Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20170301

MARCH 2017
Volume 330

Meetings are held on the first Friday of the month. The next meeting will be Friday, MARCH 3, 2017 at the Baker City Hall. The building is located at 1st and Auburn Streets in Baker City. The Board meeting starts at 6:00 PM. The general meeting starts at 6:30 PM.

Everyone is welcome to attend these meetings. There is time for discussing mining and getting to know other miners. Lots of good discussions on looking forward to the next season and solving problems. And, every meeting, there is a drawing for a $50 silver medallion!

Find the last page of this newsletter, fill it out and get it back to EOMA ASAP along with your membership fees. That way you will continue to be informed on what is going on with mining in the west. If we do not hear from you, you will not receive any more newsletters and your vote will not count in the March elections. The information you need to renew your membership is on the last page of this newsletter.

EOMA ELECTIONS…..2017-Chuck Chase
For those that can’t make the March meeting in person, fill out the Absentee Election Ballot and send it in before the March meeting. For your ballot to be counted, you need to have your dues paid and have signed the ballot. If you have a dual membership, both of you need to sign the ballot and both of you need to mark the ballot.

Election results will be in the April newsletter.

These are challenging times for all miners in all Oregon watersheds. SB3 does not just target miners within 300 feet of ESH waterways, it targets miners on all waterways. SB3 could easily change the way we mine (or don't mine) for the foreseeable future. As written, SB3 would require all small scale mine operators to obtain DOGAMI permits. The estimated cost (permit fee of $1750, plus land survey cost of $3,000-$10,000 or more for remote locations, plus all the other permit costs) would put the small scale operator out of business.

There is the possibility under SB3 that DEQ, rather than DOGAMI, could be the agency to regulate small scale operations. Miners using only hand tools may get a break on fees, but those using mechanized equipment will likely see increased fees. If fees are too high, small scale operators will not be able to pay for these permits.

If passed as it is presently written, implementation of SB3 begins in 2019. Careful miners, with approved Plans of Operation and bonded Notices, will have an opportunity to mine within 300 feet of waterways for the next two years, as long as these miners do not impact water quality.

EOMA's lobbyist, Rich Angstrom, and Dave Hunnicutt of OMA, are working to get the upland miners excluded from SB3. EOMA member, Larry Chase, testified at the hearing on this bill, as did other Oregon miners. Senator Brian Boquist is working hard to find common ground with Democratic Senators, to make SB3 more workable for the small scale mining industry in Oregon. There are Senators from both parties that are trying to modify this bill and pass reasonable legislation that does not completely destroy small scale mining. We owe these people a debt of gratitude for their efforts.

The March MSHA Annual Refresher, for miners who have already taken the new miner training class, will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2017, at the Sunridge Inn located next to the freeway. Classes begin at 8:00AM each day. The cost of these classes is $20 per person per day. Call Jan Alexander at 541-446-3413 to register, since there can be no more than 30 miners in each class. If you are a paid up member of EOMA, you will receive a discount and will only have to pay $15. So, get your membership application in now!

 MSHA NEW MINER TRAINING-MARCH 9, 10, AND 12, 2017- Jan Alexander
There will also be a 3-day New Miner Training on Thursday March 8, Friday March 9, and Sunday March 12. Those miners who only need Annual Refresher, can take their 8 hour class on Saturday March 11, 2016. The cost of the new miner classes is $20 per person per day. Call Jan Alexander at 541-446-3413 to register, since there can be no more than 30 miners in each class.

LEGISLATIVE HOTLINE IN BAKER CITY-Rep. Cliff Bentz and Sen. Ted Ferrioli
Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario) and Sen. Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day will hold a "Legislative Hotline" (video conference) call once per month during the 2017 Legislative Session, which already has started on February 1st.

These appearances, hosted by the Baker County Chamber of Commerce, provide Baker County residents an opportunity to discuss with the Representative and Senator legislative events and other statewide and local issues of interest.
Those interested should be at the Baker County OSU Extension Office's media room (2600 East St., Baker City) at 7:00 a.m. (Pacific Time) on the following dates: March 7th, April 4th, May 2nd, and June 6th.
"These meetings will provide the opportunity to review what is happening in Salem with Baker County residents. I hope that those who follow the Oregon Legislature will join the two of us to talk about proposed bills and other legislative actions. We want to know what you think and what you believe should be happening in the Legislature," said Rep. Bentz.
Oregon Miners' Rally is planned for March 15th.  It will run from 8:00am until 5:00pm. Miners have an 18 foot by 18 foot space similar to what we had at the 2013 rally.  We reserved the front of the Capitol steps and below to the main side walk curb area.  There will be a podium with microphone and speakers. We will have one panning booth inside the capitol area with our equipment display.   The contact person is Tom Quintal 503 371-9747.  Eben Ray said he would be our MC coordinator to handle speaker introductions. 
Armadillo Mining said they may be able to send a bus to Salem for Southern Oregon miners to participate at the rally. Some of us will be contacting Senators and Representative to join us at the podium to talk about how mining helps rural Oregon communities etc.  We would appreciate Oregon miners who want to speak at the rally who can explain Oregon mining history and how minerals helped develop our state.  

This is a positive forum. We must remain professional, but that does not mean miners cannot talk about the impacts to their lives and their frustration with the Oregon and SB3. Thank you for all the support you can give to the rally.  If SB 3 does pass, most all mining in tributaries will be put in the same moratorium as SB 838 until 2021.

This site will enable you to look up information about Bills, meetings, and hearings on legislation that will be affecting your lives in the future. Get involved!

Under the 36CFR 228 regulations, the Forest Service authorized officer is required to “promptly receipt” a plan of operation. So far, according to several miner who have submitted Plans of Operation recently this does not seem to be happening in Baker. I will be taking a Plan in next week. I will get it date stamped at the front desk and ask for a copy for my files.

I will then wait for a "prompt response" from the Ranger. It will be interesting to see how this process of approval of a Plan of Operation, which was already analyzed in an EIS, goes!

Who should administer small scale mining operations? DOGAMI is the state agency that regulates and administers large scale mining operations, both on Federal lands and on private lands. Although DOGAMI permits are increasingly difficult to obtain, the agency does promote responsible mining in Oregon, and reclamation of mined lands is ensured.

DEQ is the State agency that issues permits to ensure protection of water quality on both Federal and private lands. This agency promotes good water quality, but does not promote mining.

On Federal lands, BLM and Forest Service employees administer all operations on the ground. Miners with approved Plans of Operation, or bonded Notices, work under detailed exploration/mining Plans, and as long as they have their general WPCF settling pond permit from DEQ, they should be exempt from SB3's requirement that they obtain DOGAMI permits. They should also be exempt from being administered by DEQ, an agency that is not at all familiar with mining.

Small scale operators working in the uplands beside streams and rivers, already work responsibly under approved and bonded Plans of Operation or Bonded Notices, where protection of water quality is required, and where administration to ensure compliance takes place by federal agency personnel.

Mining should not just be for the rich. Most of the small scale mine operators cannot afford the fees for a DOGAMI permit, and DOGAMI has a big job already taking care of permitting for the larger scale operations. Reasonable fees for general DEQ settling pond permits, would be accepted as a cost of doing business. High fees for general settling pond permits will take its toll on the small scale mining industry.

EOMP SCHEDULE for 2017-Randy Stockum
Members of EOMA's sister organization, Eastern Oregon Miners and Prospectors (EOMP), are definitely looking forward to spring! The following is a list of dates for the Porch Panning and outings this year.
March 25th    Porch panning @ Missouri Flat Grange Hall
May 20th – 21st Outing @ North Fork
June 24th – 25th Outing @ Camp Creek
July 14th  – 16th         Miners Jubilee in Baker City
Aug 19th – 20th Outing @ TBA
Sept 22nd – 23rd Outing @ TBA
If you have any questions please give Randy a call at 541 216-3253. See you in March.
Many thanks to Terry Drever-Gee for putting together this quarter's Round Table discussion between the EOMA, Baker County, BLM, and Forest Service. The meeting will be at the Baker County Courthouse and all topics are open for discussion. The Roundtable begins at 2:00PM and runs until about 4:00PM. There is a time for public participation, and everyone is welcome to attend.

Minerals on an unpatented mining claim are the private property of the claim owner, and as such, constitute a 5th amendment private property right. The rub comes in because these minerals are usually beneath the surface, and the BLM and Forest Service are charged with protecting surface resources and minimizing the effects of the mining operation. NEPA is used by the Forest Service to analyze the effects to the surface of a claim from the proposed mining operation, but also, we see them using NEPA to delay approval of the mining operation.

BLM is more mining friendly, and NEPA documents are written, and Plans of Operation approved in a more timely manner than with the FS. The reason BLM does not have a backlog of
Exploration type Plans of Operation waiting for approval, is because BLM's regulations allow for bonded Exploration Notices. These Notices are exempt from NEPA. Miners who wish to conduct exploration work can be authorized to begin work in less than a month's time after a complete Notice is submitted. Miners on the National Forest must wait many years to even be authorized to conduct exploration work. If these miners find a deposit worth mining, they must wait another ten years to mine. This is simply unacceptable.

But there is a solution. The Forest Service 36CFR228 regulations should be repealed and replaced by the BLM 43CFR3909 and 3715 regulations. At least, as a start, the Forest Service regulations should be changed to include bonded Notices.

Waldo and Galice Mining Association are pursuing this lawsuit. Word just came from the Oregon Court of Appeals that we have 28 days to request Oral Hearings on our suit against DEQ & NPDES permitting. The hearing could be as early as May 3, 2017. James Buchal will present our case. More information can be found on the Waldo Mining District website. http://www.waldominingdistrict.org/win-half-pound-of-gold/
Waldo & Galice are now paying attorney bills. If miners would like to help fund this lawsuit and have a chance to win a half pound of gold send checks to: Western Culture Conservancy, P.O. Box 1407, Jacksonville, OR 97530

OCEANAGOLD-Northern Miner
If anyone needed a reminder of the importance of diversifying risk, they need look no further than OceanaGold’s (TSX: OGC) news flow over the last two months. At the end of January the mining company poured gold at its Haile gold mine in South Carolina — the first production from the mine in a quarter of a century. Haile is on track to reach commercial production before the end of the first quarter and is the newest gold producer in the United States. 

The advertising listings are only $1 per month to get your ad listed below. Send your ad to: EOMA, Box 932, Baker City, OR 97814 along with your remittance for each month you want us to run your ad. The number next to your ad is how many months your ad will run.

EOMA medallions are one ounce silver medallions with the addition of real gold “nuggets” in the pan. We still have a limited supply of previous year's medallions. These are currently selling for $50.00 apiece plus $5.00 shipping, handling, and insurance. (Prices are subject to change). You can order yours from the EOMA website, and pay by pay-pal. Or, you can send $50 plus $5.00 shipping and handling to EOMA, Medallions, PO Box 932, Baker City, OR 97814, or call 541-523-3285.

Besides the drawing for the 1/2 pound of gold on June 2, 2017, there will also be drawings for all kinds of mining equipment. The proceeds from ticket sales will go to help pay legal fees for several law suits which are critical to keeping Oregon miners mining. You do not need to be present to win! Check it out: http://www.waldominingdistrict.org/win-half-pound-of-gold/

Rebuilt John Deere 420 crawler $6,500. Contact Bill Johnson at 541-932-4582

Email Katerina Paley at katerina.paley@ALSGlobal. We will work with miners, and get you an analytical elemental determination of your concentrates.

ICMJ’s Prospecting and Mining Journal is your monthly source for news, legislation, how-to articles and more. A full year (12 issues) is still only $27.95; or get a print and online subscription for just $31.95 and get access to our last 16 years of articles online too. Published monthly since 1931. Visit us at www.icmj.com or give us a call at (831) 479-1500-get your subscription started!

Wanted:  Full time caretaker for remote property about 20 miles from John Day, Oregon. Primitive, well insulated house, wood heat only, good water from spring.  Off the grid, power from gas generator if needed.  ¼ mile level driveway off county maintained road.  Must have own chain saw, 4 x 4 vehicle with chains, cut own firewood, and help with chores.  Inquire by e-mail (tseal@unr.edu) or by mail to Caretaker, PO Box 8353, Spring Creek, NV 89815.