Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20210519

MAY 2021
Volume 380

Many thanks to Alice Knapp for letting us continue to meet at the saw shop while City Hall is not available for meetings. We will have a meeting on MAY 7TH, 2021 at the Elk Creek Enterprises saw shop located at 890 Elm Street. There is a big TIMBERUNITY sign in the window. The Board Meeting will begin at 6:00PM with the regular meeting following at 6:30PM. Don’t forget, we will give away a $50 dollar silver medallion at the end of the meeting. Come to the meeting, buy a ticket, support EOMA and who knows, you may get lucky!

MSHA classes will be held at Elk Creek Enterprises saw shop located at 890 Elm Street in Baker City. Classes will begin at 8:00AM. The cost is $30 for each day of training.
Annual refresher training will be on May 14. New miner training will be on May 14, 15, and 16. You must register by calling Jan Alexander at 541-446-3413.

We are sad to report the passing of long-time EOMA member Tom Griffin. His Castle Rock claims are on Hudson Creek, with access via the East Eagle Creek road and the East Eagle Creek bridge. The Forest Service harassed Tom and Carol over the years, trying to force them to remove the county bridge. Baker County went to bat for Tom and Carol, and the citizens of Baker County. Eventually, the county removed the small bridge, and installed a wider one which can be used, not only by the recreating public, but can also be used to haul ore. Tom and Carol never gave up in their struggle to mine, despite the Forest Service. Tom will be missed.

According to the law, government organizations must respond to a FOIA request with a denial or grant of access within 20 business days. EOMA requested information under FOIA on October 4, 2019, pertaining to the seizure of Tom Griffin’s bond money which was in place to be used to remove the East Eagle bridge. Even when the County asserted their rights to the bridge, removed it, and replaced it with a bigger bridge, the Forest Service refused to return the money to Tom and Carol. Tom and Carol even wrote the Forest Service, and asked that the bond money be paid to Baker County to help with the cost of installing the new county bridge. There was no reply to this request.

EOMA submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act on October 4, 2019. EOMA finally received an answer to their FOIA last month-a year and a half later. Out of the 396 pages sent, I saw the same letters over and over, saw certified mailing receipts, copies of envelopes, saw a lot of information that was not pertinent to EOMA’s request, but did not get the documents EOMA requested.

(1) EOMA asked for copies of Jim Crotty’s letter to the Forest Service designating Tom Griffin as operator for the Plan of Operation, and the Forest Service letter to Tom acknowledging this change in the responsible party. This was important, as only the operator can post bond, or be responsible for reclamation. Since the FS did not get provide either of these letters, it is obvious to EOMA that Tom Griffin was never the operator under this Plan of Operation. (2) EOMA was told during discussions on our bonding MOU, that third party bonds are illegal. In the issue of the seizure of Tom Griffin’s bond, the Forest Service accepted a third-party reclamation bond, and seized that bond without legal authority. There was no information provided on how this seizure was legal. (3) EOMA requested documentation as to why the Forest Service sent Tom and Carol a letter stating reclamation had to be completed by July 25, 2018, and then seized the bond money three months prior to this date. No justification was provided in the FOIA results. (4) EOMA requested pictures of surface disturbance that needed reclamation at the mine on April 12, 2018, the date they seized the bond money. The only pictures were dated 7-31-2017. Griffins had completed all clean-up, adit closure and reclamation, except for the removal of the County bridge, but apparently the Forest Service never went on site to look, they just illegally seized the bond. (5) EOMA requested copies of the fiscal regulations concerning how long the Forest Service can hold a seized bond, and what happens to that money if the Forest Service does not use it. No pertinent documents to this FOIA request were provided to answer the questions.

The Forest Service did not justify accepting an illegal third-party bond, seizing the bond early without providing any verification of whether or not reclamation had been done, and continues to hold the bond money to this day, when the bridge is a county bridge, and is not the miner’s responsibility at all. The EOMA will be considering what action should be taken to correct the situation. It is unfortunate that the FS seems to consider doing nothing as an acceptable answer.
Mineral deposits are unique, and Northeast Oregon is one of the few places in the country where economic deposits are found. In a 1999 report, the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences recognized just how rare mineral deposits are: “Only a very small portion of Earth’s continental crust (less than 0.01%) contains economically viable mineral deposits. Thus, mines can only be located in those few places where economically viable deposits were formed and discovered.”

Access to these deposits is critical. Once these areas are locked up in wilderness, back county, roadless, elk security and other designations, these deposits will never be mined. Baker County Commissioners, as well as Commissioner in Grant, Malheur and Umatilla Counties are in agreement, we must retain access on Federal lands.

Anyone who uses the federals lands for any purpose-mining, grazing, hunting, recreation, must be willing to work with the Counties to maintain access to our federal lands.

COPPER-Nicholas Snowdon and Jeffrey Currie
In a new report on copper, global investment bank Goldman Sachs says meeting the Paris climate goals and supporting the green transition away from fossil fuels and towards electrification will see a surge in copper demand and forecasts a long-term supply gap of 8.2 million tonnes of the metal by 2030, the “highest on record” and “twice the size of the gap that triggered the bull market in copper in the early 2000s.”

The authors estimate that by 2030, copper demand from green electrification “will grow nearly 600% to 5.4Mt [million tonnes] in our base case and 900% to 8.7Mt in the case of hyper adoption of green technologies.”

According to their analysis, the amount of ‘green’ copper produced in 2020 was about 1 million tonnes or 3% of total global copper. In their models, that could rise to 2.6 million tonnes, or 9% of total global copper, by 2025, and to 5.4 million tonnes or 16% of total global copper demand by 2030. “We estimate that green demand will grow at an average annual growth rate of 20% y/y [year-on-year] in the 2020s, generating just under 500kt [500,000 tonnes] per year of growth in demand volumes.”

“Crucially, the copper market as it currently stands is not prepared for this demand environment,” the analysts continued. “The market is already tight as pandemic stimulus (particularly in China) have supported a resurgence in demand, set against stagnant supply conditions. Moreover, a decade of poor returns and ESG concerns have curtailed investment in future supply growth, bringing the market the closest it’s ever been to peak supply.”

Copper (continued)
The analysts argue that the mining industry “remains wary of a pivot towards growth after the price collapse in the mid-2010s severely punished any front-foot producers,” and despite the fact that copper prices are up 80% over the last year, “there have been no material greenfield project approvals.”

The report also notes that it takes two to four years for brownfield projects (expansions of existing mines) and as many as eight years for new greenfield projects. “This long lead time for the majority of copper supply, combined with the mining sector’s resistance towards new capex, leaves the copper market running out of runway to secure the necessary supply to meet demand in the second half of the decade. … Given the size of deficits starting from the same point, approvals and investments in mine projects have to start now.”

Goldman forecasts a copper price of US$15,000 per tonne by 2025, up from the US$9,000 per tonne today. It estimates prices for the metal will average US$9,675 per tonne this year; US$11,875 per tonne in 2022; US$12,000 per tonne in 2023; and US$14,000 per tonne in 2024.

The report also drills down into three drivers of green copper demand: (1) electric vehicles (EVs); (2) solar power and (3) wind power. The bank estimates that 5.1 million EVs likely will be sold in 2021, rising to 31.51 million EVs in the year 2030. It also forecasts that 30 million charging units will be installed in 2030.

Goldman estimates “EV-related demand to amount to 2.4 million tonnes of copper by 2030 (vs. 210kt in 2020) with an additional 153kt of copper demand coming from charging stations (vs 14kt in 2020). We expect this demand to grow at a rate of 31% a year for the remainder of the decade.”

Copper demand for solar power, meanwhile, is expected to rise from 400kt this year to 1.6Mt a year in 2030, Goldman says, while copper demand for wind turbines is going to triple from 400kt per year now to 1.3Mt per year by 2030.

“As we have long-argued, moving the global economy toward net zero emissions remains a core driver of the structural bull market in commodities demand, in which green metals—copper in particular—are critical,” they summarized.

“We estimate that by mid-decade this growth in green demand alone will match, and then quickly surpass, the incremental demand China generated during the 2000s. Ripple effects into non-green channels mean the 2020s are expected to be the strongest phase of volume growth in global copper demand in history.”

COBALT-U.S. Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute
The Department of Energy is giving Toronto-based junior First Cobalt (TSXV: FCC; US-OTC: FTSSF) US$600,000 over two years for research on mineral processing techniques for the company’s Iron Creek copper-cobalt project in Idaho.

The funding, matched by the company, will be spent on “identifying more efficient and environmentally friendly methods to process cobalt ore from pyrite material,” First Cobalt announced in a press release, and will be part of a “collaborative research effort” with the Colorado School of Mines’ Kroll Institute for Extractive Metallurgy (KIEM).

Trent Mell, First Cobalt’s president and CEO, said the company plans to build an underground mine and processing facility at Iron Creek and “can take advantage of new and emerging technologies that reduce waste material coming out of the mine and reduce the amount of energy required to process the ore.”

Cobalt is on the U.S. government’s list of 35 critical elements that are essential to the country’s economy and national security. According to First Cobalt, all of the cobalt used in the U.S. to make batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) is imported. First Cobalt has shipped more than 200 kilograms of drill core material to the Colorado School of Mines to start working on the project and plans to ship a 2,000 kg sample over the summer to “test ore sorting methods that potentially separate cobalt and copper ore from waste host rocks.” The results then will be compared with conventional processing systems.

Iron Creek has indicated resources of 2.2 million tonnes grading 0.26% cobalt and 0.61% copper (0.32% cobalt equivalent) for 12.3 million lb. of contained cobalt and inferred resources of 2.7 million tonnes averaging 0.22% cobalt and 0.68% cobalt (0.28% cobalt equivalent) for 12.7 million lb. cobalt. The resource estimate used a 0.18% cobalt-equivalent cut-off grade.
The Iron Creek property in Idaho’s Lemhi county, consists of mining patents and exploration claims over 1,698 acres (687 hectares). First Cobalt has completed more than 29,000 metres at the project. In addition to Iron Creek, First Cobalt owns a permitted cobalt refinery in Ontario, Canada.

Tommy Beaudreau has been nominated to serve as deputy secretary of the Department of Interior, the No. 2 post at the agency. Beaudreau is a native Alaskan with experience in the oil and gas sector, and also served in the Obama administration as the first director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. From there, he moved on to become chief of staff for Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell. While his nomination has drawn mixed reviews from the conservation community, his chief advocate on Capitol Hill has been Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). Beaudreau’s first hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will take place Thursday, April 29 at 10:00 am Eastern.
GOLD-Northern Miner
When Northern Vertex released its first quarter production results of 9,912 gold equivalent ounces at its wholly owned Moss gold mine in Mohave County, Arizona on April 19, it marked the beginning of the metamorphosis of a mine that had been almost forgotten.

Moss is the state’s largest precious metals mine, with total measured and indicated resources of 360,000 ounces of gold and 3.8 million ounces of silver in 20.56 million short tons grading 0.0175 gold oz. per ton and 0.2171 silver oz. per ton. Inferred resources stand at 129,000 ounces of gold and 1.37 million ounces of silver in 11.96 million tons grading 0.0108 gold oz. per ton and 0.1149 silver oz. per ton.

Permits were received last year, allowing the company to expand its exploration programs from patented claims onto surrounding unpatented claims on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Three rigs are currently turning on the property, all within the mine footprint.

Moss mine is currently producing 30,000-40,000 ounces of gold per year. While the company name hasn’t changed, the management structure recently has, along with the vision and strategy, after a merger between Eclipse Gold and Northern Vertex closed in February.

“Production from the West Pit continues to improve as we have now developed large production benches, which allows for maximum mining efficiency,” says President Mike Allen. “The initial stripping to expose the Moss vein in the West pit is largely complete. The current infill drilling program has identified numerous areas where additional drilling could improve the resource model and ultimately the mine,” Allen said. “We are very excited about our evolving knowledge of the mineralization of the Moss Mine and believe that there are substantial opportunities to improve and expand the operation.”

Current chairman Douglas Hurst, a former analyst at “the original” Sprott Securities in the 1990s, brings to the board a track record of success. In the early 2000s, Hurst was one of the founders of International Royalty Corporation, one of the early publicly traded royalty companies in Canada at that time. International Royalty bought the royalty on Voisey’s Bay plus a large portfolio of royalties and was eventually acquired by Royal Gold for about US$700 million.

The modern world’s dependence on China was soundly demonstrated in 2020 when, following the Chinese lockdown restrictions in response to Covid-19, automakers in the western world had to temporarily slow down or halt production because of a shortage of electronic chips sourced from China. It exposed a critical weakness in the supply chain, according to Hurst.

Granada Gold Mine (TSXV: GGM) has announced a significant discovery of scandium, rubidium, and cesium on the Big Claim at its flagship property in Quebec, Canada.

Although results are preliminary and full core lengths have not yet been assayed in two holes drilled, the miner reported that drill hole GR-20-20 yielded 13.5 ppm Cs, 101.8 ppm Rb, 21.0 ppm Sc over 12.0 meters from 351.0 meters to 363.0 meters; 3.5 ppm Cs, 69.1 ppm Rb, 13.8 ppm Sc over 98.0 meters from 451.0 meters to 549.0 meters; and 1.1 ppm Cs, 42.1 ppm Rb, 12.2 ppm Sc over 15.0 meters from 573.0 meters to 588.0 meters.

“The company will proceed with sampling of the entire hole to enable disclosure of mineralized lengths associated with grades, as well as investigation on the mineralogy as the grades of interest are not confined to one geological unit,” Granada Gold said in a media statement.

In the release, the Canadian firm pointed out cesium bromide is an important compound used in infrared detectors, optics, and photoelectric cells, while cesium carbonate is used in the alkylation of organic substances and in energy-conversion devices, such as fuel cells and polymer solar cells.

Rubidium, on the other hand, is a key component of specialty glasses, while rubidium carbonate is used to reduce electrical conductivity, which improves stability and durability in fiber optic telecommunications networks.

Finally, scandium is a rare earth used in aluminum alloys for aerospace industry components, but it has also been declared a strategic material for Québec’s green development plan.

Governor Pete Ricketts of Nebraska spearheaded a letter with 14 of his colleagues in questioning the constitutional and statutory authority of President Biden’s goal to conserve 30 percent of the U.S. landmass and oceans by 2030 (30x30). The governors not only questioned the legal authority for the program, they also submitted a list of questions about the what kind of process the Biden administration will use to “conserve” the lands, what constitutes conservation, what lands will be designated, how will the lands be managed, where the maintenance & operations-type funding will come from for acquired lands, where will acquisition, funding come from, and more – a dozen questions in all.

The letter comes on the heels of a similar letter coordinated by the Congressional Western Caucus last month. Despite the growing chorus of questions, concerns and unease about the 30x30 program, the Biden administration has offered little detail publicly beyond the initial announcement.

From where does milk come? Regrettably, for too many, the answer is, “From the grocery store, of course!” It seems the cow’s vital role in the supply chain is often overlooked. As a society, we don’t give much thought to the origins of the products we depend on every day. We may notice if something is made in America or abroad, but even if it is manufactured here, from where did the raw materials — the minerals and metals — come?

Far too often, the answer is from a foreign country and usually one with a far lower environmental ethos than ours. We have heard a lot over the years about the importance of energy independence, but it is equally important that we be minerals independent. Minerals and metals are the building blocks for everything from infrastructure and health care to national defense, clean energy, and electric vehicles. This necessitates a reliable domestic supply chain. Unfortunately, a lack of access to economically viable mineral deposits and an inefficient federal permitting system leave our nation vulnerable.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the United States is 100% reliant on imports for 17 mineral commodities and greater than 50% reliant on imports for another 29 — despite our nation having tremendous mineral wealth. Our mineral dependency is at a record high, and it comes with serious consequences. Most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the vulnerabilities that exist in critical U.S. supply chains, including our reliance on imported minerals.

Securing our supply chains is a bipartisan effort, evidenced by the attention our dangerous mineral import reliance has received from both the Donald Trump and Joe Biden administrations. President Biden in February issued an executive order to secure America’s supply chains, directing agencies across the federal government to immediately evaluate supply-chain risks in four specific areas: semiconductor manufacturing, high-capacity batteries, critical minerals, and pharmaceuticals. It requires sector-specific reviews over the next year, specifically the defense, information communications technology, energy, transportation, public health, and food sectors. The order also directs continued work pursuant to President Trump’s executive order on “Addressing the Threat to the Domestic Supply Chain From Reliance on Critical Minerals From Foreign Adversaries and Supporting the Domestic Mining and Processing Industries.”

If we are going to “build back better,” as Biden vows, by addressing our crumbling infrastructure, revitalizing domestic manufacturing, tackling climate change by developing clean-energy infrastructure, and pushing greater production of electric vehicles, these supply-chain realities must be considered. Demand for metals used in electric vehicles is expected to sharply rise as automakers plan major expansions of electric-vehicle production. Thankfully, the aforementioned executive orders give our critical supply-chain issues, including minerals, the attention they deserve.
The challenge our domestic minerals industry faces is the acknowledgment that our mineral supply chain issues run counter to actions taken by the Biden administration and Congress to restrict access to mineral deposits. Executive orders pausing an already lengthy permitting process, the “30 by 30” initiative to preserve 30% of the nation’s lands and waters by 2030, and legislation banning mining on millions of acres of federal land will discourage exploration, development, and production of minerals in the U.S., increase our reliance on foreign countries, and make “build-back-better” priorities impossible to achieve.

In order to secure our supply chains, we must have access to search for and responsibly develop viable mineral deposits and be able to permit projects in a timely manner. Keeping lands open to exploration and development improves the odds of finding the “needle in the haystack” mineral deposit. Unfortunately, already more than half of federal lands are off limits to mining, and the continuous efforts to further restrict access put American workers and the mining industry on the sideline when mineral demand is set to skyrocket to meet the Biden administration’s green-energy objectives.

Fortunately, this is not an either/or proposition. Mining and environmental protection are not mutually exclusive. We can be pro-mining while also being pro-environment. Federal and state agencies’ current environmental-protection requirements for minerals provide effective and comprehensive protection that safeguards all aspects of the environment, including water resources, wildlife, special status species, air quality, cultural resources, soils, vegetation, and visual resources.

Furthermore, current federal and state financial-assurance programs guarantee mines will be reclaimed. The bottom line is that, in the U.S., we mine with the best environmental protections and the most robust worker safety standards in the world.

As President Biden noted in his recent executive order, “Resilient American supply chains will revitalize and rebuild domestic manufacturing capacity, maintain America’s competitive edge in research and development, and create well-paying jobs. They will also support small businesses, promote prosperity, advance the fight against climate change, and encourage economic growth in communities of color and economically distressed areas.”

Mined products are key to the advanced, technological, and more healthful existence we all enjoy. Like food and water, minerals are essential, and it’s more important than ever for the U.S. to responsibly utilize our own resources. Securing our domestic mineral supply chains is essential for our environment, our communities, and all Americans.


EOMA is a member of OCAPA. This is undoubtedly the largest type of mining in Oregon. They have a very interesting and informative website that also may be of interest to metal miners. They keep track of the bills introduced in Oregon’s legislature that may affect all mining in Oregon.
It will be necessary to remind the Oregon legislators, who mainly come from the Willamette Valley, that not all of Oregon has a moderate climate. A bill such as SB 715 which mandates higher percentages of biodiesel doesn’t work for the people who live and work at higher elevations.
Check out their website: https://www.ocapa.net/

EOMA still has silver 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 your medallion 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 541-310-8510. Also, you can buy them at our EOMA meetings.

Two water pumps with belt driven clutch system (heavy duty) driven by a 2 cylinder Wisconsin gas engine for $250.

Also, a 5" intake 7" discharge Fairbanks and Morris high pressure pump. Driven by a 30 HP 3 phase electric motor for $450. Call Ken Anderson at 541-523-2521 or 541-519- 9497

This magnetometer measures the amount of magnetics in the ground, such as magnetite. Since magnetite is associated with gold, the magnetometer can help greatly with prospecting, since it will show you the amount of magnetite that may well be associated with gold in the ground. The more magnetite, the more gold. $400 or cash $350. Call Chuck Chase, 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 in the fall of 2021. Call Charles Stewart at 541-910-5435 for more information. I will look at any reasonable offers.

Gold Specimens and Gold nuggets, mostly from Oregon mines. Fair prices paid. Also selling Gold nugget jewelry, specimens, nuggets and more. For an interesting and informative experience explore www.northernnevadagold.com. Call Robert 775-455-6470.

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 an 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.

AMS is selling out all assay supplies, screens, chemicals and labware! Call for quote and mention this ad for 35% off! Assay supplies, concentrators, impact mills, technical books (for the beginner to the advanced mill man), & more!

Call for our free catalog or visit us online! Check out their website for information on wave tables. Want to pick up an order in Plains Montana? We have moved to Plains, Montana…. please call 406.826.9330 to place the order on will call first, this way our staff can have it pulled and ready for pick up. Otherwise, we can always ship your order! sales@actionmining.com • www.actionmining.com

If you have informative or interesting articles about mining items to share in the newsletter send them to Ken Alexander alxk@ortelco.net, or Chuck Chase CHASE3285@msn.com, or Jan Alexander alx@ortelco.net. Be sure to indicate the source of information you send.