July 5, 2022 

Water and Arsenic: which came first?


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 By Michael Miller

05/12/2021  1:10PM

Yes, David. There are many entries on our FORUM with evidence to counter the harm created through ignorance. Too bad so few read it.

The initial reason I opened Sixteen to One mine for tours was for California's fourth grade children who are introduced to early California history. My grandfather (Reid), great grandfather (Henry),great great grandfather(Frank)and great great great grandfather (Henry) are Californians. The great great great great Henry ) who arrived in 1850. He tried gold mining in Placerville for about one month before settling in Sacramento.

What courage. They helped make California "The Place To Go".
 By David I

05/11/2021  2:06PM

Will you allow me to copy and paste your remarks to face book political leader ship?
 By David I

05/11/2021  1:58PM

These remarks are exactly true, and I suspect the money that goes to environmentalist associations from government consultation, AKA: "Con Job" is then donated back to a political action committee, that then will help a supporting candidate with their bid for election.
 By Michael Miller

02/25/2021  3:58PM

The endangered Species Act is 48 this year. In 1973 the Act was passed, but we had been preserving habitat and saving species well prior to that. For the first 20 years of the Act there was negligible impact on the West, and small impact in the East, most notably the fight over dams and the snail darter. The second 25 years of the Act has seen an explosion in the use of the Act as a weapon by environment groups to control and land and water. How bad has it become? Just look into California’s producing industries in farming, ranching, mining and logging. Who is footing the bill for our life necessities? You are.

The environmentalist attack is merely a symptom of the larger illness. The environmentalists have a dream of socialism in which they control the land and the means of production, but they are paid to protect it, rather than people being paid to produce with it.

Money flows to people whose value in the free market is exactly zero, ye they have created an industry entirely funded by taxpayers, whereby they earn princely sums of money like $750 an hour for lawyers to sue the government, and $200 an hour for frog researchers. In a free economy, who would pay a frog researcher even minimum wage, let alone $200 an hour?

Only your government can afford to force the taxpayers to pay this. How much did you receive last year to study endangered species, to prepare six page research papers or to sue the government?

The Sacramento Bee, the Huffington Post and others continue to screamed headlines of “Toxic Legacy of the Gold Rush.” Did anyone bother to actually ask if it was toxic? In over 150 years not a single verified person has been sickened by this mercury yet suddenly it’s “toxic”? The Singer Study, which costs taxpayer $280,000 to tell us major floods move sediment and with that sediment the mercury travels downhill, is a study in bilking the taxpayer. Why did we need to spend $280,000 for a six page study to tell us mercury travels downhill during major floods?

Four billion dollars per year goes to environmental groups. Four billion dollars buys a lot of propaganda. It’s clear the environmental groups aren’t doing a whole lot to save the environment such as planting trees or repairing eroding ditches, so where does the money go? It buys this kind of headline which then prompts yet more grant money to “study the problem.”

The environmentalists hide money in the shadow. They twist the truth to ensure a continued stream of grant money to study problems which may not exist. It’s a racket, it’s an industry. It’s corruption and greed. It’s time to shine the light of day and watch them scurry.

Protecting the environment was a simple thing. Let’s clean up the water, the air and ensure we’re not poisoning ourselves with toxic chemicals. It’s a reasonable goal and one in which laws were passed by Congress to do this. The toxic environment of the 1950s resulted in passage of the Clear Water Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Endangered Species Act. All laws we named producers are intimately familiar with. Somewhere along the way protecting the environment became an industry which gave rise to thousands of environmental groups all subsisting on taxpayer money.

The government throws a lot of money at these groups to “study” supposed problems. These supposed problems generally have very little to do with a clean environment and are often niche problems existing only because they have been deemed problems.

How did we get here? The genesis of the environmental movement was actually founded in conservationism, which is different than environmentalism. Conservationism, as supports by Teddy Roosevelt and Aldo Leopold held to an idea that natural resources were to be managed, conserved and preserved for future enjoyment. Not sealed off from humanity as the current environmentalists believe. Well, sealed from undesirable humans. Those who “tread lightly” are still welcome.

Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring” is largely acknowledged as the founding book of the environmental movement. To understand today’s environmentalists we start with Silent Spring as the baseline. Rachel Carson didn’t set out to ban a particular chemical, but the banning of DDT was the result. She addressed real problems with real consequences for humanity as they weren’t resolved.

If you hope to understand today’s environmentalist you need only understand money. Money is what drives them, not the protection of the environment.

"Truth like gold lies at the bottom"
 By Michael Miller

02/11/2021  11:42AM


May 18, 2010
Dear Dr. Goldman,

Andy Yeiser speaks highly of your approach to fact, evidence and fairness. May I come to Davis for a visit at which time I’ will bring some data and be available to speak with you. You are invited to visit the mine and see for yourself. Alleghany is about two hours from Sacramento and it is a beautiful drive. It would be an honor to show you a part of California unknown to the majority, one of the world’s greatest gold deposit.

The activities of the California water board in its treatment of Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc do not protect the environment, are not beneficial to the People of California as it claims in court papers and mocks the history of our great state. I was born and raised in Sacramento from parents and grandparents who were also born in California. It was a stroke of chance that I learned about the Sixteen to One mine in 1974 and moved to Alleghany to become a gold miner. I took over the company in1983 and became a director and president to the present. I live in Sierra County, understand its environment and, as a graduate of UCSB (combined social sciences/economics) have an experienced background including the value of GDP and those blue-collar jobs. Our state has been hijacked by well meaning environmental claimants to the determent of future generations. It is not the gold miner of today that is polluting California’s water. One only has to look to real estate development that has been unchecked for decades, urban sprawl and misguided enforcement programs.

Michael M. Miller
(530) 287-3223

Sixteen to One Mine Summary of Water Issue

California enforces the federal and state water law
Operators that treat or discharge water may be required to obtain a permit from the State Water Control Board through one of its area agencies. The Central agency in Sacramento administers Sierra County, the home of Sixteen to One. An application is submitted to the agency. After review and consultation, a permit may be issued when applicable. Conditions are important because the law has specific requirements. One is the requirement to use site-specific data in recommending performance and terms. Permits are reviewed and renewed every five years. Relevant times to understand the current dispute between the agency and the Sixteen to One are: 1993,1998, 2003 and 2008. The operators of the Sixteen to One significantly modified its use of water in 1998 (surface milling of the ore ceased). The operator notified the agency in writing that milling and its subsequent discharge did not occur. This means that there was no treatment of surface or ground water that passes through the Sixteen to One property. The agency took no action to modify its review and subsequent test requirements in light of this important information. Between 1998 and 2003 the agency failed to send any of its employees for an on-site inspection of the property. Instead it carried out its legislative authority blindly and failed to exercise the required specificity as the legislature intended.

Conditions in Sierra County and the Sixteen to One

The Sierra County General Plan is in good standing. It has six General Plan Themes. One is to “protect the County’s natural resource based industries”. Another is the “protection of the environment and economic value of the Count’s resources”. A third deals with limiting the extension of County services in order “to reduce fiscal impacts and protect the environmental and economic value of the County’s resources.” The Sierra County General Plan is intended to serve these purposes locally until the year 2012 though updates within that period are expected.

Maintenance of the County’s resource extraction economy is a primary goal of the General Plan. Mineral extraction, particularly gold mining, has also continued to be an important part of Sierra County’s economy and identity over the years. Minerals are the basis for one of the principal industries of the County.

The State Conservation Element Guidelines (Government Code Section 65302(d)) calls for attention to the conservation, development and utilization of natural resources including gold. The Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA) also calls for very specific policies and mapping within general plans to protect minerals of economic value. It is the goal to encourage, enhance and protect mining and mining related activities in Sierra County.

The definitive federal document regarding the mineralization of the Sixteen to One is the United States Geological Survey, Professional Paper 172, and entitled “Gold Quartz Veins of the Alleghany District of California”. According to this paper the following accounts are highly regarded as factual. During Cretaceous time and most of Eocene time the district was undergoing erosion. It is estimated that the amount of cover removed in the Alleghany District during these periods was at least 10,000 feet and possibly much more. During and after the filling of the veins there were continued movements along the walls. The minerals formed do not appear to have required the introduction of notable amounts of new material but resulted from the recrystallization of the minerals of the wall rock. Accompanying the dominant quartz were other minerals, chiefly arsenopyrite, pyrite, albite, oligoclase and barite. Arsenic is native to the area.

Kanaka Creek and its tributary North Fork of Kanaka Creek (Little Kanaka) flow through the Alleghany District. Both are classified as intermediate. Flow rate is seasonal. The creeks contain arsenic but there are no signs of environmental harm along its course.

Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc is the owner and operator of the Sixteen to One mine. It incorporated in California in 1911 and is the oldest American gold mining corporation. It is also very small is size and global impact. Its gold is free milling and the process does not use chemicals to break apart the various elements contained in the ore. It is a significant local employer, at one time the largest private employer in Sierra County.
 By fredmcain

03/08/2019  5:11AM


Thanks for an excellent response. I know that you have devoted your career and nearly your whole life to this mine. So, I have the faith that you know exactly what you are doing. I hope and pray that we will eventually be able to completely put this whole rats nest behind us.

I continue to have faith in you.

Best Regards,
Fred M. Cain
 By Michael Miller

03/07/2019  1:38PM

It is my joy to turn on the computer (Forum comes up) and see a new entry, especially yours. My first order of office business is answering your question. Is the Sixteen to One mine discharge violating the law? A straight forward answer….NO, the water (originating from nature’s release as snow or rain) flowing through the rock does not trigger a violation under the California Law known as Porter-Cologne Act. Also known as the California Water Code, Section 7, it was created in 1969. It is the law that governs water quality regulation in California. It was established to protect water quality as well as the beneficial uses of water. Is Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. in violation of a water law? NO!

Over years the water agency made up regulations and as the regulations grew in scope and size they exceed the laws (Porter-Cologne and Clean Water Act) that birthed the concept of water regulations to protect the public. Staff members change but a prevailing power/control persona reflects the agency. The Sixteen is not battling this agency. There may be no acceptable alternative and our very qualified consultant continues working with staff towards a solution. He is experienced and the staff is responding to the facts. There is language in both pieces of legislation (federal Clean Water Act), whereby a fair and impartial judge must lean our way. We believe that the Sixteen, the California people and agency will benefit.

Reasonableness, benefit use and hard data lawfully prevail. What is beneficial use? "The question is one of fact, a very general one, to be left broadly to judgement. The result in any particular case will depend upon the attitude which others, as reasonable people, will take towards the evidence as a whole when presented to them. Reasonable considerations of the "duty of water," and "beneficial use" are expressed in scientific units: it must not be excessive, examination is made by the facts of each case. The ruling for the duty of water is a matter of proof separately in each case according to the facts put in evidence.

Fred, the answer to your question is no. Below it the appeal I submitted to the State Water Board. In California every person has the right to petition governmental agencies. I chose to exercise this right and wrote the following. First time published. Sorry for a wordy reply but necessary. NO was not enough for you and others to really get it.

State Water Resources Control Board January 8, 2018
1001 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Members of the Board,
The Porter Cologne Act passed in California legislation as solutions of water quality, conservation, control and utilization. What water issues troubled elected officials, industries and businesses in the 1960’s? Fundamental observations, conditions, predictions and downright speculations contributed to this law. It was justified according to give and take actions by Californians for the benefit of Californians: protected for use and enjoyment by the people of the state. The Legislature declared regulations shall be reasonable, considering all demands made on our water quality and considering the total values involved, beneficial and detrimental economic and social, tangible and intangible. Development projects were growing in scope and size; however the law specifically cites factors of precipitation, topography, population, recreation, agriculture, industry and economics shall apply.

The law established a State Board and regional boards. They shall conform to and implement the policies of Chapter 1, (policy) at all times of the Act. Water quality objectives mean the limits or levels of water quality constituents or characteristics which are established for the reasonable protection of beneficial uses of water. The first item listed for a water quality control plan is: (1) Beneficial uses to be protected. The intent of the Legislature is unequivocal: waste or contamination must create a hazard to the public health through poising or the spread of disease.
One key in the Legislative and administration process was science. Science began and drove concepts and words that eventually were passed by our Senate and Assembly. Science, after all, is knowledge, understood facts or principles. Knowledge is gained by systematic observations, experiment, and reasoning; knowledge is coordinated, arranged, and systematized. Its goal is the prosecution of truth thus known, both in the abstract and as an historical development.

What John Stuart Mill wrote 160 years ago holds true today: “Since all phenomena which have been sufficiently examined are found to take place with regularity, each having certain fixed conditions, positive and negative, on the occurrence of which it invariably happens, mankind has been able to ascertain the conditions of the occurrence of many phenomena. The progress of science mainly consists in ascertaining these conditions. Science is nothing but the finding of analogy, identity in the most remote parts of the subject.” There is no science involved with the enforcement of the current CVRWQCB in Rancho Cordova, California.
In science, you must not talk before you know. In art, you must not talk before you do. In literature, you must not talk before you think. In government all three apply to our public agencies, public employees, elected and appointed officials. Science persists with the knowledge of things, whether ideal or substantial. Art works the modification of substantial things by our substantial power. Literature brings to the mind the modification of ideal things by our ideal power. All are lacking with the Prosecution Team, the Administration Team, most of the Board members and the Executive Team.

The work of the true masters of Science is a perpetual striving after a better and closer knowledge of their environment from the planet on which their lot is cast and the universe in the vastness of which our planet is lost. CVRWQCB execution of the Porter Cologne act has become an illegal taker of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness with no sense of support from Science, Art or Literature. It’s good and worthwhile intent turned into a sham, nothing more than a trick put upon the public. It has become evil that lacks any bearing on its expectations. The people should fear the destroying of long standing public and private benefits of our water. If the environment is sought to be defended or pressured for the safety and benefits of Californians, some advocates and some enforcers twist, ignore and lie. It is a sham and the goodness we know and expect will be lost for future generations. The actions I witnessed at the December 8, 2017, public CVRWQCB hearing will alarm Californians as I was alarmed.

Porter- Cologne Water Quality Control Act is the law. It preempts all other plans, such as the Valley Basin plan. Its importance in Californian’s behaviors patterns the relationships between the Constitution of the United States of American and the Constitution of the State of California. Law has definitions: recognize sham answers, sham defenses, and sham pleas. The entire agenda item on December 8, 2017, was so clearly shameful, in fact, presenting no substantial issue. It is make believe to assert that natural waters traveling through the Alleghany aquifers, above and underground, produce harmful conditions to public health. An historical mantra holds true here in Sacramento: “We must have a case that we do not sham fallacies upon the people for current reason.”

Fear of this material (natural elements for life) and native water precipitating high in the Sierra Nevada mountains is a pretense for hijacking industrial freedom and rights, justify employment for the prosecutors, fatten self-serving appetites, and is illegal, immoral and against both State and Federal Constitutions. “Truth, like gold, lies at the bottom.”

In reference to the degree of specialization on display during this public meeting, the sciences may be arranged as follows:
(A) Mathematics, the study of relations of the parts of hypothetical constructions, involving no observation of facts, but only of the creations of our own minds, having two branches – (1) pure mathematics, where the suppositions are arbitrary and (2) applied mathematics, where the hypothesis as simplifications of real facts – and branching again into (a) mathematical philosophy, as the theory of probabilities, etc.
(b) mathematical physics, as analytical mechanics, etc. and (c) mathematical physics, as political economy.

(B) Philosophy, the examination of and logical analysis of a general body of fact is a science in which reason and history precedes successful dealing with special elements of the universe – branching into (1) logic and (2) metaphysics.

(C) Nomology, the science of the most general laws or uniformities, having two main branches – (1) psychology and (2) general physics.

(D) Chemistry, the determination of physical constants and the study of the different kinds of matter in which these constants differ.

(E) Biology, the study of a peculiar class of substances, the protoplasms, and of the kinds of organisms into which they grow.

(F) Sciences of organization of organisms, embracing (1) physiology, the science of the working of the psychical structures of organs and (2) sociology, the science of psychical unions, especially modes of human society, including ethics, linguistics, politics, etc.

No science was on display by the Prosecution Team, the Advisory Team or other public employees. My wonderment is that the seven board members voted six to one in support of the staff with so little knowledge of what they were voting for. Science is nothing but the finding of analogy, identity in the most remote parts of the subject: water. “The work of the true man of Science is a perpetual striving after a better and closer knowledge of the planet on which his lot is cast, and of the universe in the vastness of which that planet is lost.” –J.N. Lockyer. What science triggers the serious efforts across the spectrum of living in our Golden State? What is the duty of water?
Terms contain some qualification to denote that it must not be excessive are to be based in science. The buzz ‘word’ has become ppb. The word "reasonable" being considerably used in law is not used now in science: reasonable in care and diligence, reasonable in economic evaluations (cost/benefits), reasonable unavoidable. This board lacks an understanding of reason because the staff either fails to know or withholds important information (exculpatory evidence or statements which tend to clear Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. from alleged fault or guilt). The duty of water is found not to be a constant factor for all places but varies with the character of natural surroundings, climatic conditions, diversification of environments and various other conditions.

Kanaka Creek does not present a water quality problem for fish, plant life or aquatic insects. No one suffers a beneficial loss downstream from the ancient 21 portal. During the meeting the question, “What is the full definition of serious?” was brushed aside by staff. The proper action for the Board to take at this meeting was to table the topic and send it back to staff for review and clarification on the issues raised by Operator. The insistence that it could not take this action is weak
I am aggrieved by the action at the December 8, 2017 CVWQCB meeting.

I file this petition for review with the State Water Board.
I hereby attach to this petition by reference the three attachment filed by Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. as support for my request for the petition. I have suffered great financial losses due to the ongoing behavior if CVRWQCB in the Kanaka Creek watershed. I have suffered great mental strain and harassment.

Required Information:
Michael Meister Miller PO Box 941 Alleghany, CA 95910 (530) 287-3224
Michael M. Miller
 By fredmcain

03/07/2019  4:43AM

Michael & Group,

Thanks for the update! Unfortunately, I don't know what can be done about this CWB issue. The Wall Street Journal has repeatedly railed against California's extremist environmental laws and the situation does not appear to be getting any better.

Farmers have suffered crop failures because they could not get irrigation water during the drought. Meanwhile, millions of acre feet of water from the Sacramento River were getting dumped into the Bay to keep some kind of fish thriving. Unbelievable!

But the most unfortunate bottom line is that *IF* we are in violation of the law, there isn't much we can do about this. The law is the law and the most sympathetic court in the Land to our cause will not be able to side with us if we are in violation.
I say "IF" 'cause I don't know this for sure but, are we in violation?

If that's the case then there is one and only one thing that can be done. The law has to be changed through the state legislative process.

Unfortunately, given the extreme left-leaning government that is in control of the statehouse, that is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

Californians will have to put a more conservative leaning state government in power to accomplish this.

So, what happens in the meantime? I don't know; I wish I did. The situation looks depressing. I know you have fought a long and very tiring fight to keep this mine operating. It is my sincere hope and prayer that you can continue doing so.

I am still trying to buy shares through my Vanguard IRA. But that's getting harder and harder to do. Sometimes I leave a good till cancelled order open for months before it's filled. If anyone knows of a good broker that still wants to deal in penny stocks, lemme know.


Fred M. Cain,
Topeka, IN
 By Michael Miller

03/06/2019  2:17PM

California has multiple reputations around the United States. I get phone calls from dozens of states every year and noticed that this past year non Californians are getting aggravated with California’s political and business behaviors.

By choice I reduced comments about our day to day operation on the FORUM. The potential downside interference (jealous or mean self-serving miscreants) outweighs informing Forum readers how excited and proud I am of our current endeavors underground and in the realms of government regulation.

MSHA has taken notice of the sad situation or lack of finding experienced underground miners looking for an inspector job. I agree and wrote a proposal offering the Sixteen to One as a real-life laboratory for hands on training to remedy the problem. Our last quarterly inspection resulted in one paper citation. I received support from small coal miners in the east who are experiencing the same problem with MSHA. A mining engineer wrote me saying these coal miners are familiar with our work to correct the situation.

Yes, groups or individuals don’t like the successes and enjoyment of gold mining. They spread lies, going so far as calling or writing governments with false stories. Water is one area where California regulators are 100% violating state and federal laws in enforcement. From my perspective our situation is moving to correct these injustices. A very competent person took an interest. Our water does not affect the beneficial use of anyone in California. His assistance is gaining this awareness. I spoke with him today; it takes time; our specific situation is known at various levels and known to be benign.

My biggest concern is the lack of adequate working capital for increasing production to sound economic levels. The dynamics of size are against us and have been for a long time. Management developed a fantastic gold opportunity for someone with a large stash of cash and no comfortable place to put it. It has huge tax advantages, preferential gold return and with recent federal legislation is dynamic in its overall appeal.

Check “Opportunity Zone”, a federal program encouraging investment in low life areas of the United States. Senator Tim Scott from South Carolina is a driver. I wrote and received a reply. The Sacramento Bee , February 24, 2019, printed an article from New York Times about Opportunity Zone. Word is spreading. Alleghany qualifies as one of 8,000 locations in the USA.

Fred, as you know from prior writings, someone must find the Sixteen to One. I’m not going to Washington DC or beyond searching for money. I’m not good at it, and my time is best spent in Alleghany with the mine and office tasks. Also, because of what our directors know about our assets, details will not appear in public. Details will be provided to qualified people, corporations or companies. Qualified is the key word, no fishing allowed.

Because of my knowledge, the wisdom, experience and knowledge of others, I can confidently state. “Our Company has the most proven gold deposit in the world with the fewest working miners, hundred years operating experience (with the library to support it) and a situation to utterly blow the socks off those who choose to see for themselves”. We are motivated to, as President Trump says, “make a deal”. The timing for gold investment arrived yet few will understand.

You are a bright light with your writing on FORUM. Please keep it up. How will and who will help those fortunate, new Limited Partners or new General Partner find this opportunity? All the pieces are in place. This is my invitation: CHECK US OUT: participation in mining gold, gold known in place and acquiring gold in return, real gold. It ain’t no stock deal! Help requested.
 By fredmcain

03/06/2019  4:32AM

Michael and Group,
I was wondering if we could hear an update of the fiasco with the California Water Board (CWB)? What, exactly is the latest on this? Based on what I'd read in our last two annual reports, I was REALLY hoping this was behind us now. Is that for sure the case? Has this issue been put to bed?

You know, I see a lot of posts on this forum on the subject of gold in general but very, very little on the mine itself. From the beginning, I have been very interested in the operation of the Original Sixteen To One mine. It's our operation that fascinates me and not what gold is doing so much.

Sure, it's really swell to get updates on what gold is doing but what about the mine itself? Can we get any news on the mine to satisfy us Original 16 to 1 mine buffs?

No news is as important to me right now than what's happening with the CWB. I worry about this 'cause it's my utmost fear that the CWB just plain wants the mine closed, that's all. They are using the water issue as part of their agenda to get the mine closed and the site "cleaned up".

We know that the Forest Service wants it closed, and I shutter to think what the Sierra Club and other California environmental groups think about the subject.

I will say this. Michael Miller has done an outstanding job at keeping this mine operational against all odds. But what about some news? I fear that no news is probably bad news.

Fred M Cain,
Topeka, IN
 By Michael Miller

01/26/2018  2:27PM

Water is a California issue both in amount, distribution and condition. For too many years our Sixteen to One has been harassed by a public entity known as California Regional Water Quality Control Board - Central Valley Region. Read this Forum topic to gain a real view of how corrupt our public water agency has evolved from the legislative intent.

Not all the public employees are practicing corruption; however some are willingly doing so. Most Californians wants good water policies. The time and money spent to keep our water safe, clean and uphold the seasoned laws and customs of beneficial uses rights and responsibilities have vanished from the public consciousness. Our situation up in the Sierra Nevada needs your attention and support.

Following is a letter required to conduct a public hearing with the State Water Resources Control Board. As an individual I also filed a letter (a right for all Californians) seeking relief from the actions of the Central Valley staff and board members. California has become notorious as, well you slip in the next word after notorious. This behavior costs all of us when it has zero beneficial benefits. A goal is to replace ignorance with knowledge.

State Water Resources Control Board January 8, 2018
1001 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Members of the Board,

Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. (OPERATOR) incorporated in San Francisco, California on October 9, 1911, has continuously operated its gold properties in Sierra County, becoming the longest operating gold mine and oldest United States of America gold mining company. We are proud of our accomplishments and our State’s history of gold and its importance to our country. During California’s Sesquicentennial celebrations, we were the only gold mining Company to participate. In the 1990’s, our operation was the largest private employer in Sierra County. I became president of the “Sixteen to One”’ in 1983. I write today requesting a hearing according to “Instructions for Filing Water Quality Petitions” on your website.

Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc.
PO Box 909
Alleghany, CA 95910
(530) 287-3223

OPERATOR request a hearing with you to present new evidence, seek answers to our questions of staff and challenge misinformation in a hearing held by the Central Valley Regional Water Control Board (CVRWQCB) on December 8, 2017. We are also confident that evidence presented by staff to the board members is inconsistent with California laws regarding relevant water issues. We received a copy of the result of the hearing by mail dated 14 December 2017, attached to this letter. We challenge this decision.

One main abuse in power is the understanding of beneficial rights. The Prosecution Team and the Advisory Team violated Sections 13000, 13001, 130029 (d), 13050(d),(f),(h) and (j)(1) and (l)(A) and (D)(q) (1) in their attempt to prosecute OPERATOR. The Prosecution Team and the Advisory Team violated Article 3. Regional water quality control plans: 13240, 13241 (a),(b),(c),(d), 13242(a), 132639(e), 13263.1, 13301.1, 13399 to fairly and accurately carryout California’s Legislators intent of established laws. The action taken in the December 8, 2017,public hearing was inappropriate, improper and illegal based on the specific site, Kanaka Creek watershed in Sierra County and an ancient tunnel that was driven into the north side of Kanaka Creek in 1865.

The regional staff has no Solution Team, which was raised by Original Sixteen to One president and its attorney during the hearing. The extremely high dollar penalty puts the ongoing operation in jeopardy, affecting the jobs and livelihood of local men, financial loss to over 1000 California shareholders and the most historic gold mining operation in our State. It puts in jeopardy tax revenue to Sierra County, California and the United States of America. It puts in jeopardy the availability of natural resources (gold, building stone), forest management and fire protections that benefit the public. The presentation was negatively slanted at the outset against OPERATOR. Its purposes appear to extracting money, possibility closing the operation and justify the very existence of the Prosecution Team.

CVRWQCB staff members refused to mitigate or engage in serious mitigation discussions initiated by OPERATOR to amend WDRs Order R5-2015-0002 (NDPES CA0081809) or introduce to the BOARD evidence that OPERATOR displayed good faith efforts towards eliminating or reducing century’s long natural water conditions relevant in the Kanaka Creek watershed.

The discussion by board members is worthwhile for you to gain an understanding of this board and its members. There is no doubt that all the members want to protect the water environment in California; however their ignorance was obvious from a science view, a beneficial view, a reasonable view and a common sense view. The staff failed to address these, which you can correct. These issues were raised at the December 8, 2017, hearing by attorney Klaus Kolb or president Michael M. Miller; however the Advisory Team more than once stifled Board discussions. Relevant questions, answers to questions and direct testimony from OPERATOR were denied. This was not the type of a public hearing that most California board members, public employees or elected official person would be proud to support. OPERATOR ordered the audio from the hearing and recommends you obtain a transcript for your individual review. A copy of this petition with attachments will be sent to CVRWQCB immediately after emailed to you.

Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. requests the State Water Board use all of its options to redress this regulatory abuse. An evidentiary hearing is requested. Petitioner includes this Summary of Arguments:

Violation of Porter- Cologne Water Quality Control Act

Violation of California Central Basin Plan

Violation of Waste Discharge Requirement (WDRs) Order R5-2015-0002 (NDPES CA0081809)

Reckless exclusion of Exculpatory Evidence in presentation to Board

Portrayed OPERATOR as scofflaw

Violated ARTICLE X SEC.2 of Constitution of the State of California…the general welfare requires that the water resources of the State be put to beneficial use to the fullest extent of which they are capable and that the waste or unreasonable use or unreasonable method of use of water be prevented, and that conversation of such waters is to be exercised with a view to the reasonable and beneficial use thereof in the interest of the people and for the public welfare.

Sincerely yours,
Michael Meister Miller
Original Sixteen to One Mine

Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board
11020 Sun Center Drive, “200
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670-6114

(Note): Email sent to waterqualitypetitions@waterboards.ca.gov contains this letter plus two attachment also included in the US Postal envelope to above address.

 By Michael Miller

10/18/2017  9:08AM

John Stossal reports:

Anderson Cooper's show recently featured a "two-part exclusive" that claims Donald Trump's EPA director had conspired with the CEO of a mining company to "withdraw environmental restrictions" so the company could dig "the largest open pit mine in the world in an extremely sensitive watershed in wild Alaska."

The report was enough to horrify any caring person. CNN showed beautiful pictures of colorful salmon swimming in Bristol Bay, and the reporter intoned dramatically, "EPA staffers were shocked to receive this email obtained exclusively by CNN which says 'we have been directed by the administrator to withdraw restrictions' ... protection of that pristine area was being removed."

No! A "pristine" area and gorgeous salmon were about to be obliterated by a mine! I would have believed it, except I happened to report on that mine a couple of years ago.

I knew that the real scandal was not EPA director Scott Pruitt's decision to "withdraw the restrictions"; it was what President Obama's EPA did to the company's mining proposal in the first place.

Zealots at the EPA had conspired with rich environmental activists to kill the mine before its environmental impact statement could even be submitted. This was unprecedented.
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform later concluded: "EPA employees had inappropriate contact with outside groups and failed to conduct an impartial, fact-based review."

Now, appropriately, Pruitt undid that censorship of science.
But CNN, implying devious secrecy said, "according to multiple sources, he made that decision without a briefing from any of EPA's scientists."


But Pruitt didn't require opinions from scientists. He didn't approve the mine. He didn't make a science decision. He simply followed the law and allowed a company to submit a proposal.
Also, despite CNN's repeated depictions of salmon on Bristol Bay, it turns out that the proposed mine would not even be on the Bay. It would not even be 10 miles away, or 20 miles away, or even 50 miles. The proposed mine would be about 100 miles away.

Did CNN mention that? No. Never. We asked CNN why. And why not point out that the mining company is just being allowed to start the EPA's long and arduous environmental review? They didn't get back to us.
Of course, explaining that wouldn't fit CNN's theme: Evil Trump appointee ravages environment.

Their reporter did at least speak with the mine's CEO, Tom Collier, who tried to explain.
"It's not a science -- it's a process decision."
But the reporter, Drew Griffin, wouldn't budge. He called Collier "a guy who wants to mine gold in an area that many scientists believe will destroy one of the most pristine sockeye salmon sporting grounds in the whole world."

By the way, Collier isn't an evil Republican-businessman-nature-destroyer. He's a Democrat who once ran environment policy for President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. CNN never mentioned that either. Instead, the reporter implied evil collusion: "This looks like the head of a gold mine went to a new administrator and got him to reverse what an entire department had worked on for years."
Here at least the report was accurate. Obama's environmental department did try to kill that mine for years. They colluded with groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of America's wealthiest environment groups.

The NRDC is mostly made up of anti-progress lawyers who want no mines built anywhere. Don't believe me? I asked NRDC spokesman Bob Deans:

STOSSEL: There are some mines where NRDC says, great, go ahead?

DEANS: It's not up to us.

STOSSEL: Are there any?
DEANS: It's not up to us to green light mines...

STOSSEL: Are there any you don't complain about?

DEANS: Yeah, sure.

So I asked him for some names. He and the NRDC still haven't provided any.
If these zealots and their sycophants in the media get their way, America will become a place with no mining, no pipelines, no oil drilling, no new ... anything.

The acronym used to make fun of anti-development attitudes used to be NIMBY -- Not In My Back Yard. Now it's BANANA: Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody.
 By Michael Miller

12/13/2016  6:02PM

Dear Forum participants,
When you have some time, check this out. Pass it along to others as our operation moves forward towards increased gold production and excitement in 2017.

December 12, 2016
Hello Everyone,

Wanted to let you know that our radio tour into the 16 to One Gold Mine in Alleghany is now complete. Go to the following URL (Resources tab in the Operation Unite website and look under the Meet Your Mentor subsection:

You will find the radio show and two video clips from our day's activities.

I had a wonderful time recording our experience in the mine and appreciate each and every one of you. Mike, thanks again for opening up the mine to Meet Your Mentor and the time that you shared with us. Ronit, hope we added even more excitement and focus to your geologic pursuits.

Happy Holidays everyone and have a wonderfully prosperous new year.


Stephen J. Baker
Hydrogeologist, California/Washington PG, HG

December 13, 2016
Dear Steve,
Nice work. I clicked the web site and your video magically appeared. Others should find the two videos an interesting trip. I did.
 By bluejay

07/21/2016  4:08AM

The EPA limits arsenic in tap water to 10 parts per billion. But levels of this metal may be up to 100 times higher in well water in some areas of the country. Even so, an arsenic level as high as 1,000 parts per billion may not be something to get upset about. Arsenic has actually been approved in high dilution as a safe homeopathic remedy in the U.S. for decades with no ill effects.
But if testing shows your well water contains dangerous levels of arsenic, you should take measures to decontaminate it via aeration or reverse osmosis.

Always on the side of science,

Marc S. Micozzi, M.D., Ph.D.
Insiders' Cures
 By cw3343

08/13/2015  12:11PM

Just wondered if anyone was following the horrible mistake that the EPA performed in Colorado when trying to clean up an old mine. Instead of blaming the EPA (who admitted fault), the L.A. Times had a headline that had something to do with "the problem of hard rock gold mines".

Props to the crew of the 16 to 1 over the years in dealing with this type of negative portrayal, which is pretty much nonstop in California.
 By Michael Miller

02/24/2015  7:37AM

Sierra county Superior 'Court Judge signed the stipulated agreement last week. Company is informed by its
Attorney that the issue is finished.
 By Michael Miller

02/09/2015  12:28PM

Fred, to your question below:

 By fredmcain

02/09/2015  5:04AM


Monthly payments? Monthly payments for what?


Fred M. Cain
 By Michael Miller

02/08/2015  11:51AM

Electric power was lost Friday in our area due to high wind more than rain. Alleghany was last to get it back, sometime early this morning. I opened my email and read the two following letters. Though it is news worthy.

From the California district Attorney’s office: Hi Klaus. The Board approved the settlement in closed session today, and the Executive Officer signed the Stipulated Judgment. I’ve attached a fully executed copy, and I’ll send the original to the Court.

From Klaus, Company attorney: Hi Mike: The settlement is done – see below. You’ve dodged a potentially fatal bullet for the Mine, but now have the headache of finding the money for monthly payments until you find that big pocket of gold to finally pay everyone off!

Sierra County superior Court scheduled a court appearance dater on February 27, 2015 at 8:30 am for a hearing on the settlement. Other people are happier about this settlement than I. Perhaps additional revelations will better inform the regulators in California that there are reasons why California was rated as the lowest state in the union for its regulation enforcement against business. On the positive side of these matters, the Chicken Little advocates and doomsday criers have bent their pic. Our governments with elected, appointed and advocates must stand back and look at the positive environmental results that have occurred. Remember the Cayuga River in Cleveland on fire? I do and was there on a visit. We’ve come a long way. I just think some people need to bitch!
 By Michael Miller

02/02/2015  4:07PM

Remember discussing the water permitting process and the public meeting to be held? It will take place Thursday February 5, 2015 at 10:30am. The staff proposed a permit with significant reductions in testing, which relates to less costly a process. Water is a hot topic in California. Last January was the driest January recorded. San Francisco had zero rain. Sacramento had .01 of an inch. Alleghany did better but not by much.

California and all states must meet federal water standards. States may write more restrictive regulations up to a point. California is one of those states. You may remember that after a national review, five states rated a “F” for hostilities towards business via regulations. Only one state got an “F” minus. Yes, it was my home state, California. This is not something our governments should be proud of or gloat about. I believe that changes are occurring. The pendulum swung beyond reason and may be moving towards a healthier environment for our state. Working with the staff over the past two years is better than working with staff in 1998, 2003 and 2008, when the permits were reviewed. I remain argumentative about two areas that seem to be in conflict. We have fifteen minutes to make our Sixteen to One points to the Board.

Below is my response to a new mandatory requirement called an Infeasibility Analysis. It will be discussed on Thursday.

February 2, 2015
Gayleen Perreira
Senior Water Resources Control Engineer
NPDES Permitting
Sacramento Office

An infeasibility Analysis for Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. (Company) for underground water leaving an old adit named the 21 tunnel is speculative to evaluate as to complying with the revised limits for drinking water by the federal government. The Company spent much time and money with various suggested methods for public water districts, private water systems and home owner drinking water to reduce arsenic in drinking water. The results caused discoloration and the release of iron into the water. Site conditions contributed to these results. The discharge is remote, difficult to access in winter and inches above the intermittent Kanaka Creek during normal seasons.

With the assistance of the California Water Boards, the Company will continue to explore and test methods to reduce the level of natural arsenic to or below the federal level for drinking water. Here are four ways: (a) introduction of additional water for dilution; (b) pump water for irrigation; (c) identify abnormal isolated influx of arsenic and treat underground; (d) locate natural runoff underground at higher elevations and eliminated flow into Kanaka Creek.

It is believed that the water sources are directly the result of storm water seeping into fractures very close to the old tertiary gravel contact with bedrock. This area has been inaccessible for over eighty years. An exploratory expedition through old workings will be considered as a possibility to catch the water before it enters the 35 miles of underground levels. Perhaps an area of highly mineralized arsenopyrite will be found and can be isolated from surface water runoff, thereby eliminating native arsenic entering surface water.

The Company estimates that two years are required to explore the actual property in order to establish the best management practice for a reduction of arsenic. The Company will continue to explore the scientific or technological industries for a better solution than those known today. Considering the various paths to follow, it is reasonable to expect a significant process that will permanently bring the Company’s property in compliance within drinking water standards, if required, will occur before or in 2020.

Michael Meister Miller,

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