July 5, 2022 

From the Sixteen to One Archives


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 By Michael Miller

02/19/2021  11:50AM

Hi Karl,
My last post is just a reminder to appreciate our history. Original Sixteen’s history will be 110 years an American corporation in October this year. Hope you and others will reread and remember.
 By karl

02/18/2021  11:24AM

Michael, Did this really happen last week, or is this a bit of history? I don't see any date context here...
 By Michael Miller

02/11/2021  10:26AM

Tomorrow ends another era for this gold mining company. It will be the 99th annual shareholder meeting. In October this year Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc turns one hundred years old. Let’s celebrate!

Of more than 5000 U.S. publicly traded companies 486 are 100 years or older IBM joined this elite group on June 15, 2011. What are these companies’ secrets for lasting that long?

The “Sixteen’s” entrance to the club of U.S. companies to see their 100th birthdays is recognized as a milestone in business history. “It’s the predominant pattern that companies eventually self-destruct,” says management expert Jim Collins, author of books such as Built to Last, who studies corporate longevity. Companies that survive 100 years or longer are “a special and rarefied group.”

Many of the best known that have lived for 100 years or longer include the stalwarts of American business ( ExxonMobile, General Electric and Chevron). Others are not household names, such as Praxir, McKesson, but have served their industries’ niches for more than ten decades. IBM says, “We have learned, from our history, to roll with changes in the world, like economic downturns and wars,”

A short list of secrets to join the 100- year club:
•Ability to move into new businesses without abandoning core tenets.
•A strong sense of purpose.
•Careful innovation.
•Financially conservative.

The weather in Alleghany looks great for tomorrow. The tents are up and over 100 people are expected. Let’s celebrate.
 By Michael Miller

07/28/2020  3:39PM

Seventeen years ago our Company geologist wrote what you can now read below. The Company and I were caught in a criminal press underwritten by the California District Attorneys Association. Although the charges were dropped and the CDAA leader lost
his job. He should have lost membership to California’s Bar Association.

Ray was a hands on geologist, a teacher and a man who walked from Reno to Alleghany over Henness Pass. He worked with moon rocks at

I found his hand written report and want to share it with you. Send it along to those who believe gold is a worthwhile asset to own. Ray’s thoughts are more relevant today for multiple reasons.

For Immediate Release

Alleghany, California, May 2, 2003. Michael M. Miller, Director and President of Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc., announces the company’s intention to raise $10 to $12 million in order to develop the new Sixteen to One Mine and reposition the company into additional activities.

The new mine will be on company owned land north and along the strike of the present mine. The new mine will be accessed by a 375-foot shaft situated one mile north of the present 800 level portal to the old mine. “We have spent a lot of time and effort studying the area north of the existing mine and feel that this new area will have even greater production than the old mine”, Miller said.

The Sixteen to One vein system is a premiere pocket mine where very rich concentrations of gold formed millions of years ago. Assays are measured in ounces of gold per pound of quartz. The old mine, which still produces high grade today, has produced well over a million ounces of gold. The largest concentration of gold was in a pocket containing 83,000 ounces. The physical area was 20 by 40 feet. Much of the present mine production is sold at a premium over the gold spot metal price as specimens and for jewelry. Demand significantly outstrips supply.

For the past two years the company has been working on the preparation of this project. Old company and government maps and reports have been reviewed. New maps and cross sections have been prepared. Former mine geologists and engineers were consulted.. All elevations have been reduced to one datum.

In the old mine, the largest concentrations of gold were found in the highest levels. In the new mine even higher levels concealed by ancient lava flows will be developed. By coincidence the shaft for the new mine will pass directly through one of the more productive portions of the Blue Lead tertiary gravel channel prior to encountering bedrock. The shaft is positioned between the famous Bald Mountain mine (purchased in 1940) and Smith’s Flat, where the auriferous channel broke into the Alleghany ravine. Some initial production of gold is expected from this area.

“All available evidence supports this new shaft”, Miller says. “As soon as we raise the money we will contract for its construction. The question is not if this will be a good mine, it is just how really great will it be.” The Original Sixteen to One, Inc. was incorporated in 1911 and is the oldest United.States. gold mining corporation. Historical and contemporary information is available at www.origsix.com.

NOTE: Our new website continues its progress: original16to1.com
 By Michael Miller

03/26/2020  10:47AM

Sixteen to One mine’s home is Tahoe National Forest. Its owner, Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc.’s (OSTO) home is Tahoe National Forest. Shareholders live throughout America and five other countries. My home since 1975, is Southwest Tahoe National Forest. It surprised me last week about the absence of its deep history, so decided to share early facts about a most beautiful, healthy, vital natural resource land that propelled California into world-wide fame as the California Dream.

The Forest Reserves were established in 1893 to halt uncontrolled exploitation of its resources. In California, the Sierra Forest Reserve consisted of over 4,000,000 acres. Tahoe was originally established as the Lake Tahoe Forest Reserve on April 13, 1899. The name was changed to Tahoe on October 3, 1905. The following is from US forest Service publications.

Economic activities begun in 1849, changed in their scale and focus. New mining technologies, couples with refinement of system invented before 1859. An influx of outside capital for financing changed gold mining from the nascent industrial form established earlier, to a modern industrials system dependent on technical skills, scientific knowledge and processes, creating a permanent, trained work force. Mining for gold and other minerals on Tahoe National Forest during 1859-1906 was largely carried on in the areas developed during the first decade of the gold rush period. Mines in Alleghany, located in the early 1850s, remained active through this period. Some locations, uneconomical in the early years, became valuable producers after new technologies aided access to early gold deposits. Mining methods depended on the type of gold deposits: placer gravels or quartz lodes. Production was affected by technological advances such as the introduction of practical electrical power in mining and milling.

A change in the organizational structure of gold mining was necessary in order that gold mines could develop industrially. During the last four decades of the nineteenth century, most of the major mines in the Forest were operated by miners using investment capital from outside the gold region. The entry of outside (i.e. San Francisco, New York, or London) capital contributed to the development. More money from British sources began to arrive and the banks became eventually of great significance as channel through which foreign funds were directed into Pacific Coast investments. The Mining and Scientific Press (11/21/1903) noted this change in an article “Advantages of Technical Education”. “Within the past twenty years this old-time practical miner has been slowly forced into the background and in his place is found the technically educated man, who with a worldwide knowledge of his business is equal to almost any emergency…”

Placer mining at the Bald Mountain Mine and Bald Mountain Extension at Forest City, (purchase by OSTO in 1940) are among the biggest placer gold producers in California. These unpatented claims are underground mining operations. The streams in the area were placer-mined soon after the beginning of the gold rush, and the Forest diggings were discovered in the summer of 1852 by some sailors. Some of these sailors were "Kanakas" or Hawaiians who also had deserted their ships in San Francisco. The Bald Mountain and other drift mines were highly productive from then until around 1885. The town of Alleghany was named for Alleghany, Pennsylvania. Although the quartz mines were moderately productive until the 1870's, drift mining was the principal source of gold then. The rediscovery of the Tightner vein in 1904 by H. F. Johnson (erroneously given as 1907 in many reports) led to the revival of lode mining, which continued until 1965.

Quartz mining was also a productive form of mining undertaken on the Forest; however, it was also the most technically difficult in terms of mining and milling the gold ores. Quartz mines operated by digging into a quartz vein, aided by drills and blasting powder, and shoring up the tunnels and shafts as mining proceeded. Ore was removed by hand or mule cars, and processed in stamp mills where the gold would be freed from the surrounding native rock. Deep mines also required a skilled work force. California’s quartz mines were manned by miners who had become experiences in mining elsewhere. By the 1860s most of the necessary preconditions for the development of deep quartz mines had fallen into place. Refining processes allowed more efficient recovery of gold ore, experiences miners and managers were available, and capitalists began to invest in the mines.

“The Sixteen to One Mine at Alleghany in Sierra County was another of the important quartz mines of the period, and produced from 1896 to 1965, which made it the last major gold mine to close in the state. It produced an estimated $35 million during this time. In fact, the Sixteen to One was a consolidation of a large number of smaller mines and claims, including the Ophir, Rainbow, Rainbow Extension, Red Star, South Fork, Tightner and Twenty-One. The Sixteen to One was named in “honor of the silver/gold ratio of US coinage, as proposed by William Jennings Bryan in his campaign speeches” (Clark and Fuller 1981: 54-55). The activity around this Sixteen to One increased after 1890 and especially after the main claim was located in 1896. The mine was expanded through the rest of the century, and by 1907 the mine, and its consolidations, was known for the richness of its ore. Henderson L. Johnson, a former teacher and miner in Colorado and New Mexico, was the driving force behind the mine. Much of the mine’s later development came after the establishment of the Tahoe National Forest.”

Mining occupies a prominent place in the history of Tahoe National Forest, and indeed in California. Our image of the industry tends to be that of the sourdough with a pan. However, the true heyday of mining within the forest came after 1859, when industrial forms of mining increased and grew to prominence. During the period other economic activities grew alongside mining as important independent enterprises. All continued to serve mining, but also were part of an economy not wedded totally to gold.

The history of the logging industry on Tahoe National Forest, 1859-1906, can be divided into three periods: first, logging for mining and construction purposes in both California and western Nevada, 1859-1867; second, logging for railroad building, 1864-1870; and last, logging for general purposes 1870-1906. Different areas within the forest were affected by logging in a variety of ways. The western portion of Sierra County was logged for local consumption in towns and at mines throughout the entire period. Small sawmills were established around most of the mining towns and centers soon after the gold was discovered. Lumber was needed for buildings, flumes, equipment, mines, and fuel. The equipment for these mills was imported from the East Coast. The diversification of mill production after 1869 was caused by a variety of factors. There was a large market for wood products that developed outside of the railroad’s immediate use. Despite the variety of logging companies, actual operations during this period were fairly uniform. Transportation of logs to mills and finished lumber to market was an enduring problem, especially in such rugged country as that present in the Forest.

Agriculture during this period can be divided into two general categories: settled agriculture on farm of varying size within the Forest; and grazing use of forest range lands by livestock and dairy ranchers on a seasonal basis. Areas of permanent settlement included scattered small farms or ranches near mining towns and stage stations, as well as large farming regions like the Sierra Valley that supported year-round agriculture. These ranches typically provided food and fodder for the mining towns and logging camps nearby, and were able to gain access to larger markets once the railroad was completed if near enough to the line.
 By Michael Miller

01/01/2020  6:22AM

For some spring sparks a desire to Spring Clean. For some the New Year makes an urge to purge old stuff, so the new can find a home. I felt this urge and found papers to burn, read again and many to let stay for another day. J. Smith is a man who befriended me forty years ago, long gone now. We got to know each other because of a mutual love of mining in the Sixteen to One. In the late 30’s or early 40’s, he worked the mine, full of pee and vinegar and youth. Although his time as a miner was limited, its impact was profound. He became a great writer.

J. Smith sent me Christmas cards regularly and occasional letters. Fifteen or so years ago he sent me a note: “Mike, Just ran onto this old piece of memory, and thought you might like it. JS”. Well, I did like it for its clarity about working underground and honesty. Enjoy:

Christmas? I have heard of it when I was just a boy,
But now I’m old, I work too hard to really feel the joy
Of giving gifts, receiving them, of hearing sleigh bells ring,
Or learning songs of Christmas for I’ve forgotten how to sing.
I work down in a gold mine a half a mile or so,
I keep no track of time or life as the ore skips come and go.
I hear no bells of Christmas, jackhammers dull my ears.
I think of friends and family and blink away the tears.
The only light I see down here is the miners carbide lamp
And weak it is this far below where it is cold and damp.
We blast, we mick, we tram and dump and do our level best,
We work our shift and only think of quitting time and rest.
When lunchtime comes I cannot help the loneliness I feel,
For there alone upon a rock I eat my Christmas meal.
 By Michael Miller

12/24/2019  8:06AM

Development at Alleghany. [Colorado Capital plans big operations.] June 13, 1909- L.A. Times

Alleghany (CA) June 10- with $100,000 immediately available and backed by a group of the largest Colorado capitalists, L. E. Woodbury, manager of the Rainbow and Red Star mines, has arrived from Denver to push developments on a vastly augmented scale. The Rainbow ten-stamp mill will soon be in commission. The 2000-foot main tunnel pushed ahead, a north drift run to cut the wonderful Sixteen-to-one vein. And it is expected that the tunnel will shortly intersect the great tightner ledge. The working force has been increased and the thirty-inch bonanza shoot recently opened, will be thoroughly exploited. The main tunnel is going forward steadily and much new territory is being opened. Fully 5000 tons of rich ore are blocked in the Red Star and much bonanza quartz is being sacked for shipment. The vein continues thirty inches wide, values from $100 to $50,000 per ton.

Aside from the natural interest the famous Sixteen-to-one, attention is concentrated on the celebrated Tightner where the lower adit is expected to reach the lower ledge within a few days. If the strike comes up to expectations, managing owner, H. L. Johnson declares that the Tightner will at once leap into the front rank of California gold producers. It has already produced in excess of $1,800,000 from the upper workings and indications point to the continuance of the great ore shoot with depth. The tunnel is in over 3800 feet, but progress has been slow, owing to the excessively hard rock encountered.

The Sixteen-to-one and several others continue splendidly with increasing developments. The ore bodies are holding out excellently and give every promise of depth. Others have been taken by eastern capitalists and will be vigorously exploited. The Kenton and other properties, operated by Los Angeles capitalists, also show excellently. It is reported that George Wingfield is still after control of several properties in the district.

While the Alleghany ores carry fabulous values, they do not mill well and, except the Rainbow, none of the other mines are in the position to treat their products. The ore is hauled to Nevada City by teams, and thence sent to the Selby Smelter by rail, naturally at considerable expense. The Red Star is installing a testing mill and as soon as the best method has been determined, several works will probably be erected. The presence of powerful Denver, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Goldfield capitalists is a guarantee that the mines will not suffer for want of milling facilities. In other mother lode counties mines are in full blast.
 By Michael Miller

12/02/2019  8:43AM

Written September 2, 2011 presented unedited. Do these observations have relevance today?

Dear REAP (see below),

A modest mining man has the answers to your questions, many of which are scattered throughout this FORUM in almost every topic on the FORUM and headings listed to your left. Let’s begin with the first question, “What has been the response to this situation in Sierra County?” Growing interest based on phone calls, traffic in the mining areas and correspondences.

In California the response seems to be wonderment as to why the hills aren’t alive with the sounds of music from air compressors and happy workers; however everyone is scared away by the threat of lawsuits or time delay in beginning production.

No signs of new investment can be found. Every now and then people with an interest materialize. None have conducted a thorough inquiry.

Varied and detailed development plans based on history, geology and the present are published on this web site, well thought out and designed to “Get as much product to market as fast as possible”. Others may have plans also.

Significant consolidations of mines in the Alleghany Mining District occurred. Large companies fail to recognize the benefits from investment in small vein, underground, high-grade gold mines. Frankly, these operations are not suited for their corporate style.

Ah, the culture of “Crystal Ball” exercises about gold, a favorite or up-and-coming pastime of those who mine, those who wish and those who dream; sometime (rarely) someone does all three. You ask about the future structure of mining in the county. The structure will be similar to those that have taken place for 150 years: one company dominates (that company has changed over time); partnerships will form (General and Limited); associations may give it a try (most will fail); stock promotion companies will sneak into the county (most will fail); some really smart businessmen with the spirit and understanding risk/reward ventures may make an important contact and conduct his or her “due diligence”. (This would be refreshing.)

However, California has festering inside its governmental bowels some misinformed career employees that continue on a path of destruction for gold mining and other natural resource extraction industries. They are succeeding, which frightens away one of three ingredients for success in mining gold. The Central Valley water board staff currently leads a list that has hurt Californians much more than people realize. Tied for second are the “Attorney General” staff and the staff of the department of conservation.. They have swarmed like flies on shit. Instead they should be embracing all serious programs to utilize California’s splendid natural resources. They could be swarming like bees on honey. All Californians would reap the benefits of Sierra County’s gold.

I do not have a crystal ball to gaze into and see the future. I do run a gold mining company. I know that the future of Sierra County, California and the United States is understanding the past in tandem with predicting the future. Gold’s historical truth in social and cultural evolutions is undeniable. Like gold, truth lies at the bottom. One company may overcome the obstacles in Sierra County and California. It has an unusual name, Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. I have a personal stake in its welfare and treatment. A litigious government, working to selectively enforce and selectively prosecute any person or entity is at work in Sierra County to destroy this company. The drivers work in Sacramento. Their actions hurt every person in America except those who financially benefit from the present prosecutions.

“Many reasons may be assigned for the amazing economic development of the United States. The abundance of our national resources, the freedom of our political institutions, and the character of our population have all undoubtedly contributed. But in my judgment the greatest factor has been the fact that by the happenstance of good fortune there was created here in America the largest area in the world in which there were no barriers to the exchange of goods and ideas.” Gold helped bring about this happenstance of good fortune.
 By Halfpence

09/21/2019  1:23AM

Thx for the info, Michael. I’ve been looking for a bar for years, and feel lucky to have found one. But I paid a heck of a premium. Still, it was worth it to own a piece of history. I know it’s far more profitable for the mine to sell gold raw, but I think the bars with the 16:1 stamped on them are more interesting. Mine doesn’t have a loop. The serial number is 1621, though. Apparently, the original owner requested that serial number when it was made, and the mine obliged. I’d post a picture if someone could tell me how.
 By Michael Miller

09/20/2019  2:57AM

Congratulations on your purchase.
Records of the sale of our “mini bars” are stored, really deep storage. We’ll do some exploration next week. Mini bars were three sizes: quarter ounce, half ounce and one ounce. They are all cast with Sixteen to One gold. One of our refineries processed the dore resulting in four nines (.9999 ) and the silver as a remainder. Our gold is about 85% gold and 14.5% silver.

We priced the bars at spot plus the cost of making them. Bar design changed each year. All have date of production. We made mini bars for five years (1993-97). Oh, one more fact. Some mini bars have a loop so it becomes a jewelry piece. My daughter has some and when she wears one or sometimes two, people ask, “What are those?” If yours has the loop, check it for wear. A goldsmith can beef up the loop.

Perhaps others who acquired a mini bar want to sell. If so, write me or post it here. I’m a buyer for a seller. Any size any year.
 By Halfpence

09/19/2019  2:30PM

Hi all,
I love the history of this mine!
I just acquired a 1997 1/4 oz bar from the 16:1 mine. I'm wondering if anyone can tell me the other alloys that typically comprise this .916 pure gold. I'm wondering if it's silver. Also, does anyone know how many of these were produced? Thx so much!
 By Michael Miller

01/16/2019  1:19PM

From The Comic Journal October Issue:
“Is Dan O'Neill our age or older?” Adele said.

“Older?” I said.

“Well, he’s still got all his marbles,” she said. “Or as many as he ever had.” The occasion for these remarks was our receipt of his first book in thirty years, The House Next Door (Hugh O'Neill & Assoc.). “It’s the first time I’ve understood the relationship between gold and money.”

“You understand it?”

Dan O’Neill, a director since 2002, of Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. brought a much appreciated “punch” to the Sixteen to One operation. He is an Hall of Fame” cartoonist. No, this gold mine is not a joke. He created comic relief with his first drawing about the underground mine, which you can find on this web site.

Call it humor, satire or honest wisdom, his first book in thirty years (limited first edition with 23 corrections now corrected) is available from LULU.com priced at $19.95. Dan just sent me the feature article yesterday in the “The Comics Journal”. Copy and click on the link below. Bob Levin wrote the article entitled “Why Does the 12-Inch Tall Piano Player Sing?” Warning: it isn’t an easy read.

 By Michael Miller

07/16/2018  3:49PM

Clarence Ellis, titled his regular column of Pay Dirt June 2002, issue “MSHA Doesn’t Understand that Coal, Metal Mines Different”. I am an historical mining junkie, so this sixteen year old article was easy to find today. May it interest you as well. If you haven’t read Respondent’s brief, filed July 12, go to NEWS on this website. Become aware of a sad reality: lawlessness on display by career public employees, especially lawyers. Convictions, fines, penalties, control and withholding exculpatory evidence (remember the CDAA) measured a pathway to higher positions; even for those I respect the most: judges.

The article begins, “What happened to yesterday’s MSHA? Is there anything left of the agency that was dedicated to the miner’s personal safety? When was the Mine Safety Act amended to create a force worthy of a police state? When safety enforcement is measured by its ability to raise dollars, its primary purpose has vanished. It does not appear that any of the higher-ranking Washington bureaucrats are even remotely connected to the field personnel. It also does not appear than any of the elected officials are aware of how their constituents are being treated or they would stop the daily abuse.”

Sounds familiar to today’s miners and operators! Ellis cites the mine act approved in 1969 and amended by Congress in 1977 and asks, “If the law hasn’t changed, what happened to the way enforcement has changed? What has happened to the friendly, helpful inspector who used to visit the mines?” Well, the early work force had mining backgrounds. Most retired or passed on and were replaced by those with a totally different agenda.

Today, my industry must deal with people with no mining background. It is a slippery slide towards the extinction of the small mine operator in America.

The cause pointed out in 2002, continues today. “The problem with the agency seems to start when its people begin ignoring the 1977 Act. Then they started interpreting the 30CFR regulations in highly creative ways.”

It is a lengthy article and worthwhile which is why I recalled it easily. You are directed to the FORUM Topic “YOU JUDGE***” ENTRY July 12, 2018, and NEWS same date for an important event now in progress.

Mr. Ellis closes his article: “When any inspector forgets—or ignores his trust in bringing the Mine Safety Act to the miner, he no longer is serving his purpose. Whether the inspector involved in the action just discussed acted out of ignorance or arrogance doesn’t matter. Neither is to be tolerated if the purpose of the Act is to be fulfilled.”

 By Michael Miller

05/03/2018  11:30AM

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento CA 95814

May 8, 2009

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,

Credibility is an issue, not yours but perhaps our gold mine. We get blamed for a lot of things that are not true. I am President of Original Sixteen to One Mine, located about two hours northeast from Sacramento in Sierra County. The Company is the oldest gold producer in the United States, incorporated in California in 1911. I’ve had the president’s job for twenty-six years. I am looking for your attention. As a personal reference, I offer Bruce McPherson in Santa Cruz. Bruce is a childhood, family friend. You picked a good man for Secretary of State when you chose Bruce. Give him a call. We regret his loss in the last election.

Solutions are my mantra (as it is for many pre-hippy Californians). Consider implementing the following slogan with your executive branch employees: SQUARE. I remind our hard rock underground gold miners to incorporate it into their work ethic. SQUARE. S is for safety; Q is for quality of work; U is for you; A is for “accountability; R is for responsibility; E is for efficiency. Put them all together and it creates or becomes a behavioristic model for success in any workplace.

You are desperately needed right now. I humbly seek some things from you to help the gold mine, the blue-collar workers directly, our depressed rural county and the social and physical fabric of all Californians. Become a statesman during the final years of your term and forget being a political chameleon. Smother the Sacramento “pot-house politicians” (check a large dictionary for the definition) and leave all those in the Senate and Assembly behind. Leave the Judicial Branch alone as well. Until the few scrupulous lawyers raise the bar to expected levels of integrity, honesty and lawfulness, the judicial branch will continue as America’s most despicable arena of outlaws. Tell all of them to, “Become the professionals that once walked the halls of justice. Become a statesmen, like me.” This can be your legacy to Californians, a return to the elected statesman.

The SQUARE in all three State and Federal branches is gone. If you can just fix the Executive Branch, it will set an example and get business humming in California. It will bring jobs to rural California.

Gold miners have encountered many examples of inappropriate behavior from people in the agencies you control. I wish to share with you or your appointee some experiences that others and I encounter in dealing with Sacramento. Let the other public officials make the laws and administer the justices. Your Executive Branch holds the catbird position. As Governor you hold the strongest weapon. As Dirty Harry would say, “Make my day!” Please reinvent the lost art of statesmanship. We need you in the trenches with us.

If you have never travel underground in the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountain range, consider accepting my offer to take you inside Mother Earth and see her as never before. See where plate tectonics smash together and bless our continent with one of the richest gold deposits in the world. You can bring your kids. They will love the adventure.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Meister Miller, President

 By Michael Miller

02/14/2018  12:38PM

I’m writing a brief for the two citations heard last August. MSHA agents rely on history of citations issued to a mine operator to levy penalties. During this hearing the inspector admits to her careful review of past citations and used it to speculate on our negligence; however under questioning she admits that the actual situation she saw on September 21, 2016, didn’t resemble the historic situations she reviewed. She went ahead and testified that the past history elevated the negligent. Is this justified?

Our mining operation also has a history regarding MSHA performance. The federal government will not be proud to acknowledge the past of this most valuable agency. Over my life as a responsible person for the safety of our miners, MSHA has been a root cause in harming the miners. It must change, and I sense that it will as more responsibility flows from Washington DC to its agents. Below is a correspondence I found while preparing this brief.

MSHA Archive from 1997
A subtle but perhaps most serious side effect of the agency’s and its agents’ behaviors over the past thirty months can be found in the minds of our young miners. As we train and give ongoing guidance to the nuances of underground mining, they are witnessing unreasonable behavior from a powerful force or authority. It is MSHA. Quite naturally, they are confused regarding the interpretation of this behavior. MSHA continues to create problems where none exist. MSHA has become the ones that place underground bombs throughout the land only to then offer to cure the threat of harm by becoming the ones to remove the buried, potentially lethal hazard. Does this make any sense?

Federal supervisor Bill Wilson, MSHA district office in Vacaville, warned, threatened, and intimidated that I and Original Sixteen to One Mine will receive federal citations if profanities such as the ones their traveling investigators have been experiences in Alleghany did not cease. He said we would be cited because we would be intimidating the agents. Wow. This action by Wilson obviously demonstrates and displays his furious ability to regulate and expression to intimidate. He threatened the FBI as well. What were the profanities? Several miners’ wives gave them the finger as they drove through Alleghany in their federally licensed cars.

I only imagine if they enact these threats, MSHA will master its goals of eliminating or taking over the operating of the mine(s). For without an independent or peer group determination of justice, our powerful Congressional granted agency gets in step with governments and largest conglomerated corporate organizations. Mineral extraction is big business. California is anti mining.

Distant federal agents who foster a program of intimidation and extortion stepped up their program to control the operations of mining in the United States. Slow but steady progress towards this goal enveloped the large mining companies. Why did the giants go down first? The top commanders of the large companies found the federal government a strong ally in crushing small companies and individuals seeking minerals. The reward: eliminate competition. Are there other reasons as well?

Little differences appear between the “want-to-be police enforcer” mentally displayed by field agents and a “want-to-be Perry Mason” advocate called the U.S Solicitors. My quest of discovery moves from Alleghany (the mine) and Vacaville (the field and regional headquarters of MSHA) to San Francisco (the lawyers). In this investigation, the route from San Francisco to Washington DC is very direct.

Find a way to inform Americans. Find local reporters to write an article. Contact national television personalities to do a story or interview. Our cash flow woes are a result of not finding enough gold. Our miners and company have been occupied with unreasonable demands by MSHA. We were unable to break enough rock for the statistical averages of success at our extreme high-grade gold mine to unfold.

Once a round (the daily footage advanced by an underground crew) is lost, it is never recovered. MSHA forced us to miss many rounds. Its unreasonable application of law (An Act of 1977) shifted from field agents and regional administration to US Solicitors offices in San Francisco. The country must begin looking into the behavior of a group of career federal lawyers. It seems to me that these lawyers have forgotten whom they represent. Like other silly and truly dedicated government employees, they are public servants for the tax paying American people. They forget the purpose of their work. Like poor little lambs, they have lost their way. For MSHA, it forgot the purpose it was created.
 By Michael Miller

11/30/2017  4:36PM

The Mountain Messenger
California’s Oldest Weekly Newspaper
Downieville, Sierra County, California

November 17, 1917

Items of Local Interest about Sierra’s Mines
There is a queer mix-up in the decision of the jury which tried the Sixteen-to-One vs. the Twenty-One case in San Francisco recently, and a new trial will have to take place. A report of the verdict in a San Francisco paper says:

Although a jury in the United States district court gave a verdict in the Sierra county mining suit of the Original Sixteen-to-One Mine Company vs. the Twenty-One Mining Company last Thursday, no judgement has been entered by the clerk of the court. The verdict read: “We the jury, finding favor of the plaintiff and assess the damages against the defendants in the sum of $100,000 less cost of extraction of the ore on account of unwilling trespass.”

The defendant’s claims $78.000 as the cost of extraction. The verdict was returned at midnight and handled seal to the United States Marshal. The jury then went home. On presentation of the verdict of Judge Frank H. Rudkin the following morning, the judge said he would not order the judgement entered, as the verdict was too uncertain, and that he could not order the jury to correct it, as it had been discharged. The verdict then had to remain in midair. The trial occupied nearly four weeks, and involved mining property worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. During the course of the trial, moving pictures of the mines in operation were thrown upon a screen in the court room.
 By Michael Miller

07/12/2017  11:14AM

In 2001, Mr. Gage McKinney released his book, “When Miners Sang” about the Grass Valley Carol Choir. The Forward written by Professor Philip Payton, Director, Institute of Cornish Studies at University of Exeter, Truro, Cornwall informs us of McKinney’s strengths as an historian, former president of the California Cornish Cousins and depth of his humanity, humility and great affection for this subject. Just reading the Forward took some air from my lungs in excitement. Here is the first paragraph of the book’s introduction.

“Christmas Eve in the early 1940’s. The Nazis were terrorizing Europe and the Luftwaffe pounding Britain night after night. In relative serenity a typical American family gathered quietly at home and within the sound of a radio. The set crackled and then came a voice, not from Washington or London or some falling outpost, but from a place far removed from the strife, from the depths of a gold mine in California, a stronghold of granite and dripping water. In words similar to these the announcer spoke:”

“To all America, from coast to coast, a merry Christmas from Grass Valley, California—where the Cornish Carol Choir is singing.” The singers raised their voices, beginning the carol “While Shepherds Watched
Their Flocks by Night” to the tune of an old hymn. It was a Christmas custom and tradition beginning 78 years ago by Cornish miners, who had come to golden California and gathered in Grass Valley.

In 1993, I took a phone call from team members of Huell Howser’s California Gold about bringing the Cornish Choir into the Sixteen to One mine. I knew that current miners sing underground (I still do) because it sounds so good and over several calls worked out a plan for his TV show. One stope in the mine stands out from all others. We called it “The Ballroom”. This is where the crew worked on its own time to prepare for the Cornish Choir to perform.

The miner volunteers could invite a guest, but we had to be very quiet during the filming. After the choir the miner band set up their instruments and the first live music played in the mine. Listening to the Cornish Choir and their comments to Huell was a thrilling experience for all. Following is the author’s account on pages 258-59 of that time when a bunch of us recreated the historic radio program deep in an underground California gold mine.

“In the early 1990s the story of the choir was told with dramatic flair on California Gold (episode #413), a popular television series. The program, produced by Huell Howser, presented the choir in historical settings, in the Methodist sanctuary and on the street of Grass valley, and in a gold mine. Sixteen singers and their director took to four-wheel drive vehicles for a wintertime trek to the tiny community of Alleghany in Sierra County. There they climbed into the skips that carried them underground into the Sixteen-to-One mine, one of the last in production. In their parkas and hardhats, the singers descended an inclined shaft lined in white quartz, and the left the skips to file deeper into the mine, and to eventually reach a chamber like the one in which the carolers had sung in 1940.

Before their performance began, the carolers were treated to a pasty dinner. The meal prompted Mel Jones to remark that his father ate a pasty every day in the mine. For Jones in was the first time he had been underground since working his way through college more than fifty years before. For Brian Bennallack and Harold T. George it was their first trip underground since the national broadcasts. Having eaten and regained their wind, the carolers gathered to sing “Sound! Sound!”

As he recorded them, sound technician Eric Rice of KVMR Radio discovered something technicians probably noticed in 1940: the jagged walls of rock eliminated echoes and distortion. “The room is so lively,” Rice remarked. “It doesn’t matter where I set the microphone.”

The small group of voices sang several carols, closing, of course, with “Diadem”. With only sixteen voices they could not reproduce the big sound that a full chorus of workingmen had produced during the war, but they could show the tradition was still treasured. And because the program repeats every Christmas on Public Broadcasting System stations, the Carol Choir has reached its widest audience ever”.
 By Michael Miller

04/13/2017  3:58PM


Draft received from a recent interview of Michael Miller that may appear in a yet to be identified publication. January 22, 2007. Part One

Q: More stories about gold are appearing as gold increased in value last year. Are we in another new American gold rush?

A: I wouldn’t call it a new rush but there is definitely an upturn in interest. The mother of all historical gold rushes took place in California between 1848 and 1852. In modern times the current interest is a continuation of “the rush” unleashed on December 31, 1974, when gold was economically freed from government suppression. Today the general public has yet to participate even though we see more references to gold than a few years ago.

Q: How do you follow the gold markets?

A: I keep up with gold and other natural resources thanks to magazines, newsletters and newspapers, web sites or articles on the Internet, friends or acquaintances in the various industries and other sources. I enjoy reviewing company reports and SEC filings. My interest goes beyond what should be required of a president in the natural resource industry. I’m curious. My macro- economic belief is that our natural resources contribute to the liberties and freedoms the entire world cherishes. There are potential global impacts, significance for Americans and important local consequences that touch many people.

Q: While it seems simple, the realm of gold has a complex history. What single advice pops into your head to offer someone outside the gold market wanting to get in?

A: The rules are the same whether its gold or technology: go into gold with an open mind and teach yourself through study. I started that way thirty-two years ago. My family background, formal education and life-long experiences make me a risk taker but a careful one. Emotion gets in the way sometimes. The counterpoint to risk is reward. The ability to evaluate these two components is crucial with today’s gold investment options. Whether it is an investment in time, energy or money, a formula may be constructed to analyze various choices and opportunities. There are unfamiliar terms in gold mining with unclear definitions to deal with. You want a quick single concept to embrace: ponder the downside risk and upside potential.

Q: Why have you devoted thirty years to the mines in Alleghany?

The relevance of mining, natural resources and gold to our present and future well-being makes me a Sixteen to One bull. I recognized the potential quickly back in 1974. Our experiences continue to confirm my early impressions. I don’t want to go into a lot of history now; however what has taken place in Alleghany and the Sierra Nevada Mountain range is awesome. It sometimes takes my breath away just to have an interest in keeping this culture alive. While economic growth (stock appreciation) is an important goal, so is acquiring physical gold as a personal possession. This opportunity really puts Original Sixteen to One Mine in a very special and small category of gold stocks. The little guy, like me and others, has a chance to participate in something exciting.

Q: In reading your history you seem to always have plans that require money but you rarely actually go outside to get it. Why?

A: We prefer to finance our growth and development by mining gold. The Company’s fortunes turn in a single shift, so as long as we are breaking rock, fortune may tap us on the shoulders. Other reasons are more pragmatic. In order to declare a gold dividend the division of ownership must be manageable. It is. The more shares outstanding, the more difficult to divide excess gold into a meaningful amount. I monitor our gold inventory, cash flow and daily underground mining progress to quantify the risk/reward scenario. In conversations with Ian Haley, the mine manager, and the crew I gain a sense of production and what is ahead of us. My actions are to push it, in other words “risk evaluation” is a constant part of the job. It changes almost daily. Last week on the 1000 foot-level, we found a gold showing in the down-dip side of the vein. We slabbed the rock. It revealed a very nice display of gold, more than first look. Now we have the choice of proceeding with the level rehabilitation or interrupting that heading and sink on the gold. Each has a risk and each has a reward. No one knows but right below us less than a week away could be enough gold to finance our Red Star project from this production.

Q: You mentioned unfamiliar mining terms earlier. Give us some common ones and some that may be unfamiliar or poorly defined.

A: I used the term “down-dip” in describing where we found gold on the 1000-foot level. First, the dip is the angle that a bed, stratum or in this case a vein is inclined from the horizontal. Down-dip tells the direction of the incline. Its opposite would be up-dip, although this term may not be used throughout the mining industry. Mining districts develop their own terms over time, so there can be confusion of meanings even between experienced miners. For the non-miner who is trying to get a grip on evaluating gold companies, the first concept they must deal with is reserves. The Alleghany Mining District is very fortunate because the gold deposit cannot be qualified or quantified using a reserve projection. The investor today is barraged with reports about proven reserves, probable reserves, possible reserves, inferred reserves and a resource. Whew! Believe me, these terms are not interchangeable but many exploration companies as well as others lump them together. I think it is done to fuel great expectations for those seeking a play in the gold industry.

Q: Why should individuals or other entities be interested in the Sixteen to One operation and give some examples?

A: An important fact in evaluating the likelihood and meaning of meeting the two goals (stock appreciation and gold distribution) is the number of outstanding shares. This is a very important statistic for comparing all corporations. On December 31, 2003, there were 12,867,250 shares issued and outstanding. The number remained the same on December 31, 2004 and December 31, 2005. Dilution was nil. The upcoming December 31, 2006, number increased by 118,204 to 12,890,204 shares issued and outstanding. This small increase was due to a stock conversion for debt, money owed a shareholder who helped purchase the Gold Crown mine in 2005, directors’ fees and a long overdue account payable. For a company that has been financially handicapped, it avoided dilution just to keep the operation going. We are not fueling our operation by selling stock. We are one of very few small gold companies that actually mines gold for its cash flow.

Q: Is a gold dividend a fluff concept or for real?

A: It is for real. One of our past directors, Lee Erdahl, was a director of Ranchers Exploration and Development Corp and became its president after the untimely death of Maxie L. Anderson. Mr. Anderson paid a gold and silver dividend. It may be the first declared in kind dividend by a public corporation. I find it an inspiring accomplishment. As of today, a gold dividend of a quarter ounce per 1000 shares would require 3,250 ounces of disposable gold. This is a realistic number for the Company to meet.

Another requirement necessary to declare a dividend is the company must be debt free. Ours was debt free for half of the 1990’s. It was debt free by mining and selling gold, not by selling stock. It also paid a $0.05 per share dividend in 1995, the first dividend in thirty-five years. For most of its corporate life the owners were generously compensated with an annual dividend and the company was debt free and met its annual cash demands. Tax laws were different but with an “in kind- pro rata distribution”, the onus of double taxation will not be a factor in distributing profit. A goal of a gold dividend is for real.

Q: If you never had a public offering how were the 12,890,204 issued?

A: When I took over as president in 1983, there were 180,000 shares outstanding. Many were issued to former owners of mines the company acquired.

The company did a three for one stock split when the stock was very low priced. It had no dilution effect on the shareholders of record. Everyone’s percentage of ownership remained the same. It made no difference for the dividend goal. Dividends must come from profit not from selling shares. Selling shares is not revenue. This was brought to light when reading the 2006 annual report of Klondike Star Mineral Corporation. I like its idea to find the underground source of the placer gold found in the Yukon. I can relate to the excitement and perhaps monster gold pockets still remaining after eons of erosion and geological changes. We have the respected Blue Lead dead river below the Bald Mountain and Red Star claims. We know the veins exist from prior mining and drilling below its bedrock. We know that nuggets were found still encased with some quartz. We know much about the geology of this property. I like what Klondike is doing and wish them great success. Management has a different view of its corporate structure and its ownership. It appears as a one-dimensional plan for making money, stock appreciation. With xxxx shares outstanding and 5700 shareholders, a future gold dividend seems unlikely.

As I look at Klondike’s Balance Sheet and Statements of Operation a long standing and most popular pattern is evident: no revenue, ongoing dilution, high general and administration fees and high public relations expenses. With no revenue and expenses of $8,778,272 about 56% went to General and administrative (3,392,679) and Public Relations (1,538,207). Mineral exploration was $3,379,652. Shares outstanding increase annually as the company uses dilution to fund its program. This time period 3,423,000 shares were added. Nothing is wrong with this business plan. It is the one that most exploration and under financed companies follow; however there is more to the analysis of the impact of number of shares outstanding.

Few people know the number of shares outstanding in the companies they own or contemplate buying. Look at Newmont (I am a shareholder). It has 312,984,000 shares outstanding. That is a large figure. Another gold producer, Barrick, with 554,270,000 shares outstanding, tops it. This type of analysis is important to evaluate a gold company. Check its “market capitalization (market cap). Multiply the shares outstanding by the share price to determine a market cap. This is the total value the market places on the corporation. Sixteen to One is slightly under $13 million. Klondike is slightly under $40 million. Newmont is more than $12 billion. A gold dividend is not in the future for any of these companies except the Sixteen to One.

I understand why Klondike goes to financial markets to raise working capital. But why did Newmont announce a $600 million loan in November? Its stated reasons seem odd in light of its great stream of revenue. Klondike has no other choice but to continue borrowing or diluting existing shareholders in order to stay in business.

These companies and more of the Barrick types and many more of the Klondike types are competing for working capital at a time when the world awakens to the need and value of natural resources. These are the opportunities available to an eager market, a market that has only begun to be excited by the prospects of $800 or $1000 ounce gold. I am bullish for Original Sixteen to One Mine because of its different risk to reward relationship. I am sure that there is one just as favorable in other gold opportunities. I just don’t know of any to invest in. What is missing to the casual researcher of our company must be the reviewers’ reluctance to project what it will become when its two-step financial plan is successfully implemented. It is public information for the most part. Some items (all positive) are withheld for security reasons and because of their confidential nature.
 By Michael Miller

12/30/2016  11:31PM

While scrawling through some internet headings, I found reference to our FORM 10-QSB. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549


For the Quarter Ended September 30, 2002 File No. 001-10156

On October 29,2002, The Sierra County Grand Jury issued an indictment against Michael Meister Miller, Jonathan Farrell and Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. The next court date is November 20, 2002 for arraignment. Management believes the accusations are groundless; however, because the instigating prosecutors are private non-governmental lawyers outside the standard criminal system, a vigorous and time demanding defense and offense are necessary to protect the shareholders' interests. Even unfounded criminal accusations are mentally debilitating and time consuming. Because Miller and Farrell hold key management positions, the company may suffer substantial and significant damages due to the distraction caused by the prosecutors.

What a time! What memories! Why did I bring it up today?

With a Company like ours, history is relevant and important for someone wishing to judge what is ahead. Junior gold companies tend to issue press release about how the permitting is going and drilling projections. We are different. The purpose of this web site is to make history available to you and the many people who know nothing about California gold mining, the Sixteen to One or how we have survived into our third century.

The presentation to Sierra County Grand Jury by corrupt lawyers almost fifteen years ago threatened our very existence. The charges were specious but had to be defended with vigor. We did just that. The unethically lead lawyer should have been disbarred. He wasn’t. He lost his job and moved on to some other job, which he also lost. He should have been disbarred! We survived this attack!

Our small but vastly important natural resource development industries face a similar crime by government employees from various agencies. The crime to the public and those working in these industries centers in how regulations are enforced in light of how the respective governments wrote the laws for regulation. I want regulations and I want them fairly enforced, enforced as Congress and State houses wrote them. In almost every regulatory law I have read (and there have been many) reasonable is mentioned along with beneficial use to the public and non-public. We survived these attacks!

I look forward to the time when the Americans holding high agency positions set the example for their employees to become the helper to Sixteen to One mine (and all improperly regulated entities) not a rogue cop. It may not be far away. Let’s be progressive, moving forward or step by step. I believe in progress and promote reforms or changes. Your ideas and participation are most welcomed. The United States benefits from the domestic gold brought into the financial market and the need is increasing each day.

For our hard working traditional, hard-rock, underground, gold miners and directors, our message for the 2017 year is “Truth, like gold lies at the bottom.”

We will do our part to preserve, protect, enhance and bring a rare American natural resource into the coffers of our country. I dare say, we will exploit our gold, which means we will out it to use. The 2017 year makes me, an overtly optimist, smile. Truth, like gold, lies at the bottom. Happy New Year.
 By dickdavis

12/14/2016  7:06AM

Great time to support the Gold Museum, buy a Colorful 2017 Calendar and write a tax deductible check.

Calendars are a perfect way to send "Happy New Year" greeting to friends.

Maybe Rae can put up a sample photo of the 2017 calendar...?

Best wishes to all and for a Bonanza Strike in 2017,

Dick Davis

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