December 13, 2019 

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From the Sixteen to One Archives


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 By Michael Miller

12/02/2019  8:43AM

Written September 2, 2011 presented unedited. Do these observations have relevance today?

Dear REAP (see below),

A modest mining man has the answers to your questions, many of which are scattered throughout this FORUM in almost every topic on the FORUM and headings listed to your left. Let’s begin with the first question, “What has been the response to this situation in Sierra County?” Growing interest based on phone calls, traffic in the mining areas and correspondences.

In California the response seems to be wonderment as to why the hills aren’t alive with the sounds of music from air compressors and happy workers; however everyone is scared away by the threat of lawsuits or time delay in beginning production.

No signs of new investment can be found. Every now and then people with an interest materialize. None have conducted a thorough inquiry.

Varied and detailed development plans based on history, geology and the present are published on this web site, well thought out and designed to “Get as much product to market as fast as possible”. Others may have plans also.

Significant consolidations of mines in the Alleghany Mining District occurred. Large companies fail to recognize the benefits from investment in small vein, underground, high-grade gold mines. Frankly, these operations are not suited for their corporate style.

Ah, the culture of “Crystal Ball” exercises about gold, a favorite or up-and-coming pastime of those who mine, those who wish and those who dream; sometime (rarely) someone does all three. You ask about the future structure of mining in the county. The structure will be similar to those that have taken place for 150 years: one company dominates (that company has changed over time); partnerships will form (General and Limited); associations may give it a try (most will fail); stock promotion companies will sneak into the county (most will fail); some really smart businessmen with the spirit and understanding risk/reward ventures may make an important contact and conduct his or her “due diligence”. (This would be refreshing.)

However, California has festering inside its governmental bowels some misinformed career employees that continue on a path of destruction for gold mining and other natural resource extraction industries. They are succeeding, which frightens away one of three ingredients for success in mining gold. The Central Valley water board staff currently leads a list that has hurt Californians much more than people realize. Tied for second are the “Attorney General” staff and the staff of the department of conservation.. They have swarmed like flies on shit. Instead they should be embracing all serious programs to utilize California’s splendid natural resources. They could be swarming like bees on honey. All Californians would reap the benefits of Sierra County’s gold.

I do not have a crystal ball to gaze into and see the future. I do run a gold mining company. I know that the future of Sierra County, California and the United States is understanding the past in tandem with predicting the future. Gold’s historical truth in social and cultural evolutions is undeniable. Like gold, truth lies at the bottom. One company may overcome the obstacles in Sierra County and California. It has an unusual name, Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. I have a personal stake in its welfare and treatment. A litigious government, working to selectively enforce and selectively prosecute any person or entity is at work in Sierra County to destroy this company. The drivers work in Sacramento. Their actions hurt every person in America except those who financially benefit from the present prosecutions.

“Many reasons may be assigned for the amazing economic development of the United States. The abundance of our national resources, the freedom of our political institutions, and the character of our population have all undoubtedly contributed. But in my judgment the greatest factor has been the fact that by the happenstance of good fortune there was created here in America the largest area in the world in which there were no barriers to the exchange of goods and ideas.” Gold helped bring about this happenstance of good fortune.
 By Michael Miller

01/16/2019  1:19PM

From The Comic Journal October Issue:
“Is Dan O'Neill our age or older?” Adele said.

“Older?” I said.

“Well, he’s still got all his marbles,” she said. “Or as many as he ever had.” The occasion for these remarks was our receipt of his first book in thirty years, The House Next Door (Hugh O'Neill & Assoc.). “It’s the first time I’ve understood the relationship between gold and money.”

“You understand it?”

Dan O’Neill, a director since 2002, of Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc. brought a much appreciated “punch” to the Sixteen to One operation. He is an Hall of Fame” cartoonist. No, this gold mine is not a joke. He created comic relief with his first drawing about the underground mine, which you can find on this web site.

Call it humor, satire or honest wisdom, his first book in thirty years (limited first edition with 23 corrections now corrected) is available from priced at $19.95. Dan just sent me the feature article yesterday in the “The Comics Journal”. Copy and click on the link below. Bob Levin wrote the article entitled “Why Does the 12-Inch Tall Piano Player Sing?” Warning: it isn’t an easy read.
 By Michael Miller

07/16/2018  3:49PM

Clarence Ellis, titled his regular column of Pay Dirt June 2002, issue “MSHA Doesn’t Understand that Coal, Metal Mines Different”. I am an historical mining junkie, so this sixteen year old article was easy to find today. May it interest you as well. If you haven’t read Respondent’s brief, filed July 12, go to NEWS on this website. Become aware of a sad reality: lawlessness on display by career public employees, especially lawyers. Convictions, fines, penalties, control and withholding exculpatory evidence (remember the CDAA) measured a pathway to higher positions; even for those I respect the most: judges.

The article begins, “What happened to yesterday’s MSHA? Is there anything left of the agency that was dedicated to the miner’s personal safety? When was the Mine Safety Act amended to create a force worthy of a police state? When safety enforcement is measured by its ability to raise dollars, its primary purpose has vanished. It does not appear that any of the higher-ranking Washington bureaucrats are even remotely connected to the field personnel. It also does not appear than any of the elected officials are aware of how their constituents are being treated or they would stop the daily abuse.”

Sounds familiar to today’s miners and operators! Ellis cites the mine act approved in 1969 and amended by Congress in 1977 and asks, “If the law hasn’t changed, what happened to the way enforcement has changed? What has happened to the friendly, helpful inspector who used to visit the mines?” Well, the early work force had mining backgrounds. Most retired or passed on and were replaced by those with a totally different agenda.

Today, my industry must deal with people with no mining background. It is a slippery slide towards the extinction of the small mine operator in America.

The cause pointed out in 2002, continues today. “The problem with the agency seems to start when its people begin ignoring the 1977 Act. Then they started interpreting the 30CFR regulations in highly creative ways.”

It is a lengthy article and worthwhile which is why I recalled it easily. You are directed to the FORUM Topic “YOU JUDGE***” ENTRY July 12, 2018, and NEWS same date for an important event now in progress.

Mr. Ellis closes his article: “When any inspector forgets—or ignores his trust in bringing the Mine Safety Act to the miner, he no longer is serving his purpose. Whether the inspector involved in the action just discussed acted out of ignorance or arrogance doesn’t matter. Neither is to be tolerated if the purpose of the Act is to be fulfilled.”




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