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 By chuck2251

09/10/2009  6:46PM

------------------------------------------------------------
|SENATE RULES COMMITTEE | SB 670|
|Office of Senate Floor Analyses | |
|1020 N Street, Suite 524 | |
|(916) 651-1520 Fax: (916) | |
|327-4478 | |
------------------------------------------------------------


THIRD READING


Bill No: SB 670
Author: Wiggins (D)
Amended: As introduced
Vote: 27 - Urgency


SENATE NATURAL RES. & WATER COMMITTEE : 8-3, 4/28/09
AYES: Pavley, Benoit, Kehoe, Leno, Padilla, Simitian,
Wiggins, Wolk
NOES: Cogdill, Hollingsworth, Huff

SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE : Senate Rule 28.8


SUBJECT : Vacuum or suction dredge equipment

SOURCE : Author


DIGEST : This bill imposes a temporary moratorium on the
granting of new suction dredging permits until the ongoing
environmental review is certified. It provides that the
issuance of permits is not a ministerial act, and that,
therefore, such permits may not be issued until a valid
underlying environmental document is in place.

ANALYSIS : Under existing law, the Fish and Game Code
prohibits suction dredging except when permitted by the
Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and when consistent with
regulations adopted by the department. The statute
requires the regulations to designate streams where dredges
may be operated pursuant to a permit, streams where
dredging is not allowed, and the time or times of year when
CONTINUED

,,



SB 670
Page
2

dredging is allowed.

Permit fees for residents are established at $25(47.00 )*unless a
site inspection is necessary in which the fee is $130.(194.00 ADDITIONAL)* The
respective non-resident fees are $100(185.25)* and $220. (222.00 ADDITIONAL)*
Approximately 3000 permits are issued annually.
*LIES YOU NEED TO CHECK THE FEES*

It is illegal to use a suction dredge within 100 feet of a
closed area.

This bill imposes a( temporary) moratorium on the granting of
( new) suction dredging permits until the ongoing
environmental review is certified. It provides that the
issuance of permits is not a ministerial act, and that,
therefore, such permits may not be issued until a valid
underlying environmental document is in place.

Background

According to a recent report by the Sierra Fund, an
estimated 26 million pounds of mercury were used to extract
gold from ore in California. Half of this mercury was lost
in the environment in placer and hard rock mining
operations where it remains in watersheds where it is
commonly encountered. Mercury runoff from these watersheds
is a source of mercury contamination of the California
Bay-Delta.

Suction dredgers remove gravel from riverbeds with a hose
powered by an engine. The water quality controversy
involves what opponents characterize as the "tendency" of
dredging operations to "flour"(THIS DOES NOT OCCUR) mercury in the water, making
it more readily available for bacteria to methylate, a
process that converts base mercury into a (developmental
neurotoxin) (NAME IT?) that accumulates in the food chain and that
humans ingest through fish that they consume. (WE TAKE OUT THE MERCURY)(ALONG
WITH LEAD FISHING WEIGHTS)

Dredgers may try to separate mercury from any amalgamated
gold, and the recovered mercury is then either stored or
disposed of in an unauthorized (SAYS WHO)manner. Storage of mercury
is subject to regulation also, but there is no available
information from state agencies that mercury obtained by
dredgers is regulated. (THEY WOULD BE REGULATED JUST THE SAME AS OTHER AMERICANS)


CONTINUED

,,



SB 670
Page
3

Dredging permits issued by DFG state that the applicant
will comply with all appropriate water quality regulations.
However, the State Water Resources Control Board does not
have a program to regulate suction dredging.
The board(WHAT BOARD?) found, however, in a 2003 study, (REFERENCE THE STUDY) that dredging
exacerbates mercury contamination of rivers and streams.

FISCAL EFFECT : Appropriation: No Fiscal Com.: Yes
Local: No(ASK THE LOCAL SMALL TOWNS THAT MINERS FREQUENT)

SUPPORT : (Verified 5/11/09)

Cal Trout
California Coastkeeper Alliance
California Tribal Business Alliance
Clean Water Action
Friends of the River
Karuk Tribe
Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations
Planning and Conservation League
Sierra Club California
Sierra Fund
Sierra Nevada Alliance

OPPOSITION : (Verified 5/11/09)

County of Siskyou
New 49'ers
Regional Council of Rural Counties

ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT : Friends of the River supports the
bill but believes the temporary moratorium should be
expanded to include more than salmon streams.(SB760 COVERS ALL RIVERS,OBVIOUSLY THEY DID NOT READ THE BILL.) It believes
that suction dredging affects wild and scenic rivers, wild
trout populations, other wildlife, and river-based
recreational opportunities.

Many supporters categorize suction dredging as a rather
crude technology by which miners "literally vacuum up our
river beds and spawning grounds, and disturb and mobilize
the mercury left behind by gold mining operations" as was
stated in several letters. All of the supporters agree
that the rules governing this practice are outdated.


CONTINUED

,,



SB 670
Page
4

Sierra Club California and Pacific Coast Federation of
Fishermen's Associations point to the ban on commercial
salmon fishing and argue that the salmon crisis threatens
thousands of jobs. Sierra Club California concludes that
"It simply does not make sense to jeopardize an entire
fishery, and to ask commercial fishermen to sit idle, while
allowing ongoing environmental harm for a recreational
hobby." WHAT ABOUT THE DAMS?HOW DO THEY HELP THE SALMON.

ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION : The Regional Council of Rural
Counties argues that the existing regulations are
sufficiently restrictive and protective and allow
individuals to legally mine their claims of precious
minerals. It points to parts of rural California where
mining remains an important port of the culture, history,
and economy of some local communities. Siskyou County
separately asserted these same concerns.

The New 49'ers, a mining advocacy group, argues that no
scientific information points to suction dredging as a
cause in the collapse of salmon, that the collapse is due
to ocean conditions and an over-reliance on hatchery fish,
and that a moratorium would violate the private property
rights of those who have federal mining claims and create
"takings" liability on the part of the state.


CTW:nl 5/11/09 Senate Floor Analyses

SUPPORT/OPPOSITION: SEE ABOVE

**** END ****


AGAIN OUR LEGISLATORS FAIL TO READ A BILL (SB 760) THAT THEIR SO EAGER TO PASS. CLOSING ALL THE RIVERS TO SUCTION DREDGEING WILL NOT HELP THE SALMON. ESPECIALLY THE ONES THAT FLOW EASTWARD FROM THE EAST SIDE OF THE SIERRAS. NOR WILL IT DO MUCH ON ALL THE WESTERN FLOOWING RIVERS THAT ARE DAMED UP WITHOUT FISH LADDERS. THE KERN RIVER FOR EXAMPLE HAS NO WAY IN HELL FOR A SALMON TO SWIM UP STREAM FROM THE OCEAN. WE HAVE NO MONEY TO KEEP PRISONERS IN JAIL, YET WE WILL FUND A STUDY AND CRIPPLE AN INDUSTRY THAT PROVIDES 60 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR TO OUR CALIFORNIA ECONOMY. TO MY KNOWLEDGE A EVNVIRONMENTAL REPORT ON SUCTION GOLD DREGING WAS COMPLETED BY THE STATE IN 1994.DREGERS TAKE OUT MURCURY AND LEAD FROM THE RIVERS WICH ARE FAR MORE DETRAMENTAL TO OUR ENVIRONMENT. IF WE HAVE ENOUGH MONEY TO WASTE IN OUR BUDGET PERHAPS A SELECT GROUP OF RIVERS THAT HAVE SALMON WOULD BE A BETTER CHOICE. YOU GUYS MIGHT WONDER,WHY WE HAVE LOST FAITH. ***
 By pal

08/18/2009  11:48AM

pat wiggins santa rosa ca please send letters to the press democrat P.O. box 910 santa rosa 95402 att. let the public speak. Dredging she is a fool, just a power grab
 By Dave I.

07/31/2009  4:00PM

BAD BAD NEWS: The judge in Alameda Superior Court put out an order to suspend the issue of dredge permits by the fish and game.
 By SCOOP

07/28/2009  4:51PM

There is a lot of iron on the mine site. You should see the old bone yard up the road. The crew hauled many loads of scrap iron to a site close to Henness Pass where transports will haul the scrap to Sacramento. Too bad the price dropped but there will be $$$ left over costs.

Now get this! Miners save iron stuff. Scoop asked the same thing and one afternoon pointed out iron junk. You should have heard the ear full about this part or that part, this just needs a ??? and it goes right back to work or Scoops favorite: this has copper, aluminum great hoses look at these valves worth saving and on and on.

A plan is underway to sell useless scrap (junk to many). Scoop will let you know when the first truck load leaves Alleghany.
 By ajmck2

07/28/2009  3:53PM

After the last share holders meeting ,I was really amazed at the amount of steel and stuff left rusting all around the mine. Is there some way the mine could sell all the scrap metal and bring in a little cash just to pay the electric bill maybe? It seems a shame to see all the compressors and equipment just sit there and rust to death. I know that stuff was not cheap to buy.
Alan
 By WSLMAN

07/15/2009  2:33PM

IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE WHO POSSESSES ONE OR MORE OF THE MINE'S ORIGINALLY ISSUED 1OZ BULLION BARS? IF SO, I WOULD APPRICIATE SPEAKING WITH YOU REGARDING A POSSIBLE PURCHASE OF AT LEAST ON BAR. THIS IS FOR HISTORIC REASONS, AS I HAVE SEVERAL SAMPLES OF GOLD IN QUARTZ, BUT THE MINE HAS NOT HAD THE 1OZ BARS FOR SALE FOR ABOUT 8-10 YEARS NOW. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE AND I LOOK FORWARD TO ANY FEEDBACK YOU CAN PROVIDE.

BEST REGARDS,

DAVE
 By Dave I.

05/16/2009  1:26PM

It is very important to get as much support on the opposition of this bill. A simple phone call to your state Senator informing him or her that you oppose SB 670.
Is all you need to do.
 By bluejay

05/16/2009  11:49AM

I just ran into the following and thought it might be of interest to some:

http://www.goldgold.com/legal/670_flash-actionalert.htm

The vote to Ban suction Dredging in California is coming Monday....

We just received word from our lobbyists in Sacramento that Senate Bill 670 (anti suction dredging legislation) will be put up for a vote in the senate this coming Monday, May 18! Because this is moving forward as "urgency legislation," 27 "Aye" votes will be required in the Senate to keep this bill alive. Therefore, if we all act quickly, we have a real chance at defeating this very bad bill. Here is a link to our Action Alert:

http://www.goldgold.com/legal/670_flash-actionalert.htm

Included there, is a link to help those of you in California to locate an email contact form for your State senator. For those of you residing outside of California, our very capable lobbyists have targeted 6 senators for you to direct faxes to. We will need all emails and faxes to get to these senators no later than 12 noon on Monday, May 18. That's only a few days away! Our Action Alert also includes a link to some talking points from which you can copy and paste to create your own messages. Emails should be kept short to prevent them from being rejected by automated electronic filtering! Please remember that your own names and addresses must be included with any messages that you send. I am sorry this is happening on such short notice. It's the way things are when our adversaries control the legislative process! We can still win this battle though; but only if we all pitch in right now and make our voices heard to these senators by noon, this Monday! Thanks for whatever you can do to help!

They have studies up the Wazo that Small mining dredging actually cleans the gravel, cleans the Mercury from natural and historical deposits,
It's good for fish and spawning beds. And it helps local economies.
If you have access to a Fax....pop off a short missive.
 By oakrockranch

02/25/2009  10:44AM

To move previously mined gold as collectible specimens is an acceptable practice for any mine to gain cash revenue in down times. But in today's market, I don't think it's reasonable to expect these treasures to move at eight times (8x) the spot price. I realize some of these examples have added values due to their art appeal, gross size, sculpted beauty and historical provenance, but you may want to reassess their price points objectively. I too believe you're "sitting on a gold mine" and wish the best of times for the 16-to-1. I additionally hope your other funding connections materialize so you can get back underground. :-)
 By Michael Miller

02/24/2009  3:31PM

Bluejay, get a grip! I cannot fault you but please, doom and gloom is selling news casting across the world. I understand your concern. Our finances, our mines and operations are utterly unlike those companies you cited below. The only thing we have in common is we all are gold producers. These companies are selling their mines. Oh how sad for their owners. We are marketing our gold collection not the gold mines.
Our debt can be handled from sales of previously mined gold. Another solid funding possibility is maturing right now that is attractive for working capital and our future. Readers of this FORUM must rest. Doomsday is not in our future. That people with useless money sitting around in lackluster investments who know of the real gold opportunities at the Sixteen to One mine may still be on the sidelines as currencies decline in purchasing power is sad. We (shareholders) are not on the sidelines of the interest in gold. Time will measure the degree of our success as we work towards securing the right funds for the mine. Take a breath. Everyone is having a Tsunami at this moment. Gold is there in our ground, lots of it. We just need to get it. A very competent group of people advises the Sixteen to One.
 By bluejay

02/24/2009  11:05AM

To the board:

Here's a good example of what happens when outstanding debt starts to consume a mining company:


Van Sun/Reuters say Teck to sell Hemlo interest


2009-02-23 08:54 ET - In the News

Also In the News (C-ABX) Barrick Gold Corp


The Vancouver Sun reports in a Reuters dispatch Saturday that Teck Cominco has agreed to sell its 50-per-cent share of the Hemlo gold operations to joint-venture partner Barrick Gold. The unbylined item says the sale is part of a plan to raise cash and pay down debt. Teck will sell its share of the operation -- located in Western Ontario -- for $65-million (U.S.). Barrick, the world's largest gold producer, already owns 50 per cent of Hemlo. Vancouver-based Teck cut costs and began selling assets late last year to pay down billions of debt taken on to finance last year's $13-billion (U.S.) takeover of Fording Canadian Coal Trust. It agreed to sell its Lobo-Marte gold project in Chile in November and has said its other gold assets would be the first (to) be divested.

We need to turn the gold specimen collection into cash and pay off our debt. Does the board not understand that the whole country is in financial crisis and with our debt we classify as being in line for extended financial trouble going forward?

If the continuing delay in liquidating the collection continues, will someone from the board please inform us how that delay works in our favor?
 By Teri

01/18/2009  10:19PM

I don't know if the idea's been tossed around, but has anyone considered contacting the Smithsonian about publishing a story on the collection and its sale?
 By Rick

01/15/2009  9:57AM

Unfortunately one of the most compelling stories to unfold over this century concerning the mine was the politically motivated "assassination" of justice perpetrated by the CDAA and subsequently railroaded through by the courts, all of which "impacted" (a most understated description) the momentum of mining.

I don't advocate or suggest this be the focus for a story in the Economist...maybe they'll discover it here.

Anyway, instead let's do the metal detector angle, and show their impact when initially introduced underground, highlighting the potential that still exists in virgin ground.
 By greenhorn

01/13/2009  9:28AM

Some ideas for an Economist story:

o Historic ties to the gold rush live on in a quaint byway;
o True believers have kept the small operation going even while gold mining has become an industry of massive scale in most places;
o When found, the mine's deposits are so remarkable as to be of fairy-tale quality;
o There's doubtless more to be produced, although it is a classic hit or miss proposition;
o The mine's operators are puzzling over what they can do to attract more capital from investors to continue the search.

As a fellow Economist reader, it seems to me that the magazine will want to make such a piece seem quirky or a bit humorous, but that shouldn't detract from its ability to get the story out.
 By Michael Miller

01/12/2009  2:03PM

Yes to your thoughts that exposure is a vital goal for the mine to get working capital and get back into gold production. Exposure has many forms. First, whom are we trying to reach? You guys figure out eBay, I do not have the background. With the gold collection it includes philanthropists (people serious about historical maintenance, education, art, nature and the preservation of something beautiful, rare and worthy) individuals with disposable wealth, adventurers, visionaries (people who can turn this great collection into a money making, touring display.

The biggest goal is finding people who either recognize or may recognize the tremendous investment gains that will follow the implementation of our working plans, who also have a risk/reward mentality and the currency and guts to check us out. Maybe they are philanthropists or opportunists, greedy or fearful of the expectations of future economic trends; but it makes no difference in the ultimate success of becoming a player with the Sixteen to One mine and company. We will package a program that addresses risk/reward. Our plans are well thought out, practical no matter how the global economy treats gold and realistic in application. There are millions of ounces of gold still deposited in our mines

To this end, I want your input and will explain. At the encouragement of a caring friend, I wrote The Economist magazine for its advertising rates. Wow! Rates are very very expensive and completely out of touch. Why not a story instead? Below are my letter to the west coast editor and her reply. Your request is to write reasons or areas of interest or as she asks, “What do you think the most fascinating story angles are?”

The Economist has 1,400,000 subscribers worldwide with 750,000 in the United States. The angle should appear to its worldwide readers. I have lost confidence in the good old fashion of gut level investment capabilities of Americans. We are so over sold on the dollar that we do not see beyond its predictable slide. Send me an email if you want or post it under this topic.


January 8, 2009
To: A. S. K.

The New York office gave me your email address so I could present a topic of interest for The Economist readers. I am a long time subscriber of The Economist and value it as a top source of objective information. My business for the past thirty years is in the Gold Sector, an investment and business sector that rarely makes your magazine. I actually am a Californian gold miner, president of the oldest US gold mining company and the longest producer of gold in America. Also we are rather small, sometimes called a boutique operation, which I used to think was odd but have learned to embrace its meaning.

I won’t begin to detail why I am positive that your readers will appreciate and find interesting and useful an article in an upcoming Economist. But I would like you to accept an invitation from me to check out this most unusual gold operation.

The mine is about two hours from Sacramento going towards Nevada City, then north towards Downieville. Gold is a topic of interest now because of the financial turmoil and uncertainties associated with all currencies throughout the world. I believe you will find several stories here in Alleghany that your readers will devour with relish. Also many good people will be stepping into gold in the coming months and years and unfortunately many will make tragic financial mistakes that should be avoided.

I would enjoy showing you or your designee this California gold operation and discuss other points of interest in the important Gold Sector of business. My phone number is (530) 287-3223.
Sincerely,
Michael M. Miller


January 12, 2009 (answer)
Dear Michael,

This does indeed sound fun, and I'd like to visit some time. Unfortunately it can't be very soon, because I'm rather backlogged and you seem to be quite out of the way. (Could you give me an address for Google Maps so that I can plot some drive times?)

I'll add you to my planning list.

In the mean time, do you want to email me about 100 words about what you think the most fascinating story angles are?

Connecting gold to the gold rush is certainly always fun.
Regards, A.S.K.
 By oakrockranch

01/09/2009  11:12AM

All good ideas Rick. I am in agreement with keeping a presence on eBay for the mine. at least have something running every other week or so. I was happy about the one sale on eBay and the interest in the specimens in general. I was on the otherhand quite surprised the RM piece didn't sell. That piece felt to me to have a higher perceived value and was unique in its offering of part art and part gold. Also, as for reserves, I too have found that running anything with a reserve tends to scare off bidders. Personally, I would have listed these without any reserve and started the bidding at $1. The trick to eBay is to start a "frenzy" and attract attention to the auction by a high percentage of bidders. A low starting price and no reserve gets everyone in the game thinking they will win the piece for a song. When in reality, when all is said and done, there are usually a couple bidders who will run it up to levels higher than expected. Granted, there is always the risk of the auction "dying" during the last day and the item selling for less, but I'd say 90% of the time I have been pleased with the results.

Listing the whopper is another tactic that could generate great interest in the mine. I'll have to look into the cost of doing it though as eBay charges fairly high fees for expensive listings. I'm all for it though if the cost of parading such a fine example warrants the fees. I can discus this with MM off line. Getting in with the Bonhams folks is another good idea. The whopper would surely steel the show even if it didn't sell. BUt there again, I don't know what their "seller fees" are for taking on such a mammoth item worth over a million.
 By Rick

01/09/2009  10:44AM

It's time to head up a new topic. Ground-swell interest is building for all things gold, and OAu's two recent offerings on eBay is a good start, yet only that. Maximum exposure for interest in the mine requires more than an occasional sale. We've watched the two eBay items this past week, one selling and one not.

I have a new suggestion: listing specimens on eBay should continue, but if there is to be a "reserve" let's instead consider listing them with a starting bid that would be that reserve amount. It shows valuation from the start and eliminates the questions of what the mine figures is the correct scale for specimen gold.

If the point is exposure and not necessarily the sale, then let's go BIG. List something so spectacular and high-end that people look at it for the novelty effect. Put the Whopper up for an outrageous price for that matter....people would talk for sure.

The recent Bonhams and Butterfield auction centered upon spectaular gold-quartz specimens from an old famous private collection of Original Sixteen to One pieces...I knew I'd want reference so I purchased a catalogue (beautiful 250+ page glossy color publication) and received the "prices realized" document after the auction closed. Very enlightening. The cover photo and presumed highlight of the auction was a 35.4 ozt crystalline specimen estimated at $100,000-$120,000; it didn't sell but everyone sure knew about it.

The highlight and surprise sale was item #1293, a 36.7 ozt slickensides piece that although estimated at $60,000-$70,000 did meet a reserve and sold for $52,500.

The point I'm making isn't necessarily the sale price or the estimated prices, but the exposure the whole concept received.

The mine should consider these avenues: (1) keep the eBay interest going, listing items on a weekly basis, perhaps a few with sacrafice "no-reserve-low-starting-bid" (which in my experience usually sell for higher amounts than those with reserves anyway), and then put up a MAXIMUM EXPOSURE item with an outrageous starting bid simply for show...after all, if it sells, the mine would be ahead of the game; (2) enter specimens into the next Bonhams natural history auction with the same objective; (3) remember the objective:

Obtain interest in working capital to go mining for the next generation of spectacular specimens through maximum exposure, while recognizing that the romantic past can and will repeat itself. that
 By Hans Kummerow

01/06/2009  1:10AM

I'm away from my desk for a few days. After I return back home I shall try and find out how gold-quartz slabs could be channelled into the jewelry trade over here in Europe.

Europe has a very positive attitude towards the incoming new President. Under US and California Law - would it be legally possible to mint some sort of gold-silver medal to commemorate the inauguration of the first black US-President on January 20, 2009? Such a medal could probably be marketed above daily metal market prices over here in Europe.

And the media hype around inauguration would create an ideal surrounding to collect orders - payable upon delivery.
 By Michael Miller

01/05/2009  11:49PM

Try going to a chat room where entries are kept chronologically. I lose all sense of continuity. If the Forum grew to 100 or more topics, the task of reading them or participating in a topic is like having a library without an index file, hard to keep reference material friendly. A decision was made to keep about 20 topics active, which is what we are doing. If no one adds to a topic, like the miners prayers, it may go into the misc. file.

We do our best to keep a sense of balance within the entries and rarely edit a writer's entry. Actually the misc. is an interesting file to reread once in a while. The Forum had 30 topics. It looked like more would be coming in. Something had to be done. You will find very few Forums where a new reader can easily access old entries. We are always open to constructive suggestions for improvement. Please remember the stated intent of this Forum. Glad you care enough to write.
 By oakrockranch

01/04/2009  1:16PM

Thanks for your support Bluejay, as well as from other parties. I too think it is the right step to "expose" the company and its assets. Albeit a small one on eBay, with repetition we could be on to something. Even a simple step of directing consumers to origsix.com in the text is a benefit of running these auctions. You never know who may see these and drill deeper to discover what the 16 to 1 has to offer.

A future step would be to prepare some on line banner ads on "gold" sites that would provide a direct link to the 16 to 1. With the addition of a new landing page that explains in layman's terms just what is happening and what opportunities exist for investors.

Bluejay's idea of grading gold specimens is quite sound in theory. I'll contact PCGS to see if they would be interested in such a service. I think having a third party grade each specimen would bring a whole new level of confidence in buying on line. I see so many crappy pieces of arsenopyrite or other "low-grade" examples on eBay that have been cleverly photographed to appear more golden, hoping to attract innocent buyers. If we introduced a solid grading profile that indicated purity, weight, etc we'd be far better than any other specimen merchant, and thus garner the highest prices and repeat customers.

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PO Box 909
Alleghany, California 95910
 

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

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goldsales@origsix.com
 



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