A small crew continues the maintenance program on the 1000-foot level that runs north. The working face is half a mile from the Tightner Shaft. The mining objective is an untouched quartz vein with very favorable likelihood of commercial gold. For the casual observer of the Sixteen to One gold deposit, gold seems unpredictable. The trained eye sees the quartz vein differently. It is possible to predict a gold location underground; however estimating the amount is just a guess. Obstacles remain, but I am confident that we will reach the end of the 1000-foot level and the target that awaits our drills. Dreams may be beyond our reach, but never beyond our hopes.
An acquaintance stopped me yesterday and said, “I’ve been thinking of the mine. You must be rolling in dough with the price of gold”. It is true that those things that have hurt our finances in the past (low spot price of gold) have moved in a favorable direction. A $1,300 value for one ounce of gold is fine. We just are not mining any. Our new governor campaigned on a platform of local control, jobs and fixing California’s serious financial situation. Our operation will help fulfill those issues. Our jobs are blue collar, produce a wanted product and increase the Gross Domestic Product of California and the country. Our gold mine adds to the public wealth and does not adversely hurt the environment. But there is a problem of grave importance. This is why I write you today. I need your help. Our company is in peril.
The California Attorney General has filed two lawsuits against us, initiated by two state agencies: California Regional Water Quality Control Board Central Valley Region and the California Department of Conservation. They seek millions of dollars in damages and these suits are being prosecuted for the benefit of the “People of the State of California”. Both are shameful attempts of government extortion. Neither follow the definitions of the law as passed by the state legislators. Our company is not rich enough to prepare a defense. The public will not benefit from closing down this mine.
At the recommendation of a shareholder, I ask for your donation to wage a defense against these spurious lawsuits. We are broke, broken down by heavy-handed agents of the state or federal government that began in 1998. Our remaining gold inventory must be spent to save the mine from flooding or collapsing. Your donations will not be commingled with our operating account. All donations will go towards legal research, witnesses and motions aimed to set aside the scandalous positions put forth by both agencies. I need your help.
As a shareholder your donation may qualify as a tax-deductible expense. I am not giving you tax advice; yet have been told that money spent to protect an investment qualifies. If this is important, ask your tax advisor or assume the high road and let the government challenge your right to protect your investments.
The plaintiffs have threatened to seek a summary judgment, which, if granted, stops our defense. It is wrong but many times: Those with the Deepest Pocketbook Win. As more people learn about the injustices perpetrated by California’s public servants, pressure may bring the aggressors to the settlement table. You can help with this approach. Write your elected representatives and ask them to look into these matters. The positions taken by the bureaucracies go against the legislative goals and certainly go against our state-wide current financial situation. You can broadcast on the Internet. Alert people to check www.origsix.com and the FORUM topic Water and Arsenic: which came first? Contact radio, television and newspapers and tell them this preposterous story about government abuse and incompetence. Please put a check made out to Sixteen to One in the enclosed envelope.
Other topics on the company’s website also document a long-standing trail of misguided government intervention in our business. You are encouraged to study the site and add your comments. This legal threat is serious. We stand to lose it all without professional legal help. You know that I am a fighter for this company and have been since becoming its president in 1983. I never imagined the interferences that we have experienced. Why, I ponder. Gold mining is an honorable industry. (Enjoy the enclosed excerpts from John Muir). Gold mining serves the public as does all natural resource extraction operations. The Sixteen to One is special. It must not die due to too few dollars to defend the allegations now before us.
If you are on the border about whether to help and want more information, please contact me. Send me an email (email@example.com) or phone me at (530) 287-3223) or ask your question on the FORUM or write me a letter. Time is truly critical. Our research questions are narrow and pointed or direct. We must begin our discovery right now, which requires deposing the enemy and spending money.
I recognize and appreciate all that shareholders and some non-shareholders have done in the past to help us over some particular obstacle. As the shareholder implied in his deposition, which is included in this newsletter, our mine and operation are historical and worth preserving for the future. These lawsuits are taking precious and limited resources from our primary business, which is mining the Sixteen to One high-grade quartz and gold.
Please share this with others. Non-shareholders may wish to help save the mine. They may send a donation because at a future date, once the judicial threat is settled, they see the value of this gold mine. Their research is a reconnaissance expense allowing them to see for the first time what all the following world will see a few years hence. Maybe they will join us as shareholders.
Very Sincerely yours,
Michael M. Miller
The following dialog between California’s Deputy Attorney General and a witness in defense of charges alleged by the People of the State of California (filed in Sierra County Superior Court) who was duly sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The deposition was taken in Sacramento on October 20, 2010.
Question by Deputy Attorney General: Are you presently affiliated in any way with Original Sixteen to One Mine, Incorporated?
I am. I am one of over a thousand shareholders of the company. In 2001, I’d been following the mine’s web site and I saw that they were having problems with the Water Board. And so I requested from the mine office, I said I’ve got some time, I was between projects, I would like them to send me copies of all their water monitoring and a copy of the order sent to the mine.
I read the discharge order. I was shocked. It had so many inconsistencies and so many things that were absolutely not true. If you had read this discharge order you would have thought that the mine was killing fish in the creek. They (water agency staff) had said that the mine discharge represented 30 percent of the water flow into Kanaka Creek. The water flow is minuscule compared to Kanaka Creek.
I reviewed all of their (the company) documents. They all showed one thing, that the flow coming from the mine, both summer and winter, is less than 3 percent, not 30 percent of the creek.
The staff intimated that the creek was no longer suitable for recreational use in that report. If there is any creek in this watershed that I would like to drink water out of, it’s Kanaka Creek. It’s not a degraded creek.
The biggest problem with water that is totally lacking arsenic is it’s going to be probably very high in E. Coli. The EPA studies came out of Taiwan and Bangladesh, but the studies in Bangladesh showed that wells that were absent of arsenic had tremendous bacterial and E.coli problems.
Arsenic is an interesting compound. It’s in water, it’s in the air, it’s in the dirt, it’s in the plants, plants take it up. We’ve evolved with it, and there’s a certain level of arsenic that we probably need to survive.
There’s something called hormesis, and almost all the scientific community knows about it, and that’s what can be toxic at high doses, can be beneficial at low doses. Throughout medicine it’s true with almost any medicine, low dose is beneficial and a high dose a fatal. A low dose of chlorine is beneficial, a high dose is fatal. A low dose, you know, of oxygen is okay. A real high dose can be fatal. The same with water.
They do know what a high dose or arsenic is. Sixty thousand parts per billion is fatal. We used to have a level of 50 parts per billion from 1940 to 2006. The discharge 300 feet down the stream has always met this. I think it represents a purifying factor. They do graze cattle throughout the forest. You get E. coli; you get bad stuff growing.
All of a sudden you come down this remote mountain stream and you get a little shot of arsenic that ultimately gets diluted by the time it hits the Yuba. It’s a beneficial affect to any hiker. The discharge is beneficial to that creek. That creek is vibrant, alive, and the water there that’s coming from the mine comes from up above.
What bother me about it was here there was obviously some hostility between the staff and Mike Miller. It really bothered me that this report was going to the Board, so I got heavily involved, I did a lot of research. I just think that it’s sad that the 35 different regulatory agencies are all coming down on this little guy, because they’ll sink him and we’ll loose it. He’s closed that mill down, and by closing that mill down he’s cut the arsenic release level in half.
Question by Deputy Attorney General: What was it that led you to believe there was this obvious hostility?
By reading the tenor of what the staff were submitting to the Board. They were submitting something that didn’t represent anything that, that they showed any – to me the data was misinterpreted and misrepresented to the Board. And I thought why. The mill hasn’t operated since ’98, and my whole reason for being involved in this is: I think it’s the last really representative thing of our historical past in the state of California. It’s the last deep hard rock mine operating.
Question by Deputy Attorney General: The reports or the information that you described the staff as having submitted to the Board that contained inaccurate statements?
Right. The staff misinterpreted what was actually happening when you looked at the data that the mine had sent to the staff. I sent to the Regional Water Quality Control Board on February 17th of 2002, requesting to be heard at the hearing that they had set up for the Sixteen to One Mine. When they were running the mill almost full time, the discharge from the 21 Tunnel at that time average 1,058 parts per billion, so that the milling operation was a significant contributor to the arsenic in Kanaka Creek.
Question by Deputy Attorney General: Was that the main reason why you wanted me to take a look at those (data brought to the deposition)?
Yeah. It just shows that he’s done everything in his power financially to mitigate what he can.
Question by Deputy Attorney General: Have you ever been employed by Original Sixteen to One Mine, Incorporated in the sense that you were being paid for working for them?
Just the reverse. I volunteered and I’ve also given them money to help them keep operating. I initially gave them $50,000 that they couldn’t repay, and so I converted it to stock. I gave them $25,000 to help them pay their electric bill and other outstanding obligations, and that’s still outstanding.
These charges of wrong doing stem from a government staff that failed to exercise its duty to evaluate specific sites in California that may require a waste discharge permit. The language of the regulations and the specific situations present at the Sixteen to One mine fail to meet the requirements for permitting a discharge. What can anyone do when faced with a non-responsive agency?
This shareholder has offered his donation of $1,000 into the Sixteen to One Defense Fund upon receipt of this shareholder letter. Your contribution of any size will help us stop this unnecessary lawsuit.
John Muir is embraced by historians, naturalists and others as a man of great sensitivity and awareness and vision. One group extols his virtues to validate their narrow view punctuated with dogmatic arrogance. That group would be the environmentalist. John Muir has become their definitive authority, the one unquestionable figure that really speaks for the Californian environment.
Here is what John Muir, an important American, had to say in 1894.
These are his words.
“…the people and the region beyond the camp furnish mines of study of never-failing interest and variety. When I discovered this curious place, I was tracing the channels of the ancient pre-glacial rivers, instructive sections of which have been laid bare here and in the adjacent regions by the miners. Rivers, according to the poets, “go on forever”; but those of the Sierra are young as yet and have scarcely learned the way down to the sea; while at least one generation of them have died and vanished together with most of the basins they drained. All that remains of them to tell their history is a series of interrupted fragments of channels, mostly choked with gravel, and buried beneath broad, thick sheets of lava. These are known as the “Dead Rivers of California,” and the gravel deposited in them is comprehensively called the “Blue Lead.”
The importance of these ancient gravels as gold fountains is well known to miners. The hills have been cut and scalped, and every gorge and gulch and valley torn to pieces and disemboweled, expressing a fierce and desperate energy hard to understand. Still. any kind of effort making is better than inaction, and there is something sublime in seeing men working in dead earnest at anything, pursuing an object with glacier-like energy and persistence.
Most of the pioneer miners are sleeping now, their wild day done, while the few survivors linger languidly in the washed-out gulches or sleepy village like harried bees around the ruins of their beehive. “We have no industry left now,” they told me, “and no men; everybody and everything hereabouts has gone to decay. We are only bummers—out of the game, a thin scatterin’ of poor, dilapidated cusses, compared with what we used to be in the grand old gold-days. We were giants then, and you can look around here and see our track.” But although these lingering pioneers are perhaps more exhausted than the mines, and about as dead as the dead rivers, they are yet a rare and interesting set of men, with much gold mixed with the rough, rocky gravel of their characters; and they manifest a breeding and intelligence little looked for in such surroundings as theirs. As the heavy, long-continued grinding of the glaciers brought out the features of the Sierra, so the intense experiences of the gold period have brought out the features of these old miners, forming a richness and variety of character little known as yet. The sketches of Bret Harte, Hayes, and Miller have not exhausted this field by any means. It is interesting to note the extremes possible in one and the same character: harshness and gentleness, manliness and childishness, apathy and fierce endeavor. Men who, twenty years ago, would not cease their shoveling to save their lives, now play in the streets with children.
Mines, morals, politics, the immortality of the soul, etc., were discussed beneath shade trees and in saloons, the time for each being governed apparently by the temperature. Contact with Nature, and the habits of observation acquired in gold-seeking, had made them all, to some extent, collectors, and, like wood-rats, they had gathered all kinds of odd specimens into their cabins, and now required me to examine them. They were themselves the oddest and most interesting specimens.
Fresh beauty opens one’s eyes wherever it is really seen, but the very abundance and completeness of the common beauty that besets our steps prevents its being absorbed and appreciated. It is a good thing, therefore, to make short excursions now and then to the bottom of the sea among dulse and coral, or up among the clouds on mountaintops, or in balloons, or even to creep like worms into dark holes and caverns underground, not only to learn something of what is going on in those out-of-the-way places, but to see better what the sun sees on our return to common every-day beauty.”
John Muir might not approve of freeways, shopping malls covering the earth, cell phones competing with the chattering of birds or other cultural evolutions scattered through the Sierra Nevada landscape; however, according to his own handwriting, he would praise and encourage the old and dignified industry of California gold mining, mining as we do at the Sixteen To One mine. John Muir, this master of the Californian environment, recorded for posterity his feelings about life, nature and the gold fields of the Sierra, “Still, any kind of effort making is better than inaction, and there is something sublime in seeing men working in dead earnest at anything, pursuing an object with glacial-like energy and persistence.”