no matter with out opinions. Beliefs belong in reporting but place an extra intellectual demand upon those listening. Scoop likes this simple arrangement but occasionally editorializes. The strong glue of OAU includes those of you who stick with this venue of communication, the Internet. But you are on the edge, unless you mine or own share of OAU.

The shareholder meeting this year will again place the future before the owners (June 26). Scoop only offers a chronology of events in Alleghany not futuristic predictions or directions. So much goes on every shift with the company that a forward analysis is best presented to the owners before they appear on the Internet.

The gold of the Sixteen to One qualifies as one of the glues. The mineral deposit will not likely change. Gold binds this company like no other. The gold alone may not be adequate to hold the corporation together. Another glue is all the people who associate with the company. Without the ones I see and interview regularly and you other guys and gals, this California gold epic would come to a close, again.

In 1965, Original Sixteen To One Mine, Inc was the last underground operator in the West. The Sixteen to One mine, which it owned was left to flood. It was the end of 100 years of hard rock mining. These owners held out for politics to leave gold to free itself from uneconomical control. It was the glue of the owners to protect their asset. It worked and rewards again flowed into their hands.

Today water continues to threaten the mine. It always will and then becomes no longer a threat but a necessity to address. Today the political climate also threatens the mine. It ebbs and flows. It always has and always will. Physically the Alleghany Mining District mines are set. People are the greatest current influence in just what the area will look like in the future.

Rick and Jeremy attacked the ore piles on the landing today. They recovered 35 pieces of gold and quartz and 65 blasting caps. They work again tomorrow. Ian spread the piles. It is a two-day operation whose objective is to get quality slab material for the jewelry manufactures. Reid holed through the “kitchen raise’ yesterday and dropped down to follow the gold signals. Charlie explored with the company’s new gold detector, which arrived yesterday. Joe has been covering the surface demands as well as donating his time along with Jay and Mike to remove iron from the streets of Alleghany. They plan a car auction with the proceeds going to a summer feast and musical program. David has sawed up some remarkable stones and completed a record April gold sales. Rae opened the museum with a May 5 visit from a Grass Valley high school class. She and some volunteers performed wonders the past ten days with the museum and the drill collection.

The unexpected sight today was Dan O’Neill on top of the ore pile with a pick and metal detector in his hands. He scored two pieces of high-grade on his first effort.

04/30/2004  3:33PM

Rehabilitation of the 49 winze continued this week. Production was minimal, but the targets still look promising.
Mike is busy getting things lined up for the Empire Mine Adit Project.
Rae is still trying to make time to get the museum presentable for the season.
Cool nights and warm days in Alleghany. A burn pile near Downieville got out of control on Monday, if we don't get more rain it could be an early fire season.

04/24/2004  2:56PM

The Board of Directors met on Friday. After an underground inspection of the mine, the members moved to the Rainbow mine to conclude the meeting. The shareholders list will be closed on May 1, 2004, for qualification to vote at the upcoming shareholder meeting on June 26.

Both headings produced gold towards the end of the week. The signal above the Ballroom production was about $10,000. Unfortunately it is not the type of gold suitable for slabbing and will be crushed and poured into bars. The “Kitchen” heading is another story. After just two rounds the lead miner, Reid Miller, found high-grade in the muck. The crew became very excited because this is a large area within a favorable history of gold concentration. Who knows, that is the Sixteen To One! Who knows?

The office is compiling a master list of companies, which should have an interest in the doings of the California’s last hard rock mining operation. The consensus is that not enough people are aware of the opportunity for making money via the corporation, its assets and its associates. Too few people and even fewer understand how to interpret the solid facts surrounding the Alleghany Mining District and the die-hards who continue to believe in its future.

Life looks pretty good around the Company. Everyone is more upbeat than Scoop can remember. Round in…round out. The gold is not gone. You just have to find it and you will not find it by wishing.

04/20/2004  6:07PM

Dead work or maintenance, whatever you call it, there comes a time when it preempts looking for gold. The ‘49’ winze is the main artery of the mine. It was an old raise that was extended and improved in 1984-85-86 by our lessee, Kanaka Creek Joint Venture. It provides the miners with a primary exit, hoisting capabilities to the lower levels and utility services for air, electricity and water. While it is regularly checked and repaired, it became necessary to hit it harder with some new timber, rock bolts and steel sets. Part of the crew will dedicate two weeks towards this effort.

The kitchen raise crew is drilling six-foot rounds. If rock does not break, do not expect to find gold. The other production crew is slushing what they thought was a drift above the fishpond. It turns out to be an old timer’s raise. Confidence remains high that both crews are working in an area with great prospects.

04/15/2004  1:57PM

Much needed rain fell last night. No snow on the ground. Temperature is about 42 degrees. One more day of preparation in the “kitchen raise”. Utilities are completed and a powerful slusher is installed. Crew will drill first round today or tomorrow. The “no-dog-raise” is set to go. Its crew moved to and drilled a signal above the fish pond on the trail to the ballroom yesterday. They will drill again today but not on Friday (we do not leave shot rock with gold over a week end). We do not expect much here but the jewelers need slab, and we aim to please them.

Mike is working out a new agreement with PG&E. March bill was over $7,000, mostly from pumping. It is costing us to keep the lower levels from flooding; however the rational supports the decision. Besides the equipment that would be damaged, there are some very good areas of known ore. It is too costly to go after them now.

Rae has taken time this week to whip the museum into shape for its opening in May.

04/09/2004  5:07PM

The week ended on a positive note for all the Sixteen to One crew. Andy and Charlie slushed recently shot- rock and some rock probably mined fifty years ago as they set up their heading for next week: raising. Andy found a soft ball size chunk of quartz and gold that weighed 38 ounces (15 oz fine au. Estimate). The rest of the crew installed two slushers. Joe and Reid will also begin a raise next week. Two raises running in a hot large block of quartz makes everyone‘s outlook positive.

The Paradise Gem and Mineral Society is having its 50th annual event this weekend at the Veterans Memorial Hall. David and Rae are taking some of the company’s specimens to display. They also will have a booth, selling jewelry, slab and small specimens. Oh, they also have T-shirts and hats. David hopes to net enough to buy a new four-wheel polisher (about $2,000). Stop by. Paradise is east of Chico. There are many enthusiasts living in the area, so the show should have a wide selection of minerals.

Director Emeritus Dick Sorlien stopped by for a visit. Dick lives in Philadelphia and has the Alaska Mine a few miles down the ridge from Alleghany. He will be 82 in June, still plays tennis and recently had eye treatment to eliminate the need for glasses, which he has worn since childhood. Dick played a key role in the growth of the company while he served as a director and was awarded a gold plated hard hat when he retired. In Australia a gold plated hard hat represents a very high honor of service in the mining industry.

Bill Walker (water guru) and Rae installed a new facet to the unit that cuts the arsenic out of the drainage water. It is another “secret” process the company has perfected over the years to handle its water discharge for 2005.

Mike and Rae reviewed the cash flow and bills. They wrote over $5,000for property taxes due April 12, $8,750 to PG&E as well as maintained the beginning of the month regular payments. The money is mostly from slab sales, but David has been busy filling requests for specimens and cabochons. Still mining after 108 years!


04/02/2004  4:18PM

The week ended with gold production from the Ballroom heading yesterday and today. It was the heavy sulfide gold. All the miners will be working several headings in this location for several months. Mike bought new slusher cable in Oroville for the crew. Moving the shot rock requires two slushes. About half a mile of phone wire was laid from the office in Alleghany to connect with the internal mine communication system. This will allow direct contact, which makes us all feel safer. Tomorrow is a volunteer day at the museum. The drive from highway 49 to Alleghany is spectacular with all the evidences of spring. Join us if you need a reason to have an adventure.

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PO Box 909
Alleghany, California 95910

(530) 287-3223      
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