August 18, 2022 

Clips from Alleghany


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11/07/2003  6:36PM

The volume was not great, but miners sacked gold every day this week, except Thursday. In one heading the gold showing has increased. This isn't the big one, but even a couple of hundred ounces will be appreciated.

11/05/2003  8:28AM

Cold weather continues in Alleghany.
The tour last Saturday went well. Joining the tour were Ken Rohrigh and his wife. The Rohrighs are one of the founding families of Alleghany although none of them reside here anymore. Ken is working on setting up a family history web-site. The museum was able to provide him with one photo he did not have.
Our sales tax return for the third quarter was filed timely last week. Rae has not completed the third quarter financials yet.
The Museum holds its annual membership meeting on Nov.13th at the Offices of Francis Scinto and Associates in Grass Valley.
PG&E called on Monday and said the power will be shut off this week.
The underground crew is down to three miners: Ian Haley, David Cates and Britt McDaniel.
A small amount of high-grade continues to come out daily.

10/31/2003  2:17PM

Alleghany awoke to the silence of snow, a drastic change from the record heat just three days ago. Sixty-eight fourth grade children, parents and teachers from the Forest Lake Christian school arrived at the museum for their seventh annual underground outing. Rae and Ian gave the tour to the Ballroom, where everyone admired the mine while eating their lunch. It is inspiring to see the interest, joy and excitement on everyone’s faces as they get set to head underground. True educational experiences at this mine are remembered forever.
MSHA inspectors arrived yesterday to inspect the newly installed steel ladders in the 49 winze. Everything is A-OKAY.
Miners drilled and blasted several signals yesterday…small chunks of high-grade are better than nothing. The pump on the 1500 level is working with its float switch working properly. This will make the system more efficient and cut power consumption. The old mill concentrates are all out of the mine. Next stop is the Barrick refinery in Nevada. No one knows for sure how much money they will bring into our bank.
Tomorrow a group from the Pertoleum Association is taking the underground tour. They have expressed support for the mine.

10/29/2003  9:40AM

Still no word from PG&E.
The fires in Southern Calif. make the one we had in Alleghany seem trivial. Our hearts go out to all who have lost homes, property and family members.
Yesterday a package arrived from Saturn Surplus. Nobody had ordered anything, Mike opened it to find safety glasses. "I wonder if somebody who read the Forum sent these" Mike pondered just as Melissa spotted an envelope containing the following message:
Dear Fellow Miners

Just finished reading the posts on your forum about the safety inspector and the recent fine for no safety glasses. Talk about somebody trying to justify their jobs. I check on your web site often. It is very well designed and formatted. I do mining as a hobby and own a patented hard rock mine in sawyers bar that I go to two times a year. Just thought I would send you guys some free safety glasses to keep you out of trouble. Keep up the good work.
Mark Wisniski

Thanks Mark! you made our day!
 By Michael Miller

10/22/2003  5:52PM

Power remains on at the mine. We continue to be grateful to those responsible.
Due to the uncertainties this morning, a short-handed crew met this morning to go over options. Mike and Ian remained at the mine. They reviewed maps and discussed alternatives for short-term gold production. They spent the rest of the day underground. The hoist and skip were positioned to limit problems or hazards anticipated without power. The water level was checked. A list of gold detection cites were examined and prioritized for gold expectations, time lines and safety. Three targets well above the water line jumped out from the many and will be systematically attacked. The Ballroom heading remains number one, but cannot be efficiently worked with a short crew.

Transporting the mill concentrates has become a chore, not impossible but not quick. The barrels break and cannot be lifted into the Peterbuilt without a lot of handwork. We only have one guy to work the project. It would be easy if we did not care about dirt and rock contamination, but we do.
 By TheFoolofFoolsDay

10/20/2003  8:41PM

Hey we can get Arnold as a board member now!

think of all the publicity. :)
 By Rick

10/17/2003  8:10PM

Well, at the risk of stirring up the wasp's nest again, I'll embrace Oak's comments and Scoop's commentary, especially the persistence you guys are exhibiting. The one comment about the overall cost to us, the tax-paying public, brings back to light the validity of the fight, since without one MSHA wins a default. (My gut tells me the expense will be warranted in an overturn of the citations!)

Perhaps MSHA's aggression will soon be relegated obsolete. I believe the initial directives had little to to do with safety (as Jonathon's immediate action reveals) but instead with political grandstanding.

Scoop....I love your input. I'll bet we all read it everyday. -RB
 By Oak

10/17/2003  9:05AM

Scoop - after reading your last about MSHA and the hearing, I started to get pissed off at what is happening at the mine and at society in general. First of all, the MSHA is just another bureacracy created by a bunch of politicians to justify their positions and create their legacy as the protectors of society - yea right! They - bureaucrats - also believe in the notion that if people/organizations/industries can't be responsible for themselves, then the government will step in and do it for them. What ever happened to personal responsibility? Granted there are aspects of the MSHA that are good in that they promote safe mining standards and practices - most of which any mining operation should do anyway. The problem is that once an inspector position is created, in order for him to justify his position, he has to find something wrong with whatever it is he is inspecting. The mind set of a bureaucrat is there has to be something wrong - no body can be that safe! So what struck me here is if the inspectors felt that Jonathan should have been wearing safety glasses - where were theirs? They must have been standing in close proximity to Jonathan when he fixed the sign. I bet there is no mention in the MSHA safety manual about the distance one must be from a supposed safety hazard before the need arises for wearing protective glasses. The other thing that really struck me was the expense incurred by all, to get all, to the hearing. This was not an expense paid by the Judge, the Inspector, or the prosecutor - but by you know who - you and me the tax payer -and for what - and it's not over yet!?
On the up beat - 500 ounces at today's Kitco price should really help with the bills - like PG&E. Hang in there guy's and Scoop - keep up the good work!

10/16/2003  2:44PM

On September 21,2001, mine manager Jonathan was showing two MSHA inspectors an area of the second exit. He found a sign that was pointing in the wrong direction. He immediately corrected the situation. Either inspector said nothing to him about the incident, until the next day, when they returned and issued a citation to Jonathan and the company. The citation said that Jonathan was driving nails into timbers and flying chips could easily cause permanent disabling eye injuries because he failed to wear safety glasses.

The standard cited was 57.15004: eye protection shall worn “where a hazard exists which could cause injury to unprotected eyes.” Jonathan repositioned the sign and turned the hex screw into the soft wood with his thumb. He then tapped it with a small tool called a rap wrench, which most miners carry with them in their belt. The sign was about chest high. Jonathan did the right thing: he saw a potential wrong in a safety situation and corrected it. It was a small act yet he recognized the problem and fixed it. While his eyes were unprotected, no hazard existed.

Does this standard say that at all times a miner must wear safety glasses when he hit or strikes an object? No. It says when a miner is in danger he must wear eye protection. Why did the two inspectors not say something at the time of the incident? This is most unusual. In over twenty years of interacting with MSHA inspectors, I cannot remember one time when an alleged situation could result into a written citation that the incident was not discussed immediately.

Well, the citation was appealed and a hearing was held yesterday. The judge flew to Sacramento from the East coast. The prosecutor drove up from San Francisco. One inspector flew in from Montana. Bruce Allard drove up from Vacaville to prove his allegation. The MSHA Program Policy Manual states that: “In determining whether a violation could significantly and substantially contribute to the cause and effect of a mine safety or health hazard, inspectors must first find that an injury would be reasonably likely to occur if the violation were not corrected.” Allard could not provide the evidence to meet this requirement. He also testified that a miner must be wearing safety glasses any time he strikes an object. Wrong! Both sides will file a brief , so a decision is months away.

About 120 fifty-five-galloon drums of gold concentrates have accumulated from past milling at the mine. We are moving them near the county road where a transport company will take them to a refiner in Nevada for processing. Gold recovery is expected in the range or 500 ounces. The project should be completed next month.

10/14/2003  9:27AM

On October 1st, Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District did an inspection of the mine surface workings. The written report arrived in last week's mail. The conclusion: "In Compliance"

Tomorrow we have a hearing with MSHA in Yuba City. (8:30 a.m. at the Courtroom Family Law Building, 430 Center Street.) This is regarding a citation that was contested two years ago.
Last night the Downieville Lions had their monthly meeting and dinner at Casey's Place.
The weather is beautiful in Alleghany.

10/10/2003  9:11AM

On Wednesday an OSHA inspector visited the mine. No citations were issued.

Phillip O'Donnell author of "A Hardrock Miner & Endangered Freedom" (see "News" on this site) collected mining drills from in and around Alleghany for 50 years. He restored many of them.
On Monday Oct.6th a friend of the museum aquired the O'Donnell drill collection to keep it from leaving Alleghany. The museum will be looking for business and individual sponsors to help it aquire a portion of the collection. Details still need to be worked out.

Last winter the window in Mike's office was blown out by a windy storm. The window was literally blown to bits. A new sheet of tempered glass has been installed just in time for the winter.
Speaking of which, temperatures were in the 40's last night.

10/09/2003  3:41PM

The 40HP pump is back in place and running. It is quite a task moving heavy pieces of equipment in and out of the mine.

The new ladders continue to go in on the 49 winze. The miners estimate this project will be done Monday or Tuesday of next week.

Rae finished the 2002 financials for the Museum today. Membership renewal letters and nomination requests went out for the Museum last week. Membership information is posted on this web-site under "Tours".

David has been trying to scrape up cut-rocks in Gold Sales.

No word from PG&E about shutting the power off.

It is dry and windy in Alleghany. A little rain would be good.

10/07/2003  8:47AM

The 40 hp pump motor was fixed yesterday. Mike is driving down to Auburn today to pick it up.

The new ladders are going into the 49 winze.

Rae has been busy getting all the financial data for Underground Gold Miners Museum set up in Quickbooks. It is a mostly volunteer job but she enjoys it.

Something very exciting for the museum happened yesterday but this Scoop doesn't want to scoop that Scoop so you will have to wait for the details.

10/01/2003  7:52PM

The sump pump on the 1500 level died today. It has been a gem for eight years. The system will be down until the 40 horse power motor is repaired.

Fifteen ten foot ladders are finished. We are using steel after all, having designed the ladders with old two inch pipe and one inch re-bar.

09/29/2003  11:11AM

Saturday was a scary day for the residents of Alleghany. It was three in the afternoon and there was a stiff breeze blowing warm air up the canyon when the page went out that there was a fire in town. Luckily four out of six of our active fire-fighters were in town. (this is good for a Saturday!) Another arrived shortly having just gone up to the dump. As the fire-fighters went past the fire to get to the fire-house the fire had already spread from the Park by the County yard where it started (lower road) to one house and was to the upper road in one spot. Several people were in town who don't live here and they all jumped in and helped. Everybody pitched in. Our big truck was parked near the top of the fire where the primary attack took place, by this time the one house was fully involved and could not be saved. However, nothing else was lost. Amazingly the crew, residents and visitors in town managed to protect other houses and keep the fire from jumping the upper road until more enforcements came. And did they come! We had air tankers, helicopters, CDF crews, Pike Fire Department, Downieville and so many we couldn't keep track! CDF took over the incident and kept crews here until last night. Luckily there were only three minor injuries.
Sadly one family lost their home and the fire was started by some kids showing each other how to start fires at the park. A bank account has been set up at Placer Sierra Bank in Downvieville to help the family who lost their home. Six acres burned, a lot of it Sixteen to One property.
A huge thank you goes out to all the people and agencies who helped save the town of Alleghany!
 By Oak

09/29/2003  9:29AM

A suggestion for the display of the 116 piece collection - a classic place would be someplace in San Francisco - the City was built with 49er gold and a lot of it probably from the 16 to 1. The old San Francisco Mint would be a location once it is brought back to life. The City wants to remodel it to mixed-use and bring it up to current earthquake codes. Another location might be the Federal Reserve building. It is going through a remodel - that would be ironic wouldn't it? Or maybe one of the big banks.
 By Rick

09/26/2003  8:18PM

Here's to priceless determination!!!!!

09/26/2003  5:10PM

Rae paid the end of the month bills. Most of the accounts that are past due are co-operating with us. Mike loaned the company$12,000 today to cover the checks. It’s an unsecured loan. Scoop is confident in reporting that Mike believes in both the Ballroom heading and the crew’s ability and motivation to search, locate, and blast its way into a worthwhile pocket. Mining the Sixteen to One is unlike any other gold mine in certain ways. Rae posted a new photo today showing that February had a $100,000 day. In 1993 there was the million dollar day. In 1995 it was the two million dollar week.

09/25/2003  4:28PM

Pumps are operating.
Crew continues maintenance in 49 winze. Work going well. Rae filed a Form 8 today with the SEC as notification of our inability to pay our auditors.

Director O'Neill spent the day in Alleghany yesterday. He put together and eight page booklet of his drawings of the CDAA activities against all of us. One great line is uttered by the CDAA alligator or crocodile, some reptile anyway acting like a Carpet Bagger.
The miner says, "So maybe the grand jury will drop it.....evidence that we are innocent, and all that....and we can go home." The reptile says, "maybe not! maybe not enough evidence of your innocence in the crime we made up in first place."

This episode is under "Carpetbagger" in the comic section of our web site.

The booklet is entitled: "You are invited to a Hanging! We got the Bad Guys."

09/23/2003  5:55PM

Over the years moisture rots the wood underground. Some of the stairs between the 800 level and the 1300 level in the 49 winze have decayed and need repair. There is no work place requiring using the 49 winze, but occasionally the pumps and water level are checked. Our long-term plan, which we are following the best we can, is to use steel instead of wood for ladders and support in the winze. Money is tight, so we will fix the ladders with the wood currently on site. The repairs will likely last 5-8 years in wood. Labor is about the same for wood or steel.

Over the past years the shops and storage facilities became cluttered. Many valuable pieces of equipment are inoperable. This week we have repaired the high pressure steam cleaner, the tires on the dump truck, the 400cfm air compressor and the 600cfm air compressor. Like the squirrels, we are all active preparing for winter. Anyone interested in coming to the mine to help organize our valuable stuff will be welcomed with open arms.

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Alleghany, California 95910

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