October 26, 2020 

Clips from Alleghany


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 By Rick

01/12/2013  4:16PM

Howdy up there!!! How cold is it outside? (Of quartz, we know how warm it is inside....)

12/13/2012  10:32AM

Everything down at the mine portal area was cold and dark on Monday when the crew arrived …no electricity. The main PG&E transformer sizzled with heat so the problem was with PG&E. A troubleshooter assessed the situation by 2pm. The 12,000 volt to 4160 volt transformer was too dangerous for him to even open and check. We needed to get a new one installed. Going from 12,000 volts to 4160 volts is not common and PG&E began a search for a transformer. Fortunately one was found in Stockton and would arrive in Alleghany Tuesday morning. PG&E gets a lot of flak in California (justly so for power outages); but the line crews are exceptionally talented. They completed their work by mid-afternoon but would not throw the mine’s breaker lever to energize the power (company policy). This level is not normal size. It took two hands and with a little coaching, Mike raised and connected the level. Back to work on Wednesday.

This morning it was 22 degrees. The storm is over and the scene is beautiful: tall evergreen pine, cedar and fir trees, white snow and blue sky.

12/09/2012  8:16AM

What’s been going on in Alleghany, the last Sierra Nevada historical gold town still operating mines. It bewilders many that (1) Gold is still being mined in California and (2) So little gold mining is happening in California as the spot price hovers around $1700 for a measly ounce. That’s right! An ounce of gold is measly compared to the historical production of gold from California’s gold belt. Those Sixteen to One boys talked about how ho hum it was when the crew mined 100 ounces in a day. It only became newsworthy when a shift sacked 500 ounces. Today they probably get excited for any production.

Scoop doesn’t wonder about the economics of gold mining the Sixteen. It’s simple. Scoop does wonder about the interest of investors. Where does their investment capital reside with the outlook for the economy? Do any still use risk/reward evaluations in making decisions or do they let it sit? What instigated the furor over the dot com industry and how was it evaluated? Maybe investment has become age sensitive. Maybe investors today lack experiences in the business of gold mining. Maybe, maybe, maybe. For sure, few Americans have a history with gold.

Northern California got a soaking last week. The only damage Scoop saw was the gravel maintained roads. Nothing beats mine rock for road surfaces, but when rain falls at the rate it did, culverts plug and then trouble follows. The mine put a herculean effort on road maintenance last spring. Except for two places on the road from the town to the portal, it survived. Some heavy equipment showed up yesterday and the news is the mine road is quickly repaired.

Half the underground crew finished a five week job repairing the track from the portal to the 848 split (about 1800 feet). Boy did it need some TLC. What’s worse than putting a full muck car back on track is when the locomotive derails. Muscles strain lifting it back on track. Even worse is when a derailment occurs at the end of shift. Do we fix it now or see it first thing in the morning?

It’s too bad that Lucas guy couldn’t find the money to make his TV show in the Sixteen to One. Now the public is left with some yahoos in Alaska and idiots in Ghana as examples of working gold miners. What a joke! No, what an insult! If you haven’t seen the short video Glen Lucas made to promote his idea, go “NEWS” and click 16 to 1 Video Trailer.

It’s too bad the last federal hearing wasn’t filmed. Portions of it were worthy of real reality TV. Mike didn’t write much about that MSHA hearing but Scoop knows he spent serious time in preparation for a battle that never occurred. The question remains, “Did the Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. affect interstate commerce at the time of the inspectors’ inspection?” The public should become aware of this story.

The Sixteen to One miners always keep gold production quiet until the gold is safely sacked and stored. Makes sense. They used to order pizzas from Grass Valley when their sacking continued beyond shift but stopped when the pizza restaurants figured out that a big pizza order to go from the Sixteen to One means they are in gold. Ah, those good old days; maybe history will repeat. No one ever forgets seeing a pocket of gold during mining. Sigh, Scoop hopes to get an invitation for another look.

Maybe there are too many “maybes” and “it’s too bad” in today’s clip. No pessimism with Scoop or the crew in Alleghany. It’s great to watch the Sixteen to One evolve.

11/16/2012  5:29PM

The apparently most important item this week has been the administration hearing held in Nevada City. Haven't seen munch of Mike's truck outside the office. Just heard that it will continue until Monday. That will be four days to discuss 25 citations.

11/02/2012  4:43PM

Too much time has eclipsed since a word from Scoop. At 6pm a community meeting begins with a member of the US Post Office. Federal law established rules and procedures when postal service to a community is considered for a significant change. Alleghany is under consideration. Congress laid down policy for keeping small and remote postal service available when revenue drops below expenses. The first hit to post office revenue happened when the school left Alleghany and moved down the road to Pike. That was about twenty years ago. The next hit in revenue happened about twelve years ago when that old Sixteen to One decreased mailing regular newsletters to its shareholders. The mine company also used the post office to ship gold bars to the smelter, which were heavy and insured. Ah, the good old days! A grip amongst the community is the existence of numerous post offices in the Tri County region that are less than tem miles apart. Alleghanians are going to take over a twenty two mile drive to the nearest post office for services and twenty two miles to return. Maybe no one cares but don’t bet on that.

The Sierra Nevada had a record early snow storm ten days ago. Rain last Wednesday melted the snow but what a great early warning to everyone who has not finished (or started) preparations for winter.

A big bear is wandering around the north side of town and a little bear that is believed to lost its mother is wandering around the south/western part of Alleghany. The pot harvest of the local growers is no longer in sight. Most folks are relieved that city slickers did not zero in on the possibilities of stealing the harvest and shooting up the town. Not much more to tell you.

09/10/2012  11:25AM

The historical church in Alleghany is holding its first public event on Sept.22nd.

Singer Rita Hosking will be performing an acoustic concert with her husband Sean Feder.

Prior to the concert a delectable lunch will be served to concert goers. This will be a sit-down affair, with real plates, table cloths and the whole 9 yards! Caree Loving and crew are going to be cooking up roasted pumkin tamales and other good food using mostly regional produce straight from You-Bet farm. We hope that you can join us.
All proceeds benefit the preservation of the historical church building. go to www.hiddenchurch.info for more information. Go to the "events" page where there is even a link to hear Rita sing...
 By martin newkom

08/24/2012  10:45AM

I used to farm orchard in Sutter
County. I had an extensive junk
pile which sometimes literally
saved my "life". A pile of junk
sometimes "Pays".

08/23/2012  3:06PM

Go to the Sixteen to One mine or to most mine sites and you are likely to see stuff: pipe stuff, wood and iron of various sizes, rusted equipment, parts for almost anything that moves and of course old trucks and cars. This spring Alleghany witnessed loads of stuff going to scrappers or the local dump from the sixteen to One. Many cheered (Scoop). Some thought the mine was going insane. Scoop was checking out the portal yesterday morning and dump pocket changes when Mike pointed out a small pile of scrap iron set off to the side. “See”, he said, “this pile has no value and it will be off to the scrappers in the next load.” Scoop was impressed.

Later that day we met at the post office. Mike shook his head and exclaimed, “What was I thinking during our cleanup project! Remember that useless pile of iron? It sat there for over six weeks and was ready to load up. Yesterday and today the ore cars kept derailing just outside the portal and the crew was figuring the best way to fix the problem. Raising one of the rails seemed better than lowering the other one. I walked over to that useless scrap pile of iron and found a dozen pieces to wedge under the rail. It sure beat rocks or dirt or wood.”

Go to any mine and you will see stuff, worthless stuff lying around. Maybe those miners have reasons to keep almost everything.
 By Rick

08/01/2012  7:19PM

Document, document, document....

Any time CA and Fed regulations are interpretted by "enforcement" with a different set of eyes and outcome based upon $$$ graft we need to be vigilant and throw it back into their regulatory faces.

Unequal application of the "law" is ABSOLUTELY being applied to the Original Sixteen to One Mine.

The criminals responsible will only be taken to task if a sitting State AG has the balls to do his job...but I digress.

Unequal application of the law is real. FOLLOW THE MONEY and there's the answer to ID-ing corruption.

In the mean time....document, document, document....because all of the corruption, when it stays out of the legal snail-trail courts, isn't in the record.
 By bluejay

07/31/2012  1:28PM

Sutter's mining plans are to begin production in the 4th quarter of 2012. In addition, Sutter has acquired more nearby claims. The shares have a lid on them around 40 Cents Canadian. An Australian fund over past months have been buying the shares.
 By cw3343

07/31/2012  10:24AM

Re the comment below, I have wondered how Molycorp was able to re-open a mine in CA due to all of the regs and nonsense. Probably they spread $ around where it matters, in back-room deals?

Would it be worth studying the methods and approach taken by Sutter Gold? It looks like they actually got permission from the Army Corpse of Engineers to fill in wetlands! That seems like an unbelievable thing in CA.

Not sure how far along they are, but I read this a while ago:
An Australian bank is willing to loan Sutter Gold Mining Inc. $20 million to dig into that potential. They expect to pay it all back in gold, of course.

“It’s a great opportunity to return gold production to the Motherlode,” said Cochrane.

They’ve spent nearly 20 years researching, sampling, and getting permits to meet California’s tough environmental standards, and now Sutter Gold Mining Inc. finally got the funds to find out what these rocks are really worth.

07/29/2012  8:55AM

Yikes, did Scoop hear about the head scratcher comment below and lack of speculative interest from some of you. So there are opinions out there as to why the Californian gold mines in the Sierra Nevada Mountains are silent. Others’ opinions are: (1) over regulations real and implied from California’s agencies; (2) too long to get permits to operate and too long to get gold production to attract investment; (3) meddling from self-centered and haughty vocal people (those with the soft knowing eyes who predict disasters from most things done by man); (4) nonprofit organization with lawyers in need of work; (5) laziness and fear; (6) and some downright blast that may be true but too nasty to repeat. Thanks for your thoughts. If you have ideas, let’s see them in print.

07/28/2012  1:08PM

From an outsiders view the Sixteen crew has had a full plate of surface work recently. The main piece of equipment is a Cat 966 front end loader. It looked so funny until Friday. The bucket cutting edge was curled up like an umbrella. Messing with quartz and other hard rocks takes its toll. But Friday it showed up outside the locked gate to the mine property with a sleek shinny repaired bucket. For those miners working in the Sierra Nevada, it is a must to get all equipment in shape before winter. Two weeks ago Mike’s truck was seen on Highway 49 transporting the huge tire and rim off the loader to town. The unit must weigh 500 pounds and it is a chore to change a tire, especially in the snow. Keep it up, boys and your winter may pass without the problems of past years.

The Northern California historic car club drove up to Alleghany and was it a show. Their destination was the mine. This group drove their old cars down the dirt road to the mine. Scoop was invited and laughed to see the 1915 and 1922-28 Fords bounce up and down the road. The drivers said they could go where todays four wheel drive cars and trucks cannot. Ford should do a commercial at the mine site. It would be highly entertaining and viewers would wait to see real Fords doing real work.

It remains a head scratcher that so few are actually mining in California. Let me repeat! “It remains a head scratcher that so few are actually mining in California.” There is gold in them there mountains. Apparently there is no interest from the purveyors of one necessary ingredient of mining: speculative investment. Scoop says, “It don’t matter. The Sixteen to One continues to shine. Not as bright as it did at the end of the Twentieth Century. One day the whoop of joy and satisfaction will reach the outside world and those boys working underground will daylight sacks of quartz and gold.”

06/25/2012  5:35PM

Congratulations for an enjoyable day in Alleghany. For Sixteen to One shareholders the day began under cold and cloudy skies. It ended with sun and wind and memories of a rare opportunity to see an actual underground working heading, feel the freshly broken quartz and smell the waste from explosives used days before to advance the target. First time visitors to the mine site also walked to the fish pond and learned all about mining from the retired hoist operator at the 800 station. Prior to going underground, the guests were encouraged to sign in at the map room in order to see the route of their underground journey.

Other than a malfunction in the fuel pump of the RED TRUCK, used for onsite transportation, it appeared to be smooth event. Then, the 100 plus visitors were encouraged to drive to the museum. Ed, a shareholder from Nebraska, had his personal gold collection on display. Ed has collected it over a fifty year time span and is it a site to see. It may rival other gold collections for its variety and presentation of provenance.

The annual shareholder's meeting has been held in Alleghany the end of June for years and most likely will be held there in 2013. Plan for it next year. You will not be disappointed.
 By Michael Miller

06/21/2012  8:16PM

Are you coming to Alleghany this Saturday for the annual shareholders’ meeting? It promises to be a grand day both underground and on the surface. Scoop has observed over a month of activity and got a peak at the meeting site and trip to the portal (many improvements from past years). Activities by the crew include: grading, plumbing, electrical, sweeping, mopping, washing, organizing, pitching, moving, cleaning, driving, lifting, cutting, sweating, storing, digging, straightening, breaking, pushing, painting, mucking, drinking (water), questioning, thinking , planning, cussing, bleeding, brushing, bruising, and other activities familiar to hard at work individuals.

And the weather in northern California is co-operating for a most pleasant day. A cool spell is arriving tonight and by Saturday the expected temperature is in the low 70’s. When it has been pushing 100 outside the past days and during many other shareholders’ meeting, the underground participants loved going in the mine at a cool 50 degrees.

The tent erecting crew had a rough day. There are two tents: one for gold sales and exhibits and one for food and refreshments. There is also a large sun shade to prote34ct the guests during the meeting. It is a herculean task to get those tents up, which they accomplished after 3 or 4 hours. Scoop walked to the landing mid-afternoon and witnessed a heartbreaking scene. Strong gusts of wind blew through the area and destroyed the shade protection and largest tent. The tent resembled a hot air balloon lifting off. After serious discussion it was agreed that this crew would wait until 5pm Friday to battle the hard ground and obstacles surrounding the meeting place and eating place. Good luck and well wishes!

If you come to the meeting take a look at the dump pocket outside the portal. Check out the information in the map room and be sure to grab the special 100 year anniversary T-shirts and the special items Mike ordered to celebrate Original’s 100 year existence. Twenty bucks will get you a T shirt or three of those really cool and different items.

06/05/2012  7:59AM

Alleghany welcomed about two inches of rain yesterday & into today after highs in the 80's last week and over the weekend. Rain turned to snow at about 4 am; now a mixture of rain & snow is falling.
Sadly the town lost Sharron Lloyd on May 31st. She will be missed by many. Our thoughts and prayers are especially with her daughter Cassie.
The miners continue working on getting the new heading set-up. With such a small crew things always seem to take longer than anticipated, but as in any dangerous job, doing it safely is priority numero uno.
 By martin newkom

04/28/2012  1:44PM

The name of that water wheel is
Pelton, invented by Lester A.
Pelton. He was a member of the
Masonic group in Camptonville.
There today is a company, I think
it was Baldwin Lima Hamilton who
built impulse turbines used in
power houses generating power.
The Company built their turbines
at their "Pelton" division.
 By bluejay

04/28/2012  1:04PM

Past interesting comments from the Supreme Court concerning balance of power for the protection of our liberties that the Founding Fathers gave us, one and all.

 By bluejay

04/28/2012  12:31PM

Support your local Sheriff as he or she is for the locals as opposed to the folks who are debasing the Constitution.

Great story below:

 By bluejay

04/28/2012  10:45AM


Thanks for the updates on the property.

Concerning our potential to be somewhat energy independent, I considr PG&E's rejection for us to produce natural clean water power to be completely irresponsible and a act of terrorism against the mine and the local community.

PG&E being allowed to dictate to us and the folks of Alleghany "what we need" is another complete failure by regulators and proof government has become to big. This whole thing should have been approved on the local level and enforced by the Sheriff who has the ultimate power aside from the State and Federal wishes. Make no mistake about this, the Sheriff has the authority, he just has to believe it.

Not even allowing us to have, at the least, an emergency source of back-up energy in the case of any serious electrical interruption is quite simply to me, criminal.

As example of their stupidity: what happens when solar flare activity reaches its greatest intensity in December when electric motors generating electricty become effected and the mine and the city of Alleghany goes black? Wouldn't the potential of water power be a better bet to keep the mine and the city running?

Who knows what other natural disasters may be coming our way? Intelligently preparing for the unexpected is how to run a company, a city, a county, a state and a country.

Even the US government has built a multi-billion dollar facility underground at the Denver Airport in case of potential disasters with their own self generating power source along with other supports to sustain life. Is an electrical producing company telling them what to do?

Of course, in an emergency we will never be able to gain access to this facility, its for government employees, their families and their friends. So, PG&E because of their their short sightedness or continuing profit motives or complete dumbness have actually reduced our chances to survive emergencies.

I guess they have the same mental deficiencies that big brother has in handing out our money in the form of million dollar bonuses to the administators of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who have total losses each quarter of $6 billion. What a joke! Not to mention all the other financial handouts of our money to the folks who supported the winners of political elections.

Someday the power to Alleghany will be cut-off for an undeterminable period of time and that's just the way its going to be. PG&E is not god. What have they have done by rejecting our Phelton wheel is a crime against the people of the mine and the city of Alleghany, I kid you not.

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Alleghany, California 95910

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