Eastern Oregon Mining Association
Eastern Oregon Mining Association
Serving the mineral industries
Featured Article · All Articles · Rants & Raves · EOMA Newsletters

« Previous Page :: EOMA » Newsletters » Newsletter 20110201

- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20110201

The Oregon, Washington and California miners have banded together to put on probably the largest of all drawings ever. The prize list goes on and on, so read more about it in the flyers enclosed in the newsletter. There will be a drawing held this spring for a large list of prizes including an ounce of jewelers gold as top prize. At Miners Jubilee there will also be a drawing, the prize list is being compiled at this time. The real neat part about these drawings is that all the tickets sold will also be eligible for all the drawings, plus the pound of gold, with a huge list if prizes. In other words if you enter in any of these draws, your tickets will be added to the next draw, and for the grand prize drawing for the pound of gold, Now how's that for a deal. Each month we will add prizes, to be given away at each of these drawings. Some of the latest prize donations are a new 2009 Lambretta Motor Scooter, a three day Mining Trip, both of these were donated by Dave Rutan, of Oregon Gold Trips, as well as a Keen Gold Concentrator and the list is getting even larger as I write this. ONE HALF POUND OF GOLD, WOULDN'T THAT LOOK NICE IN YOUR PAN

If you have not renewed your EOMA membership and paid for your Forest Service bond under the MOU, you are late. Sit down right now and write that check, or better yet, come to the EOMA meeting February 4th at the City Hall building in Baker at 6:30PM. and pay your dues and bond fee then.

No one will want to miss this talk. If you have ever watched this series on the Discovery network, you will know who Jim is. He and his crew are looking at our area for a possible new series on lode mining. The meeting starts at 6:30 PM.

Meetings are on the first Friday of the month. They are held at 1st and Auburn at the City Hall Chambers. Board meetings start at 6:00 and the general meeting starts at 6:30.

We have the 2011 medallions in and they are prettier that the 2010's. These have multiple gold pieces in the miners gold pan making them probably the most exquisite medallions we have minted so far. These medallions are currently selling for $45 dollars apiece plus $3.00 shipping and handling. Insurance costs are also extra. We have set the price at $45 dollars and will hold the price for as long as possible. But due to the volatility of the silver market at this time, these prices may be subject to change.

Just fill out the form on the back to get your new, hot off the presses 2011 calendar. It has all the dates for meetings and important information you need to keep from losing your claims. Still have some 2010 and prior issue calendars left if you need one. Fill out the flyer in the newsletter to order your 2011 calendars today.

We also have prior years available for you collectors. There is a form at the back of the newsletter, just send it in with your remittance of 5 bucks plus $1 shipping for prior issues or $8.50 plus $1shipping for the 2011 issue. Or we will make you a special deal of three 2011 calendars for $22, how can you beat a deal like that. We will send it right out to you.......

As reported in last month's newsletter, the Forest Service is now calculating reclamation bonds based on the agency's cost to rent a piece of equipment for an 8 hour day, then hire someone to run that piece of equipment. Of course, this is not what they would do if they ever had to use a bond and reclaim a mining site. They would simply call three contractors, get bids, chose one of them, and that contractor would do the work.

The new way of calculating bonds makes them higher than necessary, and thus, is contrary to the regulations which state that bonds must be reasonable and must cover the actual cost to government of 'stabilizing, reclaiming and rehabilitating, the area of operations'. Please note, that miners are not required to enhance the land, just to restore it to a stable vegetated condition similar to the condition before mining.

The Forest Service is just beginning the process of calculating bonds for the North Fork Burnt River miners covered by the mining EIS. I reviewed one bond where the operator had proposed a 'foot print' of one acre. The Forest Service took this to mean there would be a pit one acre in size with vertical walls, all the material in the pit was dug out and stockpiled by the pit in a huge mountain of material.

No one mines this way, it would make no economic sense to dig out the entire pit and stockpile the material. Many miners, including the one whose bond I reviewed, wouldn't have enough room to stockpile this much material, even if they wanted to.

The point is, you must tell the Forest Service how you actually mine. If you process 20 cubic yards in a day, load this material from behind your trommel into a dump truck or backhoe bucket and take it back and dump it into the pit, then you have to explain that to the Forest Service. There is a dramatic difference in the bond amount to reclaim 20 yards vs. 10,000 yards.

I spoke to Meg Doolittle on the phone yesterday about the bonds, and she is willing to sit down with individual miners and go over their bond amounts. When the Forest Service actually understands how you mine, and how you reclaim in an ongoing manner, the bonds will be reduced. If you want someone from EOMA to sit down with you at that meeting, this can be arranged.

Ken and I have an appointment to talk about our mining bonds in two weeks. We will compare my bond calculations with the Forest Service calculations. There will be a full report on this meeting in the next newsletter.


Posting a bond to guarantee reclamation, whether you work on the National Forest, BLM or even private land (bond is required by the State for more than one acre of disturbance in a year and 5,000 cubic yards processed) is a cost of being in the mining business. The bond is returned as soon as the site is reclaimed and revegetated. If something should happen, and the miner cannot do the reclamation, the bond is there so the tax payers do not have to foot the bill.

A good job of reclamation is something miners can be proud of, the Forest Service can point to showing what good administrators they are, and the environmentalists will hate.

Those miners who work on the Forest can bond through EOMA's $1500 MOU by paying the bond fee of $30. $1500 should be sufficient to cover most test operations, where one test hole is open at a given time, processing takes place on site, and a minimum of equipment is left on site over the winter. Excellent operator bonds, of $3,000.00, are available to miners who have demonstrated environmentally sound mining practices, have a proven record of reclamation, and who work with the agencies.

It is a time consuming process to set up a wash plant each spring, so many miners leave their plants on site over the winter. Either a $1500 or a $3,000 bond can cover both dirt work and equipment removal. Those who do leave equipment need to inform EOMA that they would like equipment removal covered under the bond. The miner will need to sign a statement that in the event something should happen and he or she is unable to move the equipment off the Forest, EOMA has permission to move the equipment. If the place where the equipment will go is owned by someone else, that party must also sign the agreement.

Operators who do not meet the criteria for the excellent operator bond of $3,000 may post the full amount of their reclamation bond with EOMA or pay 10% of their bond, plus pledge real property which will be held by EOMA. The purpose of the MOU is to facilitate mining. We want miners to be mining and the bonding MOUs are a tool to help get this to happen.

As agent for several miners, I received copies of eleven BLM bonds that had been recalculated by BLM. All these bonds were considerably higher than the amount currently posted.

I sat down with BLM Geologist Kirk Rentmeister and discussed a number of these bonds to see why they were so high. Unlike the Forest Service, BLM uses a bond calculation program, and the spreadsheet generated by that program is a bit difficult to understand. Miners need to closely check these numbers. They need to be sure that (a) the disturbances covered in the bond actually is on the ground (b) that disturbance isn't something left by a prior operator and (c) some glitch in the program hasn't added costs that are not relevant.

In every case that we discussed, the bond amount was recalculated while we sat there. Every one of the bond amounts was reduced significantly from the amount originally calculated. Kirk worked with the program to assess the greatest amount of disturbance that a miner could do for a particular bond amount, and worked with the miner to reduce the amount where small changes in disturbed areas on the ground would make big changes in the bond amount.

All miners who have had their bonds recalculated and are concerned about the amount, should request an appointment to talk to Kirk about their bonds. If you want someone from EOMA to sit down with you at that meeting, this can be arranged


If you wish to donate to the Oregon Miners Legal Fund, send your contributions to: EOMA, Oregon Miners Legal Fund, PO Box 932, Baker City, OR 97814.

When you contribute, please designate which legal fund to put it in. If you don't designate which fund, we will put it where the fire is the hottest.

A big thanks to Bob and Renee Baldwin of North Bend Prospectors, Joe Mann of Show Me Gold Prospectors, Kansas City, Waldo Miners, High Desert Treasure Club, Bed Rock Prospectors, Willamette Valley Miners, N.W. Prospetors Club, PCPA, and Millennium Diggers.

Your continued unwavering support in these ongoing litigations and legal expenses are most appreciated. Also to you Bob Baldwin and Theo Stanley of the North Bend Prospectors for your donation of a 10 ounce silver bar for our drawings.

Single donors are: Butch Wilson, Craig Monpas, Dave Peyton, Dick and Marlyn Coughren, Jan and Ken Alexander, Dale and Betsy McGreer, Jan Dilley, Norman Selthon, Barbara George, Kathy Drake, Laurel Broman, Gerald Berg, Cory Bell, Frank Brown, , Jeff Edward, Duane Long, Gerry Hine, Larry Chase, Bob Heitmanek,, And a donation by Julie Johnson to the legal fund on behalf of an old time miner and friend Larry Vandehey who passed on recently. We really appreciate the donation Julie and the rest of his family as well. We miss Larry he will leave a void in our lives.
If I missed anybody please accept my apology's. The donations have been coming in and if you fell thru the cracks I am sorry.

Several members and officers of EOMA are included in a permit litigation group (PLG). These are miners all across Oregon, with some from Washington and California. The purpose of this group is to help decide issues that come up to help guide, by comments, the Plaintiffs in this case against Dept. of Environmental Quality on the new 2010, 700PM permit.
One of the recent issues being discussed is whether the enviros group NEDC has standing to even file its case against DEQ over this permit. What is becoming the hot item is the issue of whether third party interests are strong enough to overcome the argument of having not participated in the 'permit issuance proceeding'. In other words, they have not filed to receive the permit or even stated any intent to engage in the activity of suction dredging; of which, the permit is issued as an 'order', which according to Oregon Law, means that the permit/order is to 'person or persons', which must be named.

Another development is that Oregon Dept. of Justice (DOJ) is defending DEQ by submitting in its response to EOMA et al. that none of the Petitioners, EOMA, Guy Michael and Charles Chase has standing either, even though they have participated by either getting the 2010 permit, as is the case for Charles and he opposes the permit, or are proposing to engage in the activity as is the case for Guy, but refuse to buy the permit because it violates his rights to property. There are more new developments in the case.
The National Environmental Defense Counsel (NEDC), which was already joined by K-S Wild (an enviros group from Klamath and Siskiyou area) have now amended its complaint to include the Hells Canyon Preservation Counsel, Siskiyou Project, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Assoc. and Institute for Fisheries Resources ( these last two are based out of San Francisco). Did I leave anyone out? Oh yeah, this includes Oregon Coast Alliance, from Coos County and Oregon Wild, from Multnomah County and one individual who is a member of NEDC.

The Waldo Mining District filed in the Oregon Appeals Court in conjunction with EOMA's case because of questions of whether the jurisdiction of venue for the 2010 permit is for rules, which are heard by this court. The Appeals Court ruled that the Waldo case, since the permit is issued as an order, must be heard in circuit court proceedings. So the Waldo case will be joining EOMA in Marion County. The NEDC case was filed in Multnomah County and the judge there just ordered that case to also go to Marion County.
So it looks like, to me, that it is starting to get quite crowded in Marion County over the issues of the 2010 permit for the suction dredgers in Oregon.

Lets support our sister organization, they have supported us with their membership and contributions to our legal fund. You can scope out EOMP at www.eomp.org check em out. They have a lot of fun scraping and digging for that elusive yellow metal.... I have attended several of these and they are a lot of fun. Chuck Chase, Executive Director, EOMA

Eastern Oregon Miners & Prospectors Inc) For a $75.00 annual family membership you can mine on any of our claims all you need to do is join our organization and start enjoying all the fun of digging for that yellow metal.You mine all you want, any time you want, and keep all the gold that you find. For more information, Write to EOMP at P.O. Box 66 Baker City, OR 97814.

The cost is $1.00 per month to run your ad in the EOMA newsletter. Send your ad and payment to: EOMA, Attn. Editor, PO Box 932, Baker City, OR 97814.

Six Un-patented Hard Rock Gold Claims on the Forest Service and BLM. Claims are clustered together behind Bridgeport. Two small cabins and a good spring on one claim. Mines have been in same family since 1898. Call Pat Cutting (541)523-3309
Placer and lode claims for sale. The Golden Fawn and the Golden Bandit 1 and 2 with lode filed over the top of the placers making six claims all together. Good producers, just getting to old to pack all that darn gold out of there. Looking for a good home for them. Call Eugene Gass at 541-942-2851.

Four Associated Un-patented Placer Claims on Forest Service land near Whitney. The 'E.J. Placer' covers over 5 miles and 640 acres of the North Fork Burnt River. Premium location with
easy access, county gravel road runs entire length of the claim. Year round river, good for dredging and high banking. Call Pat Cutting (541)523-3309

a Local, Authorized Dealer Selling WHITE'S, MINELAB, TESORO & Fisher METAL DETECTORS AND ACCESSORIES. Please call in evenings after 5:30 P.M. or daytime on weekends. 541-523-7406 or 541-403-0910.