August 18, 2022 

How to Approach Thin Veins & Cost


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 By fredmcain

04/24/2013  6:41AM

I am slowly coming to the sad realization that obtaining shares in a company which is not a HUGE corporation traded on the "Big Board" or Nasdaq can be quite a challenge. What is happening to our world?

A couple of weeks ago, I put in an offer on the Mine's board for 4,000 share at 50¢ a share. After a week and no one came forward, I called Rae Bell and raised it to 70¢. Still nothing.

At the same time this has been going on, I placed another order with my I.R.A. broker (Vanguard Brokerage Services) for an additional 2,500 shares with a limit price of 45¢ and nothing has happened there, either.

Bear in mind here that the last so-called "grey shares" that transacted went for 20¢, 24¢ and 10¢ respectively. But now I am unable to obtain these "grey" shares at 45 cents? How can that be?

It gets much worse, I’m afraid. I called a broker here in the Midwest (Edward Jones) who I’ve had some dealings with in the past. They have gotten stock certificates for me in the past so I could participate in direct stock purchase and dividend reinvestment plans but it had been a number of years since I tried to do that. (Something like six to ten years, I’m not sure anymore).

I was told they no longer mail certificates – period! So I asked if they would consider doing it for a special price and then I was told "I’m not sure but I can check for you and call you back. What security is it for?"

As soon as I mentioned "Pink Sheets" she cut me off. "We do NOT have ANYTHING to do with securities traded on the Pink Sheets". Huh? Say what? How can a well-known brokerage firm just flat out and out refuse to buy or sell Pink Sheet shares? I can’t believe this.

I also found this URL which does not look very encouraging to me: (Copy and paste that to your browser).

I have also been contacted off list by a fellow forum member who has made me a rather generous offer. If I would come up to his share quantity and price, he would swallow the $500 necessary to get me a certificate. Sheesh!! That is SO nice of him but I don’t believe it should be necessary for him to do that! $500 for a certificate? Come on! I’d bet Michael Miller would rightfully call that a "rip off" and if he did, he’d be right!

Maybe this is something we need to start writing to our Congressman about. The problem is going to be, will enough people in our country be concerned enough about this issue to take action and write? If too many people are complacent or unconcerned we might very well lose our post office. The same thing goes for stock certificates. Especially troubling is that the complete loss of stock certificates will affect by far fewer people than losing the post office. And if they don’t care about losing the post office....? I have actually had people at work tell me that they don’t give a hoot, ‘cause they don’t use the post office anymore anyhow!

This is how democracies and human rights are eroded and lost. One "little thing" at a time. So tragic.

Fred M. Cain
 By fredmcain

04/18/2013  4:32AM


Well, now, hang on a second. Are your shares recorded in your own name or in "street name"?

I have an offer open on the Mine's board for 4,000 shares at 50¢. It's been open for a week now and I have had no takers. I am seriously considering calling Rae Bell and raising my offer to 70¢.

I don't know if I can find the cash, though for all 5,000 shares.

You may contact me off list if you want at

Fred M. Cain
Topeka, Indiana mining fan.
 By greenhorn

04/17/2013  9:47AM

I have 5,000 shares I just listed for sale at 69 cents per share in my brokerage account. The first 5,000 shares worth of orders can have these shares at that price. Place the order through your broker and no one has to pay the obnoxious $500 fee to get a stock certificate issued.
 By cw3343

04/15/2013  3:43PM

Does not appear that Bank of The West sold any...
 By fredmcain

04/15/2013  11:22AM

Someone just sold another 600 shares for ten cents. Why? I bid 30¢ last week and currently have a bid out on the Mine's board for 50¢. Go figure.

Fred M. Cain
 By fredmcain

04/15/2013  9:18AM


Here is another interesting piece of info on mine tracks that I found. This is a link to Majestic’s website. Majestic apparently sells both new and used rail for the railroad industry and specializes in rails for the mining industry.

Here is their URL:

Unfortunately, they don’t post their prices online; you have to contact them for a quote. Since I don’t actually have a mine myself, I didn’t want to waste their time.

It is probably a fact that most people on this forum are already aware of this outfit but I just thought it couldn’t hurt to post this just in case.

Fred M. Cain
 By fredmcain

04/12/2013  4:55AM


It sounds to me like you have a rather interesting and ambitious project cooking. My dream, if I can achieve it, is to make a trip out to California sometime this summer to take a tour the Original Sixteen To One Mine. If time would allow, I’d love to see your operation too!

I very deeply appreciate your offer to fetch me at Colfax. Unfortunately, my issue is going to be in getting from Grass Valley or Nevada City to Alleghany since I do not drive an automobile. Kinda like the old Melanie song from long ago, "I gotta brand new pair of roller skates", "...for someone who can’t drive I been all ‘round the world". Anybody on the forum remember THAT song? That kinda fits me too. I suspect I can probably find a taxi or something to take me out there but it ain’t gonna be cheap! Plus, I don’t know what a taxi driver is gonna say about driving up that road! It’s not paved, is it?

I don’t know how complex or extensive you plan your operation to be but I would still strongly urge you to consider adding rail. The rubber tired ore car might be O.K. as long as you remain small but if you have to start pulling a lot of rock out of the mine I think you might find rail more satisfaction. What is it that’s become so expensive, anyways, is it the ore cars themselves or the rails? If it’s mostly the high cost of steel in the rails, you might be able to find used rails in abandoned mines. There are abandoned mines all over the West that still have tracks in them and I would almost bet the farm that in many cases the owners of these mines would be willing to sell you the rails for a few pennies on the dollar. Shoot! In some cases the owners might not even realize the tracks are still in there! The issue would be transportation to Alleghany. Rails are not light and would need to be trucked to your site.

Just for Kicks and Cheerios, here is a link to a site that is still in the business of building ore cars for both decorative use as well as active use in mines: One thing I’d like to note is that Web URL’s will not "highlight" on our forum so you have to copy and paste them to your browser.

My e-mail address is
Anybody on the forum is more than welcome to e-mail me if they like.

Fred M. Cain
 By Big Al

04/11/2013  10:32PM

The ore car, was wood, with Iron straps holding it together. Big Al
 By Big Al

04/11/2013  10:29PM

Hi Fred. the cost of rail has a lot to do with companies getting away from it. My partner and I are going to be mining up in the area of the 16 to one as soon as the snow melts enough we can get in. I am in the process right now of building a rubber tired ore cart, because of the cost of rail. On another subject, You were wondering about transportation from Colfax, Its possible I could meet you and get you over to Grass Valley where you can rent a car. I can also show you a ore car that had iron axles, wheels, and some iron straps. I pulled it out of one of our mines last fall. If you are interested post an email address and I will email you a picture of it. Big Al
 By fredmcain

04/09/2013  10:04AM

Although it is great to know that the Original Sixteen To One Mine is still making use of its historic underground railroad, why have so many mines distanced themselves from the use of tracks and ore cars in their mines?

Hecla’s huge silver mine, the Lucky Friday, is expanding to the 9,000-foot level. (Mind boggling). Although the older areas of the mine still have tracks, many of the newer areas of the mine – including the new 9,000 new level will not. This is typical.

I have a two-part theory as to why miners are getting away from rail that I’d like to share and hopefully get some feedback on. The first part of my theory says that the COSTS of manufacturing rail-based mining equipment have spiraled upward as the direct result of lower production and sales volumes. When manufacturers produce items in larger quantities, unit costs fall. When production volumes shrink, unit costs rise. The resulting rise in the costs of rail based equipment – the direct result of smaller volumes – in turned caused miners to lose interest in underground railways and look for cheaper alternatives. For some reason, the rubber-tired LHD's or "wart hogs" can probably be made cheaper in smaller quantities than rail-based equipment which demands larger quantities. Does this make sense? If it does then that brings me to the second part of my theory. Why the smaller volumes of rail equipment in the first place?

I am rapidly coming to believe that demand for rail-based mining equipment has declined because the mining industry in general has declined while underground mining particularly has precipitously declined. Why? When I was a kid growing up in Arizona in the 1960's, mining was the state’s largest industry and there were active mines all over the place. Today they are mostly closed. The same, sad situation has occurred all over the country. Why?

While reading through some of Michael Miller's old posts I am rapidly reaching the conclusion that state and federal governments hostile to the mining industry are killing it. Mining is just plain not considered to be "environmentally and politically correct" and many of the hostile government policies and regulations have disproportionately hurt underground mining. This is indeed a bitter irony since underground mining is probably the most environmentally friendly form of mining to begin with. Just witness the scandal over the waste water from The Sixteen To One Mine. This is beyond absurd. I’ll bet that waste water is safe enough to drink. I have personally seen in Arizona where local residents have dammed up adit portals of abandoned mines so that the water would back up and could be used to supply drinking water for nearby cabins. That’s right! Seen it with my own eyes!

I suspect that if the government would lighten up and let underground mines flourish again, we would witness a revival in the use of underground mining railroads and rail-based mining equipment as well. A good place to start would be the revision of the 1981 law that miners put properties back into their original condition after mining ceases. This law should NOT be applied to underground mines but limited to strip, pit and "mountaintop" mines. (Fortunately, the Sixteen To One predates 1981 so hopefully we’re in luck there). It would also be a big help if the government bureaucracies that oversee the mining industry would have qualified people working for them who knew what the heck they were doing.

In any event, it is my sincerest hope that the Sixteen To One will keep its historic railroad and even expand it when/if new shafts and drifts are ever opened.

Fred M. Cain
 By Michael Miller

04/09/2013  9:37AM

My thinking regarding computers, Internet and digital replacement of print parallel yours. Following is an e-mail I received today from a shareholder. He previously wrote that he was considering obtaining his shares held at Sprott Global (Rick Rule) in certificate form. The clearing firm said they charge between $300-700 for issuing certs, and that many firms just say No and won't do it at all! My reply: “I cannot justify the cost you quoted for a transfer agent . It is a simple process. They have become lazy and controlling.”

He wrote today, “Yes, the cost absolutely cannot be justified. It is not based on the service provided, but a penalty and disincentive to obtaining a certificate. The scarier part is that they said many brokerages say ‘No’ and won't do it at all! Wonder if that is true, and if so, is it legal? You can't take possession of an equity position but MUST leave it in control of a brokerage--in digital form no less?!”

You ask my thought on the elimination of the right to take ownership of proof of your corporate asset. It strengthens those professionals to manipulate market price and volume…pseudo naked shorts among other considerations. It threatens public welfare. It undermines small or thinly traded corporation. It invites white collar criminals to practice their trade (think pirates). It may also invite lawyers to play a new game of legislation.

In a Dwight Eisenhower speech he said, “I firmly believe that the army of persons who urge greater concentration of authority and greater dependence upon federal treasury are really more dangerous to our form of government than any external threat that can possibly be arrayed against us.” Not bad.

I have enjoyed reading the Huxley authors over the years.. Thomas said it succinctly. “Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the rejection of authority.” I do not believe that our country has raised a crop of men and women capable of wisely rejecting the proposed elimination of stock certificates.
 By fredmcain

04/09/2013  4:55AM


Thanks again for your response and sharing your thoughts on this. You were right on clarifying my statement where I’d said that I wanted to buy shares directly from YOU. By "you" I meant through your plan, of course, not from you personally. After rereading what I'd written, I can well see that I did not word that very well.

I would like to say one more thing about certificates. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, certificates are getting ready to go the way of the old-fashioned ticker tape machines. They will no longer even be an option. I'm not sure that is a good way to go.

You know, the Internet and computers have done some wonderful things for us. Without them I NEVER would've found the Original Sixteen To One Mine to begin with. But the Internet is also doing some stuff that I am not happy about. I don't treasure the idea of losing printed newspapers and magazines. Even the U.S. Postal Services is threatened. Stock certificates also fall into this category. I hate to see us burn our bridges behind us by eliminating this option altogether. What are your thoughts on this?

Unfortunately, I can’t see myself making it to California by this June. Besides, I didn't get my shares soon enough to make the date of record anyway. What I am really interested in above and beyond all else is the $600 mine tour. I hope that offer is still good.

Drifting off the topic at hand a bit here, what kind of transportation options are available between Colfax and Alleghany? When I come, I will be coming to California on the train and will probably get off in Colfax or Auburn.

I would also like to say that I have been going back and reading through the old posts in this thread as time allows. You are right, there is a lot of interesting stuff in there.

I'm so glad I found all this. I almost feel like I've found a gold mine! Ha, ha, ha, ha, that was bad; I know it!

Fred M. Cain
 By Michael Miller

04/08/2013  3:37PM

Congratulations with you purchase of shares last Friday. I have heard a variety of complaints from people with standing orders with a broker that never gets filled at any price. Vanguard Brokerage Service did you well.

Are you aware that share custodians loan shares to those shorting a market? I was told that a shareholder who does not take a certificate has the right to exclude his shares from the loan market. Don’t know if this holds true today

When stock players are long, they tend to hold shares when the market turns against the position longer than when short and the market goes against them. Shorts are usually covered quicker when under water that a long position heading negative. Nano second and the new mirco-nano second computer traders don’t behave with emotion like a human trader. I’m not suggesting that the Sixteen to One is a likely candidate for computer trades now or in the future.

I think reasons for owning a certificate of ownership are more compelling today than when I first acquired a certificate as a ten year old. It is doubtful that all responsible for accounting today’s market volume have 100% accuracy. But you are right that the brokerage business continues to discount the value of ownership even to the point of seeking federal regulation against the issuance of a title. The actual cost is negligible to execute this service or request.

Fred, remember, the Company is not selling stock. Your last paragraph regarding getting some certificate shares directly from me needs clarification. It isn’t going to happen but it is easy. Click on Stock (eight down of the index on the left and place a bid. Follow the “Requirements For Buyers”. This is a service so read the section on ordering certificates as well. Our shareholder annual meeting is on June 15, 2013, in Alleghany. Please join the day. Also a shareholder will display his personal gold collection that Saturday and the following Sunday at the Underground Gold Miners Museum.

Our last dividend was 1995. We also established a direct purchase program for shareholders of record. Our next dividend will be related to an in-kind value of gold. There are benefits to the company and the shareholder for doing this. Vanguard should investigate Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. I do not know of a better long term gold mining company to risk ones precious investment capital.

By the way, you will get some pleasure from hanging your share certificate on view. I know right where all of mine are. I bought my first shares from my father in 1975.
 By fredmcain

04/08/2013  6:40AM

Dear Michael and "CW",

As a person with a strong fascination for both underground mining and investing, I would like to offer a few thoughts here.

First of all, why would someone be so stupid to sell 8,100 shares at 25 cents? Well, actually, they MIGHT'VE been really stupid but not necessarily so. Sometimes people intentionally sell things at a loss so they can record a "capital loss" in order to offset expected capital gains in other areas thus reducing their overall tax bill. These shares might've even been held by a "micro cap" mutual fund that dumped them to lock in a capital loss. It is quite possible that the tax savings in this case matched or exceeded the loss they incurred on the mining shares – but, of course, I don't know that's what happened, it's just a theory – that's all.

This theory might also help explain why some idiot sold his shares for less than a penny a while back. That guy might've wanted to make his loss look as big as possible. His actions clearly hurt the other long-term shareholders but he was looking out for Number One, that's all.

The next day (April 5th), I called my broker (Vanguard Brokerage Services) and placed an offer for 1,500 shares at 30 cents. I got 'em at 24 cents!

So, I guess MY question is why would anybody pay 89¢ for something when it can be had for 30¢, never mind 24¢?! Beats the heck outta me.

CW raised the issue of certificates. From what I understand, in today's world there really aren't too many compelling reasons (for the most part) to get a certificate in the first place. Shares held by a brokerage firm in "street name" for the benefit of their clients are no riskier than shares recorded in a person’s own name. Furthermore, once a shareholder takes possession of certificate shares, they can be awkward to ever sell again because the first thing you have to do is find a broker who can convert them back into street name shares then sell them on the open market. There might also be a fee for that in addition to the commission on the trade itself. Certificates can also be lost, stolen or accidently destroyed in a fire or by some other means. Getting them replaced can be a real hassle.

However, having said all that, I also believe there are two reasons that I might want a certificate.

One is to participate in a "Direct Stock Purchase and Dividend Reinvestment Plan" or "DRIP" on shares purchased *DIRECTLY* from the company. Most, if not all, DRIPs require that the shares are recorded in your own name and I do participate in a few of those.

The second reason for wanting a certificate is simply a matter of pride. Since the mine has no DRIP, or even a dividend as far as I know, then my only rationale for wanting a certificate is the second reason. I might just like to have the certificate in my possession, that’s all. Instead of having a piece of quartz with gold specks in it, I’d rather have a certificate to show – pride, that’s all.

I would also like to relate one really amusing thing here. When I bought my brokerage shares on Friday, the correspondent at Vanguard acted like she didn’t want to do it. She did everything she could to dissuade me. "This stock hasn't traded in a long time", she told me to which I countered, "That's right, since December 5th to be exact". Then, "Do you realize that once you get these shares, you might never be able to sell them or at the very least have a very hard time selling them?"

And then she went on, "blah, blah, blah, blah, blah", I can’t even remember all the things she said.

But knowing that Vanguard is a champion of long-term investing and taking the long-term view, I finally stopped her and said, "Look, this mine has been in nearly continuous operation since 1896, so what is the problem here?" That kinda stopped her dead in her tracks!

I would like to close by saying that I genuinely want to own a small piece of this mine. I now have 1,500 shares in my IRA but I am not through. I want to try getting some certificate shares directly from you too if you are open to that idea. I am also really looking forward to coming to California to see the mine someday but I don’t know when that will be. I think it would be an absolute gas to enter the mine with a pick and shovel and help load a few cars if you would let me do that. That would certainly be a most wonderful experience which I would never forget. I might be terrified of heights but I am absolutely not claustrophobic in any way. Shoot!!!! I kinda wish I’d gone into mining now! Oh well, maybe in my next life:)

Fred M. Cain
 By Michael Miller

04/06/2013  10:10AM

Yesterday, I was underground with engineers testing a new GPR device and just saw the entries below. I have no idea who sold or bought the 8,100 shares on April 4. It is puzzling. Why were they so stupid! All shareholders have received letters that report the stock exchange format on our web site.

Let’s check the numbers. Total shares (8,100) exchanged via a stock broker = $2,485. Listed sellers on company exchange = 2,150 at $.89 and 5,950 at $1.00 or $7,863.50. Various excuses can be offered: lazy stock brokers, dishonest stock brokers,(any professional has an obligation to effect the best trade for their customers); lazy or dishonest estate lawyers (same professional obligation); false trades to show either volume or “market price” ( below market price reality); or perhaps you have another idea.

Now that more new people have discovered the Sixteen to One mine,.a repeat of a well-publicized facts are worth repeating. Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. is not selling any stock to raise capital. It never has launched a public stock offering in its 100 year history. It will not consider offering its treasurer stock to raise money until two events occur: the need for major capital improvement/assets and an honest recognition of its share value.

So, who, how and why did 8,100 shares trade on April 4 at a loss of over 300% to the sellers?
 By cw3343

04/05/2013  8:25PM

I am not recommending anything here - but if you buy some shares in a non-IRA account, see if they will let you take delivery (issue a certificate), if they do not charge too much.
 By fredmcain

04/05/2013  4:14AM

Yes, there were. I contacted my broker where I have my IRA (Vanguard) and tried to buy some shares but was told they couldn't do it because there had been no recent activity and the security "was not in their system" what ever that meant.

So, I was told to "call back tomorrow". We'll see what happens today. I only plan to get a few hundred shares right now but after I get my hands on some additional cash, I intend to contact the mine directly and get a few thousand.

Gotta love it!

Fred M. Cain,
Topeka, Indiana
 By cw3343

04/04/2013  1:04PM

Today there were some trades, for what it's worth...

04/04/1303:42 PM 0.2500 400
04/04/1301:06 PM 0.2500 1,000
04/04/1301:01 PM 0.3000 1,700
04/04/1311:12 AM 0.2500 5,000
 By fredmcain

04/03/2013  9:20AM


Thanks again for another kind and well-thought out response! You touched on a few things that I’d like to respond to. But first of all, I'd like to explain the nature of my interest. I have been a life-long railfan or "train buff" – whatever you want to call me. As you probably realize, there is a very fine line between railroading and mining. Obviously, you are doing both!

I belong to a number of mining forums and have brought your mine and your website to their attention. Earlier, on one of the forums, I had asked about the use of tracks and rail equipment in mines and was told that this is still being done but "only in the smaller mines". This is probably because smaller mines large enough to have graduated beyond wheelbarrows do not have the resources to build the very large drifts and passageways needed to accommodate the LCD's or "rubber-tired wart hogs" as I call them.

But, as the Moore article makes clear, the very largest mines are also using rail where long hauls and large volumes exist. So, it might actually be the middle-sized mines where the use of "wart hogs" has replaced rail. One issue I can see is that with fewer mines depending on rail, the manufacturers cannot mass produce rail equipment in the same, larger volumes like they did in the past. This, in turn, drives up unit costs and perhaps discourages some miners from considering rail. This is a most unfortunate development and I don't know what can be done to address that. Maybe it would help if our wonderful government would/could do more to encourage underground mining. At least that wouldn't hurt, huh?

Which brings me to the next thing you touched on, the social implications of the mining industry. There's an old quip that goes "if you've got it and it wasn't grown, it came from a mine". Well, maybe that's exaggerated a bit since petroleum and gas-related products actually come from wells but we get the idea. So, why do otherwise well meaning people mistreat the mining industry? Simple ignorance, I'm afraid. You are doing what you can to fight back and set the record straight and I surely appreciate that. People need to also be made aware that not all mines are owned by huge, multi-national corporations. I see what you are doing in Alleghany as akin to running a family farm with some hired help. I suspect that you have a wonderful life back in there in the midst of some beautiful country. I have ridden Amtrak over the Donner Pass Line many times, so I know what this area looks like.

Finally, on the polymer wheels you mentioned, my understanding or interpretation of the Moore article was that they are restricted to the locomotives. The tracks and the wheels on the cars are still steel. This is akin to Lionel putting rubber tires on their model train locomotives to gain traction. The big roads like the Union Pacific can't do that 'cause their engines are way too heavy so they rely on the use of track sand to gain traction.

In mines, the mining locomotives are much lighter so they are experimenting with polymer wheels to compensate for the lightness. The resistance in the polymer tires allows them to pull heavier loads on steeper grades. Or, at least, that was my understanding which could be mistaken. I guess we can try and get ahold of Moore and see if we can get some additional information.

You mentioned that the Moore article fails to discuss the process of laying rail. True, but here is a link to another online article I found, also British, that deals strictly with track:

It's 84 pages long and to be completely honest with you, Mike, I have yet to read through the entire piece. But there might be some information in there you can use.

In conclusion here, I would like to say that I would just love to come visit your mine. I would pay for the $600 tour in a heartbeat. I think I am also going to proceed with the stock purchase. You know, before my Mom died back in 2000, I used to make a couple of trips a year out to California. I wish now to high heaven I'd known about your operation back then. But we'll see. I have wanted to make another trip for years.

Thanks again for the correspondence and whatever you do, keep on diggin'!

Fred M. Cain,
Topeka, IN
 By Michael Miller

04/02/2013  1:57PM


The article you mentioned in International Mining (March 2012) is a most comprehensive explanation of underground rail haulage. For most users of rail over diesel haulage systems, their daily tonnage exceeds the annual tonnage mined at the Sixteen to One when it employed over 100 miners. The large scale miners just shake their heads and usually smile when they come to Alleghany and discover how we are exploiting our deposit. Many times I have heard the comment, “I didn’t know anybody still mined like this.” I smile back and say, “have you ever seen our gold?’’

After reading this article, my appreciation of the value mining brings to social humanity grew. The numbers are so huge! Still it boggles the mind why the mining industry is treated poorly by otherwise well-meaning people. The industrial revolution, the trip to the moon and the wild advances in recent communications depend on the mineral extraction industry. Our rail operation even though it has continued over 100 years is insignificant; but the scope of haulage systems I just read about is mind boggling.

The article touched on an idea that captured my interest years ago. Identifying the use of polymer wheels to reduce friction and wear has been on my mind for years as an improvement for underground haulage. What type of track is under those poly wheels?

The article fails to discuss the process of laying rail for these monster locomotives: types of ties, spikes, bending availability of new products (not the 20 pound twenty foot lengths we use) and costs. If a market developed for the small mines, polymer wheels and rail will be an improvement over iron. It depends on how the polymer track conforms to curves… we have many in our levels. An advantage for us is that plastics won’t affect metal detectors, which are important to the Sixteen to One.

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