August 18, 2022 

Correspondence from the President of OAU


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 By Michael Miller

06/23/2017  10:23AM

Dear Shareholders and Interested People:

The Annual meeting last Saturday was an hundred percent success. The grounds and underground never looked better. The weather was warm but not overpowering. Our miners and helpers performed well in serving the safety and enjoyment to all. The food and drinks pleased everyone except a couple who ate late and all the pasties were gone.
No negativity was on display in this crowd. There were few questions which were easy to answer. I reviewed the annual report, gave details about our current work, the past year and my expectations until we meet again. Sales were modest which has been the pattern for the past five years.
Much detail was given about the underground tour options, the degree of difficulty and the time. I probably over stated the difficulty because of concerns someone taking the full option may experience problems in the climb up the 49 winze.
We have really nice shareholders, getting older but four or five brought children. It was a larger turnout from last year, 120

My desk work was mostly on hold the past week. This morning I had two emails from very different sources about the same subject of modest interest to me. Both related their topic to gold so I read them and pass information along to you: performance of cryptos and monetary metals and digital currencies. If cryptocurrencies is a word, I do not know. Summary follows.

One article contrasts the performance of cryptocurrencies with the suppression of gold and silver prices and argues that the potential for the monetary metals is great. Its basis recognizes the Gold Cartel as the power broker influencing the economic principles of pricing based on supply and demand. Its international actions continue to negate the value, worthiness etc. of silver and gold. Therefore, those wanting assets but not a closet full of one hundred dollar bills are looking elsewhere. That elsewhere can be stock markets, real estate or others. Many financial gurus play along with the powerful Gold Cartel.

The other article presents a similar view but never mentions a gold cartel. It offers more details. What are digital currencies -- and what do they mean for gold?

Eight years after the launch of bitcoin, there are almost a thousand competing digital currencies. Bitcoin remains the leader by market capitalization, and almost all other currencies are based on bitcoin’s fundamental technical innovations. Bitcoin and other digital currencies set out to become a kind of “digital gold.” Like gold, they do not rely on any centralized institution for backing or accounting; but as digital assets, they exist only virtually and can be transferred instantly to any user anywhere in the world. In this goal, they partially succeeded and partially failed. They ingeniously marry two mathematical and algorithmic innovations: public/private key cryptography, and the block-chain -- a distributed transaction ledger that’s maintained by competing processing nodes in the bitcoin network.

The vast majority of users interact with digital currency systems in a way that exposes them to potential fraud or theft. The block-chain is a public record of all transactions in a given digital currency – presenting concerns that artificial intelligence and big data leverage will be able to associate real-world identities with those transactions. Digital currency solution to the problem of identity and ownership of assets relies on difficult mathematical problems: a cracked when functional quantum computers arrive.

When the current cryptocurrency excitement fades, gold continues an important refuge of safety and the preferred hedge against the incompetence and dishonesty of government. Speculating in cryptocurrencies and making money is not a gold asset. Keep an eye on the exit. Over time, most cryptocurrencies will fail.
I repeat what I say and write about Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. Our asset is the most proven gold deposit in the world with the fewest operating gold mine and miner employed. We don’t make money. We mine gold.
 By Michael Miller

05/22/2017  6:08PM

The 2016 Annual report was mailed to shareholders last week. We returned to the full sheet size used for decades until the short-fall of gold production. If you are a shareholder of record, you should have it by now. I can hear your chuckles and see your smiles as you turn the pages. For all non-shareholders but worthy friends and followers of our history, my annual President Messages will follow.

Dear Shareholders,

What a wealth of fact, fiction, poetry romance and deceit has been built around the thought conjured up by that simple word gold. When I began my journey with this old gold mining company in 1974, overriding facts convinced me the pursuit was a rock solid choice. In 1974, who was thinking about gold mining? Few, if any were, except the historic management and shareholders of Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. They owned the longest surviving producing gold mine in the West: the Sixteen to One.

I thought, “There must be reasons why the owners kept the property and corporate organization. There must be. Why did those generations hold their belief and trust in the last mine standing?” I decided to give the pursuit five years of my life to find the answer.
The answer was a simple word: gold. It still is in 2017. Mining has proven our wealth and value. Our assets, opportunities and potential continue to increase. Unfortunately, accounting rules and an illogical share trading market called “Gray Market” cast a false value of our assets as dollars on the enclosed balance sheet.

In a state where gold is a proper and popular noun, adjective and adverb, hard rock gold mining has ended, except for us. Once again Sixteen to One is the last mine operation standing. Last year our net profit was $610,160 or $0.04 per share. This is nothing to brag about but a positive indication of our direction. My belief is: gold drives the operation. The crew remains small (ten). We are very aggressive in attacking the issues before us; however the goal is only one: gold.

The theme for the present and future: Everyone is right some of the time. No one is right all the time. No one has made “it” without someone. If you have never been to Alleghany, now is a great time. In 1983, the annual meeting moved from San Francisco to Sacramento, then to Alleghany, home of our mine; so all shareholders can visit the mine and kick some rocks. Three underground locations will be available for your inspection. The gold tent will be open with a variety of items to purchase or just admire.

Our crew began a tough but significant project last December: reestablish the 49 WINZE for mining. Crumpled stairs and ground support, failed electrical switches, transformers and wire, dilapidated compressed air and water lines faced the miners. The 49 WINZE, access to the southern levels (of the underground), is a vital component of mining. It became a victim due to depreciated gold prices over a decade ago. The task seemed an overwhelming head ache to even think about its rejuvenation; but we did think about it and decided to risk our profit here. Why is our future tied with the 49 WINZE project?

The Company has two new gold detectors with proven successes of identifying gold in quartz previously undetected with older models. Our miners stopped working in the deep levels due to uncontrollable economic changes. It was not the absence of gold. I saw multiple areas with visible gold targets now below today’s water level. Our current inventory (gold) gives me capital and confidence: we will be walking on the 1500 level by June, the 1700 level station will be renovated by August and the 2200 level will be dry by December. What jump-kicked this project over other great targets (see Ray Wittkoppp’s memorandum) is the possibility of pumping the 3000 level. No one has walked this level since 1939. This is iffy, but this deepest working could be detected by June 2018. The 49 WINZE also satisfies federal requirements for a second exit for miners, which influenced my decision to renovate.

Last year besides mining gold and maintaining or repairing infrastructure, I confronted regulatory drama with tools of reason and common sense. Two giant, harmful distractions remain but are disappearing: improper federal enforcement by Mine Safety Health Administration (MSHA) and California’s misguided water public servants. Inspectors with little or no underground working experience descended onto our property, wrote citations without the experience to evaluate what they were seeing. Regulating government agencies cost us dearly in time and money over the past twenty years. Some consider these main problems for miners. Others consider them the price of doing business in California.

What about water? California is nationally known for its environmental hostilities towards business. The mineral and timber extraction businesses became easy targets. Our operation does zero environmental/public harm, zero. Sixteen to One water has minerals naturally because the entire watershed and Kanaka Creek are mineralized. Water passing through our property has no adverse effect on any beneficial use downstream. Outright reckless enforcement by some Californian public servants is shifting towards reason. Top water consultants are working with us and regulators to fix problems. Indeed it is an exciting time.

Some shareholders want the opportunity to cash out some shares. I support this desire. Historically, promotion is part of my job. I look forward to the time when spending money on stock promotion is the right time. With two consecutive profitable years, improved relations with regulators and the significant underground improvements over the past ten years, we are an attractive new investment for anyone without a gold position.

The term capital allocation refers to how a company spends its money. For example, it can pay down its debt, pay its shareholders a dividend, buy back some of its shares, buy another company or use it to further its own growth. The money should be spent in the most productive ways. When a company’s capital is not allocated effectively, it’s wasted and that hurts shareholders. The past four years we have allocated our capital to further our prospects of mining gold. Gold drives our operation. Its strong price is a bonus we cannot influence, but we have taken advantage of it. Sixteen to One gold ranks at the top within the jewelry businesses and we actually mine the stuff.

Earlier I wrote, “The theme for the present and future: Everyone is right some of the time. No one is right all the time. No one has made ‘it’ without someone.” Your help will help the Company make ‘it’ a reality. With 1600 shareholders receiving current information, you are or may know that “someone” interested in participating in our future. My point: someone exists with the mind set and resources to join us in advancing these goals: mine lots of gold from our exceptional properties, keep the gold mining tradition alive, strengthen our domestic economy, improve national security, provide great jobs, pay a dividend and increase our appeal for promotion. I doubt there is another junior gold mining company with better untapped targets and therefore potential. Our asset is gold. Please help that "someone” find Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. I pledge to work with all qualified “someone” in negotiating an agreement that benefits each party: our shareholders and the new investor.

Best wishes and thank you for your support during the past years. Come see the mine this June 17th.

Michael Meister Miller, President and Director
April 22, 2017
 By Michael Miller

03/28/2017  10:39AM

Dear President and Presidential Staff,

First, thank you for getting to these vital positions.

A most important federal appointment falls under Secretary of Labor, the executive of Mine Safety Health Administration (MSHA). Few know how important it is for America's safety. I do. I'm President and Director of the oldest USA gold mining company (Incorporated in SF California in 1911) and last operating underground gold mine in California. Other minerals may be more relevant but all operators have been under an attack by federal regulators for years.

You control our future with the appointments and hires. I've worked over forty years in natural resource production with experience in how this twisted and misguided governmental responsibility hurts all social, economic political and private aspects of our country. I am a fighter to preserve, protect enhance and exploit our Sixteen to One resources in the toughest state to survive, California. I represent gold miners and was "green" before it became a buzz word. I'm not looking for a job but some ears to redirect a failing industry.

Please stay strong against all the opposition. I've done it since I moved to remote Sierra County 43 years ago.

Michael M. Miller
(sent today)
 By Michael Miller

02/23/2017  4:11PM

Thank you for the comments. Some are coming via email:

Suggestions were: fixing a chip/crack as a vehicle windshield, comparing the repair with a counter top or more of a filler type repair. These won’t work with the quartz/gold slab. The cracking problem needs more explanation. It is hard to describe. But I’ll try.

A slab ranges from golf ball circumference to softball circumference and from 2.5mm to 4 mm thick. The cracks are very small (the pieces no matter how large still hold together). Have you seen tempered, thick plate glass shatter? This is what these slabs do when handled during the jewelry process. Better yet, imagine Humpty Dumpty.
We give the slab an ultrasound bath to remove saw dust from the small crack. Next it is soaked in the ??? and put under a vacuum. Afterwards it is cured. We are considering preheating the slab (500 degrees or more) to open or clean semi “dirty cracks, thus allowing more ??? and surface contact.

Whereas Opticon is a successful filler that blends well with each gemstone, our need includes a great binding ability as well. A product must exist for the high tech/micro size manufacturers. I truly appreciate your minds helping to find this needle in a hay stack. I will keep you informed.
 By cw3343

02/23/2017  1:13PM

A friend who works with Opal suggested: Google "How to fill cracks and crazing in opal" Has good ideas that work for opal, which is also silica (quartz).

I did not look in to it, as this is not my wheelhouse. Good luck!
 By Michael Miller

02/22/2017  9:50AM

This correspondence is just for you, who read the FORUM.

But first: the time of submission on the FORUM is corrected. It was on Hungarian time for a while but now is back on real time in California and your time wherever you are.

Our lapidary operation needs a product the will cement small cracks in the quartz and gold that we slab. For 50 years Opticon is used by high-end gem stone (ruby, sapphire, diamond) jewelers to fill small cracks. Filling cracks go back centuries when cedar oil was used. We use it to help hold the slab together under the pressure of the rock saw.

We mined some quartz with the most beautiful gold pattern previously mined. It made me gasp in awe and appreciation for its beauty and structure.
Unfortunately Opticon does not work to glue the small cracks which tend to break the slab into small pieces. This is a shame and of course a loss of use.

My google experience has not found a 21st century sealer/glue to fix this problem. Word used were: Opticon, glue, adhesives sealing cracks. Our process is to mix the Opticon, submerge the slab and put it under a vacuum before curing the Opticon. If you have an idea and time to help us find a better product, please help us. This rock is too beautiful to crush.
 By Michael Miller

11/17/2016  12:13AM

The elders among us continue to shrink in numbers. Today’s date marks one year of another mentor’s loss. Below are my thought a few days after his death on November 17, 2015.

November 22, 2015

When an important person in your life disappears, a multitude of emotions begin…and linger. In the process of lingering, thoughts (remembrances may be a cleaner word) are drifting around my head tonight. Where did it begin? What was the first meeting? Why do I remember them today? After all, with Donald R. Dickey it began forty years ago.

I had acquired the Morning Glory Gold mine from the son of A.R. Codd. A.R. plunged into gold mining as an investment 100 years ago. He built a sound surface plant and drove a crew underground. My intentions were to find a wholesome security with gold. My choice was to mine it.

Electricity is a power for underground gold miners. I needed it, although my life’s experiences held no gold mining. I knew nothing. PG&E is the Alleghany provider of power. It is a California corporation that grew because of the gold mines within the Sierra Nevada Mountains (just look at the path today of the electrical poles).

To get power I had to build the power lines to the mine. PG&E provided power, but I had to make the pole line. It proved to be difficult to put a twenty foot pole down into a six foot hole. I had some help, but we just couldn’t get the pole in the air, vertically enough, so it would slip cleanly into the hole.

I heard there was a man, Don Dickey, who owned one of those WWII four by four’s with a winch and A-frame. He had a mine and maybe would be for hire. It would only take a few minutes, so I thought I could afford the help. A couple of guys and I failed repeatedly to raise that damned pole so it would slide securely in the hole: no power pole no electricity.

I called Mr. Dickey and explained my problem. Shortly later, up comes a WWII relic with him behind the wheel. It only took moments. I thanked him and said, ”What do I owe you?” I never forgot his reply, short, honest and very personal. “There is no charge. I don’t do this for a living.”

Don died last week. The news hit hard. Everyone knew that the 90’s means the person is hunkering down….loading his last hole. Even though, when someone touches you, the foundation is just that: hard rock solid. That happened with me and Don. Don is a pillar for California gold mining. Fortunately for him, he chose a hands on life as a gold miner. Money is fine yet finding gold is finer.

My first underground blast was with Don in the Oriental mine. Quartz is bright white while gold is, well, golden. I was green. He led the way into a very strange environment. I just followed behind. We climbed up a black hole on a trail of shot rock and reached the end. Dangling from this solid face of quartz was a long orange fuse. Don grabbed the fuse and then pulled out a lighter from his vest. He told me what was coming. All I wanted to do was come away either one step ahead of Don or one step behind. Was I nervous? Would you be?

I thought, we’re going to blow up! I’ll trip and fall on the trail while running away from the blast. No, this miner, Don, must have done this many times. He’s alive so, to my frightened mine: enjoy this moment. I did. Fire in the hole! Fire in the hole!

Four or five years later, I wrote an announcement about gold. I’m a miner now and had something to say. It was two typed pages. “Don, would you read this and see if it is okay?” A couple of days later he gave it back with one comment. I was pleased that my work passed his scrutiny. My mistake was about blasting. I had done some since the first time explosives became an experience in mining. What I wrote was, “the next step in the process of blasting is to explode the dynamite.” Don said, “You don’t explode the dynamite; you ignite it. The dynamite explodes.”

I could not anticipate the dilemma facing me with such a simple change. Here is the gold mining master correcting my words. The remembrance brings a smile with a shake of my head, thoughts traveling in that head. What is this dilemma with such a small correction for mining truth? I decided a life path to follow: when seeking advice from an expert, a factual misrepresentation that the expert recognizes must be acknowledged.

The time was pre-computers. We used type writers and carbon paper, and I am a pecker typist. I faced retyping two pages with only one word to change. Perfection in thought and accuracy regarding hard rock gold mining is a pursuit we shared. If Don actually takes the time to read my drivel, I must honor his observations. I was working with The Master. It was not quick or easy.

Don is the hard rock, high-grade traditional California master of keeping an industry alive. He did it to satisfy his appreciations of life. Future choices became very clear. Now I knew another truth of breaking rock. I retyped the entire two pages. Decades later I found another truth of mining and life: “Truth like gold lies at the bottom.” Thank you Don.

One morning I went to the Oriental to see Don. He was underground and the outside man did not know when he would tag out. Time passed. I knew the outside man and asked him if I could help out while waiting for Don. He was screening ore over a portable grizzly: big rocks collected on the ground from the classification. Kevin said to grab a double jack and break them. I did. Don came out and directly to me. He gave me a tongue lashing, which confused me. My helpfulness put him in danger, if I got hurt. Whew! Another mind bender. I thought I was helping Kevin and Don’s operation. Why are my feelings so hurt? After our conversation I realized how my “help” had a potential to financially harm Don.

Don gave me the first opportunity to see and hold gold mined in Alleghany. I was invited for dinner at his home overlooking Kanaka Creek canyon. During dinner he said, “I’d like to show you something.” He disappeared down some stairs. When he returned he put what looked like a quarter pound of butter on the table. He said to go ahead and pick it up. Was I surprised! I fumbled at bit. This block of butter was very heavy. Over the years we had conversations about the subjects we both enjoyed: gold and gold mining.

The two most often places we met were at the Post Office in Alleghany or in our trucks. During one of our conversations Don said, “It’s a lonely life to run one of these gold mines.” Maybe he expanded in telling me what to expect. Good fortune allowed him to lead a private life. Sometimes Don’s impact came from what he didn’t say, what he left unspoken. We agreed that in mining and maybe in life, you never make up a lost round. We shared a love for our country and a dislike of specific directions. He listened to the multiple tales I was experiencing as a gold miner and always encouraged me, privately, to continue the good fight.

Our last conversation was one of the best. We met in our parking lot. He was pulling a portable air compressor behind his truck. He just finished some long hole drilling at the Oriental. He was a happy miner, still looking for gold at ninety years. It showed on his face and from his words. He died shortly after drilling that last round.
 By Michael Miller

11/16/2016  11:46PM

Time sensitive test.It is 2:46 pm in California
 By Michael Miller

05/31/2016  10:43PM

I just listened to Tour of the 16 to One Gold Mine – radio program by Operation Unite.

You will find the video link on this web site at the NEWS heading on the left. First time for me, but I enjoyed it.

Steve Baker did all the production. I just responded to the environment and his questions. If you want to know about high-grade gold mining and this great mine, check it out.
 By Michael Miller

05/17/2016  8:28PM

My post minutes ago on the Stock topic is timed nine hours later as will be this post. It is 11:28am in Alleghany right now so make your adjustments. Our web server is in Europe. We will try to correct this.
 By Michael Miller

12/25/2015  4:13PM

There are no words to be written that have not been told about this noted date in history.

Pray with me for a golden peace in earth.
 By Hans Kummerow

08/20/2015  9:29PM

I've read the news of gold in the Compromise Raise while travelling in Southern France. Hope that you were able to read the strike and dip of the new find before sacking it and that this find will lead the way to more profitable sections of that vein.
 By Michael Miller

08/17/2015  4:32PM

Scoop bugs me about my failures to keep the information flowing to the FORUM about the mine and operations. I took a break for several reasons. There is nothing exceptionally good or bad happening or I am busy, overworking and exhausted.

For the past two years our small crew did maintenance to the underground and surface: Nothing unusual but necessary to stay at it. WE also initiated a serious exploration program. Mining for gold took a back seat to exploration for gold targets and areas where the reward outweighs the risk (money). While we have yet to establish a workplace to mine, we found an area it extend our exploration program. Many factors are considered in making this determination.

In June, shortly before the annual shareholders meeting in Alleghany, a gold target was located with the new Mine Lab detector. (This is the one costing about $9,000). We broke a little rock and sacked about 88 ounces of gold which was later verified in the laboratory. We now have an exploration target that supports taking the time and monetary risks to develop. The crew may or may not sack more gold; however the area is so desirable that it is prudent to assign a crew to expand our knowledge. It is called the Compromise Raise Wing.

The Compromise Raise was driven around 1919, during a legal battle between the Sixteen to One and Tightner companies. One afternoon it was discovered that both companies were working the same vein…a miners’ face off. A raise was driven to divide the mines, called the Compromise Raise. It turned out that very large pockets were mined south of the raise (Sixteen to One) and not much was found immediately to the north Tightner). I heard this story years ago and didn’t give the area much more thought. Neither did our lessees, who worked the mine from 1983 to 1992.

No one alive today knows the full story, so I went back to our valuable map collection and studies the progress maps, read reports and relived the work of the miners. My conclusion is the Tightner Company was very busy sinking the Tightner Shaft, which is north of the Compromise Raise. Tightner was also finding a lot of gold further north so the bosses paid little attention to the ground immediately north of the Compromise workings. All of us paid little attention to it as well, until this year.

A quick look at our last decade of financials tells the story of little gold production to crow about. It has been a long, hard and difficult ten years. As one former miner told me, “Mike, this block of ground was just waiting there for you when the time was right.” The time is right.

For those of you at the annual meeting, you must have noticed my excitement and enthusiasm of finding a modest amount of gold with the likelihood that now we identified an exploration target of merit. I’ve quote the philosopher Josh Billings before. My grandfather and he were friends. I have some of their letters and view him the equivalent of Will Rogers. Josh wrote, “Experiences increase our wisdom but doesn’t reduce our follies.” Okay…. Henry Ford wrote about experiences another way. He wrote, “Life is a series of experiences, each one of which makes us bigger, even though sometimes it is hard to realize this. For the world was built to develop character, and we must learn the setbacks and griefs which we endure help us in our marching onward.”

Gold mining a deposit with our characteristics is not like making cars or trucks. Nevertheless, Henry Ford and many others who fought hard and long to march onward, developed a philosophy to cope with the issues they faced. So for you reading this, friends and supporters who are still with us on this public FORUM, Sixteen to One is marching onward towards a gold pocket worthy of those previously found, mined, sacked and stored. I expect it to happen this year.
 By Michael Miller

10/14/2014  2:53PM

When asked to prepare a vision for the Sixteen to One years ago, the following appeared from my thoughts about the future. The original inward analysis was written in the Fall 2007. Some investment types from world famous Silicon Valley figured it was a good thought to look into gold and called me. They called it a ‘trailing edge business’. (They considered theirs ‘leading edge ventures’.) We worked on a SWOT paper (strength-weakness-opportunity-threat), a new concept to me. I was perplexed when the main person brought up a lack of public transportation in Alleghany as a weakness; however we continued to talk through his ideas. Everything came to a halt when the events of 2008 dropped on America. In 2011 some interested people asked me, “What is your vision for this old company and mine?” I searched my computer files and clicked on A Vision and added note at the bottom. Well, today I searched A Vision again and found it still rings relevant.



The vision for Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. (the Company) includes America’s natural resources but focuses on the plentiful natural resources of California. While the vision may appear to be rather explicit or narrow, it includes gold and other mineral products, timber and water. It encompasses their utilization, management, development and marketing for maximum yield. No other public reporting company incorporated in the United States shares this focus.

This vision includes the social aspects of natural resources and the desperate need to protect the cultural as well as the physical environment of our precious natural resources. The Company combines all social sciences as well as most physical sciences into an operational program. It is an enlightened business plan of operation. The Sixteen to One’s past reveals a necessary approach of maintaining long-term assets with the short term needs of producing revenue. Its present status is demonstrative proof that a small natural resource company has survived the demands of natural resource utilization in today’s overly aggressive pro environmental outlook.

The Company will become known as the model for future natural resource development in California and the United States. Its operations will challenge the erroneous myths and prejudices of well meaning activists who hinder the sensible extraction of our natural wealth. These beliefs have turned the omnipresent demands for raw materials to natural resource production in other parts of the world, a dangerous reality.

A primary ingredient for our vision and subsequent model to expand is an infusion of working capital. There has been a noticeable lack of interest from Wall Street or private investors in forest and mineral production. The modest attention of the stock market towards America’s natural resource companies hurts future generations both in the United States and the world. Some patterns of investment are predictable. Investors’ interest in specific industries continues to move from one sector to another. The Gold Sector is abstruse, removed from the usual way of thinking and difficult to comprehend. The forest industry follows closely in its mystic.

A movement into natural resource ownership or participation is overdue. Unlike banking, savings and loan institutions, automobiles, real estate, airlines, pharmaceuticals, computers, utilities and practically every part of the complex mixture of America’s democratic capitalism, the natural resource companies are ignored. Perhaps one simple answer is that resource companies believe they must stay under the radar to function in today’s hostile anti-mining/anti-logging mentality. Perhaps a more likely reason is the pure misunderstanding that potential investment capital has about these small but vital industries.

The Company’s dream foresees an awakening of Americans to the realization that we need and will benefit from a return to domestic natural resource productivity. For almost fifty years America has been bombarded with media blame for past degradation to the environment. Some of the blame is justified. Many extraction and harvesting methods, however, are no longer practiced and cannot be assumed as what to expect from future operators.

American industries have learned from the past and clearly are the most environmentally sensitive operators in the world. This is one reason to bridge the ignorance gap of the population and our leaders. The “not-in-my-back-yard” position is a short-sided myth! Vital and necessary minerals and other resource products come from countries without the sensible regulations that have evolved in the United States over the past hundred years. The consequences of this are global.

Even though population growth and physical development exploded during the twentieth century, the world-changing roll of the United States has taken a more dramatic turn. A counter cultural shift emerged. America was considered the can-do country. Democratic and capitalistic social ideologies opened the doors for an expanding middle class, especially from workers identified as “blue collar”. Our natural resources were developed and accessible. What changed?

Somewhat reluctantly America became a world power and responsible leader. The blue-collar worker of today is losing economic ground as our society turns more and more to the service industries. But the need for manufacturing contemporary products in America remains; and in order to produce, industry requires raw materials. America has them in abundance. America also needs the backbone of its labor resources to insure our freedoms.

The time has come to broadcast how to treat our inherited resources in the 21st century. Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc., a US corporation, has all the pieces to lead this renaissance except one. That missing ingredient is explained in its Executive Summary. The oldest American mining corporation operating needs a grubstake to turn its dream into a reality. It will celebrate a 100-year, centennial birthday in October 2011.
Happy Birthday America. On July 4, 2011, the land that we appreciate and love is 235 years old.

Three more years have passed. Time for testing this vision is overdue. Those external events beyond control have raised no new weaknesses or threats to our Gold Mining Company. The opportunities are greater. Is anybody listening? October 14, 2013
 By Michael Miller

08/07/2014  1:12PM

Yesterday Scoop challenged me to get active with this FORUM. Many activities are underway: a meeting in Sacramento with California’s water regulators, filing a pre-hearing report for an upcoming MSHA public hearing August 26 – 28, 2014 in Nevada City, fire safety (forest restoration) for Alleghany, exploration renovations underground, testing -.testing - testing of RF equipment. Also, worldly events encouraged me to bump up the time to seek financial help for this old mine. Ah, yes time…a helper and a hindrance. Let’s get talking again.

In doing some house cleaning I came across some old musings. Here is one from my penciled notes on February 1, 1985, about a good old miner friend. I first met him in 1975 in Alleghany. His name is Ed Bruning. He gave me tastes of his years of experiences in gold mining. I treasure many still. This correspondence from the president is for you.

Words from Ed:
“People with a background in uniform rock structure have a hard time in Alleghany. You can’t depend on this rock. Running diamond drill holes is like following a snake. It’s even worse than following a sick whore.

“Caught the men who striped the steel from the Rising Sun mine. The old gold mills were heading to a WWII effort. Pulled them over by the ball field. Looked in the window and one guy had a 12 gauge shot gun aimed at me. Well, they got 90 days for the theft. I didn’t report the shot gun incident. I figured that was pretty fair since he didn’t kill me.”

Ed for me was one of the ‘old guys’. Life in the 1930;s and 40’s perhaps was simpler than now but certainly not easier. He was a dollar-a-year sheriff of Sierra County. Somewhere in my files are pictures of Ed.
 By Michael Miller

05/06/2014  10:50AM


His name is Ben Roosevelt Barker. Everyone knows him as “Buck”. His body went into the state of passive rest yesterday. His spirit will continue to roam the Sierra Nevada goldfields, so much a part and love of his life. His wish to spend his life close to the golden quartz vein below, the clean blue sky above and those priceless joys of living amidst the vibrant green Tahoe National Forest was granted. He handled solitude as it should be handled, as needful to the imagination as society is wholesome to the character.

Buck was born in the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains on November 7, 1932. Maryville’s population at this time was 5,000. Midway through his eighteenth birthday, he joined the Regular Army of the United States of America. He was honorable released from active duty on May 3, 1954. The Army brought him social and cultural experiences but he saw another path to follow. He joined the United States Air Force. He was Honorably Discharged the 24th day of September 1959 with the rank of Airman Third Class Regular Air Force.

Good Fortune, according to Buck, led him to a special spot where he repeated to his many friends and acquaintances, “These mountains are my home. My wish is to live here and die here when that time comes”. That time came May 2, 2014.

Buck was a gold miner and wholeheartedly supported the gold mining way of life. He lived it. Our paths crossed shortly after I arrived in Alleghany in 1974.
His stories from personal experiences of finding gold kept a listener wishing for more. His enthusiasm was part of his charm. By giving himself, he got others to sit with him for hours of relaxation. Of course a cold beer in his hand and a refrigerator full of cold ones helped as well. He always offered that cold one. Buck was at peace with the world in his later years.

Perhaps Buck would offer the following thoughts to his friends left behind. “I’m over eighty years on this earth. My body has treated me well yet you see its decline the past few years. Death is, to a certain extent, an impossibility which suddenly becomes a reality. My passing was most peaceful. Friends were present. I spoke. I exhaled. I moved on.”
 By Michael Miller

04/30/2014  2:46PM

Sent to two elected official, two public supervisors/employees and one newspaper a quote from Sierra Fund website:

Mining Reform Bill SB1270 Passes First Senate Hurdle
Posted on April 30, 2014

The Sierra Fund is sponsor of the bill, and Elizabeth Martin, CEO, spoke yesterday as an expert witness on the benefits of the bill. Senator Fran Pavley, Chair of the Committee and author of the bill introduced the bill with the note that this is the first time that SMARA has been revisited since legislation championed by California State Senator Byron Sher in the 1990s.
“This bill does not in any way interfere with County land use authority to permit mines,” noted Martin, a former Nevada County Supervisor and before that a Nevada County Planning Commissioner. “It does bring new tools to the Department of Conservation to help improve implementation of SMARA. It creates a Division of Mines overseen by a State Mine Inspector; and helps improve transparency in how mining fees are used to fund enforcement. And, of course, it puts a major focus on improving the rate and quality of the already mandated annual mine inspections.”

Outright bull shit. This bill opens the door for non-profits or lawyers to interfere with our elected and appointed governments to sue any natural resource entity anywhere in California without recourse for their false allegations of public harm.

Why otherwise intelligent people assuage their guilt by funding so many dangerously misdirected environmental non-profits is a situation to change. It is a waste of precious money, time and energy. A potential quote from typical followers of the Sierra Funds that have propagated like rabbits:

“Ouch, that extraction industry (a mine) created two distinct hazards: some dust that may or may have the potential to enter my exes, throat or nose and some loose rocks or debris that may cause me to trip and fall. Therefore I will sue because the Sierra Fund it is my right. Poor me! Oh poor little me. But my friends and I are here to save you and the public at large.”

These are dangerous times and being nice and polite will not work within the framework of recourse from current governmental environments. No, you kind souls with the soft knowing eyes, you are not saving the earth. You are placing rare and necessary financial resources in the hands of impostors. Without our farms, ranches forests and mines America’s freedoms will be lost. Why do billions of dollars go into organizations that embrace such non progressive opinion?
 By Michael Miller

04/24/2014  7:55AM

California Senate Bill 1270 is scheduled for a vote on April 29, 2014. It is an unneeded change with unpleasant consequences for the public at large, taxpayers and natural resource industries. It legislation is based in the Surface mining and Reclamation Act orSMARA. Sierra County will be represented at the meeting in Sacramento.

Upon request I drafted general areas for our representative to express.

Dear Lee,

I am very short on some time demands but here are quick thoughts. Defeating this bullshit legislation is important.. I will try to get more to you before the 29th.Mike

The Californian type of gold mining is like no other in other states or most foreign countries. The Sierra Nevada gold belt runs from Plumas County to Mariposa County. Even in this 200 mile mineral rich band, mining techniques must change as the geological deposit actually controls mining. The closer third parties including State regulators are to the small number of economically operable gold mines in California the better enforcement will result. California has an untapped wealth of gold but all mining operations will not become profitable. A local understanding of
the-lay-of-the-land” is the finest way to protect all underground mining operations. This protection is to be given to the general public, the gold mine operators and as important as the other two, the miners.

Gold mining is tough work. It ranks in the top category for blue collar employment. It also pays pretty well compared to jobs open to young adults. A track record exists to prove that regional governments (by this I mean Counties) have done a better job than State and Federal government. Just look at the super fund sites, which are managed from Washington and Sacramento. DETAILS ON REQUEST.

California counties not only are better prepared to regulate but are more likely to legislate the finer points of mining and its reclamation. Each county has a General Plan. It is a plan developed by residents of that county, reviewed by county planning commissions and ratified by county supervisors. What government agencies are more familiar with local/regional geography, geology, economics and politics than those closer to the bone. Military professionals say it this way, “Boots on the ground.” It applies to the interpretation of SMARA as well as it does for military victory.

SB 1270 must fail. It contains subtle language that opens the door to profiteering from reckless attacks on the vital, competent, necessary owners or operators of California’s resource producers: specious allegations of environmental damages which then leads the plaintiff to settlement money. The two fundamental components necessary to maintain or grow our social fabric are found in the natural resources or mining if you have an open mind about mining and the ranches and farms. The environment is not suffering as it did decades ago.

SMARA was created to repair real or future damage from open pit or surface excavations called mining. Its language is for surface mining. Underground mining should not be lumped into this necessary legislation. Local (county) regulations and public input contain adequate language now. Laying another government burden upon an existing struggling industry is unnecessary. Point out an underground operation today that is abusing the physical environment. If it is a problem it most likely is because of poor enforcement at the local level. This rare case (if any) can be handled through recognizing existing rules and those local public servants doing their job.. The State participation is not in the public’s best interest because it is not cost effective.
There is a most insidious, sneaky and outright fraudulent change in the proposed language. No doubt it was placed there by hungry lawyers. It allows third parties to file lawsuits under SMARA. Similar language has cost the taxpayers billions of dollars under the water protection.
Californians cannot open this door to needy lawyers and others using organizations such as non profits to become rich or famous or satisfy some latent personal guilt of its members.
 By Michael Miller

09/02/2013  4:13PM

My major at UC Santa Barbara was economics. The choice of upper division classes was limited. (The entire school enrollment was less than 5,000 students.) History of Labor was one of my electives. I’m glad I chose it. Labor is a topic that is very popular with northern California baby boomers, much discussed on local radio. Two stations have regular programs whose theme is the under appreciation of the working class. Sometimes it is so slanted and historically poorly presented that I perceive the misrepresentation constitutes brain-washing.

I’ve labored since I was five years old. My first job was gathering snails in my paternal grandfather’s garden. It was sixty six years ago but the pay was great…five cents per quart jar. I chose my hours and how long I wanted to labor. Four jars was my biggest day, but I don’t remember how long it took to fill them. He never ordered me around and usually gave me an extra nickel above the number earned. It made me work harder and proud. I became a grown up heading to the grocery store a couple of blocks away for an abazaba or an ice cream sandwich. I never spent all my cash.

Jobs changed throughout my life or better said, labor changed. The principles and lessons of labor never did. Grandpa made a difference in my growth.

Today I look at myself as wearing a white collar and a blue collar. I am very fortunate to labor in those two categories. Too many voices I hear or words I read separate those two classifications by associating blue collar labor as a whipping by the white collar crowd. Sure, examples exist; but statistically both are laboring and deserve recognition on Labor Day. All nations need both to maintain or increase the welfare of their people.

Exceptional males and females will rise above the average no matter what work they do. That is a good thing. Our governments and industries must allow it to happen. The work ethic of white collar and blue collar labor, however, is declining and presents a serious problem for today’s youngsters. Our youth need jobs, especially ones where performance is rewarded.

My blue collar cries out for the opportunity to offer jobs to young adults. My white collar screams for help from those wearing two white collars. Oh, I almost forgot: seniors with either color are the lightning rods leading the way to improve the work ethic.

“Labor in this country is independent and proud. It is not to ask the patronage of capital, but capital solicits the aid of labor.” Daniel Webster

Happy Labor Day.
 By Michael Miller

02/23/2013  2:49PM

While drafting the administrative hearing brief due shortly, the following letter was in the box of papers under review. Perhaps you may gain from reading another example of a federal distorted agency: MSHA. Ugh! Spending Saturday afternoon in work to correct wrongs and redirect MSHA.

Someone in government employment must rise to the responsibility of their position and act. On March 5th the newly appointed head of MSHA's Western Branch will join me in Alleghany for a rocking good time underground. In the quiet surroundings we will ponder the current situation and its problems. Today is not yesterday; we,ourselves, change and not continue always the same. Change, indeed, may be painful, yet needful. The solution may not be obvious but the wrongdoing is.

January 6, 2010
U.S. Department of Labor
Office of the Solicitor
90 7th Street, Suite 3-700
San Francisco, CA 94103

Dear Mr. Eliasoph,

Thanks for the e-mail. Your prior letter was not received.. The failure may be do to inefficiencies in my small operation; however it could be due to problems with the mail service. I sent my niece a check mailed to Utah the same time as you mailed this letter. As of yesterday she has not received it, so I must pay $25 to stop payment.

My initial comment to your letter dated December 21, 2009 is that most of the cases you cite do not fit our situation. The mine operation does not meet the standard for interstate commerce in its current, puny maintenance mode. I wish it were otherwise.

I will try to find the Ninth Circuit case you cite and study it carefully. I respect the Ninth Circuit especially since it ruled that MSHA was mistreating Original Sixteen to One. Inspector Steve Cain, the main federal agent responsible for the injustice against the mine, should have been fired as incompetent. Instead, he was promoted.

It is encouraging that some of the bad behavior from federal agents is no longer occurring. One reason this venerable gold mine is in a maintenance mode is due to the illegal activities it experienced for many years from your client. Times are tough. Poor execution of the safety legislation mandated by Congress cost us dearly.

The current operation is not subject to the federal legislative intent offered in your letter. Please do not think for a moment our concern is about safety. It is not. California has CAL/OSHA, which duplicates the services offered by its federal counterpart. The California inspectors and the agency have equal or better personnel available to evaluate safety concerns in California’s mines, such as ours. Our concern is survival by not having unnecessary obligations to show unnecessary people around the operation. Safety is the first consideration for all of us here in Alleghany.

I will read every case you cited to support or disprove our position. If you can email them to me, it will speed up the review. I assume you have them available or you would not have cited them. I agree with Judge Bulluck’s order. Since we are pursuing a settlement, it is reasonable to ask for additional time. The MSHA position you closed with seems to exclude judicial reason or the likelihood of a settlement:. That position is: “MSHA will not negotiate over its jurisdiction”. Also the assertion that “the Original Sixteen to One Mine is clearly and unambiguously subject to MSHA inspection and citations” is wrong. At this critical time of our unwanted maintenance program instead of running a crew of thirty or more miners working for gold, Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc’s grievance is not unclear and unambiguous. AN ACT (the legislation) does not apply at this time. This is correct.

Your assistance in forwarding the cases you cited will move our discussion along. I will print them, study them and seek additional legal counsel to determine how best to proceed.

Michael Miller, president

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