April 23, 2017 

Another U.S. precious metals miner goes foreign


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 By Dave I.

03/02/2009  10:57PM

Dear Michael Miller,

I stand in opposition to the fact of congress is once again performing an abortion on the 1872 mining law and that which is being aborted is the freedom and opportunity of American Citizens to seek and hold the mineral wealth of our nation. I ask congress not to do this. To let the 1872 Mining Law to stand as it has to provide our nation with the resources to the demand of our society and nation.
The History of the congress for the last half of the twentieth century and now the beginning of the twenty first century has done more to steal the freedom of the people than any time in the history of our nation. That the liberty of the United States is more and more being taken from us in bits and pieces by the continuous siege on the good laws that were developed to keep America free and vital. This freedom and vitality has so impressed other nations that they are now emulating us for good reason, they want freedom. That does not mean that we want any less freedom.
The examples of freedom lost are many, such as the gutting of the homestead act, so that it is only a law in name. The creation of the wilderness law which imposes restrictive use of national land for the benefit of the few. The same restriction for the wild and scenic rivers law.
All were created for a grand cause of preservation, but they shame the face of liberty for these causes prevent access by the thirsty, the disabled, and the old. The Nation has the responsibility to manage our national lands thru multiple use policy as the best benefit to all of us. To provide a safety valve for people to live when private ownership becomes so restrictively priced.
Our nation needs no change of the 1872 mining law. Our nation does need a law with regards to making laws. A law that must require any new law to be tested to the intent of the constitution by a majority vote of the house and senate prior to any law being considered for a vote of enactment. This would be a commitment by our law makers that would preserve the environment of peoples freedom and the law of the constitution that protects that freedom.
Such a law is needed when so many mighty causes of our nation would trample the greatest cause of all: the liberty and power of the people.
 By Michael Miller

03/02/2009  5:47PM

I’ve known Scott Harn (see below) since he took over the operation of the California Mining Journal from his father, also a solid acquaintance. The magazine is now called ICMJ’s Prospecting and Mining Journal. It can be found on line.

Scott put some extra juice in this ill designed proposed legislation. I would not be sensitive to the mining industry if I had not immersed myself in it 35 years ago. This industry is as important and necessary to the welfare of our country and its people as food production and heavy industry manufacturing. There is no employment that embodies the American creed, cultures spirit as that found in the development of our natural resources. Otherwise smart people are just plain ignorant to suggest the following be passed into law. I offer you Scott’s presentation on a shocking and troubling desire to turn America’s well being on its ass. I hope you will take time to read it.

Rahall Proposes Bill to End All Mining in the U.S. - March 2009 (Vol. 78, No. 7)

Rahall Proposes Bill to End All Mining in the U.S.by Scott Harn
Nick Rahall, chairman of the House Resources Committee, reintroduced mining reform legislation in the House of Representatives on January 27, 2009. The Congressman has obviously been away from real work for far too long. H.R. 699, the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2009, should be labeled H.R. 666 because it appears to have been written by the Devil himself. If it passes as written, it will completely destroy an entire industry.Here are a few “highlights” from H.R. 699:

· Casual use would be redefined to allow only those activities that do not cause “any disturbance of public lands and resources.” The collection of samples, use of gold pans and non-motorized sluices would be the only activities allowed without a Notice or Plan. Taking a vehicle off-road would also require a Notice or Plan. Any extraction of minerals for sale or use would require a Notice or Plan.

· H.R. 699 would be retroactive. Existing mining that is not already operating under a Notice of Plan would require proof of a valuable discovery to retain a mining claim, and those operating under a Notice or Plan would have ten years to bring their operation under compliance with the new regulations.

· The patenting of mining claims, which has been suspended by yearly legislation since 1994, would be permanently discontinued.

· The federal government would be entitled to an 8 percent gross royalty for all locatable minerals for any new mining operation. Even if the miner is unable to make a reasonable profit at current commodity prices, he would have to give 8 percent to the federal government. Existing operations at the time the bill is passed would be subject to a 4 percent gross royalty, and any federal lands added to the operation after enactment of the bill would be subject to the 8 percent royalty.

· The reporting requirements are absurd. Anyone transporting a locatable mineral, concentrate or product derived from a locatable mineral shall carry documentation declaring the amount, origin and intended destination. Miners shall create and maintain reports relating to the quantity, quality, composition, volume, weight and assay value of all minerals extracted from a mining claim. Failure to produce these reports when requested by any officer or employee designated by the federal government may result in involuntary forfeiture of the mining claim.

· The federal government would be authorized to conduct audits of all claim holders, operators, transporters, purchasers, processors, or other persons directly or indirectly involved in the production or sales of locatable minerals. · Mining claim maintenance fees would be raised to $150 per claim, and would be adjusted at least every five years based on the Consumer Price Index. The location fee would be increased to $50 per claim.

· Tens of millions of acres would be added to existing areas that are already off-limits to mining, including Wilderness Study Areas; areas of critical environmental concern; areas designated for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System; areas designated for potential addition, or eligible for inclusion; and any area identified in the set of inventoried roadless maps contained in the Forest Service Roadless Area Conservation Final Environmental Impact Statement, Volume 2, dated November 2000.

· Any State, political subdivision of a State, or Indian tribe could petition the Secretary of Interior to withdraw areas based on drinking water supplies, wildlife habitat, cultural or historic resources, scenic vistas or other similar values. Indian tribes could also petition for the withdrawal of areas for religious or cultural value. The bill would give the Secretary the authority to deny any operation that may cause undue degradation. To get an approved Plan, the operator would have to be able to show that no treatment of discharged water will be necessary 10 years after mine closure, and any Plan could be changed or halted if additional information about scientific, cultural or biological resources becomes available.

The miner would have to submit an application to the federal government to request any cessation of operations greater than 180 days. A miner would have to obtain consent of the federal government to transfer ownership of any operation, and the transfer would require a fee to be paid to cover the government’s administrative costs.

· Financial assurance (bonding) would be required for any operation—presumably this would also apply to suction gold dredging—and the amount would be evaluated and adjusted every 3 years. Where water treatment is necessary, financial assurance funds would not be released until there is 5 full years where treatment is not necessary. · States would be allowed to implement regulations that exceed the regulations in this bill.

· The federal government would be allowed to collect administrative fees to cover expenses incurred while regulating mining operations. · Mining operations would be subjected to a minimum of one complete inspection per year. · The bill would provide environmental lawyers an unending source of income. Any citizen would be allowed to file a civil lawsuit against the miner or the federal government to force compliance with the mining laws after giving sixty days written notice. The court would be allowed to award the costs of litigation, including attorney and witness fees, as the court deems appropriate. ·Any miner who fails to comply with any portion of a permit would be subjected to a fine of $25,000 per day.

· Any citizen who believes they are being adversely affected by a mining operation could request an inspection. If the Secretary agrees that an inspection is warranted, the complainant would be allowed to join in the inspection. Complainants could remain anonymous if desired. ·Any person who engages in mineral activities without the required permit, if convicted, would be punished by a fine of not less than $5,000 per day or by imprisonment for up to 3 years or both. ·

Designated employees of the Department of Interior and Department of Agriculture would be given full law enforcement powers over permitted miners, including the power to subpoena miners to force attendance, testimony, and disclosure of all paperwork, and warrantless searches of vehicles and buildings expected to contain locatable minerals or products derived from them would be allowed.

· The Secretary would be forced to prevent mineral activities that could have an adverse impact on the resources and values of National Conservation System Units. H.R. 699 would completely wipe out all small-scale mining in the United States. Small-scale miners do not have the time and resources to handle the fees, lawsuits and reporting requirements. Large-scale mining would be also phased out as mining companies would be unable to deal with the unattainable requirements of these regulations, citizen lawsuits, thin profit margins, reporting requirements, and the uncertainty that comes with the federal government’s new authority to halt a mining operation when “undue degradation” is occurring or a scientific, biological or cultural resource is discovered. Many areas that may have potential would be inaccessible. No one in their right mind would provide funding for exploration or operations under the proposed conditions.

The most likely outcome would be that the environment would suffer as mining companies move all operations to countries with little or no regulations.Like the current situation with oil, Americans would be forced to obtain natural resources overseas, sending money to countries that don’t like Americans and would love to control our prices.The legislation is co-sponsored by Reps. George Miller (D-CA), Henry Waxman (D-CA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Howard Berman (D-CA), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Jim Costa (D-CA), Donna Christensen (D-VI), Pete Stark (D-CA), Dale Kildee (D-MI), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Ron Kind (D-WI), Lois Capps (D-CA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Mike Honda (D-CA), John Salazar (D-CO), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Niki Tsongas (D-MA), and Gerry Connolly (D-VA).

The legislators who have sponsored this bill should be labeled as un-American, voted out of office, and sent packing for attempting to decimate one of the few industries that has managed to stay afloat and provide an honest paycheck during these tough economic times.Please take a minute to contact your Representative and Senator to let them know your stance on H.R. 699. Better yet, why not start a recall effort if one of the bill’s sponsors is in your area, or stop by their local office for a bigger impact? Contact information for each of the bill sponsors:· Nick Rahall (D-WV) phone 202 225-3452 · George Miller (D-CA) phone 202 225-2095 · Henry Waxman (D-CA) phone 202 225-3976 · Ed Markey (D-MA) phone 202 225-2836 · Howard Berman (D-CA) phone 202 225-4695 · Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) phone 202 225-2435 · Rush Holt (D-NJ) phone 202 225-5801 · Jim Costa (D-CA) phone 202 225-3341 · Donna Christensen (D-VI) phone 202 225-1790 · Dale Kildee (D-MI) phone 202 225-3611 · Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) phone 202 225-6335 · Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) phone 202 225-4811 · Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) phone 202 225-4911 · Ron Kind (D-WI) phone 202 225-5506 · Lois Capps (D-CA) phone 202 225-3601 · Adam Schiff (D-CA) phone 202 225-4176 · Mike Honda (D-CA) phone 202 225-2631 · John Salazar (D-CO) phone 202 225-4761 · Anna Eshoo (D-CA) phone 202 225-8104 · Niki Tsongas (D-MA) phone 202 225-3411 · Gerry Connolly (D-VA) phone 202 225-1492
 By martin newkom

05/05/2008  10:24AM

Why not just go fishing in
either the Yuba, the Downie
or Kanaka Crk. and hunt for
the wedding ring attributed
to Juanita the "ghost fish"?
 By Thushara.Weligama

05/03/2008  9:34PM

I think a few million dollars is all they need, and a substantial interest could be purchased.

Wow, check out this site called www.fluc.com. Free SMS and free mobile ads!! Its fantastic
 By Michael Miller

01/26/2008  6:17PM

Ecuador says seizes foreigners' mining concessions
QUITO, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Ecuador's leftist government seized 17 mining concessions held by foreign companies as it seeks to overhaul the rules for the growing sector, the mining minister said on Friday.

S.African power crisis halts gold, platinum mining
Fri 25 Jan 2008, 12:03 GMT
Shares in most of the affected firms dived as the government said the power cuts that have darkened homes and hurt businesses in Africa's biggest economy were "a national emergency".
AngloGold Ashanti, Gold Fields, and Harmony said they had stopped all gold mining after they were informed by state-owned power utility Eskom that it could not guarantee power supply to their operations.
The world's No. 1 platinum producer, Anglo Platinum (Angloplat), also said it had shut down production at all its South African mines to reduce electricity consumption.
"This is a disaster in terms of production and economic growth," said Fidelis Madavo, analyst at the Public Investment Corporation fund. "The government has to find an emergency solution to this problem."
The South African government blames the power cuts on the closure of power stations for maintenance, breakdowns at other plants and faster-than-expected economic growth. Critics say the government has failed to invest in new power generation, arguing the country has too little power capacity to meet demand from its growing economy.
Gold Fields said it would lose 7,000 ounces of gold a day while production was halted. Eskom informed its key customers, mainly big miners to plan on survival levels for the next two to four weeks.
"This will have a serious effect on the South African operations and will negatively affect our gold production," Ian Cockerill, chief executive officer of Gold Fields, said. Harmony said it would lose about 300 kg of gold output, or 60 million rand, a day. AngloGold said it could not estimate its daily losses as it calculated its output on a quarterly basis.
"We are only running power for emergency supplies, such as pumping water out, and have stopped producing at all mines," Steve Lenahan, a
"It seems to me this is not going to be a quick process (resolution). They issued us with a warning that we should only do emergency work, so we can't take a chance sending our people underground," Harmony CEO Graham Briggs told Reuters.
About 900 kg of gold (28,935 ounces) and 590 kg (18,969 ounces) of platinum output could be lost a day, an analyst said.
 By Rockroby

12/21/2007  5:03PM

Christmas/// been a rough month
 By Rockroby

12/21/2007  4:58PM

Hi All
Look's like i will be trying to buy for over .75 cents next week,maybe Greenhorn will put some of the $8,000.00 profit he made back into the mine.
Merry Chrismas & may the New Year be GOLDEN!!!!!!
 By Michael Miller

12/19/2007  5:03PM

Hi Greenhorn,

Wanted to chat about your last entry on the FORUM. I realize you are traveling but maybe you’ll have a break to call (530) 287-3223.

My memory may be wrong, but you picked up some stock on the gray market for pennies and sold 1000 shares through our web site. I remember we talked about the market and the mine but not the details.

The gray market is a joke; but even though, the last trade was at $.75, which is the same as the bid on the web site. I know ten people who have placed limit buy orders ranging from $.50 to $.75 without them being filled. An A.G. Edwards broker is monitoring the trades. This increase occurred with just a little pressure on whoever was making the market at $.0001 to be professional. Also a letter to the SEC may have helped bring this market closer to our web market.

Both markets are illiquid, but anyone can now see what may happen with this stock with effort and some capital. Ten percent of this company with the guarantees given for $5 million will be the buy to remember once the public gets interested in precious metals again. Five million dollars is a small amount of investment when compared to other gold opportunities, which is why the NovaGold fiasco is important to reveal. The industry will be announcing more of these collapsed “deals” in future months.

A gold deposit like the Sixteen to One is rare and unusual. It is well suited for rare and unusual operators not large corporations. Ours is not an exploration program like the deals mostly around. The small exploration guys today are dreaming that a major will come to their rescue and spend money to put the exploration target into production. If not these exploration guys always spit out meaningless drilling reports that few understand to promote their property. Most of these properties have been looked at a dozen times already. For anyone venturing into a virgin prospect like Galore Creek, well you now know what can happen. The other unpublicized event that continues to happen is when third world countries change the game once money is spent. The record is lengthy and financially devastating.

Which brings me back to your idea. It is okay but unlikely. Another factor is always the bureau racy with any large company. It takes hungry men to win gold. Increasing the price of a share of a gold corporation can be done on a full stomach. We are hungry.

I think you are smarter than exhibited with your entry. As a legal and economic consultant, I would expect you to bring a sophisticated thought process to the Gold Sector. There is no better time to make a lot of money in it. There is no better opportunity around to make a lot of money cleanly and with minimal risk than what is on the table with Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc.

I encourage intelligent people with the money to play or the ability to locate those that do to spend some time with me. I hope you meet these situations. Come on up for a visit and see for yourself.
 By greenhorn

12/18/2007  9:33AM

Do you think any of those folks might be interested in buying the entire operation and then investing further in it? The current stock price seems to make that an attractive option as compared to the $5 million deal.
 By Rick

12/16/2007  7:21PM

Mike, forward this to them, AKA their missed boat. Shucks, how about their share-holders?
 By Michael Miller

12/15/2007  12:39PM

Many of you may have missed the stunning news released on November 26 by NovaGold and Teck Cominco Ltd. These two companies partnered up on a gold deposit called Galore Creek in northern British Columbia, Canada. They invested $665 million in infrastructure but decided the plans were faulty, the engineering studies were flawed and the cost analysis was grossly underestimated.

The companies intended to spend $2 billion, yes two billion dollars before mining an ounce of gold or copper. Construction estimates were raised to $5 billion and construction time increased from two years to five years. The two companies will spend a mere $100 million more of their shareholders money to wind down construction.

The Financial Post first published the story and quoted NovaGold president Rick Van Nieuwenhuyse, who told the Post, “other companies might have said, ‘just go ahead, and after we spend US$2-billion we’ll let everyone know it’s actually going to be twice that.’ We didn’t think that was the right approach. So I think when the dust settles, people will realize that we’re looking out for the best interest of our shareholders.” The article stated that one problem was that the massive ore trucks were too big to move through narrow parts of the valley.

I believe this is another reality check about all the hype of large companies funding the development of raw or virgin metal deposits in remote areas of the world. I expect more of these revelations will be announced. So, why have I taken the time to write this? Simple! Our infrastructure is in place. Our plans call for $5 million dollars. Our gold brings a huge premium over the $800 spot bullion price. Our geology supports our plans to find a lot of gold and make an obscene profit in the process. Can you imagine walking away from a $765 million goof and responding to its shareholders as NovaGold did?
 By Michael Miller

02/21/2007  2:52PM

Project Survey 2007 issued by the Raw Materials Group (RGM) reports more than 200 new mining projects with an estimated value of almost $38 billion were added to its database. Old projects (projects listed before 2006) were of the same order of magnitude as newly registered projects, around $33 billion. Capital is going towards higher equipment costs and the necessity to develop more difficult ore bodies that may involve deeper mines, lower grades and remote locations. The number of projects involving restart of inactive or abandoned mines increased.

RGM’s main database also includes more than 1500 projects for which no cost estimates have been announced. Most of these projects are at the conceptual phase. Total investment in the global mining industry’s pipeline at the end of 2006 was $208 billion. This figure represents a 50%-55% increase from 2005, and reflects the on going boom in global mining activity. Many, if not most, of the early stage projects included in the $208 billion figure will not or at least not in the near future pass from the conceptual study phase to the construction stage. The reasons for these failures can range from insufficient profitability and inadequate ore reserves to failure to secure financing, technological problems or excessive political risks.

Projects involving copper, gold, nickel and iron ore account for 83% of the total projects. Iron ore leads the metals in total amount of investments in new projects (30). Gold projects require the smallest price tag. The average gold project has reached $110 million but is still less expensive than the $280 million average cost for copper projects. This is due to the fact that it is still possible to find small high-grade gold deposits that can be mined profitably by junior or mid-sized companies, while most new copper projects are often huge, low-grade open-pit operations.

Ten countries account for 67% of total mining investment. Australia was first (15.4%). The United States was eighth (4.0%). Engineering and Mining Journal compiled a project survey for new gold locations and status (52 entries). The top ten dominate the invested dollars. None of this capital will create projects with near term gold production: four are prefeasibility, four are feasibility and two are restart plans. None are in the construction stage. Barrick controls three projects. NovaGold and Goldcorp control two projects. Latin America leads the location list with five projects. One is in Russia, USA, Canada, Australia and South Africa.

You can see that mining is undertaken by few companies and requires a large dollar commitment. Most projects never materialize. These are factors that, if widely known, would place Original Sixteen to One Mine in an attractive category for investment capital. There is no other gold mine more high-grade than those in Alleghany. Also, the total capital estimated to bring the project into production is small. Low risk and big rewards justify the further development of the vein.
 By Global Traveler

08/29/2005  9:30PM

World traveler asks, how many language relate this web site?

If only English, Why?

Gold is international language of economic freedom. More need know this story in California.
 By GFellows

06/30/2005  12:33AM

You are not alone in this experience. We had a similar occurence at the K2 Mine up in Washington starting a couple of years ago. The Bellingham MSHA office wanted to get "underground experience" for their new inspectors and they wanted to "visit" more often than once a quarter. We were trying to remain cordial with them but had to tell them that if it wasn't a regular or special inspection that they could/should phone ahead and let us know because it was taking up too much of our time and affecting production. It use to be that MSHA was someplace that old miners and mechanics could go after years in the mines but that isn't so much the case anymore. With the increased regulation of sand and gravel operations, MSHA is hiring anybody they can and most of the time they don't have a clue about mining, let alone underground mining.

Gordon Fellows
Chief Mining Engineer
Bulyanhulu Mine
 By Michael Miller

06/29/2005  4:41PM

David Dye, Assistant Secretary June 29, 2005
U.S. Department of Labor
1301 Airport Road
Beaver, West Virginia 25813-9426

Dear Mr. Dye,

Congratulations on your new appointment to head the federal workers safety program for America’s most precious resource, its miners. I am president of America’s oldest gold mining company and perhaps the only working hard rock, traditional, underground gold mine in continental United Stated. It is not something to brag about; it is something to mourn and investigate why there are so few. I also operate as an independent contractor for several projects and have been in the gold mining business since 1974. Your agency is partly responsible for the decline in the domestic natural resource industry. I am not sure that you are aware of the decline in the partnership between MSHA and operators to keep the miners safe. I write today to give you a recent example of how your agency is hurting the small operator.

On June 22, and 23, 2005, MSHA conducted a regular quarterly inspection. Accompanying the inspector was a young trainee. She had no experience working in an underground mine. She said that she had never been underground before. During the inspection she began lagging behind. It required a second employee of mine to stop and accompany her. She was unprepared for the inspection both physically and with her provisions. She put herself in danger, our crew in danger, compromised the agency’s credibility and endangered the operator and owner of the mine.
I request the following:
1. By what authority grants MSHA the right to bring trainees onto our property?
2. Is this practice occurring elsewhere?
3. Who at the Western field office approved her visit?
4. Please notify the Western office to cease bringing trainees on inspections or at least unqualified and unprepared ones. Please let me know their response.

I support the reasonable enforcement of the Act of 1977 as Congress intends it. The practical benefits for those of us in the trenches were lost almost a decade ago. Reasonableness no longer is a concept practiced in the field and offices. MSHA no longer is meeting the best interest of the American public. Maybe you will be able to enforce better training for those attending the National Mine Health and Safety Academy as a first step to improve operations of the mining industry in the United States. I hope so.

Where will there be mining jobs in the future? Not likely in this country if the misdirected regulatory agencies continue their trends. Why are federal tax dollars passing through MSHA to China to help them development mine safety teams? The International Mine Contests are held every two years and about fifty teams compete. Last year in Las Vegas, China participated for the first time and placed third. China will likely win the next contest, which is fine with me; however, public money is going to them while MSHA has introduced a policy of increasing revenue with citations and penalties against the operators in the United States. Poland gets as much money or maybe even more than China granted through MSHA. Why?

MSHA employees take frequent trips to China and elsewhere. I was told that someone goes to China at least every other month from MSHA headquarters. How is this expense justified as helping America’s most precious resource, its miners? China has invested heavily in Australian natural resources. None of this bodes well for America’s economic freedom. China has something like a trillion dollars foreign trade asset.

Last year there were forty deaths related to mining. Last year in China the government admitted to 10,000 mine related deaths. Last year 658 people died every day in automobile related accidents on our roadways. My point is the mining industry in America is a responsible industry. It should be treated that way by MSHA, which has not occurred in various operations in the west. Right now there is an insidious and specious effort to further impede the American operator by insisting that the category of “lead miner” reflects a management position within an operation. This is not true. Most within the mining industry both public and private know this is not true. Yet our small company has been forced to challenge this reckless assertion by MSHA agents and lawyers working for the Secretary to establish this position. The case is in the hands of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Your agency is driving this outrageous myth. How about getting involved and putting an end to this costly abuse of process?

Does America derive benefits from the money it spends to send agents onto private property under the authority of the ACT of 1977? The answer is “no”. Should America continue to fund an out-of-touch agency like MSHA? The answer is “yes”. Good luck. I am at your service to improve the situation.

Sincerely yours,

Michael M. Miller, president Original
Sixteen to One Mine / owner Morning Glory Gold Mines

 By auriferous

12/04/2004  6:14PM

Although I haven't written much for quite some time, I thought I'd throw in a couple of cents (sense?) about this topic and a few others that are loosely related.

First off, now that I am living in Montana, I can read the California government news with a new sense of disgust. Growing up and living my entire life in California, I really didn't realize how disconnected the government is from reality. It happens here, too -- but not to the same extent. Within this train of thought is my main point about the discussion of global events, conspiracies to fix the price of gold, currency valuation, etc. I think it's very important that we all pay close attention to the events ocurring around the world. They surely will have an effect on our daily lives sooner or later, if they haven't already. But as regards the connection between the rest of the world and our beloved 16-to-1, I think the discussion is misguided. Because the product from the mine generates revenue that is only loosely connected to the spot price of gold, there is little that happens around the world that will greatly affect the balance sheet. The gold will be mined, or it won't. It really doesn't have much to do with the price of tea in China (unlike the price of gold). The revenue generated is based on a marked-up price because it happens to be a unique commodity. That commodity just happens to be made up of a significant percentage of gold.

So where should we, as advocates of mining and the mine, direct our efforts? As citizens of the great state of California, you should do all you can to encourage the education of the public about not only the mine's heritage, but also mining as a viable and environmentally responsible industry. It is your state government that should be closely watched and your state laws that should be reflective of your beliefs.

It ultimately will not matter whether gold is $150 or $800. The price of the 16-to-1's product is based on a market all its own. In more ways than one, the 16-to-1 is a world unto itself. While attempting to be an island of mining success, however, beware of the sharks.

Have a nice day.

Jason Burke
 By lynwood

12/02/2004  9:57AM

On October 18, 2004, a major gold refiner, buyer and seller issued a news release to its customers across the world titled GOLD BULLION-MARKET DEVELOPMENTS, TRENDS and CHALLENGES. It reminded its customers that recent events and market trends affirms the volatility of the precious metal markets and how seemingly unrelated changes impact our markets.

“On October 11, 2004, the U.S. Senate approved the “American Jobs Creation Act of 2004.” Among the provisions of the Act are the elimination of export subsidies that were ruled illegal by the World Trade Organization and resulted in punitive tariffs being levied on exports to the European Union. Gold bullion is one of the items currently subject to these tariffs.

The tariffs were instituted by the European Union in March 2004. Initially, the tariff rate was 5%, increasing by 1% each month. Currently the rate stands at 12%. The effect of this tariff on the world gold bullion market has been to eliminate virtually all direct shipments of gold bullion from the USA to European Union nations - most importantly - physical shipments of gold from New York to London.

With London eliminated as an end market for gold bullion, we have utilized less conventional metal trading options, such as “Zurich swaps” to sell some of our gold output and to service customers with London delivery commitments. These options incur additional costs, and as a result, Zurich-London swaps or Tokyo-London swaps now carry a premium in the market. Customers desiring out-turn of gold in London should expect to pay a modest premium reflecting the cost and transportation differentials of Zurich or Tokyo swaps.

Another consequence of the elimination of gold shipments from New York to London has been an increase in the supply of gold bullion in New York and elsewhere in the USA. Premiums for gold bullion in the market are at an all-time low and there are substantial surplus inventories in New York, Los Angeles and other US markets. Although the expectation is that the European Union will lift the punitive tariff, until it is actually eliminated, surplus inventories of gold bullion, particularly from off-brand suppliers, will suppress bullion premiums.”

In the 1960’s and early 70’s until America’s restrictions on gold ownership were lifted by Congress and signed into law by President Nixon, gold passed around the world in many disguises. Some people called it smuggling. A disparity in price occurred especially between the US fixed price and the floating price in Mexico. Transporting gold out of the United States was an easy gig. Is this what the last sentence of the circulated letter to its customers is trying to say without actually saying “smuggle” or “black market”? Has anyone else read about the tariffs or suppressed premiums on gold bullion?
 By lynwood

10/28/2004  11:15PM


At first all matter was organized, and at last none will be.

The Economist, October 23rd 2004, recognized gold as a topic, an unusual event. This magazine shies away from recognizing gold as “storage of wealth” and rarely mentions gold in any article. That makes sense if you assume that few of its readers have any position, understanding or appreciation of gold. While Gold heads the column, written first and in red ink, Disharmony (written in black) is the eye catcher with the biggest letters on the page. Disharmony sets a tone, which is how one will be prejudiced upon reading the article. Even before the body of the topic is started, another bold but smaller sentence leaps off the page. It frames the meaning the writer intends to projects. It reads, “A curious bid to create the world’s biggest gold producer.” Well, since that is happening in its own unique way in California, I was excited to learn from this bi-weekly publication. So I have read the story more than a few times.

Gold Fields of South Africa received an all-share offer from Harmony of Australia. Norilsk Nickel of Russia already owns about 20% of Gold Fields. This is the same company that moved into the USA’s biggest platinum mine of Montana.(Check a few entries back to 11/22/02, by Bluejay.) The Russian tycoon, Vladimir Potanin, was discussed along with a broad brush of isolated facts. But then the writer says: Here politics has helped. The old fantasy of gold as a “store of value” has flourished since the September 11th terrorist attacks on America. Bull! What an uneducated thought! Other natural resource producers, bankers, businesses of all ilks have stored gold, and people like you and me. Disruptions, actualized or perceived, bring forth changes that are easier to navigate with diversity. Storing stuff of value begins with water and air. After food and other life sustaining necessities, the fortunate ones store value in some other way. Gold has been one of those ways since recorded history. Gold actually cannot be tied directly to any date. That is a solid reason why gold is the world’s most valued currency and storage of value.

IAMGOLD of Canada is discussing plans to merge also. The result would be a new company 70% held by Gold Fields. It is reported that Mr. Potanin bought his stake in Gold Fields both to acquire non-Russian assets and to diversity. How rich is Mr. Potanin? For people looking for more clues that the world is in a significant dollar/gold reevaluation, the Economist article can count.
 By bluejay

10/25/2004  8:23PM

The Chinese metals company, Minmet, has proposed to takeover the $8 billion Canadian natural resource company Noranda which controls Falconbridge also a Canadian company.

Reports David Duval on the jsmineset.com website tonight, "China is running huge cash surpluses because of its lopsided trade account with the United States and other Western countries, it's certainly not short of cash to acquire whatever it needs."

Interesting, as Duval reports, "Chinese officals have also floated the possibility of investing in Canada's vast oil sands which in terms of contained reserves are second only to Saudi Arabia's. (With the cost of production of large oil sands operations near $12 per barrel, they are certainly economically viable at current oil prices)."

Is there any wonder why China is focusing on Canada? It is politically safe.

The entire article is a must read. The title on jsmineset.com is, "Would The Real Economy Please Stand Up?"

The Canadian currency has been making new recent highs against the U.S. Dollar and looks higher in the many months ahead although some minor corrections are to be expected along the way.

Mr. Duval's article concludes by his saying, " Higher oil prices aren't going away soon and political expediency - rather than good economic policy - will continue to set the trend for the US Dollar and spur inflationary pressures that are coming down the pipe."

"What you are seeing today in the gold market could well be the tip of the iceberg. Ever so steadily, investors are beginning to look hard again at tangibles - especially gold - which is everyone's to own."
 By lynwood

02/23/2004  6:02PM

SIXTEEN TO ONE management has clearly stated its plans to remain a domestic gold mining company. It seems smart to me. Headlines written by Scott Wilson in the WASHINGTON POST: “Gold mine’s riches do little for Peru’s many poor”. The story basically slams Newmont Mining Corp that holds controlling interest inYanacocha, one of Peru’s most impoverished areas. Last year, mining companies paid $290 million in income taxes to the Peruvian government, 10 percent of the total income tax collected.

Tax proceeds have contributed to many social programs outside the mining regions. “But the mining companies took more than 10 times what they paid in taxes out of the country as revenue. In the face of broad public opposition, the government withdrew permission in December from a Canadian company to excavate a major gold seam beneath the town of Tambogrande, which would have required one-third of the town to be leveled and relocated.”

Last year, the mine yielded 2.8 million ounces of gold, more than $1.1 billion. The company expects to pay $140 million in Peurivan taxes this year based on that record revenue, half of which will come back to Cajamarca’s government. On its own, the mine has built 75 miles of road and dozens of irrigation systems, and funded small-loan programs and art exhibits. Local amateur soccer teams are funded by the mine, as are many of the fields they play on.

“But the new money has lifted only a few of Cajamarca’s 100,000 people, especially those who work directly for the mine. Yanacocha employs 2,000 people, 60 percent of them Cajamarca natives.” Lucida Torres is photographed in the article. She says, “the river that irrigates her farm has become a trickle since mining began in the area. There are millionaires up there, and we’re as poor as ever.”

What can we learn from this article? Foreign corporations go to third world countries, pay a lot of taxes, rip the environment and United States newspaper reporters can bi-line a story in a major newspaper. Associated press offered the Post story to its subscribers, so who knows how many people read the story. Does Mr. Wilson have an agenda? If so, it could be the following: “The riches have brought resentment, particularly among those who have not won a coveted place on the mine’s relatively small payroll. Many of those who do not work for the mine say it has brought minimal development, a higher cost of living and pollution to the rivers that for generations have provided irrigation for a patchwork of potato and corn crops. The debate over mining here mirrors a broader one taking place across Peru. There are mounting questions about an economic policy that has produced impressive growth figures but few jobs, especially for the majority of Peruvians who live in poverty. Rising populist sentiment from Venezuela to Bolivia has stirred deep social unrest over how to harness the Andes’ natural wealth, much of it in foreign hands, on behalf of the poor.”

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