Eastern Oregon Mining Association
Eastern Oregon Mining Association
Serving the mineral industries
Featured Article · All Articles · Rants & Raves · EOMA Newsletters

« Previous Page :: EOMA » Newsletters » Newsletter NEWS6EF6

- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20120905

SEPTEMBER 2012 Newsletter
Volume 276

President (acting)..............KenAlexander.................................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, Sept. 7th 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.

With the resignation of the Eastern Oregon Mining Association President Maureen Anderson, the EOMA was scrambling to fill the vacancy. The Board of Directors after reviewing the By-Laws decided to move our Vice President, Ken Alexander into the President’s position until the election in March 2013. Ken has shown his natural leadership ability over the years on numerous board and committee chair positions.

We would like to thank Maureen Anderson for her leadership through some rocky times. We wish you the best Maureen in whatever endeavor you enter into.

As most of you are aware, Maureen Anderson has resigned as President of the EOMA. She has decided to further her education, and plans to move out of the area. We are going to miss her leadership skills, and the energy she brought to the organization.
The way it is looking right now is that I will be serving as your President, at least until someone else steps up for the next election cycle in March. There are many challenges facing our organization. The top of the list includes breaking the gridlock of the permitting process, reasonable bonding for our mining operations, and access to the mineral wealth that surrounds us. Now more than ever, it is important for every member to think about, not only their own projects, but what they can contribute to making the orderly development of our mineral wealth a reality. With lots of help from all of you, our organization can make a difference.
Don’t wait until the last minute! The Maintenance Fee Waiver form is due on or before 12:01 A.M. September 4 (September 1 is a Saturday). There is no fee for the waiver. Complete the form by filling in the years on line 1 as 2012 and 2013. Line 2 is 2012. BLM requires original signatures and the addresses of all claim owners. Send this to BLM via certified mail. If you miss this deadline, you will need to relocate your claims.
Remember, if you file a waiver, you must file an affidavit of Assessment work (Proof of Labor) with the County Clerk by September 28, 2012 and file with the BLM Portland Office on or before December 31 (December 30 is a Sunday). There is a service fee of $10. The assessment year you are filing on this year includes work you did from September 1, 2011-September 1, 2012. Again, it is essential that you send your proof of labor via certified mail.

Everyone who is interested in being able to access the millions of acres that were reserved as National Forests by the Federal Government for the use of the people should be involved in the discussion of the Travel Management Plan. There are several discussion papers listed on the WW website including firewood and game retrieval: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/wallowa-whitman/landmanagement/projects?cid=fsbdev7_008909
A couple of selected items from these papers are listed below. There is no discussion paper regarding access to minerals. The TMP recognizes that there is a statutory right guaranteeing access for the discovery and development of valuable mineral deposits. But remember that access to parcels of private property in the forest is also a statutory right. It should be obvious the direction the Forest Service is heading regarding access to all kinds of private property from their discussion papers. The rules will be shaped by those who comment. Make sure you comment!
Access for Private Property Owners
“If a landowner does not have an open designated motorized road to access their property they will be able to apply for written authorization to meet their access needs as allowed under the regulations.”
RS 2477 Roads
According to the Forest Service, “The road must have been continuously used and maintained as a public highway since its creation.”

Mining operations on public lands are on hold because of the dry conditions. No waivers are being issued, even for miners working in cleared areas with pumps and ponds full of water. If a fire does get started, one would think the agencies would want miners with equipment available to put the blaze out. But, at least for now, they do not want us out there.
ATV traffic has not been affected by the shut down, and these little vehicles, which are not even equipped with a shovel and fire extinguisher, are still running the grass covered trails. It is unclear why the Forest Service considers washing rocks with water and running backhoes and dozers in areas cleared of vegetation to be more of a fire hazard than cruising the country in an ATV. All we can do now is pray for rain!
The good news is that the Forest Service has finally sent the North Fork Burnt River Mining Supplemental EIS to the printer. The bad news is that by the time it is printed, published in the Federal Register, and goes through the appeal process, it will be too late for any plans of operation to be authorized for mining this season. Some operators have been prohibited from even testing their claims to determine the value of their mineral deposits for over eleven years when the process started. Other operators have suffered the economic loss of being unable to extract any minerals from their valuable mineral deposits for over seven years. Fortunately, a lot of attention is now being focused on the fact that the onerous and confusing environmental laws and regulations need to be changed. It is obvious that the current permitting process is broken. There is widespread recognition that rich and powerful environmental organizations have dishonored the goal of improving the environment by shifting their focus to stopping all activity no matter what the actual environmental effects are.
Stats From The Alaska Miner
* Over the next five years, worldwide demand for copper will match global GDP growth at roughly 4 percent and demand for aluminum will grow twice as fast as the global GDP.
* Magnets are a very important part of many energy technologies and also a key part of hard disc drives used in recording and transmitting film and television footage.
* Camera lenses use a rare earth element called lanthanum, which is also used in rechargeable batteries. There are also rare earths in computer and TV screens. They use the heaviest - - and hardest to get - - rare earth elements like europium and terbium.
* Global sales of hybrid cars are expected to increase fro 2.2 percent of sales in 2010 to 7.3 percent in 2020, and auto executives estimate the demand for lithium – key to high-performance batteries could outpace supply in as little as 10 years.
* A single wind turbine can contain 335 tons of steel, 4.7 tons of copper, 3 tons of aluminum and 700 plus pounds of rate earth minerals, as well as zinc, molybdenum and concrete. Rare earths are also used in night vision equipment and satellites.
* Cat scans contain a variety of minerals, including tungsten, copper, lead, silver, chlorine, aluminum and gold.
* The U.S. military uses three quarters of a million tons of minerals every year.
* Despite $6.2 trillion worth of key minerals within our borders, the United States currently imports $6.9 billion worth of minerals materials from foreign countries, and is 100 percent import-reliant for 19 key minerals.
* It is estimated that every job in metal mining generates 2.3 additional jobs elsewhere in the economy. Compare this to every nonmetal mining job that only generates 1.6 additional jobs.

MINERALS MAKE LIFE from National Mining Association
Perhaps you heard that last week, Papua New Guinea approved the world’s first commercial deep sea mining project called Solwara 1. Backed by Canadian company Nautilus Minerals, the venture aims to extract gold and copper from the sea floor. This news comes while the U.S. sits on an estimated $6.2 trillion worth of key undeveloped mineral resources, including gold and copper right here on dry land. But these resources are made inaccessible by an outdated permitting process and regulations that delay critical investments for years —and in some cases, up to a decade. A predictable and manageable permitting process would make mining in the United States more attractive, ensuring a stable supply of critical minerals that will help create jobs and improve our economy. It might even help us maintain our competitive edge in mining over countries like Papua New Guinea.
To better help explain the inefficient U.S. permitting process, we’ve developed a short video that describes the issue. This video can be found on the Minerals Make Life website at: http://mineralsmakelife.org/
Our case is moving in more directions than just the court system. The permit litigation group, which supports EOMA’s case against DEQ has decided that we need to take a campaign to our legislators and investigate DEQ’s back-room deals with NEDC (an environmental law organization).

DEQ chose to disrupt EOMA’s separate case against NEDC concerning their lack of standing. DEQ did this when they decided to settle with the environmental organization. This allowed NEDC to be dismissed as a prevailing party against DEQ. DEQ also paid NEDC $7,500 as part of the settlement. EOMA believes that the settlement agreement affects our case against DEQ as well, because the settlement agreement requires procedures for including permit conditions when the 2010 suction dredge permit is reissued in 2014. These privately negotiated and mandated conditions are outside of the legislative process for open and public involvement. On this basis, EOMA has filed for an amended complaint against DEQ.

EOMA was in the process of scheduling depositions for members of NEDC based on our intervention in the environmental organization’s case against DEQ for lack of standing. NEDC was allowed to withdraw from the consolidated case against DEQ over the objections of EOMA. EOMA’s case against DEQ is still continuing, however, we feel that we also need to have our legislators investigate DEQ with the goal that a Bill be presented that will curb any future disruptions of valid cases based on settlement agreements.

The judicial review of EOMA’s suction dredge case against DEQ is moving forward as depositions are now being scheduled for DEQ representatives in September. Some of the topics for the depositions will be the “practice of mining”, “impacts” and the “regulatory scheme” of federal, state and the mining laws.

The House of Representatives passed H.R. 4078, the \Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act,\ by a vote of 245-172. H.R. 4078 is designed to help streamline the federal permitting process, prevent agencies from proposing or finalizing midnight regulations and impose transparency on the “sue and settle” process abused by the agencies and environmental groups.
The package includes prohibiting the promulgation of any new major regulation until the unemployment rate is equal to or less than six percent. The bill also includes major time restrictions on agencies while conducting an environmental impact statement, environmental assessment or the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

H.R. 4078 is the first attempt by Congress to pass regulatory reform to reduce the crushing burden on small businesses for many years. By the Obama Administrations count, at least 140 major rulemakings are under way by agencies including EPA and OSHA. An analysis by the American Action Forum found H.R. 4078 could save at least 2,700 jobs, 2.6 million paperwork hours and $22.1 billion in compliance costs.

On July 25th, US Senator Murkowski called for action on S.1113 The Critical Minerals Policy Act saying:
\Critical minerals make it possible for us to innovate and invent - and in the process they shape our daily lives, our standard of living, and our ability to prosper. Fortunately, almost a quarter of my Senate colleagues understand this and have supported legislation to address the issue.\
\Unfortunately, all of those efforts have fallen victim to our lack of action in the Senate this Congress, where not one bill on this topic has been reported from a Senate committee - even when the votes are likely there to do so. My legislation, the Critical Minerals Policy Act, is no exception,\ Murkowski said. \Its my hope that the support of this broad coalition - representing nearly half a million scientists along with thousands of job creators in the minerals and manufacturing sectors - will help motivate the Senate to act on this important issue.\
Supporting Senator Murkowski was a diverse coalition of over 38 associations and companies including NWMA, and several NWMA member companies, in a letter to Committee Chairman Bingaman and Ranking Member Murkowski asking the bill be given a mark-up and advance to full consideration.


Gifford Ellsworth, long time EOMA member, passed away August 11, 2012 in Baker City. Services were held for Gifford at the Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon. Gifford had worked both in placer mining and hard rock mining. The love of his life was a hard rock mine near the head of Rock Creek. Gifford worked many years developing this mine, trying to put it into production. Going to miss you Gifford.
Jan Alexander, Ken Alexander, Chuck Chase, and Bobbie Danser met with Ranger Tomac to discuss the bonding MOUs. We are looking into bonding of equipment under the MOU, and the Forest Service is not completely opposed to this. They just want EOMA to provide a detailed plan on how equipment removal would take place. EOMA agreed with the Forest Service not to include structure removal in the MOU.

EOMA would like to increase the bond amounts. The MOUs are for five years, and the anticipation is that equipment costs will go up during that time period, and when bonds are recalculated, they will exceed our MOU amounts.

The five areas that Ranger Tomac and EOMA agreed to look into are as follows:

1. EOMA needs to come up with a satisfactory method for bonding our miners for removal of equipment from the Forest.
2. EOMA needs to explore the feasibility of having one MOU with the Forest Service with the maximum bond amount on this MOU. We would make an internal decision concerning the amount of the bond we are willing to guarantee, and send that information to the Forest Service and the miner.
3. EOMA and the Forest Service will take a hard look at the dollar amount of the bonds. We need to provide the Forest Service with our rationale behind increasing the amount we are willing to guarantee.
4. Ranger Tomac agreed to look into the matter of why Davis-Bacon rates are being used for calculation of equipment removal instead of local rates.
5. He also agreed to look into EOMA assuming responsibility for re-vegetation.
NATIONAL COMMITTEE TO OVERSEE “EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES”- from NWMA Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the establishment of a national committee to guide and oversee U.S. implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (USEITI), a voluntary, global initiative designed to increase transparency, strengthen the accountability of natural resource revenues, and build public trust for the governance of these vital activities. Interior is seeking nominations for the committee from industry, civil society, and other stakeholders.
The committee will be convened as a new federal advisory group established under the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The committee will consist of approximately 21 members to represent a range of interests concerned with the implementation of USEITI. Members will include non-federal representatives from the extractive industry and the public, and may ultimately include representatives from state, local, and/or Tribal governments.
NWMA is currently working with the National Mining Association to nominate representatives from the mining industry and will continue to monitor this process closely.

Recently, NWMA joined 46 other national and regional organizations in asking the US House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and Environment to correct a March, federal court decision mandating that the Forest Service provide for notice, comment, and appeals on noncontroversial categorical exclusion -- minor activities with no effect on the environment. This includes: low impact mineral exploration projects, planting trees after wildfires; reconstructing trails for people with physical disabilities; removal of dead hazard trees (killed by bark beetle or other insects and disease); and, approving one-time events (such as organized bicycle races). No other land management agency, including the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management, has this notice comment and appeal requirement on categorical exclusions. This has and will continue to limit job creation, the publics enjoyment of national forests and will add significant delays to much-needed work while wasting public resources with no discernible benefit.
We believe Congress must act to stop this decision from continuing to delay badly needed activities. Nearly 80 percent of the work completed by the Forest Service is affected by this requirement. This new mandate will add a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of 135 days to activities that used to be completed in as little as 5 to 10 days.

EOMA has the results of the FOIA, and they are quite interesting. Where Ken and I mine on Prudent/Number 9, on the south side of the North Fork Burnt River, there is no knapweed. However, the Forest Service indicates in their surveys that we do have this noxious weed on our claim. Turns out a little corner of our claim extends across the river from where we are mining and is where the weeds are located in the old dredge tailings. We do not mine north of the river, nor have we ever mined there, yet the Forest Service has added the cost of weed spraying to our draft bond. We are optimistic that a reasonable solution will be reached in the ongoing discussions of bonding for weed spraying.
The other operations where noxious weeds are believed to be present are:

Camp Hale common St. Johnswort
EJ Placers Canada thistle, whitetop, diffuse knapweed
Gold Busters common St. Johnswort, whitetop
Gopher whitetop
North Fork diffuse knapweed
R&RK 4&5 dalmation toadflax, field birdsweed
Three Cent Lode diffuse knapweed, stinking willie

The Forest Service lists weeds on a claim named Three Cent Lode, however, so far no one seems to be aware of where this claim is. From the map provided, it appears that most of these weed sites are along the roads. Miners do not mine the roads, so it hardly seems right that miners be held responsible for control of these weeds. I would guess that these weeds were spread by all kinds of animals and vehicles, who use the roads.

We have received a donation from Ash Grove Cement Co. for $200 toward the prize money given away in our mining contests at Miner’s Jubilee. We appreciate the support!

Carl died last month in a nursing home in Nevada. According to friends, he had been failing for a while, but still enjoyed telling stories about mining to anyone who would listen.
Carl prospected and mined in both Nevada and Oregon for over 70 years and had claims around Sumpter. He was passionate about the importance of mining and spent a lot of time working with young people, teaching them to pan and getting them interested in the mining industry. He worked with many hundreds of kids every year at the Nevada county and state fairs. Several years ago, the Nevada Mining Association recognized Carl for his many years of work with children.
I first met Carl when I was working at the Forest Service in the 1980s. The receptionist didn’t think much of this dirty, little old man with a long white beard and a dog that was part wolf. That was ok with Carl, he preferred meeting outdoors anyway. We would sit at the picnic table out back of the office and Carl would talk to me about his plans for his mining claims on the National Forest and talk about mining and the importance of minerals to our lives. One year when Carl came up from Nevada to do his assessment work he brought me three big black tubs and a ¼ ounce of gold and told me I needed to start working with kids.Carl left me no choice. He didn’t want any money; he just wanted me to teach kids how to pan. Some of the miners gave me placer gravel and garnets for the tubs and I added the gold Carl had brought me. I then joined with EOMA members panning with school kids each spring at the Sumpter Dredge state park.
Today, I realize Carl’s wisdom in recruiting young people into mining. Because of Carl, I try never to miss an opportunity to get young people thinking about mining. Without our young miners, our industry is lost. Carl was a one of a kind. He definitely made a difference in the lives of many young people and he also made a difference in my life.
The Pacific Legal Foundation is going to file an amicus brief to the Supreme Court to seek review of the Ninth Circuit’s recent decision on the Karuck vs. New 49ers. This decision mandates that a Notice of Intent requires Section 7 consultation and possibly full NEPA.
EOMA has joined other mining organizations who have signed onto this brief. The Ninth Circuit Court decision has already taken its toll on miners attempting to conduct exploration in this area. In watersheds where salmon and steelhead are present, miners conducting exploration activities off-channel, not working in-stream, were shut down. This occurred even though they were utilizing settling ponds permitted by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) where any impacts to surface waters are prohibited.The Forest Service regulations are clear that an NOI is not a federal action and no approval by the District Ranger is required. This is an important case and we support PLF in their efforts on the behalf of miners everywhere. Joining this case does not cost EOMA anything, but donations to PLF are always welcome. We will be updating you on the progress of the brief as it develops.
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. .

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

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 on the internet, 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.

Located near John Day, primitive, insulated house, wood heat, good water, road & hunting. Off grid – generator. Contact: PO box 8353 spring Creek, NV 89815 for more information. Or you may email: jetteseal@gmail.com

Equipment includes a 20yd hopper feeder, 80kw Onan generator, 40 and 30 conveyors, 5\ and 3\ slurry pumps, Reichert Spiral concentrator, 5th wheel dollies, lots of sluices, 5yd dump box, electric motors switch boxes and panel boards. Much more! Contact Jack at 208-284-5882.