January 16, 2021 

Correspondence from the President of OAU


Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5 | Page 6 | Page 7 | Page 8 | Page 9 | Page 10 | Page 11 | Page 12 | Page 13 | Page 14 ]

 By John Yuma

04/08/2005  3:46PM

Is anything going on at the mine like mining??
 By Michael Miller

03/30/2005  9:17PM

Last night I was writing from memory. George actually said, “intellectual and legal dishonesty” not just intellectual dishonesty. The CDAA defense led by Tom Knox is typical of insurance lawyers. I had a conversation with a long time corporate attorney and pal in Sacramento today about Tom Knox’s approach to the law. He reminded me that all insurance litigants would lie and mislead the court in defense of their client. It is expected. Lloyds of London, not Gale Filter and his gang pay Knox. So who really is the client? All of us in business pay the exorbitant insurance policy premiums because of the games insurance lawyers play. It is time for the court to step in and demand judicial respect for the American public. Is this likely to happen?

I am sure that most judges are just as sick and tired of hearing the nonsense and intellectual and legal dishonesty in their courtroom. The time is now to make a difference. It has never been more appropriate. Four of my former business and personal lawyers are judges (one has retired). This has given me an unique insight of the inner workings of the courtroom. There are times when these judges internally scream for the opposing lawyer to challenge unprofessional behavior of their adversaries. It is seldom done because the lawyers drink from the same trough. It takes an exceptional professional to bring down the miscreants in their field.
 By Rick

03/30/2005  8:38PM

Has any CDAA hack ever addressed the Court during the ongoing procedings with a cordial "hello"?

Let's start checking the Recorder for details. Maybe Mike said "Excuse me" once to allow GF to drink from the Sierra County water fountain before some CDAA schmuck messed up the water issues and actually drank it himself.
 By bluejay

03/30/2005  2:11AM

George's expression, "intellectual dishonesty" rang a bell for me tonight. First, I would like to say that I have personally engaged George in a few conversations and I have found him to be an unusually fair and reasonable man.

In all my life I have never been associated with, in one manner or another, more consistently dishonest and unprofessional people than in the legal profession. I'm sure there are some fine lawyers but I have only met one, George.

I have been in meetings with attorneys where they have demonstrated their lack of respect for the letter of the law. What they pride themselves on most is how smart they think they are and what they can get away with.

I have been lied to by attorneys and I have subjected to their grafty intimidations. Even in my own family I have one trying to cheat me out of a portion of my inheritance with our own 86 year old mother. Too many ignorant people give the profession too much respect.

So, when Mike tells his story concerning the law firm defending the CDAA miscreants in their efforts to dislodge the honorable Superior Court Judege Stanley Young I completely understand their behavior.

The attorneys that I have dealt with have considered themselves blantantly above the letter of the law. As a matter of my observations, they consider themselves smart in the respect of being able to beat the system by manipulating it for their selfish ends.

Here's an example: I personally knew an attorney who was advising another attorney to disrespect government regulations. The first attorney said the second attorney wasn't breaking the law because a legal paper hadn't been filed yet to prove he was in violation of anything. I said, why hasn't the notarized government trust form been filed? He said, I'll file that late after the trust matures and pay the late fee. The two attorneys were guilty of not only of morally breaking the law but they were both basically "intellectually dishonest" people.
 By Michael Miller

03/29/2005  9:39PM

While I was cleaning up after dinner tonight, a thought struck me: some personalities will ever understand life unless they have panned for gold. It is not so much the gold but the panning that is the relevance in this thought. Here is the rationale.

The action of panning for gold requires a deep understanding of the universe. It also requires the dexterity to plan and implement the laws of the universe to your benefit. By accomplishing the simple art and science of panning for gold, the implementation of the art and science of living your life may reach a clarity heretofore unfound. Is not that one of our drives for knowledge? Clarity?

As I was eating my dinner, George’s remarks this afternoon and the interaction we had with the Superior Court of Sierra County and the lawyers defending the CDAA crowd ran through my head. Law, lawyers, perjury, misleading the court, intentional misleading the court verses just being stupid about the law (which I fully sympathize with), deceit and what George so clearly said in so few words, “intellectual dishonesty”, played in my mind.

It seems that the judicial branch of our government no longer addresses “intellectual dishonesty”. What happened to the fear and consequences of perjury? Well, if all the lawyers have incorporated intellectual dishonesty, which is a twentieth century term for lying, misrepresentation and perjury, into their day to day routine, how can it be reversed? How about one step at a time by striking it down when advocates practice it? This is where we are with our claim to recover the damages inflicted on the shareholders of Original Sixteen To One Mine, Inc. and Michael M. Miller. In their defense of our serious claim, the bad guys are mocking the most esteemed branch of American politics, the one we turn to for executive and legislative redress, the judicial system. These lawyers, now representing the CDAA lawyers, are also practicing the behavior of their clients.

Here is the story, briefly because it is late. The CDAA lawyers called for an ex parte hearing this afternoon at 4:30 pm. One of their issues was kicking off the judge, who was scheduled to hear their motions on April 6, 2005, in Downieville. A lawyer named Hansen swore under penalty of perjury that because of a statement in my declaration he was questioning the integrity of the judge. I wrote that Jonathan and I expressed a courtesy “hello” to Superior Court Judge Stanley Young one afternoon on the steps of the Downieville courthouse after an appearance in court. Mr. Hansen declared that this casual “hello” has compromised Judge Young’s ability to rule fairly at the April 6, 2005 hearing in Downieville. Hansen’s law firm of Knox et al plans to present a motion to recuse the judge because he now is not able to judge the issues before him. The CDAA lawyer said that it was impossible to ascertain the depth of the conversation between those of us standing in front of the courthouse by the words in my declaration. Friends, I know this is hard to believe, but Knox’s associate swears this to be a legitimate possibility. I t is all in sworn documents by the lawyers. My statement was crystal clear and even a grammar school student would understand it. I wrote, “We all exchanged brief hellos.” The whole paragraph is at Sierra Court Superior Court Filings entered 3/24/2005, paragraph 6. Society should be outraged, and it would be if it knew how dishonest these lawyers were treating the dignity of our court. There is something on the web site that I wrote a while ago entitled, ‘Now is the Time”. I think it can be found under the NEWS section. Check it out for it still rings true only now California has 200,000 members of the State Bar. Help clean the intellectual dishonesty from our courts. Now is the time. Clarity.
 By Michael Miller

02/25/2005  10:52PM

Dear Core Advisors,

Sometimes I sit to write and then send it off onto the Forum. A number of times Rae fetches it out of the public’s view the next morning. It may be posted a few hours or a couple of days. I usually know she is right to remove it; however I also know that I am right to offer the subject to my friends and maybe just because I want to see if I have the wisdom to send or not send it. Once the message goes onto the internet, its subject and revelation transcend from “I” to “you”. Most of the times I never press send.

Bullets, high points, low points or memorable events over the recent past:

George and I had an important argument about a motion I planned to file today for a default judgment against the lawyers. They have been referred to in court records as the Fab Four, scumbags, carpetbaggers and just by their names: Filter, Denise, Tony P. and Kyle Hedum. If I file the motion, their lawyer must come crawling to the court to beg its mercy for breaking the rules. George says the mercy will likely be granted. My point is that the Court must have a recording of this pattern of behavior. It exposes their collective and premeditated legal fraud.

George and I argued over how my action of filing the motion that I scheduled to file today in Downieville would affect our case. What are the consequences? What chain of events may it trigger? Heady stuff. If I file, Lloyds of London will fire Tom Knox. This is according to Tom Knox via George. The outcomes we see, we discuss and then the likelihood that it will happen. His reasons seem better than mine, but my reasoning as to the likelihood of each speculations happening influences each risk I evaluate. I agree with George that OAU and MMM are best positioned if Knox,s filing time is extended. George was relieved because he has practiced the mutual respect lawyers pay each other and has ethics and the wisdom and fortitude to respect the law and rules of the game. I gave in to George because he has thirty one years of dealing with lawyers on a regular basis. This outweighed my forty years of experience in the judicial system. What I saw as the goal for filing the motion was a lofty and unlikely possibility but the spoils were pure gold. We worked out giving the extension of time between us if Knox asked for it. I felt okay because Tom Knox said he would treat both plaintiffs with equal independence and respect (his words). My pledge was given because Knox pledged that he would not lie or disrespect either plaintiff. If he were to for a third time, all deals are off. Knox agreed to the condition that he never again breaks the respect offered each other over the phone Thursday night. He had called me Thursday at 5pm immediately after receiving a letter I just sent to him. He asks me if I have problems with his clients having the right to a vigorous defense. Of course not but unfortunately for him, he has a pack of guilty clients. Whether Knox is fired or not is a matter of money. Money pays our damages so the speculation needed to be discussed in light of what is best for the plaintiffs.

George represents plaintiff, Original Sixteen To One Mine, Inc and I represent plaintiff, Michael M. Miller. Knox said he would not confuse the plaintiffs again. George is happy, Tom is happy and I am too. Now what about the defendants? Are they happy? This case is not about the relationship between anyone but the Sixteen to One, Michael Miller and the five defendants. How can the fab four be five, you think? The fifth is the grand band of over 2,000 lawyers, who make up the corporate taxpayer cobbling CDAA, a once proud association of educators and protectors of justice. Knox’s client is the insurance carrier for CDAA, not the fab four. Go figure.

The Empire Mine crosscut we are driving is rounding the ninety foot bend, which is designed to block the portal from view. We hit some sulfides two rounds ago, always important to the gold miner. We continue to mine the very unstable ground as we advance the heading towards the end of the bend. The craftsmanship displayed as blasting rips the earth shows to a trained eye. For the untrained eye, it looks like some guys digging a tunnel through some dirt and some chunky rock. This is the most dangerous type of mining. For the miners’ brothers who work in the tunneling business and are also referred to as miners more than tunnelers, the ground has easy solutions. The push to make the adit into a tunnel is what drove away all the guys who gave their time to create the project to walk away. The regional miners who were working in the Sierra Nevada at the time (18 years ago) wanted the end result to replicate a mine, with its sights, smells, sounds and feels. It proved difficult to butt the State paid caretakers and co-designers. So the design morphed into a hybrid of underground construction.

In addition to the dead work in progress at the Sixteen, the 49 hoist motor sparked so we shut it down. We opened up the 200hp motor and located the wear point. Outside help was to come and assist the crew, but he canceled. No one likes the hoist to go down so delays are not welcomed. CAL/OSHA stopped by for a visit. The Tightner shaft and travel way to our new work places along the 1000 foot level between the shaft and the fish pond is in final construction. The common denominator this week between the Empire and Sixteen is the professional craftsmanship on display. The crew is very proud to show it off.

The cast off ore from the July pocket was processed into 180 ouncer of dore and shipped to the refiner. Gold hit $436 per ounce, and we sold the inventory remaining from our last shipment at spot. Over 100 ounces came from two chunks each the size of a tennis ball. David and I recognized the specimens’ value and recognized our cash flow projections. Adios. The specimens were not even crushed but went directly into the retort.

The full moon, the middle of winter or other factors brought out the worst for a few troubled individuals in the area, which impacted our production.
 By Michael Miller

01/10/2005  4:40PM

Contents of Sierra County District Attorney File...

The most apparent discovery upon reviewing CDAA files on the prosecutions on Jonathan and me is their lack of substance. There is no correspondence between Sharon O’Sullivan and Hedum, Filter, or the CDAA lawyer left in charge of prosecuting after Hedum left CDAA employment. There are no records of evidence gathered to support the filing of felony charges. There is no phone log, diary of appointments or schedule of work. Did Denise work unsupervised or have the records been laundered?

A five inch binder is entitled “Original Sixteen to One, Inc.,(16-1), www.origsix.com. CDAA lawyers copied our entire web site and kept it current until December of 2002. I wonder if these lawyers thought that we did not think that they would read the postings. We knew they were and believe that the defendants and their lawyer continue to read our web site.

Tucked into an unmarked file was a memo from Kate Killeen to Gale Filter. The subject is “Threat Assessment”. It says:

“I spoke with Eugene Rugala- Threat Assessment Expert and a couple of others about the scenario with the mining company owners. They basically agreed with my observations and recommendations re monitoring the website, having some level of law enforcement support such as sworn investigator to accompany you to court for the GJ, and alerting reception staff to be aware. Other than to put our staff at ease because of them being alarmed, I do not have a strong sense that security guards at CDAA are warranted at this time. I recommend that you look at the threat assessment outline which is in the public area of CDAA website, in which a group of experts I worked with, developed an outline of questions to look into to learn more about your suspect. It will at least let you know what you do and do not know about him and what aspects you may want to find out more about him so a more informed assessment can happen. Threat assessment is dynamic so as events change, so can his reaction. Should he attempt personal approaches, more frequent contacts, show lack of restraint or outbursts in public, lose in court, or you learn of past violence by him, these are all factors which may raise risk level. Talk to you next week, Kate”
 By Michael Miller

01/08/2005  12:04AM

Late Friday night and heavy snow is blanketing Alleghany. I’m taking just a moment to tell you about some of today’s events and most importantly about the two boxes of Sierra County District Attorney files regarding our prosecution by CDAA et al we picked up in Downieville this afternoon. George and I filed our third amended complaint for damages adding negligence as causes. This opens up financial exposure to insurance companies. The defendants have not answered the complaint and stipulated to the amendment. George will attempt to place it on the FORUM tomorrow.

It is the content of the files that prompted me to write to you right now, while the emotion of seeing the documentation attributable to each of the defendants burns in my stomach. All of them have disgraced the noble and honorable profession of law. And they did it with taxpayers’ money! George left me alone with the boxes, so I’ll wait until tomorrow to discuss with him what is appropriate to reveal. Every legitimate District Attorney and Deputy District Attorney in all 58 California counties should be appalled with this group’s abuse of the power and responsibility entrusted to them. I am leaning towards a serious campaign to inform them how negligent their non-profit professional organization (CDAA) has become under the leadership of its officers, directors and employees. CDAA should receive no more taxpayers’ money. Good night.

PS... This is all positive for our case. Also we completed our gold inventory with the SEC accountanting firm so when funds are available we can order an audit. We have over $800,000 at spot price with a wholesale value much higher. We are looking to finance future development with the sale of the gold collection, placement of stock, finding Mister Pocket or proceeds from defendants.
 By Michael Miller

10/08/2004  9:00PM

I realize that there are just a small number of you who bother or look forward to bringing up the 16 to 1 FORUM. I know I always click into the program with a little anticipation about what may be on the screen. I am speaking directly to you.

This week was very demanding of my brain. I hope yours was too. The gold hunt is on hold. I am confident that we will hit again once we attack the ground: however, I am committed to attack another piece of ground. My contract to connect a new adit into a crosscut in the old Empire workings is a commitment for all of the Sierra Nevada miners. The dead ones and the live ones are inseparable. I am unable to take it lightly. For those of you paying close attention, ah, you know about the recent entry on Correspondence from the President that is no longer displayed. It was taken off because my thoughts were going too much faster than my fingers. I may edit it or just let it go. The “lawyers-lawyers’ short story still holds as nonfiction. Mister Pocket is sitting close by. The Empire remains in jeopardy to achieve its potential. Rarely do I get to post two entries so close in time as was done tonight.
 By Rick

10/07/2004  7:53PM

I want to ammend my last entry just a bit (and if you haven't read it scroll down.) I wrote that the most eggregious crime is to accuse someone of lying. Here's the ammendment: when an accusation is true, (in this case my indictment that the CDAA intentionally and blatantly misrepresented the people by ignoring procedural law), the accusation is not only not aggregious, but instead warranted and long overdue.

Let's remember a bit of history, when falsely accusing and lying about credibility brought out more than rhetoric. It kept the riff-raff at bay because there was honor within the courts of law, not to mention the oft seen results when honor was breeched. It is incumbent upon all of us to restore the honor of our representative democracy.

CDAA represents no one but the entity that allows them to exist.

...Which is why it's a time to celebrate thier demise.

Because it
 By Michael Miller

10/06/2004  9:24PM

Thanks guys. It is nice to know that you are following this legal battle. It is a first for the United States of America. Lawyers rely on the decisions of prior cases to support whatever they are paid to advocate. There is nothing in US court decisions about private lawyers taking over the prosecution of Americans, misleading the Court, misleading grand juries, and creating murder charges on non-existent evidence. George Gilmour is an academic scholar in the field of sociology and law. His research is covers stacks of decisions. Bet on him! My knowledge of the facts of the CDAA conspiracy to create a power base and pay for themselves is as solid as the history of gold production from our mine, one of the world’s richest. Bet on me! Without your support, understanding and encouragement, I may have abandoned this important legal fight, which is ours for the taking.

George uses a Mac. We use PC’s. I will try to get his and my court filing on the web site so you can read our position. It is time to rein in the lawyers who suborn perjury in America’s courtroom. Who do these criminals think they are? If we let them get away with it, who do we think we are?
 By Rick

10/06/2004  7:30PM

As we celebtrate this latest ruling (and believe me, I am!) let's take a reality check:

While we're celebrating a ruling that actually entertains the notion that the Original Sixteen to One Mine did everything correctly to begin with, there still needs to be accountability (proof) that in falsley accusing law-abiding private enterprise, heads will roll, not to mention monitary accountability and public exposure.

We're actually happy that there was a ruling that the mine didn't do what the CDAA made up?

We ought to be majorly pissed-off that it ever got this far, and then take steps to see that it can't happen again. Mike, great job on this front. Keep it up.

The most eggregious crime is to accuse someone of lying, to accuse an entity of cheating, to misrepresent the intentions of the well intentioned.

In this case, the most eggregious and downright criminal issue is the levy charges of MURDER as they expected the political courts to take the bait.

I'm celebrating the turn of the tide.
 By smithsgold

10/05/2004  6:58PM

One for the good guys !
 By Michael Miller

10/05/2004  4:45PM

IT WAS A THUMBS UP DAY. For the second time CDAA failed in its attempt to stop our lawsuit from being heard. Just hours ago the Court turned down the defendants’ plea to throw the case out. The Court determined that CDAA is not immune from liability from our allegations of their outrageous conduct. In their response CDAA said that only “rogue prosecutors” could do what we have alleged was done to the Company and me. I guess the judge may agree that they were “rogue prosecutors”. Anyway we were given the time to clean up a couple of drafting errors (nothing of factual substance). We can easily add the language, so it looks like we are moving towards the day-of a trial.

Our next court date is December 3, 2004, which provides us the opportunity to address the minor omissions from our complaint. Our three causes of action remain alive. Hip, Hip Hooray. Hum, this heading continues to advance towards s detecting a major pocket of gold.

 By Michael Miller

08/31/2004  9:40PM

Let’s let the world know, we’re back. I have mounded much on my plate, more than I should have because some of it is slopping over the side.

Here is a recap: a bunch of gold in the bank that we want to turn into jewelry; offensive team playing with CDAA commits to pursue; the cause to tell MSHA that a human error accident is okay, and its recognition is a valuable way to increase the safety of America’s industrial workers has reached its first hearing in our judicial branch; I get to blow up rocks in one of California’s greatest State Parks; and the rebuilding of Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc.

We are back and this time the trail towards the Pocket will continue to drift like the veins through this land.

This will be my introduction to the crew meeting I will call at 10:00 am tomorrow.
 By Michael Miller

08/19/2004  10:27PM

There is a 100,000 ounce pocket in the vein. There could be more or there are pockets exceeding 100,000 ounces. Whatever lies beneath me was deposited 150 million years ago. The gold exists. Continued speculation about the authenticity of this bold statement of fact is an intellectual sham, or maybe scam is a more appropriate name.

To my north is the junction of the Tightner and the Sixteen to One. As the elevation rises towards the surface, the pockets have increased in ounces. The 83,000-ounce pocket lies atop a trend pointing to the Red Star. The trend through the two hundred feet of virgin vein suggests that richer concentration of gold remain closer to the surface.

To the south miners penetrated the expected and projected fault below the 2400-foot level. We mined a 10,000-ounce pocket of the best quartz and gold just above the fault. It is fair to wonder how much gold backed up on the down dip side of the fault. Wherever it is, we are looking for a record, a pocket exceeding the largest of 83,000 ounces.

I believe it exists within our land and we have the assets to find it. To give it a shot, yes, we are ready and underway. My initials are MMM. Years ago I wrote about the MMM of mining. Men…Money…Minerals. This says it all and these three components are all one needs to evaluate the risk of ones life.
 By Michael Miller

08/14/2004  10:06PM

Alleghany Days is over. The drilling contest winners were separated by one second. First place was Ron Smith at 1:23. Second place was Dave Bryer at 1:24. Third place was Mark Loving at 1:25. There were fourteen entered in the professional group and five in the amatures. Four women also competed; actually they were cheering each other on. Eighty-five people took the underground tour and from the feedback I heard it was a hugh success. The proceeds went to the Underground California Goldminers Museum.

A shareholder raised a great idea. For our annual meeting next year, lets have a drilling and mucking contest. They are fun to watch and fun to join. Miners and shareholders can participate. The Jumbo specimen was displayed for the first time. This is the hunk that Jumbo Joe drilled into and was recovered on July 15. It is a beauty and almost beyond belief.
 By Michael Miller

08/01/2004  9:37PM

To None in Particular:

Do I dare submit a letter at this hour and on a Sunday? Why not! It should be a Scoop writing, but Scoop stepped off duty. Actually these thoughts which will be passed via the SUBMIT button on the computer screen are for you.

If you know little about the mine, the company, me or the men and women who contribute ( in the past or currently in the present) actively or not, go read the newsletters posted here. They begin in 1983. Read the news articles published by others. Then come back to the FORUM. Submit, to the gold or to another of your passions in life. What we have been developing in Alleghany cannot be replicated anywhere else. Also it has never been done before now. Come back later to this submission after you gain some understanding of the California gold rush and a small company and gold mining village that would not die.

Revenue from this pay shoot will be between $700,000 and a million. Maybe the crew will produce another couple of similar pockets within this great-untapped footwall vein between the 1300 foot level and the 800 foot level. Maybe, but not solid enough to bank on, the sale of treasury stock will not be necessary to fund the new Red Star shaft. A few potential investors express interest in non-equity speculation. I like investment over speculation, myself, and have a difficult time understanding this business outlook. Nevertheless, I will remain open to limited partnerships.

Anyone with knowledge of past performance should be able to speculate on the wisdom and unparalleled excitement of opening up the Sixteen to One vein in our Red Star patented claims. The thought of it has been in my mind since 1974, when I did my first due diligence investigation on Original Sixteen To One Mine, Inc. It still gives me the trembles to visualize the vein. All shareholders who follow our progress know the potential for a 100,000-ounce pocket. One hundred times richer in gold than the one we just mined.

I believe it is there. It was laid down 150 million years ago and awaits our drills and explosives.
 By Michael Miller

07/24/2004  11:28AM

The Board of Directors met yesterday in Alleghany. A payment program for accounts payable was ratified. The major creditor, PG&E, agreed to a take $10,000 per month on the past due account. Our power provider has worked patiently with us during this period of financial stress. The company representatives stuck up for us during the dark times we experienced over the past two years. Thanks fellows, here’s to ya! We will begin paying down the note from Gold Country Lenders. These folks also believed in us. Without individuals like these and many others whom I have been associated with, the struggles to break rock in the search for gold could have overcome our efforts. Liabilities will be reduced by $150,000. We budgeted $100,000 for mining (a mix of maintenance and hunting for more gold). The Board will meet again to evaluate the status of our underground projects and finances upon the expenditures of $250,000.

High on the list of payees is our independent auditor. The firm of PerrySmith and Company certainly stands well above the large accounting firms that have so rightly been investigated lately. Business ethics and business integrity were one of my upper division classes at UCSB. It was an elective course and my favorite economics’ class. I have missed the discussion I have had with one of the partners, Tom PerrySmith, about practical accounting and the policies of his profession and the philosophy behind them. I am confident that both of us grew to understand and respect each other’s ethics. He or any one creditor could have broken my spirit and ability to guide our company back to the days of a debt free balance sheet. He chose to give us the time to work through our problems.

There are some other unnamed friends that contributed to my ability to “stay in the game” during the horrendous onslaught of interferences we had to deal with over the recent past. You know who you are. You are supporters, constructive critics and physiatrists. Don’t leave me now. Our offense scored another touchdown. Some have been active participants on the FORUM. By the way, those of you who suggested and supported SCOOP, thanks. It has become a nice diary to reread from the beginning to the present.

It is a safe assumption to expect more gold to come from the large block of ground we continue to mine. Part of it now looks like swiss cheese, but an awfully large footwall vein portion remains. It is not over but this small pay shoot may be. Our crew is exhausted! They deserve a few days of rest and reflection and some time to smell the roses. We all are very happy.

07/14/2004  3:17PM

Everyone in the United States will be affected by the Company’s appeal before the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, California. The issue is more than just a mining one. It involves the legality of the imposition by one federal agency and a couple of its employees to define and designate the management of an American business. “There is no precedent for this unwanted infliction, yet we find ourselves defending accusations by the lawyer for the Department of Labor and the administrative judge for the same department. No witness presented evidence to support his claim”, said Michael M. Miller, company president.
Miller sent the following letter to 150 companies in California, Arizona and Nevada that are regulated by the federal Mines Safety Health Administration (MSHA). Prior to the deadline for filing a brief, he received one response. and asked for and received a postponement to August 23, 2004. “Will anyone recognize the importance of this abuse of process by the Federal administrative branch and two of its employees? Does anyone else care or comprehend the impact of this?” he wonders. If so, he asks you to come forward and help set the right precedent.
Newmont Mining, America’s largest gold mining company, placed a call to Miller several weeks ago. Its MSHA manager asked for details and commented how strange it was for the federal government to take such a legal pursuit of this issue. So far only one letter has been sent to the U.S. Court of Appeals. A fellow mine president writes:

“The case concerns a lead miner who died on the job, and the subsequent ruling that the company is responsible for the accident on the basis that the lead miner was management personnel. Whether or not the company’s position was properly argued in Court, I cannot say. However, I can state that in all my 50 years in the mining industry, I have never heard of a lead miner as being part of management. For that matter, I don’t know of any industry that classifies a lead man as management.

Typically, a lead miner would have the responsibility of conducting his specific job in one small location of the mine. He is considered the “lead” due to having the most experience, and thereby is entrusted with the direction and safety of the small group of miners that he works with. There may be several other lead miners in various areas of the mine, depending on the size of the operation.

Over the lead miners would be the shift foreman, who would be considered as part of the management team, and above that position would be the mine superintendent, or mine manager. Generally, at an underground mining operation, the foreman has several headings he is responsible for, but may only be able to inspect each one once or twice during the shift. This is one of the reasons for appointing a “lead” with the most mining experience, so he can keep watch over the area and report his observations and/or suggestions to the foreman.

The lead miner, however, would have no authority over any aspect of the mining operation, but is subject to the direction and decisions of the shift foreman. He cannot hire or fire employees; he cannot change his work location or his assigned task, or make any decisions other than those that directly affect his own job performance.

My conclusion as to the Court’s decision in this matter is that it may have been reached by someone unfamiliar with the working environment of the mining or construction industries. I sincerely hope that this writing, from someone who has been a mine owner for over 35 years, will serve as qualified testimony on behalf of the Original Sixteen to One Mine, and that this case will be carefully considered by the Court in the appeals process before a final decision is made.

Please feel free to contact me concerning this issue should uoy require any further information.”


May 21, 2004

Dear Fellow Miners:

On November 6, 2004, one of our lead miners drove his trammer into a stationary overhang and died. The company was cited for three MSHA violations, which were challenged. The administration judge ruled in favor of MSHA. The company filed an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals in San Francisco, docket number: 04-71301. The opening brief and excerpts of record shall be served and filed on June 11, 2004.
The judge ruled that the miner was negligent and responsible for his own accident. He held the company responsible because the miner was a lead miner with one miner working with him. The judge held that a lead miner is management; therefore the company is guilty.
Our lead miner could not hire or fire employees. He could not change his workplace. His pay was on a regular schedule. He had no management duties other than being the one in charge of his workplace, something I believe all of us have in common in the industry.
There is no precedent for this assumption by the ALJ. Our regional MSHA people are not the ones driving this new interpretation of the codes. They actually do not approve of the concept. The unions are apparently not driving the concept either. I do not know who is but suspect it is the lawyers in government.

Original Sixteen to One Mine is a small company. It has been around longer than any other gold company. I have been its president since 1983. I believe that this decision will cost the mining industry dearly if it is upheld. It will affect your operations in the United States. It will also adversely affect America’s economic freedom and security. It must be overturned.
I seek your participation in some form, maybe an amicus brief. This injustice is important to all the miners in America. I feel somewhat inadequate to handle it alone. Over my mining career, the real MSHA guys have told me that until the industry stands up in court the abuses in judgment will continue. They have proven to be correct. I also realize that many of you are taking action against injustices in the operation of American mines. If no one recognizes the implications of this issue, we will do all we can to defeat the misguided interpretations of MSHA lawyers. If we lose, more American mining jobs will move into foreign lands. I would appreciate your help or acknowledgement that you are not in a position to participate.


Michael M. Miller,

Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Page 5 | Page 6 | Page 7 | Page 8 | Page 9 | Page 10 | Page 11 | Page 12 | Page 13 | Page 14 ]


© 2021 Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc.
PO Box 909
Alleghany, California 95910

(530) 287-3223      
(530) 287-3455

      Gold Sales:  

(530) 287-3540


Design & development by
L. Kenez