October 20, 2017 
 Friday 
 
 

Forum
Topic:
INTERSTATE COMMERCE AND SMALL MINES

       

Page 1 | Page 2 ]

 By Michael Miller

08/19/2017  12:53PM

On May 30, 2017, Sixteen to One attorney contacted the government’s attorneys regarding our long time action for redress to adjust and balance a section of Congress’s law: which mine operations fall under the 1977 Mine Act. Congress place a size and economy qualifier to protect startups and small mines. Although our case is technically flawless and was accepted by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco for review, he suggested 16/1 would consider a voluntary dismissal with each party to bear its own costs and fees. The attorneys for MSHA and the Secretary of Labor agreed and a stipulated motion for voluntary dismissal and granted by the Ninth Circuit on June 6, 2017. The illegality surrounding Section 4 of the Mine Act is an important subject for all miners. The Ninth Circuit is often characterized as an outlier court that is frequently reversed by the Supreme Court. Perhaps it would understand this issue and (as outlier) rule for 16/1; however a court review must wait for another time.

The Company has given careful consideration to this issue. The time arrived to move MSHA into accountability in the 21st century regarding the law. Plumbago presented overwhelming facts that the Plumbago did not meet the intent of Congress in passing An Act in 1977. It did not affect interstate commerce! A Court challenge, however, must wait due to the Utah prairie dog.

Yes, the Utah prairie dog heavily influenced our decision. The Tenth Circuit (Denver) on March 29, 2017 affirmed an Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) challenge that the intrastate Utah prairie dog required protection because “Interstate travelers stimulate interstate commerce through recreational observation and scientific study of endangered or threatened species. This decision added fuel to a burning California issue of the delta smelt, which the Ninth Circuit reasoned affected interstate commerce ((2014). The commerce law now protects a dog.

The Tenth Circuit expressly approved the Ninth Circuit’s reasoning in the delta smelt case, and similarly found the ESA had a substantial relation to interstate commerce even if the prairie dog itself did not. “[W] conclude that Congress had a rational basis to believe that providing for the regulation of take of purely intrastate species like the Utah prairie dog is essential to ESA’s comprehensive regulatory schemes.” The Tenth Circuit ultimately therefore found that federal regulation of the purely intrastate prairie dog was within the federal power under the Commerce Clause. Nonsense.

The prairie dog case is recent and may lead to a request for review with the Supreme Court by local property owners whose use of their private property was diminished. Seeking review by the U.S. Supreme Court is always a time-consuming and expensive proposition, particularly since it requires 16/1 to go through the Ninth Circuit appellate process. The Company sees no chance of prevailing at the Ninth Circuit level of appeals due to judicial affirmation of travelers admiring the Utah prairie dog over property rights of Utah residents. Woof, woof or bow wow or whatever barks a prairie dog makes, you won. One justification in Court’s judgement was that travelers driving through Utah may be coming because they want to see the dog and if the dogs were not protected, there may be fewer travelers. Sigh.
 By fredmcain

02/13/2017  4:15AM

Mike,

Is there any hope that the new president might relax some of these laws and regulations? I know they have talked about doing that with coal but I don't know about hard rock mining.


Regards,
Fred M. Cain
 By Michael Miller

02/11/2017  2:05PM

California has two Red Ledge mines. One is near the town called Washington east of Nevada City and the other is down Foots Crossing Road from Alleghany. Neither has operated for some time. I may have written this before but I’ll repeat. Just in the Alleghany Mining district, I know of five operations that could not start a mine operation due to MSHA. I have heard exact comments from others in western USA. This is why our elected and appointed representatives, be they in Congress or the Executive Branch, must enforce the 1977 law that gave birth to MSHA. In clear language it identifies those mines that affect interstate commerce will be subject to this law. For the lawyers and MSHA executives to continue advocating this falsehood is criminal. They should be disbarred or replaced and held financially accountable or arrested and tried in the courts.

America must have a strong natural resource industrial base. If anyone doubts this reality, go read why Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Go read how Japan invaded China and the Philippines in the 1930’s. Go read about “petrodollars”. Go read about the British Empire’s relationship with India and Burma.

Let us spread the word: all regulations are not bad, some are just factually and legally wrongly applicable and enforced. “Truth like gold lies at the bottom.”
 By cw3343

02/10/2017  3:51PM

I was wondering if Mike knows who owns the Red Ledge Mine? I was also curious if they are still working the mine these days? I may be confused - but I thought that they were mining there maybe 10-12 years ago. Would be interesting to find out the info, as this mine is in the same general area as the 16 (Sierra County).
 By Michael Miller

02/03/2017  7:05AM

Oops!!! The Court denied MSHA's appeal. I'm happy you are watching.
 By cw3343

02/02/2017  5:53PM

In your second sentence below: Did you mean that the Court denied your appeal, or did they deny the MSHA motion to dismiss your appeal? Thanks...
 By Michael Miller

02/02/2017  5:10PM

MSHA lawyers filed a motion to dismiss our appeal (see below). The court denied the appeal and set a date for briefs the end of April. I am pleased. No technical mistakes were made in the process of moving this unlawful extension of federal authority over American miners. Section 4 of the 1977 Congressional legislation that birthed MSHA cannot be clearer. Our Ninth Circuit Judges have corrected clear misbehavior of federal employees and agencies in historical deliberations brought before the Court. I expect this result. Western USA miners are put out of business or have lost jobs due to the illogical stance of MSHA. Time to clean house!

Who are the people behind this lawlessness?

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is an agency of the United State Department of Labor which administers the provisions of the Federal Mine Safety and Health of 1977 (Mine Act) to enforce compliance with mandatory standards as a means to eliminate fatal accidents to reduce the frequency and severity of nonfatal accidents, to minimize health hazards, and to promote improved safety and health conditions in the nation's mines. It works and our action is intended to follow the law, not eliminate MSHA. My industry has benefited from other professional eyes at our mines; however, Congress recognized that mines under a specific circumstance do not fall under the Mine Act. This was well examined by Congress, bureaucrats and the industry, and is the law: operations of mines that affect commerce shall be subject to the provisions of this Act.

THERE IS NO EVIDENCE IN THE RECORD TO SUPPORT MSHA’s POSITION THAT WORK PERFORMED AT PLUMBAGO HAD AN AFFECT ON COMMERCE. There are no losers when we win this appeal, only winners including every American. Financial and legal assistance for our research and very qualified attorney is needed.
 By Michael Miller

09/28/2016  5:19PM

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit accepted our request to appeal a country wide issue about mining in America. This issue must be challenged by the mining industry. The big companies are unlikely to assist those of us suffering from the bogus enforcement of the law written in 1977, that established regulations for mines.

It has been a long fight to get this before the Judicial Branch of our government. Members of the Executive Branch including top employees, set a standard of enforcement that is not the intent of Congress. I am confident that our recent administrative hearing will sustain any challenge made by government employees working against America’s miners.

You can help. This case is clear. MSHA agency with the co-operation of lawyers, judges and commissioners broke the law in citing our mining activities at Plumbago mine. This topic on the FORUM documents the issue and will enlighten others. Please do something to inform the public at large.



Cathy A. Catterson, Circuit and Court of Appeals Executive July 8, 2016
Office of the Circuit Executive
U.S. Courts for the Ninth Circuit
P.O. Box 193939
San Francisco, CA 94119-3939

Molly Dwyer, Clerk of Court
Office of the Clerk
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
P.O. Box 193939
San Francisco, CA 94119-3939

Dear Executives Catterson and Dwyer,

Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. (operator) and its miners (WE) have been adversely affected by an order of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission (FMSHRC) under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, Public Law 91-173 (ACT). WE ask for a review of such order in your court in our district, the Ninth Circuit. WE pray that the order be modified or set aside as allowed in Sec.106. (a)(1) of the ACT.

Citations were written outside of the law specified in SEC 4 under the heading, MINES SUBJECT TO ACT: Each coal or other mine, the products of which enter commerce, or the operations or products of which affect commerce, and each operator of such mine, and every miner in such mine shall be subject to the provisions of the ACT.

The Secretary of Labor is designated to carry out the intents by Congress of ACT, SEC. 2. Congress declares the importance of our “most precious resource—the miner.” The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) was established to carryout CFR 30 Mineral Resources and issue citations. During the public hearing for citations, MSHA placed no supportive testimony to refute its position that Plumbago meets the requirement for regulations under ACT. No case rulings to support the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) or FMSHRC decisions are entered into the record.

While there are instances where SEC. 4. language was challenged by an operator and the challenge fails, there are no cases or situations that resemble Plumbago. WE entered over eighty pages of testimony supporting our position, including the recent decision by the United States Supreme Court regarding the Affordable Care Act and its affect on interstate commerce.

The argument that at one time, Plumbago was a mine and affected commerce, has merit. The argument that the operations at Plumbago meet the requirement of SEC. 4. during recent times has no standing. MSHA actions followed by the ALJ and FMSHRC, violates the intent of Congress as written in ACT.

This important law must be honestly enforced in its entirety, not through a selective interpretational process. This behavior must be severed, not the law but its abuse. Only the Judicial Branch remains to protect the American miner from extinction by over reaching power. The Legislative Branch held numerous public meeting in the 1970’s on the subject of mining health and safety in the industry. Congress passed a law for the Executive Branch to implement. Over a span of 39 years regulators have drifted away from its stated purposes. WE pray for relief and support from the Judicial Branch to return the course of health and safety to the most endangered species in America, the underground gold miner.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Meister Miller, President
 By Michael Miller

08/23/2016  7:15PM

The following was written in October 2012. It is the beginning of the topic “Interstate Commerce and Small Mines”. If you read this topic years ago or are new to the FORUM, I encourage you to read the entries from first to most recent. I made a few corrections below and added to the original as you will see at the end. Thanks for your interest.

INTERSTATE COMMERCE ACT is a law passed in 1887, due to a rising concern with the growing power and wealth of corporations, particularly railroads. Revenue, power or greed influenced Congress into action. Sitting here 125 years later and familiar with history, I agree with Congress.

An Act that established federal agency Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) was passed in 1977. Sitting here 35 years later and living the mining industry, I agree with Congress; however much has changed over the past thirty-five years.

Section 4 of An Act defines commerce and its role in the mining industry. Today Section 4 is used to imply that the federal government has absolute control over all divisions of mining. I do not agree with MSHA. When federal documents are read thoughtfully, it is obvious that today the intent of the authorizing Congresses is ignored. Even a careful reading of case law (stretched beyond credibility at times to keep power to MSHA) Section 4 of An Act established qualifiers in order to give regulatory privileges to some mines and control over MSHA.

The defining phrase is “which affect commerce”. That which affects commerce must be considered in executing the right of control over those in the mining industry. Unfortunately for Middle America and all US citizens over the age of eighteen, our government has stepped outside the law. If I could make a citizen’s arrest, Original Sixteen to One would arrest MSHA.

New:
Ah, history. Someone famous wrote that ignoring history is a cause for repeating it. Commerce history, railroad history, mining history and American history shall not be ignored. My great, great, grandfather, Henry Miller, was an instrumental participant in financing the construction of Central Pacific Railroad. He and my great grandfather held the positions of Secretary and Treasurer of DO Mills Bank in Sacramento. My grandfather worked the books of a gold mine (Midas) in Northern California before buying the Red Bluff newspaper.

Today I struggle with various predators, social misinformed or ruthless bandits to maintain the oldest gold mining company and the longest working gold mine in America. While this pursuit has modest financial effects for me, it has major positive effects for you. The story needs to reach the notice of Americans. You can help in two ways: inform others of this battle now in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal and chip in some dollars towards legal expenses.

Send your check to: Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. with "legal fund" on the memo line. Mail to P.O. Box 909, Alleghany, CA 95910
 By Michael Miller

08/12/2016  11:24PM

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth circuit accepted the appeal filed by Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. v. Secretary of Labor (case name). The 9th Circuit Case Number is: 16-72349.

Affirming this appeal will benefit miners, future miners, Californians and all Americans. The record under review favors this decision. Assistance is sought (financially and legally)to present a compelling understanding of the law and the current practice of the Secretary of Labor. While this may seem like an issue only important to the mining industry, without enforcing the legislative intent of the law, the United States citizens will lose a very necessary right.

Below is the accompanying letter sent to the Court.
 By Michael Miller

08/11/2016  5:04PM

Cathy A. Catterson, Circuit and Court of Appeals Executive July 8, 2016
Office of the Circuit Executive
U.S. Courts for the Ninth Circuit
P.O. Box 193939
San Francisco, CA 94119-3939

Molly Dwyer, Clerk of Court
Office of the Clerk
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
P.O. Box 193939
San Francisco, CA 94119-3939

Dear Executives Catterson and Dwyer,

Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. (operator) and its miners (WE) have been adversely affected by an order of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission (FMSHRC) under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, Public Law 91-173 (ACT). WE ask for a review of such order in your court in our district, the Ninth Circuit. WE pray that the order be modified or set aside as allowed in Sec.106. (a)(1) of the ACT.

Citations were written outside of the law specified in SEC 4 under the heading, MINES SUBJECT TO ACT: Each coal or other mine, the products of which enter commerce, or the operations or products of which affect commerce, and each operator of such mine, and every miner in such mine shall be subject to the provisions of the ACT.

The Secretary of Labor is designated to carry out the intents by Congress of ACT, SEC. 2. Congress declares the importance of our “most precious resource—the miner.” The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) was established to carryout CFR 30 Mineral Resources and issue citations. During the public hearing for citations, MSHA placed no supportive testimony to refute its position that Plumbago meets the requirement for regulations under ACT. No case rulings to support the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) or FMSHRC decisions are entered into the record.

While there are instances where SEC. 4. language was challenged by an operator and the challenge fails, there are no cases or situations that resemble Plumbago. WE entered over eighty pages of testimony supporting our position, including the recent decision by the United States Supreme Court regarding the Affordable Care Act and its affect on interstate commerce.

The argument that at one time, Plumbago was a mine and affected commerce, has merit. The argument that the operations at Plumbago meet the requirement of SEC. 4. during recent times has no standing. MSHA actions followed by the ALJ and FMSHRC, violates the intent of Congress as written in ACT.

This important law must be honestly enforced in its entirety, not through a selective interpretational process. This behavior must be severed, not the law but its abuse. Only the Judicial Branch remains to protect the American miner from extinction by over reaching power. The Legislative Branch held numerous public meeting in the 1970’s on the subject of mining health and safety in the industry. Congress passed a law for the Executive Branch to implement. Over a span of 39 years regulators have drifted away from its stated purposes. WE pray for relief and support from the Judicial Branch to return the course of health and safety to the most endangered species in America, the underground gold miner.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Meister Miller, President
 By bluejay

07/02/2016  10:09AM

The more citations they write the more secure their jobs are then they have to return to make sure the cracked plastic light switch got replaced, just pathetic.
 By Michael Miller

07/01/2016  9:17PM

The small miner has disappeared in the West. Any working are hiding from MSHA,the federal anti-mining agency established in 1977,to protect the miners from injury, death or health due to the reckless behavior of operators.

This was needed in the 1960's and 1970's. The cure was passed in Congress and "An Act"(as it is called) was crystal clear on who Congress intended to protect with enforcement:only those mines that affect interstate commerce.

This week my business took me by phone to people in the mining industry in Montana, Idaho, Colorado and Arizona. I asked each party, "How is mining going?" The answer was the same:few or none are working or can be found. The reasons cited in each phone call is the small operator cannot satisfy MSHA inspections as a start up business.

California has this problem among others and is a problem in the Alleghany Mining District. It isn't anymore because the five operators wishing to take their time and money to check out a mine were forced to abandon their dream.

When you read this, please don't associate me as just another whining miner. Whining goes nowhere. The public needs to know how corrupt the agency under the federal Secretary of Labor has become or maybe it is the Secretary who has allowed the agency to become corrupt. This does not mean that all ray ban outlet MSHA employees are corrupt. It is the current system of enforcement that has lost its way. I have heard reports for many years.

MSHA will have completed the responsibility Congress asked it to do in 1977. when Congress empowered the Secretary of Labor to carry out this responsibility. Why? Very soon there will be no more small miners, individuals willing to risk their time and fortune in a most noble occupation. There will be zero injuries, deaths and of cheap oakley course no adverse health concerns. There will be no more small miners.

Our natural resources are controlled and exploited by large and multinational corporations. The dynamic of scale allows them choices that the little guy cannot make.

The only active areas for gold mining in USA, according to some of my suppliers, are in Nevada and Alaska. I am not whining. My heart is broken as are the dreams of many.
 By Michael Miller

05/13/2015  5:18PM

I just sent a lawyer the following letter. My position does not reflect displeasure with her. The discussion is ongoing regarding a wrongful position that federal executive branch employees are taking with MSHA authority. The biggest financial threat to Sixteen to One is spending an unnecessary amount of time (time is money and we lack both to waste)with federal agents telling us how, what and where we conduct our business. This Forum topic has a long background. Eventually, authority must agree with Sixteen to One. If not, federal public servants in the executive branch will have cast aside the legislative branch of our three part republic. This leaves one, the judicial branch.


Dear Ms. Horn,
I acknowledge receipt of your letter to Judge Manning today. Unintentionally, I am sure, you misinformed ALJ Manning, that “Mr. Miller has asserted that MSHA has no jurisdiction over the Plumbago Mine”. You wrote that the Plumbago’s exclusion is “because it was not in production status at the time it was inspected”. This is not the position of Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. (Sixteen to One). The Plumbago does not meet the requirements of Section 4, Mines Subject To Act. This old abandoned property was purchased by Sixteen to One in 1999. It has no products entering commerce before or after our purchase. It has no operations or products affecting commerce. Isn’t it a logical and obvious conclusion for political historians and legal minds that Congress knew of its intentions when those elected Senators and Congressmen signed the law? If not, why write Section 4? They could have said all mines in America will be ruled under An Act. Instead Congress expressly defined its intent in the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977.

Congress also wrote Section 103, (e) with similar intent. “Any information…shall be obtained in such a manner as not to impose an unreasonable burden upon operators, especially those operating small businesses, consistent with the underlying purposes of this Act.” Again our elected officials made a distinction to size. They showed their intent.

Like you, I support MSHA’s position that mines in pre-production status may fall under MSHA’s authority. I could present a situation where a mine was not in production but affected interstate commerce. After all, the basis for this consideration is in US interstate commerce and Congressional documents. I read every case sent to me by the San Francisco solicitor’s office. None have facts comparable to the Plumbago. None support our disgust with MSHA regarding this situation. Actually it is less the opinions of MSHA people that are disgusting, but with the lawyers. They seem to be the more powerful but with the least understanding of mines and mining. There are no case laws or decisions signed by an Administrative Law Judge that speaks to the essence of Plumbago and the Sixteen to One.

My favorite passages in An Act are in Section 2, when Congress declares that its first priority and concern must be the miner (a). The operators and miners get to take responsibility for health and safety in such mines (e). The disruption of production impedes and burdens commerce (f). I really like Section 2. Congress also declared that our industry’s most precious resource is the miner. I agree that our miners are America’s most precious resource. Now they need to be protected from the agencies empowered to protect them. Our miners have become America’s most endangered species.

Ms. Horn, we have had some good conversations. I have responded quickly to every contact you sent. I asked you to check with Vacaville’s MSHA personnel about further reviews of citations. MSHA may believe that citations have been wrongfully judged by the inspector. The last solicitor I dealt with left a rotten taste in my soul. Much time was spent reviewing the specific instances of each citation. We made some progress yet she continued to insult me in subtle ways before and during our hearing. I know that you are not of this ilk in your practice of law. Yes, I have not sent you settlement positions. MSHA is breaking our back with feeble accusations. The paper work is killing me. MSHA must get back into working for Americans and its miners. It is not the regulations that are objectionable. It is the manner of their interpretations and enforcement in the 21st Century.

If you want to send me your settlement positions, I will take the time to read, understand and evaluate them. I like going to hearings less than anyone because I am the only one in the room that is not paid to be there. Why doesn’t your side (solicitors) agree with the Sixteen’s position and let the other side (MSHA) defend it? Why not tell me how you intend to prevail and I can review your side’s position. If it passes the legal smell test, I will agree.

If Chief Justice Roberts can write that aspects of the Affordable Care Act do not affect interstate commerce, he and the court’s majority should agree that two or three men removing debris in an abandoned tunnel is not subject to the commerce clause or An Act. Why? They do not make a dent in commerce. The main reasons there are only two gold mines operating in the radar zone in California, a state with valuable natural resources, are related to MSHA and two California state agencies that have lost their purpose. As I told MSHA employee in my office three hours ago, MSHA can effectively prevent accidents or death of miners because there will be none working anymore.

We and most Americans have a problem exemplified by the manner of treatment Sixteen to One is receiving from federal and state regulators from the three agencies stated above. I look forward to your efforts to resolve the issues at hand.
Sincerely,
Michael M. Miller, president/director
 By Michael Miller

07/07/2014  6:22PM

None of the recipients of the letter below have answered or acknowledged my concerns. I'll spend the money and send it again certified with return green card.

There is no doubt after an additional month of researching the doctrine of commerce that MSHA lacks the authority to enter and inspect all the mines in the Alleghany Mining District. I am confident that the same holds true in other areas.

What MSHA or whoever else hangs onto this outdated and illegal practice fail to realize is: ALL THESE MINES THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES WILL PROVIDE JOBS, USA PRODUCTS AND GROW INTO PRODUCERS THAT WILL AFFECT INTERSTATE COMMERCE. If this happens, the nation will benefit. If this happens MSHA will be more active as well. Hard rock gold mining in the Sierra Nevada is pathetic! Regulations, compounded with administration abuses are a primary factor why the gold mines are idle or understaffed. Another primary factor is a sordid history of money grubbing stock promoters, who have fed on eager risk takers willing to gamble with gold. We can deal with both. The time has arrived. Action is needed now. Write me.
 By Michael Miller

06/10/2014  11:17AM

.
TODAY I MAILED THE FOLLOWING LETTER TO THREE GENTLEMEN IMPORTANT TO OUR INDUSTRY. I included a private comment to assist their investigation. Anyone with information may contact me or the three persons below.

U.S. Department of Labor Wyatt Andrews
Mine Safety & Health Administration
991 Nut Tree Road
Vacaville, CA 95687

Assistant Secretary of Labor Joseph A. Main
U.S. Department of Labor-MSHA
1100 Wilson Boulevard, 21st Floor
Arlington VA 22209-3939

Deputy Assistant Secretary Douglas L. Parker
U.S. Department of Labor-MSHA
1100 Wilson Boulevard, 21st Floor
Arlington VA 22209-3939



PREAMBLE
Congress declared findings and purposes contained in the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 to protect America’s miners. Specifically identified in Section 2 are: health, safety, improving working conditions, future growth, and the disruption of production and the loss of income to operators and miners. It is in the interest of all Americans to protect mining.

Section 103 prescribes conditions for gathering information with respect to mandatory health or safety standards, such as no advanced notice of an inspection shall be provided to any person which is not an exception to the requirement. (Sec. 103 (3).

Information obtained by MSHA is to be obtained “in such a manner as not to impose an unreasonable burden upon operators, especially those operating small businesses”. No person shall interfere with the exercise of the statutory rights of any miner. Whoever knowingly makes any false statement shall upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000, or by imprisonment for not more than five years (Sec. 110. (f).

REQUEST TO THE SECRETARY OF LABOR

Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. (OSTO) and its employees request the Secretary of Labor or its agent to investigate an anonymous telephone call placed to the Western District in Vacaville, California on May 6, 2014 or May 7, 2014. The person knowingly made false statements regarding property owned by OSTO resulting in the disruption of future production and the loss of future income in addition to expenses incurred by the OSTO and its miners.

Congress granted broad enforcement rights to protect America’s vital mining industry from harm and interruptions. OSTO demands that you exercise your granted enforcements established to protect our vulnerable industry. The anonymous phone call alleged illegal storage of explosives, processing marijuana and alcohol. The caller caused costly and unnecessary loss of private and public money. The caller must be brought to trial in order to send a message that will stop others from making specious claims of illegal activity.

On behalf of OSTO, its shareholders and employees, Sierra County, California and the United States, and as President of America’s oldest gold mining operator, I declare to take whatever time is necessary to assist your investigation and prosecution of the offender.

Michael Meister Miller, President
June 10, 2014
 By David I

03/13/2013  2:38AM

Hi Mike,

You need to send your complaint to your congressman. There are some congressmen who are now investigating the E.P.A. for there prejudice to there public responsibility to be honorable to the science of there concerns. Youe complaint meets some of the same criteria for these inspectors.
 By Michael Miller

03/12/2013  6:26PM

A large backlog of adjudication for MSHA citations exists. Special lawyers were hired to shuffle the papers and make them disappear. A strong case is made for an operator to ‘bite-the-bullet' and pay penalties to avoid the expense and time to defend unwarranted citations. It is a bad idea! Not only money is at stake. MSHA keeps a history of citations and has a hit list for repeated offenders. Consequences are higher fines and more inspections. Another consequence is more threatening: public relations. The press can take a mine’s history of citations and blow it out of proportion regarding real dangers to the miner. It happened to us. Alleghany miners are okay with MSHA. They want the inspectors to evaluate real situations and stop speculating and assuming. We want Chicken Little to die.

Doug works out of Denver and is a special solicitor for MSHA. He is not the problem. Here is my reply to his recent correspondence.

Doug,
In response to your email of March 11, 2013:

It disturbs the Alleghany miners that MSHA Western Office has ignored repeated requests for post inspection meetings regarding the batch of citations received between September 6, 2012 and October 28, 2012. It is a federal requirement in order to efficiently use time. It is also required by policy. The specious citations cost Original Sixteen to One Mine, a price greater than to your agency. It is US citizens, who pay for having safe mines and they are getting the shaft. Right now MSHA continues to make no effort to rectify serious problems. Ample evidence exists that the Sixteen is not the only victim of MSHA’s malevolent behaviors.

If MSHA’s upper management were interested or doing its job, it would discover numerous situations in Idaho, Alaska, Nevada, California and Arizona of incompetence. How do I know this? In preparing the brief just filed, I contacted the last mine sites that your inspector/witness used to expand his lack of experience. Your witness, Josh Love, is unqualified to opine about conditions and practices at the Sixteen to One. Call those mines you asked him about and find out for yourself. The time to expose MSHA’s public fraud continues.

I wish you and those solicitors in Denver you work with were adjudicating truth and justice regarding these foul citations popping up in the West. The mining industry needs you! It was a pleasure working with you; however that you sincerely think your view of MSHA and its execution of regulating the Sixteen to One mine is just disturbs me. These unqualified inspectors are not in America’s best interest. Their supervisors (middle management) have some explaining to do. Let’s get them up to testify at the next hearing. Congress will be appalled once it learns how its legislation is misused.

Your statement, “I hope you understand where I’m coming from” needs some meat. Where is your client coming from? Why not ask Wyatt Andrews (Vacaville California district office manager)or better yet his overseer, Neal Merifield (Arlington VA office). Each of inspector Edminister’s opinionated observations of unsafe violation sucks! Is Assistant Secretary of Labor, Mr. Main aware of how harmful his agency has become to the West coast gold miners?

The time for Joe A. Main (MSHA Chief) to take an interest was years ago. His speech in Pittsburg on June 13, 2012, is lost to the West. Is he clueless about California’s gold belt mining? Congress did it right when it demanded that mines be judged according to their specific nature. We are not in the coal business. We are not soft rock miners. Nasty operators are not abusing its workforce out est. West coast gold miners are almost extinct. MSHA is one of the executioners.

The big excuse uttered by MSHA’s field agents is, “We’re just doing our job. Orders from above, you know.” If these citations go to a hearing, it will be because upper management not the Sixteen to One is unreasonable. In today’s economy a vibrant gold industry in California will help every Californian and maybe even those in Washington DC. The enthusiasm will be infectious.

You ask me to expand our position on each citation. Why? I’ve been trying to meet with middle management. They are in charge and paid to review the field work of inspectors under their direction. They are the ones empowered to correct wrong doings.

Well, the buck stops with the new Secretary of Labor, appointed by President Obama. The shortcomings inflicted on miners and operators continue unabated even though MSHA management must be aware of their existence. Taking unwarranted citations to a hearing is a costly way to solve a problem; however if the problems out West continue to be ignored, Joe Main must be informed.

Now and in the future responsible operators must demand a hearing to settle grievances. Ask for a hearing every time the conditions demand it. The Western District has problems that former inspectors are aware of. I know because many have confided in me. Most competent inspectors dislike the bosses’ attitude. It is demoralizing. Too many times I have heard, ‘Oh just go with it. Nothing can be done.” Bull!

Our specific gold mining niche is closing due to abuses by MSHA in carrying forth its mandate. Our operation is specifically conducted according to the deposit of gold formed over 120,000,000 years ago. Our company (THE OPERATOR) carries out its exploitation with over 100 years of experience. These conditions are relevant for judgment by inspectors. If they never work in an underground mine, how can they pass judgment? If their experience is only in coal, how can they pass judgment?

Sincerely,
Mike
 By bluejay

02/07/2013  6:17PM

MSHA works for The devil.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Mines, there were 9,000 operating gold mines in the U.S. in 1940.
 By Michael Miller

02/07/2013  1:17PM

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) said 36 miners (19 in coal and 17 in metal/nonmetal mining) died in work-related accidents at the nation’s mines in 2012, the second lowest annual fatality total on record. Last year, three of the miners killed at metal/nonmetal mines had less than one year of experience at the mine, while five miners had less than one year of less experience at the job or task they were performing.

In metals/nonmetals mining six miners died in powered haulage accidents, while three miners died in machinery accidents. Three miners died in fall of person accidents, and two died as a result of falling material. One miner died from a fall of highwall, another died from a fall of rib, and one from other types of accidents. Four (24%) of the 17 fatalities were contractors, while four (24%) were supervisors.

Analyzing the factors that affect this splendid report will be left for others. Congratulations to America’s mine operators, its miners, the technological improvements in equipment and tools and of course the safety regulators. MSHA, the federal primary safety agency, is a positive factor in lowering fatalities; however its reach into the gold mining activities in most of California has created a negative atmosphere that is destructive to the very intent of Congress (according to the law that established the agency in 1977). Congress is unlikely to take up the subject due to its troubles with so many issues that affect the country. We miners are not a large group of activists and all the small operations do not have the cash to spread in Congress for its attention.

Every civilization rests on a set of promises. If the promises are broken too often, the civilization dies, no matter how rich it may be or how mechanically clever. Hope and faith depend on promises; if hope and faith go, everything goes. Congress promises to protect those mines and miners that affect commerce. Congress was responding to the industry as it existed prior to the new law of 1977. Congress intended the regulations to be broadly written and fairly enforced. MSHA no longer enforces the law as intended. It has shut down too many gold miners from taking a chance in mining. This reduced level of activity hurts America as well as those in the industry. MSHA has broken the promises of its maker, the United States Senate, House of Representatives and President. It has the power already within its agency to interpret its founding law as it was meant to be interpreted. This is the 21st Century and time to help the small miner.

Page 1 | Page 2 ]

 

  
 
© 2017 Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc.
PO Box 909
Alleghany, California 95910
 

Phone:   
Fax:
E-mail:
 
(530) 287-3223      
(530) 287-3455
corp@origsix.com
 

      Gold Sales:  


(530) 287-3540

goldsales@origsix.com
 



Design & development by
L. Kenez