December 17, 2018 

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Clips from Alleghany


  Previous messages  


12/13/2018  3:51PM

Been bugging Mike for some mining news. He said here, a recent update written to our geologist.

Hi Mark,
Just because we havenít talked for a while means we have not been busy (you, me and the mine). Two Fridays ago I witnessed the end of a week unlike any Iíve seen in forty years. I was at the mine when the crew was closing the portal. Never have I seen a more work fatigued crew of miners. From their hard hats to their muck boots hard, wet and griminess reeked from their entire bodies. The 1700 rehab is a bitch! The crew is working the same plan when you were underground last. Clearing the 1700 foot level from 49 winze to Tightner Shaft is close to completion. It hasnít been an easy trip!

One major pile of muck remains, about the same size as the last one. The last one took sixty cars to load, tram and dump down an abandoned raise from the 1900 foot level. That equals 120,000 pounds of shot quartz and vein material or almost half a million Quarter Pounders. Much was hand shoveling.
Due to the higher elevation of the 49 winze, the train had to pull the load up-grade. The dump pocket is South of the winze. The current pile has a dump pocket less than 100 feet away, which is a relief to the men. The utilities are in: compressed air, water, electricity and phone.
I remember well the 1700 level before we stopped pumping in 2005). It is solid rock, very nice for travel. When under water, muck from above stored in the old raises and stopes washed onto the level. The plan is going well but taking longer due to unknowns the crew discovered.
With the pain comes an interesting potential gain. The muck came from the 1500 level when we mined the million dollar day (2500 ounces with spot at $450 a troy ounce. The 1500 station didnít have much of a dump pocket, so the miners used an existing raise from the 1700 level to move the material. The 1700 station has a great dump pocket, one of the best.
Gold was present while loading the cars; however time is critical so we didnít spend much time with detectors. The Tightner 1700 station is our target for lowering the pump. You will have an efficient travel way to the 1500 North targets. You know our intentions.
A very competent all around mechanic is handling all the maintenance now. It makes a huge difference. Mining is heavy industry so everything will break or just quit running over time. Fortunately, Al, who you havenít met yet, has solved and fixed every project, making the crew happy. Also it keeps them underground. We are still short handed. Plan on a visit in January. Reid has an interesting place he wants you to see.
 By fredmcain

11/27/2018  5:11AM



I would like to add to David I's comments on Paradise. Yes, it is a terrible tragedy. What makes it especially tragic is that it was probably entirely avoidable and unnecessary. I like Davidís idea with the sprinkler system.

Our wonderful news media along with most "liberal" politicians have been quick to point their fingers at climate change.

According to this scenario this is the future and we have already seen it now in Paradise. Fires will grow bigger and get much worse. But, if thatís the future, what about the past?

I would strongly recommend to everyone that they read the book STORM by George R. Stewart. It was written very nearly 80 years ago. At the end I couldnít help but marvel at just how little Californiaís climate has changed in all those years. Yes, that's right! Not how MUCH it's changed but how LITTLE! These kinds of things, droughts and floods, have been happening in California for thousands of years and the cycle is just repeating itself once again.

And yet something must've changed to make this disaster so bad. Something, indeed, but what? I believe that what has changed is all that development in the woods. How much of Paradise as a community actually existed in 1980 never mind in the late 1930s when Stewart wrote STORM? I was there in the early '80s and I remember it being very small. I donít think they even had a traffic light yet but I canít say that for sure.

So, if the decision is made to rebuild Paradise they will have to come up with a plan to ensure that this does not happen again. And here's another VERY serious thought: I have wondered about all the development around Auburn, Colfax, Grass Valley and Nevada City. Could this be the next over-developed area to explode?

Developers and residents alike simply have to learn to live with fire and find a way to work around it. You simply cannot change California's natural environment and pretend that it will never burn because it is going to. To try and blame it all on "global warming" really amounts to an attempt to shift the blame elsewhere.

As for now, rain has arrived and Grass Valley and Nevada City are safe Ė for another season. But people need to put their heads together and start building David I's sprinkler system.

And Paradise? Just wait another couple of years and see what happens. The area will be covered by millions and millions of tiny conifer seedlings reaching for the sky as the fire cycle reaches its conclusion. The trees belong. The houses don't. So, if weíre gonna have houses there then we need to start asking some very serious questions and come to some kind of resolution.

Fred M. Cain,
Topeka, IN
 By David I

11/17/2018  5:32PM

The fire in Paradise is a real tragedy. This should be a wake up call for all small communities thru out the Sierras, about the possibility of that it could happen too their town. away to defend against this possibility is to cut a fire break around the whole town with a sprinkler system piped along the fire break. i think this is something that should be done in Allegheny California.



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