August 18, 2022 

How to Approach Thin Veins & Cost


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 By martin newkom

06/13/2013  10:01AM

Interesting activity in recent oil
and gas exploration: You all have
perhaps heard of "fracking". Well
they are using the process and with success and they have further refined theprocess with a new method known as "octopus" ie using the same drilsite to bore in several directions thus increasing the output of a single site.
 By Michael Miller

06/12/2013  2:38PM

I sure appreciate your interest to details. I have answers but right now not much time. We are preparing for the annual meeting (my thirtieth as president). While it has become a fun day for me, there is much to do to make the grounds comfortable for the owners. Some will be first time visitors to the mine and others show up on a regular basis. We expect over 130 and less than 200.

We allowed the water to rise almost to the 1300 level about six years ago. Miners worked below the 2400 level in late 1990’s. We sunk a winze below the 2400 level to visit the quartz below the fault…found gold but the price dropped significantly and it was more expensive to mine that location than other targets. Pumping is like having a baby for a women or a kidney stone for a guy. While it may be always uncomfortable, the first time is the worse. Dewatering the mine will not be a problem and there is track along the lower levels.

I’ll catch up with the FORUM after this weekend. Always enjoy everyone’s input.
 By fredmcain

06/12/2013  4:38AM

I was wondering if someone could tell me how much of the Original Sixteen To One Mine is actually open. If you click on "MINE" on the sidebar of the website, you will be taken to a page that offers a Map of The Sixteen To One Underground from 1998. I must say, that is a very impressive network of underground drifts and winzes! But how much of that is actually in current operation or eligible for operation?

Further back in this thread I found a post from 2010 which stated that "The current operation and the long range plan concentrate in the North Central. We will be there for another 100 years. The South Central is idle with no plans for immediate mining."

Unfortunately, I don't know what that means. What and where are the "North & South Central" districts?

I'm afraid that the deeper recesses of the mine might be flooded with water like the Empire & Idaho-Maryland Mines. Indeed, Michael Miller alluded to such in our annual report where he mentioned that parts of the mine need to be "dewatered". The map shows a 2400-foot level, a 2700-foot level and a very deep 3000-foot level. Are those all flooded?

If that is the case, it would be really exciting to get the deep levels dewatered and send someone down there with the GPR equipment. Since these levels are so deep, it would be my guess that they haven’t been nearly as thoroughly explored and the possibility of a major strike would be higher down there. Then again, perhaps I’m wrong about that. Perhaps the gold-bearing quartz veins are only found at more shallow levels. Does anybody know?

Finally, what do the heavy lines and very faint lines on the map signify? Do the heavy lines signify the presence of rail car tracks or do the faint lines merely indicate that those passageways are abandoned and unsafe?

Fred M. Cain
 By fredmcain

05/24/2013  4:12AM


I thought I saw that go through yesterday on my Yahoo! finance page.

Since OSTO is such an extremely thinly traded security, it can have some really wild swings to it.

Unfortunately, I have come to believe that there are some brokerage firms out there that don't seem to understand what this mine is worth. The standing timber on the property and real estate alone is probably worth more than the current total capitalization of the Company! Nevermind that there might be between 5 and 20 BILLION dollars worth of gold buried under there!

Fred M. Cain
 By BobbyC

05/24/2013  2:11AM

I own stock in the company both as a registered holder and in a brokerage account. I have read with interest the messages regarding the purchase of company stock through a broker, so I decided to try. I placed a limit order for 2000 shares at $0.25 on May 23 around 11am and it filled that afternoon at $0.20. The broker I used was TD Ameritrade.
 By fredmcain

05/21/2013  4:11AM


If you have time, I'd like to hear more about your experience getting disoriented in a mine when you were young. That must be an interesting story!

On the mountain lion, it is my understanding that mountain lions can actually be very shy and are usually no threat to human beings unless cornered, trying to protect their kittens or rabid. That being said, though, it is easy to see how a big cat could suddenly feel cornered if you encountered her in a mine.

If that animal was healthy, and she probably was, I agree that she has almost certainly left the mine by now.

Fred M. Cain
 By Michael Miller

05/20/2013  6:01PM

Going back to Scoops entry on 05/18/2013 at 2:07PM and later comments, I agree that it is unlikely for a lion to wander deep in a mine. If tracks were found on the 800 foot level (portal level), the oddity of the current situation would disappear. But the 800 level has lights intermittently along the strike of the vein to the deep Tightner Shaft. Once at the Tightner Shaft, there are lights down to the 1000 foot level. It is reasonable for a wandering lion to go south on the level. It could decide to travel down a stope and reach the 1100 level. But what next? There are no lights. It is total blackness.

If I’m that lion and just took that trip, I want to get out of here. Years ago I got disoriented in a mine. Panic set in immediately, especially since I thought I knew where I was walking. The lion did not panic or only for a nanosecond because of its superior survival skills. I believe it smelled its way out. I trust the lion has left the mine. The crew will discuss this situation tomorrow. Guns are not allowed in the mine unless a procedure is followed. The crew is safe from stray bullets; however each member of this crew is capable of protecting himself with a weapon.

I like your comments. I’ll make a waiver, check for gun and find a live deer to take into the mine right after I call the game warden again. I admit that this most unusual find on the 1100 foot level sent a chill up the back of my neck.
 By David I

05/20/2013  11:58AM

May be the Couger was looking for a place to have cubs. I recommend that you set a trap for the cat with live bait type of trap with a cage containment. It would have to be well built.
 By cw3343

05/20/2013  10:09AM

You better add that to the disclaimer/waiver for the shareholder meeting - ha ha!!
 By cw3343

05/20/2013  10:07AM

how far back in was the print?

How disconcerting would it be if you were in there and all of a sudden you heard a hail of gunfire from someone blasting away at a couger? No thank you!!
 By fredmcain

05/20/2013  9:11AM

This is most interesting. We had some discussion on another mining forum I belong to over a video about a boy’s dog which was killed in a "haunted" mine in Colorado.

The video itself can be seen here: (copy and paste to your browser)

I posed the theory on the forum that the most logical answer to this "haunted mine" mystery was that the dog was probably lured deeper into the mine and then killed either by a lion or some other very large cat.

The responses I got back stated that a cat would not be too likely to be found deep in the mine like that where the darkness is total. But now, staff members from the Original Sixteen To One Mine have clear proof that it *IS* possible to have a large cat in the deeper recesses of the mine.

How in the world could they possibly see? I don’t know. Cats have wonderful night vision but they still need at least some light to see. And yet, somehow, the cat managed to avoid the pool of standing water. Most baffling! I think this is just plain a real mystery!

Fred M. Cain
 By fredmcain

05/20/2013  4:33AM

Thanks ever so much for the picture of rail maintenance in the 2012 annual report! I don’t know if you did that partly with me in mind or if it was a pure coincidence but whatever the case, I really appreciated it!

Martin Newkom posed the following question on another thread:
"I read the topic of ‘rails in the mine’. What might be the significance of that requirement?"

I would like to respond to that here and provide some of my own thoughts. What is the significance of rails in mines? I have been loosely studying rail transportation most of my life and I have some ideas I’d like to contribute. It is a proven fact that steel wheel-on-rail technology can move something heavy or a large volume of something much more easily and consume much less energy doing it than rubber tires can.

Studies have shown that it takes anywhere from three to four times as much energy to move something using rubber tires than it does with steel wheels. One American railroad likes to tout their efficiency by saying that based on ton miles their diesel locomotives get 450 miles per gallon! O.K., maybe they’re stretching things just a bit to garner some publicity but I think we can see their point.

In western Australia, one large mining company actually built a long, brand new railroad completely from scratch in order to haul iron ore from that country’s interior out to the seaport. A similar line operates in South America. These lines carry staggering loads that boggle the mind. Using trucks to do the job would not even be a remote option.
So, if the use of rail is so much more efficient, why are so many underground mines turning to rubber tired trucks and "LHD’s"? I believe for the same reason that so many Americans turned away from public transportation and instead prefer to use their own automobiles. In two words: convenience and flexibility. It’s not that the LHD’s are necessarily more economical, just more flexible. If economics is a mine’s primary concern and if the mine is satisfied with the more limited flexibility of rail, then they should, by all means, stick with rail as the Original Sixteen To One is doing. That certainly make sense to me.

Then finally, although of secondary importance, there is the historical significance of using rail. Just as you might not want to convert San Francisco’s cable cars to modern buses, perhaps there is an historic purpose for ore cars and rail in historic underground mines as well.
Those are my musings on the subject.

Oh, and as one last "P.S.", I’d like to ask everyone on our forum to watch this video again if you haven’t seen it in a while:

(You have to "copy and paste" the web address to your browser to play it). Somewhere near the end there is a brief scene of some workers moving what looks like a *HUGE* boulder in an ore car. It seems to roll so effortlessly. To me, this is a good illustration of what rail can do. Could an LHD do this? Sure, but you’d need a bigger (and probably more expensive) engine! As an aside, I just *LOVE* the "Ragtime" guitar pickin’ at the beginning!

Fred M. Cain

05/18/2013  2:07PM

Bewilderment? Concern? Fear? Disbelief?

What would your thoughts be if you were a miner deep in the mine on the 1100 foot level and you found a lion’s footprint?

It happened yesterday. Also a garbage can on the 1000 foot level was knocked over. Coincidence? Except for a few scattered lights, the underground is more than dark; it is a blackout environment. How did the print get there?

Mike phoned the California game warden this morning, a man knowledgeable about California mountain lions. Should the miners start packing guns? Do we need a permit to shoot a lion?

No one can remember seeing lion tracks deep in the mine or even near the portal. Why would a lion go there? Was it lost? Was it looking for a place to have some babies? When it gets hungry what is there to eat besides a miner?

The warden said that deer is the preferred meal for mountain lions. They do not eat dead food, so the trash can was not a target for food. They don’t like people, so make noise and stand up because they like to jump on the backs of deer and break their necks with a front leg while biting the neck. (This will really make the miners feel comfortable). A lion will kill about two deer a week, eat all they want at the time and go away.

Joseph found the track and took a picture. He said the animal knew what it was doing because it walked around a puddle instead of walking straight through it. Scoop hopes to get the picture and Mike wants an expert to determine the owner. Joseph wants to leave the mine or pack iron.

The warden said he can call a man who has dogs trained to smell lion. Mike said all we need are a pack of dogs searching the mine, probably getting lost in the process. The dogs have radio collars, but the signal will be hard to track. Maybe the dogs could come up and sniff around the portals. If they get a positive sniff, we could take the next step. The warden didn’t think the dog owner would agree to turn his pals loose in the mine. Mike agrees.

How is this situation left? Don’t know.
 By fredmcain

05/06/2013  4:24AM


Thanks for your response! I'm glad to hear you're committed to keeping your railway! Great news! Although, actually, I realize that you have alluded to that before but I was still glad to hear you reiterate that.

On the other hand, I am bitterly disappointed to learn that the Idaho-Maryland project is dead. Disappointed indeed but hardly surprised. I first read about this project several years ago in the Wall Street Journal. According to the WSJ's take on it at the time, local citizenry was already doing everything humanly possible to stop the project. So, like you said, there is enough blame to go around for everyone. Perhaps EmGold didn't quite dot all their i's and cross all there t's either. Too bad. Perhaps someday mining will resume there in "a new form" like you suggested but the trouble is, the longer time goes by, the more everything will continue to deteriorate. So perhaps it will never happen at all. One can well imagine that an open-pit mine in the area would go over like a lead balloon. Oh well, maybe the loss of that resource will only serve to help make the gold in the Alleghany district more valuable!

Fred M. Cain
 By Michael Miller

05/04/2013  6:06PM

Emgold’s relationship with the Idaho-Maryland is dead according to the Grass Valley, California Planning Department. Time ran out for meeting the scheduled fees and other paperwork to maintain the permit application. For Emgold to represent progress with permitting let alone future mining ventures at the venerable gold mine, it must submit a new application.

There are numerous reasons why not a gallon of water from the flooded underground workings occurred over the past 25 years. Blame is not difficult to assess. Emgold, governmental regulators and the public all share the in the final outcome. The project is not in real trouble as the source you cite said. It is dead! If mining in Grass Valley should rise as the great ancient Phoenix, its rebirth will be in a new form.

Original Sixteen to One Mine will continue its operation as a small rail operator. Why? It is proven be the best economic system to succeed. Those who think otherwise have failed so far and have no record of success to champion their conduct. Your tongue is safe from a bite.
 By fredmcain

05/03/2013  9:58AM

I have recently obtained some additional information regarding "mines with tracks". I have attempted to contact Sutter Gold several times regarding the reopening of their Amador Mine and asked them if they intended to use conventional ore cars and tracks in the mine. They have not responded although I couldn’t see any tracks in the video that was run on Fox News.

However, I have received responses back from Shasta Gold and EmGold. Shasta Gold is in the process of reopening the Washington Mine and is currently doing exploration. Their correspondent told me that they are currently using rubber-tired front end loaders and "trucks" but have plans to add rail and ore cars in the future. Interesting.

The correspondent from Emgold told me they plan to use a combination of trackless mining as well as rail-based mining with ore cars and locomotives in their reopened Idaho-Maryland Mine. I thought that was good news, too, but unfortunately, he also told me that the Idaho-Maryland project might be in real trouble. If they are not able to complete the necessary permitting soon, EmGold might walk away from the project and concentrate on exploration in Nevada and Canada. That does not sound very encouraging to me.

Finally, I would like to mention a rather intriguing and possibly disturbing theory that I have come up with. Trackless mines demand very large, immense drifts and passageways to allow their rubber-tired vehicles to negotiate and pass each other – much larger, in fact, that in traditional tracked mines like the Original Sixteen To One. My disturbing theory is simply this: Could the large drifts in trackless mines be at least partially implicated in the incidents of catastrophic “rock bursts”? Surely rock bursts are an issue in traditional, tracked mines as well but is the likely hood of having a devastating rock burst increased by going trackless?

I posed this question on another mining forum I belong to and one responder told me that is possible, yes. There was a devastating “rock burst” in the trackless portion of Hecla’s Lucky Friday Mine in Idaho a few years ago that resulted in the most unfortunate loss of several souls. Was the trackless mine partly to blame? Obviously I don’t know and don’t mean to insinuate that but I’m not sure that anybody knows for sure. I’m just wondering; that’s all.

This does, however, provide us with some food for thought. Could it just be that maybe some of those “Old Timers” really knew what they were doing with their tracks and ore cars?

In any event, it is my sincerest hope that the Original Sixteen To One Mine will stick with their traditional cars and tracks if for no other reason that it seems to be historically appropriate. Transforming the "oldest functioning gold mine in California" into a trackless mine just wouldn’t seem right. Of course, if going trackless would help ensure the survival of the mine then perhaps I might wince, bite my tongue, and bless that after all.

Fred M. Cain
 By fredmcain

04/25/2013  9:36AM

Yes, I am wondering the same thing along with "CW". I got an e-mail response back from Charles Carlson of DRIP Investor fame, and if I understood him right, a broker should be able (not necessarily willing) but able to convert "street shares" to "shares of record". They would then be held by the transfer agent as CW suggests. I know this is true for major companies because I have between 15 and 20 stocks recorded in my own name and held be transfer agents. Some of these agents are more helpful than others. The American Stock Transfer & Trust Company is pretty good. I have had issues with Bank of New York/Mellon. Computershare is about in the middle of the two extremes.

What I don’t know is whether or not transfer agents would hold Pink Sheet shares. But I don’t know why not. What is the difference? Active shares are active shares or so it seem like it should be to me.

Surely the Original Sixteen To One Mine has a stock transfer agent, don’t you? It seems to me like you’d need that to record the change of ownership following a trade on the Mine’s board.

If somebody held X number of shares in street name in a brokerage account and had them converted to record shares in their own name, would those shares then be eligible for posting on the Mine’s board? I think they would be but I don’t know for sure. How can we find out?

Another thing of interest, if we can do this, we will actually be reducing the number of shares circulating in the so-called "grey market" by moving them over to shares of record. Would that be desirable? It might help cut the discrepancy between the grey market share price and our prices on the board. But please be advised that I’m still learning here so maybe I’m way off base.

Fred M. Cain
 By cw3343

04/25/2013  8:38AM

Mike - do you know if your transfer agent will let shareholders hold shares there, at the transfer agent?

For instance, the main transfer agent for most companies is Computershare, and people hold shares there. Reason I am asking is that some brokerages may not charge a fee to transfer the shares back to the transfer agent - then, later, maybe a certificate could be issued for a lot less than the $250-500 that brokerages charge.

I'm always looking for a loophole...

The days of certificates are numbered anyway - the DTCC lost 1.3 million stock/bond certificates as a result of hurricane Sandy. Some idiot decided they should be stored in a place under flood levels, and not waterproof - their own fault. Also, there were millions of certs lost in the World Trade Center. If there were any bearer bonds then that is a HUGE mess. So because of their mistakes, they are lobbying to eliminate certificates.
 By Michael Miller

04/24/2013  11:27AM

Fred, your post brought a sad smile to my face, especially the last paragraph. Bluejay, thanks for passing on your experiences asa retired member of an exchange. There are people who read our FORUM but do not participate. They, like you and me, share similar thoughts about the erosion of “the way it used to be”. I still believe that those who remember what a store bought tomato tasted like realize that our society is sliding down a slippery slope with a dark crevasse in view. Such a simple thing as a stock certificate representing ownership of one’s asset must seem insignificant to Americans. It isn’t. Increasing awareness may be difficult.

Today we are preparing for mailing the annual report, which includes updating the names, addresses and number of share outstanding. Believe me, keeping share ownership is the most important record for a public corporation to maintain. Our transfer agent recorded 18 transactions totaling 48,000 shares last year. Can you even imagine the record keeping required to maintain stock transaction with the volume on the national markets?

After price, volume is one of the most commonly quoted data points related to the stock markets. Reflecting the overall activity in a stock or market volume is the business of the market itself: the buying and selling of shares. As such, volume is an important indicator for traders in analyzing markets and planning strategy. Your confusion about a grey market at 10 to 20 cents with a bid well above those sales confuses everyone familiar with the Sixteen to One.

When public shares are held in street name, they are basically controlled by the depository company. They are combined with all the other shareholders. A paper entry is kept by the depository company: buy orders, sell orders and short sale orders. Daily volume is staggering. Daily average market volume is around 4 billion shares; however, volume has approached 8 billion. Wow!

My observations are that short sellers can bring a market down faster and more violently that the regular buy/sell investors. Whether the SEC monitors active short sellers that are required to “borrow” the stock in order to sell short is a question to ask market regulators. I also believe that important information is lost over time or ignored.
 By bluejay

04/24/2013  10:43AM

Our shares are tightly held, as a private company, with few ever being traded. Everyone, pretty much, knows each other and they are content just sitting on the shares. When there happens to be a selling interest and some naive broker enters it to the pink sheet market the order is scalped by taking it down hard. Finding a market maker in our shares is like searching in the night without a flashlight. I view the pink sheets as if it were like a pawn shop. I would use it if only all else failed.

Plus, the participants in the pink sheet organization routinely steal money on sell orders by buying below agency bids. The pink sheets gang are just high school punk types. You want to be frustrated deal with these losers.

Mike and Rae run a honest bid and offer book. The pink sheets offer very little, if any, liquidity to the the Original 16-1 market. The only thing the pink sheets do is cause investors pain in their quest for every cent they can steal.

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