Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20160506

MAY 2016
Volume 320

Meetings are held on the first Friday of the month. The next meeting will be Friday, MAY 6TH, 2016 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. Lots of good discussions on looking forward to the next season and solving problems. And, every meeting, there is a drawing for a $50 silver medallion!

FROM THE DESK OF THE PRESIDENT- Change for Transferring Association Claims
There has been a major change in the way that Oregon State BLM Office treats the recording and transfer of ownership of association placer claims. Oregon State BLM will not record the change of ownership of an association claim to the new owner with a quit claim deed from two or more locators unless the association claim is being purchased by the same number of claimants. Oregon BLM has come up with a brand new way to make miners prove the “discovery of a valuable mineral deposit” on association placer claims. This type of proof has not ordinarily been required unless you were going through a validity test. They are now requiring a completely new set of information that is not the traditional way that has been used to define a “discovery” on an association placer claim. This information includes detailed mapping about where samples were taken, sample volume, values $/per yard, reserves, grades, development costs, equipment costs, cost of operation, reclamation costs, and more. This change in process comes as a complete surprise without prior notice to miners. In fact, the Oregon BLM website warns miners about using “dummy locators” on association claims, but doesn’t say anything about a new way to prove a “discovery of a valuable deposit” when transferring ownership to a corporation, or to fewer owners than the original locators on an association claim.
In other States, BLM websites still have the traditional definition of what is considered a “discovery of a valuable mineral deposit” on association placer claims. We are looking into this.

For association placer claims, in addition to proof of a discovery of a pay streak, each 10 acres must be shown to be mineral-in-character.  Mineral-in-character may be based on geologic inference from adjoining lands and a reasonable opportunity for profitable extraction.  An actual exposure of the valuable mineral deposit is not necessary. Mineral-in-character may be used to show the potential extent of the valuable mineral deposit on the claim(s), contiguous mining claims on the same mineral deposit may be grouped together into a logical mining unit and evaluated as an economic unit. Federal statutes do not describe what constitutes a valuable mineral deposit. Consequently, several judicial and administrative decisions have established the "prudent man rule" of discovery. There is also a marketability test that shows a reasonable prospect of selling minerals from a claim or a group of claims. Proof of past or present profit is not a requirement; however, a profit must be a reasonable likelihood.

The final Environmental Impact Statement for the Granite Mining Projects EIS was released March 15. For those who submitted comments on the draft, there is a 45 day objection period in case changes were not made based on substantive comments. The objection period ends on
May 2, 2016.

The Forest Service has been very receptive in correcting errors that miners have pointed out to them in the Draft Record of Decision. No one, miners or Forest Service, wants to go through the lengthy objection process if it is not necessary.

The document will be corrected to reflect that G22, the stipulation about contacting the ranger if you contemplate a sale, has been deleted. Operations with water rights (Lightning Creek, Olive Tone and Belvadear) have been recognized. Muffin and Rosebud have been changed to reflect actual cubic yards to be mined, and Eddy Shipman has been corrected to show Granite Creek rather than Olive Creek. Miners who have been trying to get some direction on transferring Plans of Operation, have been informed that there is nothing in the 36CFR228 regulations that requires a former claim owner to sign off on a new claim owner mining that ground. The Forest Service will clarify Response 185 as follows:
"In some cases, there may be options for transferring a plan of operations to new owners.  In working with the minerals administrator, those options can be discussed with both parties (buyer and seller) prior to or even after the sale of the claim.   The transfer of a previously approved plan is based on many factors such as the age of the associated analysis, changes in the environment, new regulations and what the new owner/operator would like to do.  In order for a plan to be approved, the current owner/operator of the claim and the Forest Service need to agree to the proposed plan and both sign off on the document. Proposed plans are reviewed for compliance with existing analysis and when there are changes in the plan or in the environment then new analysis may be necessary". 

National Marine Fisheries Service finally has produced a Biological Opinion on the Granite Watershed Mining Projects. Until the BO is finalized, Plans of Operation cannot be approved.
Miners who have applied for "applicant status" are pointing out areas of the BO that require clarification. The Forest Service is working with the miners and NMFS to make the clarifications. The hope is that we can avoid having to reinstate consultation. Miners in the Granite watershed have waited ten years or more to have their Plans approved. More delay is just not acceptable.

JUBILEE JULY 15-17, 2016-Chuck Chase
The Jubilee Committee has been meeting the first Tuesday of each month to plan the upcoming Miners Jubilee. This year Miners Jubilee will be bigger than ever. Vendors are already contacting the Baker City Herald Events Coordinator, Savannah Lay, for spaces. To date, over 45 Vendors have confirmed they will be coming. As we have done in previous years, the street in front of the museum will be closed to through traffic, and EOMA and mining vendors will set up booths and equipment along the street. There is no charge to set up a booth for mining vendors, so just call Chuck at 541-523-3285 if you want to reserve a spot. This year Ash Grove will join us, and will be setting up a booth of their own to display videos of their operation. As usual we will be having our silent auction as a fund raiser. So start rooting through your shop for those items that you want to donate. You can drop off items at Chuck Chase’s house, 740 Valley Avenue, here in Baker City.

EOMA will set up panning tubs, spiked with garnets and gold for kids to pan. Ash Grove will also help out with the kids panning tubs. Some of these kids get pretty good at panning by the close of Jubilee on Sunday afternoon. Hopefully we will get our old three stamp mill up and running, to demonstrate how gold was recovered from gold ore in the gold boom days here in Baker County. Ash Grove will be sponsoring the Oregon State Panning Championships, and will be awarding cash prizes to the lucky winners. There will be three different panning events at the Championships; Kids, Amateurs, and Professional. Many thanks to Ash Grove for all their support.

Oregon water law and Oregon water rights are based on first in time, first in right. There are no riparian water rights in this state, so even if a stream runs through your claim, you may not have the legal right to use the water for your mining operation. Some miners do have valid State water rights, and these miners may pump from streams, however, new surface water rights are no longer available in the majority of watersheds.
Those miners who do not have water rights still have an option. According to Ivan Gall, former Ground Water Section Manager of the Water Resources Department, the 5,000 gallon per day exemption of ground water for any single industrial or commercial purpose is considered an exempt use of ground water. No permitting is required from OWRD. Also exempt from permitting is the use of a spring, which, under natural conditions, does not form a natural channel and flow off the property where it originates at any time of the year.

The EC program is really quite a mess. The idea for this exclusion certificate came about because some bureaucrats thought some of the sand and gravel operators were not accurately reporting their yardage. Because DOGAMI needed funding, the idea was that these suspect sand and gravel operators would have to report their actual yardage under the EC reporting, and maybe this would convince them to apply for a DOGAMI operating permit (5,000 cubic yards excavated/processed). The EC rule was written last year and is currently in place. The problem with the current rule, is it was so poorly written that the Attorney General's Office said it was not specific to sand and gravel, and applied to all miners. Of course, it did not mention mechanized equipment, since there are no sand and gravel operators that use hand tools.

Most of us gold miners process fewer than 1500 cubic yards annually, so we don't come anywhere near the threshold for applying for a DOGAMI permit. Most hand operators process only a few yards. Thus, the EC program, which clearly was devised to catch under-reporting sand and gravel operators processing near or over 5,000 cubic yards, really is not applicable to small scale gold miners.

DOGAMI tried to correct the flawed rule with a Draft Amendment. Under the draft, metal miners would not need to comply with applying for an EC until July 2017. I gave testimony on the draft, stating the July date for compliance is good, the EC language should be amended so it clearly does not apply to hand operators, miners operating on federal lands should be exempt, and total acres mined should reflect the fact that miners conduct ongoing reclamation annually.

“A new version of SB 1530 will appear in the 2017 legislative session, which begins in January. Like SB 1530, we suspect the bill will seek to limit or ban both instream and upland mining. In addition, proponents have indicated that they will consider filing a ballot measure to ban instream mining in Oregon. The instream mining debate will not go away."

This is one important reason it is necessary for every one of us to spread the word, and educate people about the benefits of mining. We need to think about how we can minimize the effects that our activities have on the activities of others, who also just want to enjoy the great outdoors. You can take your kids fishing, or you can take them out to find gold or other minerals. It is not hard to figure out which activity is going to harm the fish the most.

EOMA medallions are beautiful proof grade one ounce silver medallions with the addition of real gold “nuggets” in the pan. We still have a limited supply of previous year's medallions, as well as the gorgeous new 2016 medallions. These 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.

The National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center is projecting that the El Nino weather pattern will dissipate around late summer, and that there are growing indications a La Nina pattern will develop going into winter. Both patterns are largely driven by Pacific Ocean water temperatures.
“Nearly all models predict further weakening of El Nino, with a transition to neutral likely during the late summer or early fall,” states the latest advisory issued by the Climate Prediction Center. “Then the chance of La Nina increases during the late summer or early fall.”
Tom Di Liberto, a meteorologist with the center in College Park, Md., said influences on local weather systems from El Nino and La Nina are difficult to detect in the summer rather than winter months. During the summer, other weather patterns can be the driving force for localized weather.
The center maintains a caveat that some regions like the Pacific Northwest can have varying effects from one basin to the next but the overall, average influences of an El Nino can be detected.
Di Liberto said the strongest “signal” for the declining El Nino in the Pacific Northwest indicates there will be warmer-than-average temperatures, with above-average precipitation in parts of the Columbia Basin.
If the National Weather Service is correct, we can look forward to a warm, wet mining season with low fire danger. That would be great for a change.

Eastern Oregon Mining Association now has a Facebook page. For those of you who use Facebook, check it out. There is a step by step photo display of a couple of miners who are building trommels. Sign in, and come learn, add your suggestions, and get to know other miners.

There is also a Facebook page for Oregon Mining Association. Lots of useful information can be found on these sites. It is not hard to become a user of Facebook once you get used to the idea that Facebook “friends” can have a little different meaning than what you may have thought of as “friends” as you were growing up. Facebook certainly gives you the opportunity to share info not found in the mainstream media.

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. The number next to your ad is how many months your ad will run.

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

Bob and I are no longer able to mine, but this is a great opportunity for someone younger than us to mine on LDMA properties, meet people interested in mining, and at the same time have some fun and get some gold. $2000.00. Also, State Highway classifier with 4 different screens, motor and pump $150. Case tractor with loader and back hoe mounted on 5th wheel trailer.  $7,500. Call 541-526-5998 or gulchgold@yahoo.com

Mining partner wanted, just retired, hard working "Oaky". Self starter, motivated, know just enough about mining to be dangerous. Self sufficient, some equipment.
Call Ray at 541-892-0933.

Want to buy raw gold, looking for a couple of ounces. Contact Bob Sunderman at 541-962-5202

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.