Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20180604

JUNE 2018
Volume 345

Meetings are held on the first Friday of the month. The next meeting will be Friday, JUNE 1st, 2018 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. As usual there will be a drawing for a $50 silver medallion at the meeting!

Shannon Poe, of the AMRA, reports that the California Water Board, required to study the effects of suction dredging as a part of SB637, used 20 years’ worth of studies and concluded that suction dredging was a “deminimus” activity, which did not harm fish or fish habitat. In 2018, permits will again be issued. The permit costs we expect to be around $200 or close to it. They have a calculation where the permit structure needs to be 110% of the cost to do the permits.

In Oregon, there is an application fee of $250 and an annual fee of $250. $500 will get you in the limited available water, with $250 due each subsequent year you dredge. I don’t know many miners in this area who will be dredging, due to the high cost of the permit. You can use your suction dredge off channel in a test pit filled with water. This activity only requires a general 600 WPCF permit from DEQ, which of course doesn’t issue new ones,

This case could be precedent setting. Oregon DEQ asserts that suction dredges discharge into the water way, thus requiring a NPDES discharge permit. EOMA asserts in our lawsuit, that there is no addition of a pollutant, the stream materials are sucked up and replaced in the same stream channel. A state permit in California could result in Oregon looking at the science California looked at and agreeing that dredges have a deminimus effect on fish and/or fish habitat. DEQ could then design a state permit, hopefully based on real science.
It is not legal in Oregon to process placer gravels with water without a WPCF permit for processing, however, Governor Kate Brown has refused to fund the permit writer position at DEQ, so miners could get a permit. The result is that miners are required to have the permit, but can’t get one. This points out one more reason we need to elect a new governor, and new legislators, who will not just keep spending more and raising taxes and fees to pay for more inefficiency.

How broken is Oregon’s DEQ? An Oregon miner received this message from an Oregon DEQ administrator in response to his question about obtaining a WPCF permit.

Hello-the expired WPCF 600 has caused confusion.

For the off-stream high banking operation that you describe, the WPCF 600 permit would be the ideal water quality permit, however, it expired on January 31, 2017. DEQ cannot assign coverage for a general permit after it has expired. Registrants that submitted a timely renewal application before the WPCF 600 permit expired are administratively extended permit coverage to continue following the expired WPCF 600 permit conditions until a renewed WPCF 600 permit is available. DEQ has no current plans to renew the WPCF 600 in the foreseeable future due to lack of permit resources. Alternatives to WPCF 600 are:
1.WPCF 600 permit holders with administratively extended coverage may transfer coverage to another miner. Recent sellers of mining claims have also offered transfer of WPCF 600 coverage to the mining claim purchaser. A permit transfer form with $97 fee must be processed by DEQ to transfer permit coverage. It is the responsibility of the transferee to contact DEQ to check WQSIS records and confirm current extended coverage of the transferor.

2. The WPCF 600 is a mobile permit that is not tied to a specific mining location in most cases, so you could partner with a miner that has WPCF 600 extended coverage that will allow you to process your material under their WPCF 600 permit coverage. The miner with WPCF coverage must be present to ensure you are compliant with the permit because they will be responsible for your noncompliance.

3. Join a mining club like LDMA Burnt River that has WPCF 600 coverage tied to the mining claim location where members may operate highbankers at its mining claims under LDMA coverage.

The DEQ administrator also said, you must have a DEQ water quality permit for placer material processing operations except hand panning. Since the NPDES 700PM is inapplicable and

WPCF PERMITS (continued)
the WPCF 600 is unavailable to register, an individual WPCF permit is only new permit option since you must possess an appropriate DEQ water quality permit prior to starting operations. The
small individual WPCF permit for processing up to 100,000 cubic yards per year is likely not feasible because it has a $12,449 annual fee and $1,784 first-year annual fee and the individual permit administration process is very comprehensive (you may need to hire a consultant) and time consuming (expect minimum of six months to draft a permit with public participation in addition to time and expense of completing the permit application).

If you are unaware of contacts in the Sumpter area of upper Powder River basin to find a partner with a WPCF 600 registrant with extended coverage or get an extended WPCF 600 registrant to transfer permit coverage, I would suggest that you contact Jan Alexander by phone at (541) 446-3413 or email at alx@ortelco.net. Jan belongs to the Eastern Oregon Mining Association. Jan and her husband are or have been EOMA officers. Jan is very experienced and resourceful and many miners have consulted her over the years.

If you have two WPCF permits for the same site, or have a permit but are no longer mining, please consider transferring your permit to another miner. Call Jan at 541-446-3413 and she can help miners needing permits and will gladly help transfer extra permits to those in need.

Twenty-three members of the Congressional Western Caucus, led by Chairman Paul Gosar (R-AZ), in sent a letter to President Trump, Secretaries Zinke and Perdue, and U.S. Forest Service Acting Chief Christiansen, respectfully requesting that they initiate a comprehensive review of all mineral withdrawals implemented or proposed by the previous Administration; and that they reverse any withdrawals determined to be without merit or to have been initiated in order to block specific development.

Members asked that a review confirm the withdrawals' statutory compliance as well as consider their practicality, necessity and economic and national security impacts. Read the letter with all signers at https://westerncaucus.house.gov/uploadedfiles/4.26.18_final_signed_critical_minerals_letter.pdf . AEMA was included in the Western Caucus Press Release saying “With more than one-half of the U.S. mineral estate already off limits or subject to severe restrictions, allowing these withdrawals to remain will only increase our Nation’s reliance on foreign sources of strategic and critical minerals while shipping high paying jobs overseas.”
Rep. Grijalva (D-AZ) and several Democrat co-sponsors have introduced the Hardrock Leasing and Reclamation Act of 2018. A summary of the bill provided by Mr. Grijalva is available here: Summary.

Except for the title, this legislation is nearly identical to legislation he introduced in the previous congresses and very similar to the “Rahall” legislation. It would:

• Eliminate mining claims and self-initiation and replace the current system with a leasing system similar to coal and oil & gas
• Provide a 12.5% royalty on new operations and an 8% royalty on existing operations
• Apply that money to the clean up of abandoned mine lands
• Adopt new stringent environmental standards and require increased financial assurance
• Allow land managers to “veto” a mine if they believed it would cause unacceptable damage to public lands and/or resources
• Withdraw Wilderness Study Areas, roadless Areas and wild and scenic rivers from mining.

We do not believe the legislation will get a hearing or otherwise move in this Congress. However, it does give us an idea of what to expect if the Democrats gain control of the House at the midterms.

President Trump’s appointed James Hubbard to be the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment where he will oversee the United States Forest Service (USFS). Hubbard worked for the Colorado Forest Service for 35 years, serving as State Forester for the final 20 of those years (1984-2004). In 2004, Hubbard accepted a position as Director of the Office of Wildland Fire Coordination for the United States Department of the Interior. In January 2006, Mr. Hubbard was appointed Deputy Chief for State and Private Forestry at the USDA Forest Service (USFS).

INDUSTRY PRACTICE-Placer Examinations Principle and Practice, Technical Bulletin 4, U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management

b. Industry practice: “…it should be emphasized that the successful placer companies place as much reliance on the experience and insight of their prospecting and management personnel as they do on the sample results. If there is a mathematical formula of a general rule which will replace experience-based judgment, the operating companies have not found it.”
DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR REGROUPING PROPOSAL- Kellie Lunney and Jennifer Yachnin, E&E News reporters
Colorado’s profile is rising as a potential site for an eventual new Bureau of Land Management headquarters, local and federal officials say. Secretary Ryan Zinke has proposed dividing the department’s various bureaus into 13 geographic regions across the country based on watershed and other natural resources boundary lines. The change is intended to improve agency collaboration and efficiency by shifting more authority from Washington to communities out West, where the government owns huge swaths of land.
Test-site activities could get underway as early as this summer, but that stage would not include moving personnel.

A document obtained by E&E News earlier this year indicated that the revamped boundaries for the 13 regional hubs will “take effect” in the second half of fiscal 2018, which began April 1 and ends Sept. 30 (Greenwire, Feb. 2).

The cities where the regional hubs will be located also could be identified this spring and summer, but the document said the department does not plan any physical moves in fiscal 2018.
“I'm hoping that we have some moves that take the bureaucracy to the far West, such as places like Colorado,” said Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.). “I think they’ll do a better job if they're on the scene. I’ve heard rumors that some good things are going to happen, that Colorado may get the benefit of some of the moves. It’s exciting to me, and I hope that Colorado Springs is in the mix.”

Republican and Democratic members of Colorado’s congressional delegation have said they’d support a BLM headquarters move to their state — and they’ve touted the appeal of Grand Junction in particular. But ultimately, “as long as it’s moved to the West, I think we’ll be happy with the move”.

There are many questions about a potential relocation which need to be answered, including how large a facility BLM would require and how many employees would relocate at the same time.

If you are thinking of locating a new claim, or quit-claiming to another miner, the fee for recording one page will go from $41 to $81. The additional $40 is collected by the county and sent to the state to support the Housing Alliance Tax. Annual assessment work Proof of Labor forms are exempt from the increased fees. The 100% increase goes to fund 8 new State employees and raise millions of dollars for government funded assisted housing.
Thirty members of the Congressional Western Caucus signed and sent a letter to relevant Administration officials including Secretaries Zinke and Ross as well as the White House Council on Environmental Quality Acting Chair Neumayr requesting that they consider the addition of other minerals to the 'critical minerals' list.

AEMA was included in the Western Caucus Press Release saying, “the Trump Administration is on the right track to recognize the importance of critical minerals in the American Economy. However, the time is ripe to complete the task and end our foreign dependence when we are ready to responsibly mine here at home. $9.2 Billion and 16,500 jobs are waiting to be unleashed benefiting rural economies.”

On May 18, 2018 the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Final Critical Minerals List was published in the Federal Register. The list is identical to the draft list of 35 critical minerals published for public comment on February 16, 2018, despite numerous comments supporting an expanded list. AEMA recommended the list should be expanded to include copper, gold, silver, zinc, phosphate, nickel and lead. AEMA also advocated for host or gateway minerals to be included in the list. DOI recognized the importance of host or gateway minerals in the Federal Register Notice of the final list, stating:

The Department of the Interior recognizes that many commodities are not mined directly, but are instead recovered during the processing, smelting, or refining of a host material and are, therefore, deemed ‘‘byproducts.’’ Of the 35 minerals deemed critical, 12 are byproducts. Therefore, strategies to increase the domestic supply of these commodities must necessarily consider the mining and processing of the host materials because enhanced recovery of byproducts alone may be insufficient to meet U.S. consumption. The Notice also specifically acknowledges the “economic significance and indispensable nature” of other minerals, such as copper, zinc, molybdenum, gold, silver and phosphate that are not included on the list since they are “produced domestically in large quantities.”
Scott Harn of ICMJ and Clark Pearson (Public Lands for the People) have a meeting scheduled with one of the higher-ups at the Forest Service in Washington DC to address a few different issues at the USFS. Scott solicited complaints from readers (in writing) about no access, restricted access, requiring a Notice or Plan for hand tools or for utilizing a generator for lighting only, and the list goes on. Scott and Clark need your letters by June 2, 2018, so they can provide them to Washington Office personnel.Send your letters to Chuck Chase, 740 Valley, Baker, OR 97814 or drop them by the house. Chuck will scan and e-mail them to Scott and Clark.
We have a suction dredge which was donated to EOMA which we will sell chances on and could use another big ticket item.

When you are spring cleaning, go through your shop/garage and look for unused items such as tools, mining equipment etc. that you are willing to donate to the silent auction. These can be left off at Chuck Chase’s house at 740 Valley Street, in Baker.

U.S. Representative Greg Gianforte was recently appointed by Trey Gowdy as chairman of the House Interior, Energy, and Environment sub-committee. Representative Gianforte has a history of supporting multiple use access to our public lands and as chairman of this committee there is new hope the closures of our public lands by federal land managers will stop. The continued closures of our public lands affect everyone. Small rural communities that depend on these federally managed public lands for jobs and economic support for school funding and local services have been devastated by the mismanagement of these lands and restrictions to access. Representative Gianforte has stated that the closures to our public lands is of great concern and he will be holding hearings on this issue very soon. Gianforte intends to schedule as many as 2 sub-committee meetings per month and some of these meetings will be field hearings in the areas most affected by agency actions.
The numerous key vacancies in the Trump Cabinet are due to Senate delays. Department Secretaries are not making nominations for lower positions. Some of these lower positions have been held up for nearly a year. The Department of Agriculture does not have the General Counsel to Secretary Purdue and the lead attorney of the OGC handles all legal cases on behalf of the Forest Service. Leaving a deplorable situation with the Department with Obama Administration loyalists defending the Forest Service in federal court. These cases include grazing, oil and gas, mining, logging, recreation use, access, roadless areas, permits, leases and regulatory overreach and takings of your legal rights. With the mid term’s coming up, we must act now to let the Republican controlled Senate know that it is unacceptable to let these vacancies continue to cripple the Department of Ag, the Forest Service, the Department of the Interior, NPS and BLM. Call any Senator at (202) 224-3121. Call your Congressman at (202) 225-3121.
Please consider supporting (ALRA) with your contribution. They are the premier watch dog land use organization in Washington DC. Submit your contribution to American Land Rights Association, 30218 NE 83nd Ave., PO Box 400, Battle Ground, WA 98604, thank you for your consideration….. Chuck Chase.


For Sale
1. Multi Quip 3/8 yard cement mixer Model MC-94P with Honda 8 hp motor. It has a polyurethane drum and is on a single axel for easy towing. It is an ex Home Depot rental unit. Asking $1,500.00. Call Jack at 208-284-5882 (Boise)
2. Syntron Magnetic Vibrator Model V-50-01. This is a fairly husky unit that bolts on to bine, chutes where material being fed does not flow smoothly. I used it to move material out of bins and chutes. It is single phase and draws 4.5 amps.
3. Krebs Hydrocyclones, 1 Model D4 and 1 Model D6, which I used to thicken my fine tailings. I have specs and installation instructions from Krebs. Asking $250.00 each. Call Jack at 208-284-5882 (Boise)
4. Portable 2 inch Water pump with 3.5hp Honda gas engine. $100.00. Call Jack at 208-284-5882 (Boise)
5. Sample Splitters, one with 22 slots, 3/4 inch wide, @ $150.00; and one with 12 slots, 5/8 inch wide, @$100.00.
6. Transformer,480/240/120 volt, 3phase or single phase. $150.00. Call Jack at 208-284-5882 (Boise)
7. S+S Controls Heavy Duty Motor Starter, 3 phase, 480 /220 volt. Rated for motor horsepower up to 55 horse. $350.00. Call Jack at 208-284-5882 (Boise)
8. Wilden 1 1/2 inch Chemical Solution Polyethylene Pump Model M4/Pt/Tf/Tf/Pt s/n 364361. New condition, never used. Air driven. $500.00. Call Jack at 208-284-5882 (Boise)
9. Onan 75kw Generator, older but with very low hours. Recently installed updated exciter circuit. $6,500.00. Call Jack at 208-284-5882 (Boise).

Looking for someone mechanically inclined to learn and run a hard rock gold mill. One may be available for scrap price. Time to pass on the technology and know-how. Need a younger working partner and gold ore to run. Dr. Thom: tseal@unr.edu

Ed Hardt is selling his placer mining equipment. Ed's trommel is 20 feet long, 5 feet in diameter, gear driven, positive drive. It will process up to 100 yards a day, will not slip or spin out. Also one three inch pump, a two inch pump, two and three inch flat hose, and a generator. Call 541-377-9209 or email Ed at twohardts@hotmail.com. Price for all is $15,000.

Patsey and Randy Stockam are moving to Alabama in the next few months and have some mining equipment to sell.. A Gold Grabber Highbanker with pump and hose. Asking $600.00. Text Patsey at 541-786-1080 if you are interested.
5 unpatented placer claims (160 acres) located on Elk Creek near Baker City.
Sale includes all equipment (2 excavators, dump truck, trommel, pumps, generators, etc).
Site was featured on the cover of ICMJ’s Prospecting and Mining Journal (August 2014).
Approved Plan of Operation with US Forest Service in place and can be transferred (expires 2021)
DEQ process permit goes with the sale of the claims. For price, pictures and details, call Don Enright, 509-860-1145 or email:  donaldenright25@gmail.com

4 unpatented placer claims (Simpson is 80 acres, Lucky claims total 60 acres) located in the Whitney Mining District on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. These claims have approved Plans of Operation and I have posted the bonds for mining. The DEQ process permit goes with the sale. Access roads are good, but the claims are somewhat remote. Call Dave at 810-523-7313.

This claim is located on McCully Creek on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest just west of the town of Sumpter. Good access, off-channel water is available for processing. DEQ process permit goes with the sale of the claim. Plan of Operation is scheduled to be approved for 2019 work. Call Charles Stewart at 541-910-5435 for more information.

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.

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 call at (831) 479-1500 to get your subscription started today.

There is no gold nugget in the pan in the 2018 medallions. NWTM is out of business as most of you know, and we are looking at our options for finding an affordable mint to make next year’s medallions.

The medallions 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. Also, we will have them for you to buy at our EOMA meetings.