Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20121126

NOVEMBER 2012 Newsletter
Volume 278

President...........................................Ken Alexander.................................541-446-3391 Executive Director.............................Chuck Chase................................. 541-523-3285 Director of Governmental Affairs…........Terry Drever Gee ................... 541-523-6228 Editors....Chuck Chase ……541-523-3285 ...and.….Jan Alexander.......541-446-3413
Mineral Policy Director.....................Jan Alexander.................................541-446-3413
EOMA INTERNET ADDRESS: http://www.h2oaccess.com/

The meetings are held on the first Friday of the month. The next meeting is Friday, Oct. 5th at the Baker City Hall. The building is located at 1st and Auburn Streets in Baker City. The Board meeting starts at 6:00PM, and the general meeting starts at 6:30PM.

Forest Supervisor, Kevin Martin, and Baker District Ranger, Jeff Tomac, are scheduled to come to the November meeting. A report on the appeals filed on the North Fork Burnt River Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (NFBR SEIS) will be one topic. This will be a good opportunity for you to get answers to questions you may have for the Forest Service.

By now, all of you should have read, understood, and filed your appeals on the five hundred plus pages of material in the NFBR FSEIS. I must admit that I could only get through some of it. Unfortunately, as anxious as miners are to get approval of their plans, there were some parts of it that were found to be unreasonable. EOMA has filed an appeal on several issues. One example, is making miners close and decommission their roads at the end of ten years. “Any closed, decommissioned, and nonsystem roads that are authorized for reconstruction or use in an approved Plan of Operations must be closed or decommissioned at the completion of operations or at the expiration of approval of the Plan. Approval of all Plans expire 10-years from the date of approval.” This, of course, is contrary to mining law and the regulations, since the miner is guaranteed access to his privately owned minerals when he has discovered a valuable mineral deposit. We are hopeful that most of the problems we have found will be corrected in the appeal resolution process. There definitely needs to be a change in the law when it takes the Forest Service more years to approve the plan of operation than the miner is allowed to operate under that plan.

MINERAL WEALTH - From the Alaska Miner Publication (AMA)
The United States is the third most mineral wealthy county in the world, yet we are tied in last place with Papua New Guinea for the length of time it takes to permit a mine.

Ed and Jackie Bechtel, of Elk Creek Treasures, have generously donated a 2.8 gram genuine Elk Creek nugget for a drawing to raise money for EOMA’s legal fund. This tear drop nugget is just gorgeous. It will make the perfect Christmas gift for the guy or gal in your life. Please support EOMA. Tickets for this drawing are in your newsletter. Take a minute to fill them out, write out a check and return to EOMA. The winning ticket will be drawn at EOMA’s regular December meeting in Baker City on December 7, 2012. You do not need to be present to win.

The final registration brochure for this years Annual Meeting, Exposition and Short Courses is on the website and in the mail. Planning wise, December 2-7 is just around the corner and there is no time like the present to make sure you have your hotel reservations and meeting registration complete. Its also time to read through the brochure and register for short courses and the field trip. Make sure there is a seat reserved for you! Advance discounted registration for the Annual Meeting ends November 18. Dont miss that date! On- site registration fees will be $50 higher. This includes exhibitors and speakers. Everyone must register. Save time, Save money... Register Today!

With the November election looming, we wanted to once again remind you of the National Mining Associations (NMA) Mine the Vote website.

Mine the Vote is an electronic platform designed to help educate and mobilize the mining community to be sure minings voice is heard on Nov. 6. NMA has redesigned and enhanced the website to include features that will allow mining supporters to:
· Easily register to vote in 2012;
· Find their closest polling location, where to vote early and register for absentee ballots;
· Learn about public policy issues that impact mining on both state and national levels;
· Find out which candidates NMA PACs support;
· Use the interactive map to find the latest news and information on their candidates and learn how, where and when they can vote; and
· Get the latest news and stay up-to-date on mining developments and stay connected with Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
You can access the Mine the Vote website at: www.minethevote.com/join-the-fight-stop-the-attack-on-american-mining

Bureau of Land Management guidance manuals, recently discovered by Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), show that the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) has resurrected the controversial Wild Lands policy killed by Congress in April 2011. Included in the manuals is language directly lifted from Secretarial order 3310 and its supporting documents, known as the DOIs Wild Lands memo, illustrating how BLM employees are to identify and manage lands with wilderness characteristics. Congressman Rob Bishop and Senator Orrin Hatch, along with other Senators and Representatives from the West, issued a letter to Secretary Ken Salazar outlining concerns and questions about the DOIs efforts to re-establish Wild Lands through the new guidance manuals.
Despite far reaching opposition to previous attempts to establish de-facto wilderness areas, the DOI is yet again looking for ways to apply strict land management practices to federal lands without Congress officially designating the lands as wilderness through regular order. In the new guidance manuals, the DOI has carefully outlined how BLM employees should apply new land management practices that essentially create de-facto wilderness areas. Many of the directives use language taken directly from the controversial and widely opposed Wild Lands initiative and unfairly stack the deck against multiple-use management.

The Senate Western Caucus Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY), Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Stevan Pearce (R-NM), and members of the Senate and Congressional Western Caucuses released the \Beyond Belief: The Obama Administrations All Out, None-of-the-Above Energy Strategy\ report. The report highlights the Obama Administrations \say one thing, do another\ approach to electricity and energy production. President Obama has touted his \all-of-the-above\ energy plan in every possible forum, from his State of the Union addresses to the White House website. Meanwhile, his Administration and its allies in the extreme environmental activist community, continue their war on coal, oil, and natural gas. Here is the link where you can read the report:

This new study demonstrates that the U.S. manufacturing industry faces a major obstacle to growth: lack of access to the minerals they need.
Please take a moment to review our fact sheet addressing the critical role that minerals play in the manufacturing industry. Due to an inefficient minerals permitting process, which can delay new minerals mining projects by as long as 10 years, American manufacturers face a significant disadvantage in today’s globally competitive marketplace.
New Study: http://www.pwc.com/resourcescarcity
Fact Sheet: http://mineralsmakelife.org/resources/fact-sheets/minerals-make-manufacturing

Pacific Legal Foundation filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court asking the court to grant the petition for writ of certiorari filed by The New 49ers v. Karuk Tribe of California.  In this case, the Ninth Circuit ruled that all ministerial approvals of “notices of intent” to engage in minor mining activities required the exercise of enough discretion to trigger the consultation requirements under the Endangered Species Act.  The problem, however, is that the Forest Service review process of these notices did not involve discretion, only judgment — a key distinction in a prior Supreme Court case.  Moreover, the consultation requirement will add a layer of bureaucratic delay, review, and future litigation potential to make it impossible for the small miners to operate.  We filed our brief on behalf of the Eastern Oregon Mining Association and the Waldo Mining District.  Because the Ninth Circuit’s opinion is not consistent with the language of the Endangered Species Act and the precedents of the Supreme Court and other circuits, we believe it is important that the Supreme Court grants review.

The Supreme Court said it would not review a Clinton Administration rule that prohibits most roads and logging across roughly 45 million acres of national forests, effectively ending more than a decade of legal wrangling.

The Court denied petitions from the State of Wyoming and the Colorado Mining Association to overturn the 2001 Roadless Rule, which initially sought protection for 58.5 million acres, or nearly one-third of Forest Service lands. NWMA joined other mining associations in an amicus brief supporting the petition for certiorari.

The details are still sketchy as yet, but here is the information I have been getting from Tom Kitcher of the Oregon Permit Litigation Group (PLG). Tom says the ½ pound of gold drawing is coming back. The PLG has been defending our mining rights in court. There has been almost a marathon of litigation after litigation spanning the last half dozen years against the Department of Environmental Quality. Almost every environmental organization in Oregon has tried to pile on.

The money from the sale of the ½ pound of gold tickets goes to help pay for the lawyers and court costs being incurred on a monthly basis.

Prize donations already are starting to trickle in, one prize is a four inch Keene Dredge, donated by Keene Industries. These interim prizes will be given away at the 2013 Gold Show and Miners Jubilee as well as other events held in Oregon. By the time tickets come out we should have a short list of Grand Prizes to be given away in the upcoming months.

Each ticket bought will be good for the final drawing at the Salem Gold Show in 2014 for the ½ pound of gold. There will be numerous drawings held for other items including the dredge during the year at specified and advertised Mining Events and Fairs. Remember each ticket bought gives you a chance at the ½ pound of gold.
After all these years of waiting, the Forest Service finally published the final supplement and Ranger Jeff Tomac signed the Record of Decision (ROD). Miners were excited because they thought finally they would be going back to work.

But this is not the case. There are so many things wrong with this document, EOMA was forced to appeal it. The unreasonable mitigation measures you saw in last month’s newsletter would have made mining difficult for some miners and impossible for others. In addition, adding unreasonable mitigations is a violation of the Multiple Use Mining Act. Requiring all operations, even those with good records in compliance with their approved Plans, to close or decommission their access roads at the end of ten years when the District Ranger “expires” his approval of the Plans is not reasonable and further, this violates the intent of the Forest Service 36CFR 228 regulations that are based on the 1872 Mining Law, as amended, which gives miners a statutory right of access. In addition, this would be a violation of Public Law 167, which states the Forest Service will not materially interfere with mining operations; and the Mining and Minerals Policy Act which requires the Forest Service to facilitate the orderly development of the minerals resource.

The Supplemental EIS was 1 ½ inches thick and filled with confusing information. I talked to a lot of miners that simply gave up on trying to understand the document. There were some individual miners who did appeal the SEIS, and in their appeals they showed how the SEIS affected their eleven operations in the North Fork Burnt River watershed. It is our understanding that “general mitigations” apply to all Plans of Operation. If these mitigation measures can be modified through the appeals process so they are reasonable, all the rest of the miners, who did not appeal, will also have their general requirements modified.

The range people ordered too much seed this year, and this is a good thing for miners who are completing this season’s reclamation. Call Mike Hall at 541-523-1945 and tell him how much ground you have to seed. Just give the Forest Service a day to get the seed mixed before you come in to pick it up.

The seed is native seed, rather than the mix of sheep fescue, Kentucky bluegrass and sweet clover, that we have been using for so many years. The conditions are just right for seeding, since we have gotten a little moisture. Seeding over the first snow works well too. I plan to compare the reclamation I did in previous years using the old mix with the results of using this new mix of native seed.

World’s Largest Gold Mines – Alaska Miner Publication (AMA)
Two of the world’s largest gold mines are in the U.S. Barrick Gold’s Cortez and Goldstrike mines that sit on the Carlin trend in Eastern Nevada. Cortez produced 1,421,000 ounces in 2011 and Goldstrike wasn’t far behind with 1,088,000 ounces of gold. Both mines include underground and open pit operations Cortez has been an operating mine since 1862. That’s 150 years of gold mining!
By the time this newsletter goes to press, EOMA should know if we have won our latest battle against DEQ concerning acceptance of our amended complaint against DEQ by the Judge. EOMA’s complaint alleges that the settlement agreement between DEQ and NEDC ignores the legislative mandate for public involvement in the permitting process. The result of the settlement agreement was that a structure for reviewing the next permit was set in place, which gave NEDC representatives a stakeholder status. The funny part is that the miners represented by EOMA were not allowed to participate in the agreement, and thus, they had no opportunity to protect their interests under the mining laws.

On the second battle front, with the help of Representative Cliff Bentz, two miners, Tom Kitchar, President Waldo Mining District and I have submitted two Bills which are currently being rewritten for statute quality. We are asking the legislature to require state agencies to consult with the “affected parties”. We explained that this means that any future “rules” or if permitting is by “order” that the parties which engage in the activity of recreational or small scale mining must be consulted 30 days before notice of any new rule or changes to any orders by state agencies. Otherwise, the proposed rules and orders become void.

Our second Bill asks the legislature to not allow any funds to be spent by the Department of Environmental Quality for new suction dredge permitting until the miners have the chance to make their case before the Oregon Supreme Court. The last time we had our case before the high court, DEQ completed the new permit and got the Court to agree that the old 2005 permit was no longer valid. After all our work, the appeal court said our case was moot. This is the very reason EOMA had to file this case again, with the complication that the new permit was issued as an order, rather than as a rule like it was last time, and EOMA had to file in the Circuit Court. (“Rules” start in the Court of Appeals for judicial review). This made EOMA’s starting position further from the Supreme Court, even though the issues are the same as they were last time in the 2005 permit case. The other complication is that we have even less time to complete the court processes before DEQ issues a renewed or new permit.

So, our second Bill is really asking the legislature to rein in DEQ and give us a chance to have our issues heard by the high court once and for all. Otherwise, the State of Oregon will be spending a lot of money on what we believe to be illegal permitting.

PUBLIC LANDS -Alaska Miner Publication (AMA)
Only 3 million acres of public land, about the size of a county in Nevada, have gone into private ownership from mining, compared with 94 million acres granted to railroads and 288 million acres as agricultural homesteads.

For the month of October, mining organizations and private individuals have donated to the permit litigation legal fund. We would like to thank N.W. Mineral Prospectors Club and the Eastern Oregon Mining Association for their most generous donations. Also a special thanks to Jasper and Lois Coombes for their extremely generous donation. We would like to thank all of you that have supported our litigations with your donations over the years.... THANKS!!
NWMA has filed an amicus brief in support of The NEW 49ers Inc.s petition for writ of certiorari to the US Supreme Court asking the Court to review and reverse a 9th Circuits divided en banc decision in Karuk Tribe v USFS, 6813d1006(2012), holding that the USFSs mere receipt and review of a Notice of Intent to exercise rights granted by the Mining Law constitutes \agency action\ triggering the consultation requirement under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Mountain States Legal Foundation filed the amicus brief on behalf of Northwest Mining Association.

At issue is a Notice of Intent filed to conduct suction dredging activities. The divided en banc decision overturned the federal district court and a 9th circuit 3-judge panel holding that the mere receipt of a NOI did not trigger ESA consultation requirements. The divided en banc decision represents a significant departure from established law, 9th Circuit precedent for what constitutes \discretionary agency action\ and for the first time holds that an agency \inaction\ can trigger ESA consultation requirements.

Investors are continuing to be bullish on silver in 2012, increasing their holding of the precious metal that is near record price levels, said the Washington, D.C. based Silver Institute today. Investors have so far purchased more that 32 million ounces of the white metal through silver backed exchange’s this year. Exchange traded fund holdings now total more than 608 million ounces with a value of $20.5 billion through September 15. The silver price has risen more than 20% since the beginning of this year.

Silver also enjoys a wide range of important uses in industry. Industrial applications accounted for over half of world fabrication demand in 2011. Unlike gold fabrication, which is heavily reliant on jewelry, silver can call on a more diverse range of applications. Furthermore in the short term many of these uses are relatively price inelastic, helping to create strong price support.

But what is driving the price of silver today is investor demand, say many precious metals analysts. In fact, some analysts have increased their fourth quarter silver price projections given silver’s recent price performance. This is leading to an even greater attention on the 4,000 year allure of silver as a safe haven and a store of value, “said Michael DiRienzo, Executive Director of the Silver Institute.

RARE EARTH DEPOSITS -Alaska Miner Publication (AMA)
The U.S. possesses the largest non-China rare earth resource in the world at the Mt. Pass mine in California

The Eastern Oregon Mining Association $1000 reward posters are printed on laminated poster board. Putting these up on your mining site may give the thieves second thoughts about stealing your equipment. The posters sell for $2.50 each and will be available at the next meeting. You can also order one by calling Chuck at 541 523 3285

WIND POWER -Alaska Miner Publication (AMA)
Strong winds and storm surge from Hurricane Isaac’s landfall forced the Mississippi River to flow backwards for nearly 24 hours on Tuesday, August 28. The USGS stream-gage at Belle Chasse, Louisiana, showed the Mississippi river flowing upstream at 182,000 cubic feet per second, surging to 10 feet above its previous height. Average flow for the Mississippi River at Belle Chasse is about 125,000 cubic feet per second towards the Gulf of Mexico.

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 and we will take care of the rest. The number next to your ad is how many months your ad will run.

There are many people collecting these proof-minted medallions. Of course, real gold in the pan on the medallion is an added value. These medallions are currently selling for $50 apiece plus $5 shipping, handling, and insurance. Due to the volatility of the silver market, these prices are subject to change. You can order one from the EOMA website, or send in $50 plus $5.00, to EOMA, Medallions, PO Box 932, Baker City, OR 97814, or call Ken Alexander, 541-446-3413.

We are now offering a new 18 month EOMA Calendar with historical mining pictures. It also has date reminders to help you keep your claim valid. It also has addresses and phone numbers of the agencies you have to deal with. So support the EOMA by ordering your calendar now for the price of $10 each, or three for $29 bucks, plus a dollar for each calendar for shipping. There is an order form in the back of the newsletter. You can also call Chuck Chase at 541 523 3285.

Retiring from mining, time to sell my equipment. 8” jaw, small rod mill, two impact mills, Panamatic jig, small jig, Humphrey spirals, 2 power plants, lots of motors, one small gas generator, one diesel generator, jack leg, two stopers, steel, railroad track and more. Call Dick Potter at 208-375-2055.

We are just getting too old to mine anymore. These are good claims and the gold is there, it’s just that we can’t do the work anymore. A Plan of Operation is pending with the Forest Service. There are water rights and enough water for a small, profitable operation. There is a cabin on site that has been used in support of the mining operation in the past and use of the cabin is included in the Plan of Operation. The first $20,000 buys all five claims. If interested, call Bob and Sharon at 541-536-7995.

One three yard dump truck which needs work, $200. Also a trommel, $500. If interested, call Bob and Sharon at 541-536-7995.