Eastern Oregon Mining Association
Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20190105

Volume 352


Meetings are held on the first Friday of the month. The next meeting is Friday, JANUARY 4th 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!

District Ranger Kendall Cikanek will be at EOMA’s regular meeting on January 4th. Bring your questions and greetings for the new ranger as we look forward to our next mining season.
The Blue Mountain Forest Plan Objectors meeting in Baker on November 30, 2018, was well attended. As expected, every objector talked about the need for an open forest. The Baker meeting was the only one where the effects to the mineral industry were brought up. Members of EOMA explained their objections to prohibiting cross country travel, the effects to prospecting if roads in mineralized areas are closed, the impacts of unroaded Back Country, and expanding Wilderness. Two huge errors in the Plan were pointed out, (1) that exploration would require an approved POO and (2) road use must have an approved POO and a valid claim. I was able to talk to Regional Forester, Glenn Cassamassa, about the problems with the Plan. He has a background in minerals administration, and welcomed information about the impacts on minerals. We left the session hopeful that we had been listened to and changes will be made regarding the BMFP.
EOMA Executive Board members serve one-year terms. Board Directors serve two-year terms, with half the Board members running for election alternate years. So far, the following people have agreed to run for the election held in March. Nominations for an office can be made and accepted from the floor at the January meeting. For more info, please call Chuck Chase at 1-541-310-8510.

EOMA EXECUTIVE BOARD (up for election 03/01/ 2019)
President – Ken Alexander
Executive Director – Chuck Chase
Vice President – Dan Johnson
Treasurer- Bobbie Danser
Corresponding Secretary- Alice Knapp
Recording Secretary - (We need a nomination for this position.)
Director of Government Affairs - Terry Drever Gee
Mineral Policy Director – Jan Alexander
Sergeant at Arms – David Graham
EOMA BOARD OF DIRECTORS (up for election 03/01/ 2019)
1. Ron Anderson
3. Wanda Ballard                                                 
5. Tommy Partee                                        
7. Russ Fleetwood 
9. Larry Chase              
11. Johnny West                
13. Dr. Thom Seal          
15. Pam Haney            

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will leave the Trump administration at the end of the year. Zinke’s move comes as Democrats are about to take control of the House of Representatives, raising the prospect of heightened grilling and harassment of the Secretary -- and a crush of legal bills from defending himself. Zinke had emerged as the chief target for Democrats who’ll control the House in the new Congress. Zinke said "vicious and politically motivated attacks" against him had "created an unfortunate distraction" in fulfilling the agency's mission. Zinke, 57, played a leading part in Trump's efforts to roll back federal environmental regulations, and balance the use and development of natural resources and domestic energy on public lands.
Bernhardt, the deputy secretary, is in line to lead the Interior Department on an interim basis. As deputy, Bernhardt has played a key, behind-the-scenes role in shaping the department’s policies.
Zinke’s focus on Trump’s energy agenda was appreciated by oil, gas, and mining advocates, who credit the Trump administration with seeking to balance recreation and conservation with prudent development on public lands. Ryan Zinke will be missed.
Senator Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario) has been selected to serve as one of the five members of the Senate Republican leadership team in the Oregon Legislature.
Senator Bentz said, "It is an honor to be added to the Republican Senate leadership group. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to address the challenges facing our systems in education, health care, taxation, water, transportation, and public safety, to name just a few of the many areas of concern."
The Senate Republican Leadership Team, selected Tuesday night, is:
• Senator Herman Baertschiger, Jr. (R-Grants Pass)-Senate Minority Leader
• Senator Chuck Thomsen (R-Hood River)-Deputy Republican Leader
• Senator Alan Olsen (R-Canby)-Deputy Republican Leader
• Senator Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario)-Deputy Republican Leader
• Senator Dennis Linthicum (R-Klamath Falls)-Republican Whip

On October 23rd, President Donald J. Trump announced his intent to nominate Aurelia Skipwith to be the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Skipwith currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks in the Department of the Interior. She served as Assistant Corporate Counsel at Alltech, Inc. Skipwith earned her B.S. in biology from Howard University, M.A. in molecular genetics from Purdue University, and J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Skipwith is the first African American, and third woman, to ever be nominated to the position.

Founded 123 years ago, AEMA is headquartered in Spokane, WA. It is a 2,000-member national association representing the minerals industry, with members residing in 42 U.S. states, seven Canadian provinces, and 10 other countries. EOMA is a member of AEMA, and we urge our members to also join. Small scale mine operators need all the support they can get.

JOE BALASH-Chuck Chase notes from AE&M Mining Convention
Joe Balash, Assistant Secretary of Land and Minerals Management of the Department Of Interior was the Thursday luncheon speaker.
At present, the Interior is doing an economic review on Public Lands. There is an acute need to discover and bring into production critical minerals. This administration will not ignore the critical minerals need, nor the mining industry, and their 46,000 miners. The White House itself is addressing some of the critical mineral problems to get this program off and running.
CALICO GRASSY MOUNTAIN-Chuck Chase notes from AE&M Mining Convention
The Calico mine is trying to address the wild life and environmental concerns that have piled up. It seems that Agencies are requesting information from Calico that seems to be open ended. It seems that whenever they furnish and fill the request for information from one agency, they receive another request. Calico is now working with six different NGO’s, four cities, the county, Oregon Solutions, Environmental Justice, and of course, the Sage Grouse. But when the analysis is done and the DOGAMI permit issued, Calico will create 112 new jobs that pay around $80,000 a year.

CRITICAL MINERALS Chuck Chase notes from AE&M Mining Convention
The National Minerals Information Center collects, analyzes, and disseminates information on around 85 minerals essential to the United States. In this 21st century, we use nearly all of the minerals on the periodic table. The increasing reliance on imports puts the U.S. at risk for not only defense, but for minerals we use in our everyday lives, (Mineral summary 2018). minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/. We are becoming increasing reliant on China for 25% of our critical minerals.

The Critical minerals act #USGS 3359 goes a long way in identifying new sources of minerals, increasing all levels of the supply chain, and helping to shorten and streamline leasing and the permitting process. According to the USGS, we imported over 50% of our minerals in 2016/2017. China produces over 90% of the Rare Earth Metals in the world and these minerals are our National Security. With this dependence on foreign sources, including both friends and enemies, our security and affluence is in jeopardy. Over 20 critical minerals were imported at 100%, and 30 minerals at 30% to 50%. There were no imports of minerals from China 40 years ago, we need new mines now.

The National Stockpile is part of the critical mineral strategy not to be used except in an emergency. After the meeting, I cornered several of the speakers wanting to know just where they were with getting the REE’s off the launch pad. And if there was going to be any fast tracking of the Department of Defense (DOD) critical mineral list. All I got was, that it is in the pipe line and about ready to be implemented. The Land Managers are awaiting a report from the DOD giving a road map to developing critical minerals.

Former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, sold off 20% of our uranium reserves. She set us up for the biggest espionage spy gate of all times. Russia has bought a small uranium enrichment plant in the U.S., giving them the right to sit down with Congressmen. As a U.S. corporation, Russia will be privy to all data on our nuclear status, and all new information coming out of the Department of Defense, the White House, USGS and much more. And to think she was almost President….
PUBLIC LANDS -Chuck Chase notes from AE&M Mining Convention
The up-date on the agencies that affect our use of the public lands was a most interesting session. Up until President Trump was elected, the EPA was trying to force their agenda on both BLM and the Forest Service. With the EPA under a new direction, the work has begun revising documents that control land use policy, making them mineral friendly. NEPA, which was passed in 1969, is being streamlined to cut down on the years it takes to do a NEPA document. The new mandate is to complete EAs in one year, and not have the document over 200 pages. The Council of Environmental Quality regulations, were controlled by land use decisions that have been made by the 9th Circuit Court. These decisions are being looked at and many will be challenged.
The word is that the Interior Department, when referring to the NEPA process, is now calling it “paralysis by analysis”.

The Forest Service’s new Director, Vicki Christiansen, was appointed October 11, 2018 by Sonny Perdue. She has been busy appointing heads of departments and setting her agenda. The word is that there will be some major changes in how the Forest Service operates in the near future. Vicki has been serving as the Interim Chief since March of this year. Prior to that, she was Deputy Chief for State and Private Forestry where she had oversight of Fire and Aviation Management, Tribal Relations, Forest Health Protection, Cooperative Forestry, Grey Towers and Conservation Education. She joined the Forest Service in 2010 as the Deputy Director of Fire and Aviation Management. Prior to joining the Forest Service, Christiansen served nearly thirty years as a forester in Arizona and Washington state. She attended University the of Washington.

I think a lot of us saw this change in attitude in the Blue Mountain Revision Objection meetings recently held in John Day, Wallowa, Baker City, Pendleton and La Grande, Oregon. Over 300 forest users filled the meetings to complain about the effects to our communities and our lifestyles if the revision is approved. Those who objected formally to the revised plan were heard, not by local Forest Service staff, but Washington Office employees sent by Forest Service Director Christiansen to facilitate the meeting and record the tremendous pile of complaints against the Blue Mountain Revision.

SAGE GROUSE MANAGEMENT-Chuck Chase notes from AE&M Mining Convention
The Interior Department and Forest Service are now reviewing the Sage Grouse management rules and regulations written under the Obama Administration. These regulations were written by the Grousekeepers, yes that is what they called themselves. President Trump, eager to restore Federal land production, is reviewing all speed bump regulations. The BLM and Forest Service did a great disservice to miners and public land users by jamming through the Sage Grouse EIS.
MULTIPLE USE AND MINERAL WITHDRAWALS- Chuck Chase notes from AE&M Mining Convention
The BLM has over 250 million acres withdrawn from any mineral entry. The Forest Service has 193 million acres withdrawn. Fish and Wildlife has 80 million acres. National Park Service has 80 million withdrawn. Over 55% of our Public Lands are already off limits to mineral mining. The Department of Interior, under the Obama Administration, had unlimited discretion to recommend mineral and mining withdrawals. Under the Obama Administration Obama over 1,000,000 acres were withdrawn in Arizona alone.

The leverage to reverse these mineral withdrawals will be critical to the future of minerals. The President has directed the Commerce Department to make a report and recommendation of all aspects of critical minerals. The mineral access recommendations for a robust mineral evaluation already are, (1) limit withdrawals, (2) revisit existing withdrawals, (3)limit ACEC’s, (4)revise BLM 2006 Minerals Policy, the 1980 National Minerals & Policy Act., and the Mining and Minerals Policy Act of 1970. Plus, the agencies must establish NEPA time lines to comply with existing directives.

LEGISLATIVE REVIEW-Chuck Chase notes from AE&M Mining Convention
The EPA has set up some Smart Sector Goals, (1) Meaningful collaboration, (2) Sensible policies, (3) Better EPA practices. These are just a few of the short-term goals of the EPA. There are 13 sectors dealing with everything from wet lands to mining. They also have developed a critical minerals executive order strategy, which is documented, and has been submitted to the White House. EPA is working directly with partners to ensure consistency across the board.

The strategy also includes reform of the Endangered species Act. A lot of EPA’s past decisions are under judicial review.

The American Exploration & Mining Association (AEMA) released the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) unveiled a new proposed definition for Waters of the United States (WOTUS):

“Today’s release of a new water rule is an encouraging next step in the decades-long push for a WOTUS definition that empowers communities to protect their own water resources while providing regulatory clarity for our members. Today’s announcement lays to rest the illegal federal overreach of the Obama-era WOTUS rule,” said Executive Director Laura Skaer. “AEMA welcomes this return of balance between state and federal water regulation.”
In September, the Department of Defense (DoD) lead Interagency Task Force released a report on Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States. The report was conducted in response to Executive Order (EO) 13806 identifying the importance of a healthy manufacturing base and secure supply chain to U.S. national security. The DoD’s report highlights hardrock minerals as a vital component to national defense and economic security.

The report identifies the following shortfalls within the material sector that impact the production of defense items to support current military operations: (1) high U.S. import reliance on foreign countries who may become adversaries and cutoff supply during conflicts (e.g., trade embargo or war damage); (2) reliance on single foreign sources of proprietary materials that would be difficult to replace; (3) injurious foreign trade impacts (e.g., dumping and illegal subsidies) on key DoD suppliers; (4) DoD reliance on commercial materials that become obsolete; and (5) dependence on domestic single-point-of-failure producers.

The report goes on to list three case studies highlighting important materials-related risk impacts:
1) Over Reliance on Sole Foreign Sources for Unique and Proprietary Advanced Materials; (A sudden loss of supply of carbon fibers from Japan and Europe would pose a disruption in DoD defense manufacturing.)
2) Injurious Foreign Trade Impacts on Critical U.S. Material Manufacturers. (Unlawful and/or otherwise unfair foreign trade practices, mostly by China, are injuring critical U.S. materials-related manufacturers.)
3) Overreliance on China for Strategic and Critical Materials. (A key finding of this report is that China represents a significant and growing risk to the supply of materials deemed strategic and critical to U.S. national security.)

JOE BALASH Chuck Chase notes from AE&M Mining Convention
Joe Balash is the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management for the U.S. Department of the Interior. He is a former Alaska Department of Natural Resources Commissioner where he managed one of the largest single portfolios of land and water resources in the world, with more than 100 million acres of uplands, 40-60 million acres of submerged lands and tidelands, and more than 500,000 barrels of oil produced daily. Before going to the Department of the Interior, he served as Chief of Staff for U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska.
As Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, Balash oversees DOI federal agencies including the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.
CATHY BENEDETTO AND MATT ELLSWORTH-Chuck Chase notes from AE&M Mining Convention
The highlights of Cathy’s Power Point presentation were the hot button points coming down from D.C. where the direction is that the 245 million acres managed by the BLM are to be more open and accessible to the mining industry. The Department of Interior is cutting red tape and reviewing energy independence. Order 3353 ends effort to withdraw 10 million acres of wet lands from mining. BLM canceled a sage brush focal area proposal where the land was proposed for withdrawal. BLM has advanced plans for 12 new mines. Also, by updating the planning process and identifying regulations for repeal or replacement, BLM is streamlining the process. There will be a focus on the Forest Service during the up-coming year to streamline and reduce onerous regulations, pushing back on Forest Managers. Matt talked about the new definition of WOTUS, which will not lock up disconnected waters and wet lands making them subject to withdrawal. They will also be looking at wilderness study areas. The next two years look good for minerals and mining and jobs.

BUTCH OTTER- Chuck Chase notes from AE&M Mining Convention
Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter was awarded the American Exploration & Mining Association's (AEMA) Distinguished Service to the Minerals Industry Award in recognition of his leadership and lifelong support of the U.S. Mining Industry as a state legislator, Lt. Governor, Congressman, and Governor. AEMA announced the Governor's award at its 124th Annual Meeting in Spokane, WA. "Governor Otter's commitment to bolstering rural economies while preserving western landscapes has always recognized the role of responsible mining," said AEMA Executive Director Laura Skaer. "His recognition is well deserved for his decades of pragmatic leadership."

Throughout his career, Governor Otter has been a stalwart supporter of the mining industry, working tirelessly to ensure that Idaho remains open for business when it comes to access to public lands and rural economic opportunities. In 2015, Governor Otter joined the Idaho Legislature in filing a lawsuit against the Department of the Interior (DOI) challenging DOI's failure to stick to a collaborative process in setting new land-use restrictions on Greater Sage-Grouse habitat in Idaho and other states in the West. Governor Otter proved a valuable advocate to mining in 2017, with his opposition to DOI's proposed mineral withdrawal in so-called Sagebrush Focal Areas (SFA). The Governor's rational voice and strong advocacy was instrumental to convincing DOI to cancel the segregation and proposed withdrawal of approximately 10 million acres.
"Governor Otter has continually been a proactive voice of reason opposing excessive federal regulations and standing up for the rights of states to manage the local environment and industry," Skaer said.
We still have 2018 medallions available. They 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, you can buy them at our EOMA meetings.



This 20 Acre claim is located on the North Fork of the Burnt River in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Burnt River Road runs parallel to the river from one end of the claim to the other offering excellent access to the river and campsite. Claim contains over ¼ mile of river open to dredging. Copies of approved 2017 DEQ permit 600 PM and 2017 DEQ 700 PM (4” suction dredge) available. This claim is for sale for $2500. Contact Joe Toce email: toceja@hotmail.com

OPPORTUNITY -Looking for someone mechanically inclined to learn about 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.

Patsy 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 Patsy 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

Because of health reasons, we are selling our two 80 acre Association Placer Claims. These two claims are the last two claims on the top end of Elk Creek, a short distance from Baker City. A road goes through most of it. Sell for $7,000 each, will take gold, silver or will sell for a lesser price for cash. Call Ken at 541-519-9497 or Chuck at 541-310-8510.

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.