Eastern Oregon Mining Association
Eastern Oregon Mining Association
Serving the mineral industries
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- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20200103

Volume 364

Meetings are held on the first Friday of the month. The next meeting is Friday, JANUARY 3rd 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. As usual, there will be a drawing for a $50 silver medallion at the meeting!

At the AEMA Mining Convention, EOMA was our focus in all conversations involved with expanding mining activities in Oregon.

I believe the EOMA can be a lead player in the framing of ideas for Eastern Oregon’s mining future. Baker County supports mining, and there are opportunities to educate the public and expand mining through the Baker County Natural Resources Advisory Committee. The existing knowledge of natural resource locations, known by the small scale miners of our association, is a potential basis to incentivize a mining revitalization in Baker and the adjacent counties.

Education is the key. In coordination with AEMA, EOMA can lead the way in expanding mining in Eastern Oregon.

Your EOMA dues are due January 1, 2020. And when you write that check, you might think of someone who isn’t a member, who should be. Write a check for that miner too. He or she will receive not only the EOMA newsletter, but will also receive a one-year subscription to ICMJ. A great gift for a friend, and you will get your name in the hat for a silver medallion.

Chuck was ill and could not attend, so my son Evan and I attended the convention.

It was a real learning experience. AEMA’s longevity is a testament to an association that has evolved into the premier representative of the mining industry, which strives to fairly respond to the needs of both large operators and individual miners, through historic, legislative, and modern mining technique activities. Originally known as the Northwest Mining Association, and initially supported by small mining operators, the future of mining the minerals and metals in America is now greatly enhanced by the efforts of the AEMA.

This year’s conference in Sparks, Nevada was attended by mining representatives from all the western states, Canada, and other foreign countries. State and federal agencies also provided updates into their specific mining activities and permitted projects. However, it was unfortunate that the State of Oregon had no official from DOGAMI in attendance to discuss the explorable minerals or metals found within their jurisdiction.

It is apparent to many in the industry that rules and regulations imposed on mining entities have been enacted within agencies without the US Congress realizing the negative impacts imposed upon those in the free market of exploration and extraction. More assistance is required from the current federal administration to cut or reduce unnecessary, bureaucratic permitting requirements in the near future. There are many within the AEMA with the abilities to make substantive suggestions legislatively, to reduce the time and requirements tied to the permitting process in establishing an operational mine.

Even though a Presidential Order exists to reduce the time and number of pages allowed in the NEPA process, federal agencies are still finding ways to hold on to the old ways of inefficiencies by having permittees build all the usual studies in advance of applying for permits, and then placing these studies into a side note/report that is not in the body of the limited 150 page permit response from the agency.

We who mine in Oregon will continue to take care of our natural resources through responsible, modern mining practices. And, while many mining projects can be easily completed within several years, inclusive of reclamation, miners must wait five to ten years for permits with Federal Agencies, like the Forest Service. Plans of Operation include conditions that place unproductive restrictions on the project, and make it difficult to achieve a successful project.

Members of the EOMA have an opportunity. It is apparent the general public is beginning to realize that the natural resources of Eastern Oregon have not been well served by the various agencies, either state or federal and, that unclaimed and unexplored minerals must be available to protect the future of our counties, the state, and the national security of our country.

We need to involve the agencies, and have the discussion about establishing a vibrant, long-lasting mining industry, which in turn, will provide the future employment of the next generations.

At the convention, I talked with representatives of many mining companies. These AEMA members are interested in exploring Oregon, but they shy away due to Oregon’s political attitudes toward mining, exploration/permitting difficulties, and the high tax/business fees that also discourage investment activities.

There are many good reasons for these issues to be resolved. The big one is the fiscal state of Oregon where program expenditures continue to out-pace tax and fee inflow to the general fund.

The bottom line is “mining is an answer” to fiscal and employment issues. The AEMA is a respected partner in achieving changes within Oregon. It can be the EOMA goal to rebuild the mining industry in Oregon by looking forward to the future while putting the past experiences into perspective.

The American Exploration & Mining Association (AEMA) has hired Sidney Smith as the Association’s Government Affairs Manager. Smith fills the role of Matthew Ellsworth, who served AEMA for seven years and is now Executive Director for the Association of Washington Public Hospital Districts. Smith will be implementing and managing the Association’s overall government affairs programs and strategies.

“We are excited to have someone of Sid’s caliber and experience join the AEMA team,” said Mark Compton, AEMA’s Executive Director. “I have great confidence that working with Sid and our volunteer members, we will continue to take AEMA’s advocacy efforts to the next level.”
With over 17 years of demonstrated experience in government affairs and media relations, Smith is a veteran that has been building professional relationships with local and federal leaders and their respective agencies. Smith’s tenure as Regional Director and Communications Coordinator for U.S. Senator James Risch, and Press Secretary for U.S. Senator Larry Craig, has uniquely prepared him to advocate on behalf of the Association’s 1,800 members and the exploration and mining industry at all levels.

A well recognized authority in the U.S. Mining Law, public land law, and mining transactions, Steve's career includes twenty years of experience as a partner in several prestigious mining, oil and gas, and natural resource development law firms where he specialized in representing large, international mining and oil and gas clients. In his capacity as a mining law expert, he has advised the United Nations, foreign governments, and Congressional committees. Steve has extensive experience in developing and executing corporate financing arrangements, complex mining transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and in directing legal and government affairs. Steve became Pershing Gold Corporation's Executive Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer in March 2012. Prior to accepting this position with Pershing Gold Corporation f/k/a Sagebrush Gold, Ltd., Steve was with Franco-Nevada Corporation (NYSE:FNV) where he served as Chief of U.S. Operations from 2007 until the end of 2011. Before joining Franco-Nevada Corp, he was President and CEO of NewWest Gold.
THE AEMA CONFERENCE EXPERIENCE Evan Johnson, Owner/Site Manager, Bonnanza Mine, Halfway, OR
For both our organization and myself, 2019 was a year of firsts; first major placer gold mine to be fully permitted in Oregon in decades; first run of a recirculating prototype wash plant; and, first experience with multiple MSHA visits as a new safety director. What an adventure! To cap off the year, a visit to the 2019 American Exploration & Mining Association yearly conference was clearly in order. As someone starting up a mine and new to the mining industry, the saying, “You don’t know, what you don’t know” comes to mind. Clearly, it has been a year of learning, and the AEMA conference did not disappoint in that regard. The scope and breadth of the vendors and attendees was impressive, and the seminars and training sessions covered a multitude of interesting and pertinent topics.

The exhibition hall consisted of hundreds of vendor booths covering everything to do with mining and more. It was exciting to walk through the aisles and see all of the products and services available in our industry. Even though a majority of the vendors were there as service providers primarily for large mining companies, we were able to find many that may be of assistance with improving our own operations in Oregon. Speaking with the product vendors and coming up with possible solutions for our site was valuable and educational.

The several days of presentations included both morning and afternoon sessions, with breaks for refreshments and networking. The seminars covered all facets of the mining industry, much of which on a far greater scale than our placer operation, giving me insight on how corporate miners approach projects. I found many discussions highly informative, with subjects ranging from project financing and mining hydrology, to mitigation, reclamation and the streamlining of permitting. Several presentations, given by larger operations, covered exploratory and current projects, evaluation of reserves, and plans of moving toward production. Most fascinating were topics that covered newer technologies being applied to the mining industry. I was especially impressed with discussions surrounding hyperspectral imaging and exploration geophysics, and how these advancements will be critical to the mining industry’s future. The Q&A sessions after the seminars, along with being able to meet and talk with the presenters about their topics, were especially beneficial.

The broad array of seminar topics, multitude of exposition vendors, and fantastic speakers at the conference luncheons all added to the worthwhile experience. Anyone involved directly in mining or the mining industry who has yet to attend the AEMA annual convention will find it worthwhile.

Geoff stated; “Unfortunately, as of this time, DEQ does not have the resources to begin the WPCF 600 permit renewal, meaning this is not on our 2020 permit issuance plan. I certainly empathize with the frustration this may cause. I know we have three other general permits, in addition to two general permits we are currently working on, that we need to complete by the end of 2021. This being said, as we get closer to developing the 2021 permit issuance plan this summer, I will be in a better position to assess our general permit writing resources. Please note that your concerns have been heard. Also, once we get to the point where we can devote resource to renewing the WPCF 600 Permit, we will welcome active participation from the mining community”.
This writ has been filed with the Supreme Court. The question presented is :The Clean Water Act forbids the unpermitted “addition of any pollutant to navigable waters,” 33 U.S.C. § 1362(12) (emphasis added). See id. § 1311(a). Below, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality determined, pursuant to federally delegated power, that the Act’s prohibition applies to small-scale suction dredge mining. Although such mining results in the movement of native streambed matter, it adds no material to the waters in which it is conducted. The Supreme Court of Oregon upheld the Department’s assertion of Clean Water Act authority, ruling—in conflict with decisions of this Court as well as the D.C. and Sixth Circuit Courts of Appeals—that the mere repositioning of things within a water results in the “addition” of pollutants to that water. The question presented is: Does the Clean Water Act regulate activities that simply move pre-existing material, such as rock, sand, and gravel, within a “navigable water”?

EOMA is hopeful that the Supreme Court will review our case.

MIDUS GOLD-Northern Miner
Midas Gold Corp. (MAX:TSX / MDRPF:OTCQX) reported today that the U.S. Forest Service (“USFS”) has indicated that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) for the Stibnite Gold Project (“Project”) in Valley County, Idaho, will be made available for public review in January 2020. Midas Gold Idaho continues to work closely with federal and state regulators to ensure that the permitting process remains on track. The USFS also anticipates issuing a Final EIS and Draft Record of Decision (“ROD”) in Q4 2020 and the Final ROD for the Project in Q1 2021. The USFS, as lead agency working in cooperation with the six other federal, state and local agencies responsible for permitting the Project, provided an indication of the timeline as part of a regular update on the Project.
“The USFS and cooperating agencies continue to advance the regulatory review of the Stibnite Gold Project and, in January 2020, the public will be able to begin commenting on our proposed redevelopment and restoration of this historical mining area,” said Laurel Sayer President & CEO of Midas Gold Idaho. “After years of thorough analysis and review, we are much closer to fully realizing the benefits of the Stibnite Gold Project. Through redevelopment of a brownfields site, this Project is designed to restore fish habitat, reconnect salmon to their native spawning grounds and address numerous legacy impacts from historical mining activities to improve water quality. If permitted, we will bring hundreds of well-paying jobs to rural Idaho and invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the state while bringing environmental restoration to a long-abandoned mine site. We want to see all of this happen and we will continue to work closely with regulators to meet the Project timeline.”

Dan Brown and Jan Alexander attended this meeting with DEQ personnel Jim Billings and Beth Moore. The permit has been revised for clarity. All fines have gone up, and a new schedule “F” has been added. All applications must now be submitted electronically, DEQ personnel will not assist miners, and fees must be paid by debit or credit cards. Bull trout “critical habitat” streams, such as Cracker Creek, are now open for dredging, however, very few permits have been issued because of the high cost. EOMA will try to help miners who want to apply for the permit.
As most of you know, EOMA did not mint 2019 medallions, nor will we mint 2020 medallions. However, we still have 2018 medallions available, as well as some medallions from previous years. 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.


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.
Located on Pine Creek, adjacent to the High Bar (Gold Rush) claims, the four 20 acre Golden Angels have an approved Plan of Operation in place. Good County road access, water for processing, WPCF permit goes with the sale. For information, call John at 541-620-1177.

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.

6 unpatented placer claims (180 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, or best offer. Will take gold, silver or will sell for a lesser price for cash. Call Ken Anderson at 541-519-9497 or Chuck Chase 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 2020 work. Call Charles Stewart at 541-910-5435 for more information.

Three mining claims, two on Bull Run Creek, and one on Swamp Creek, a tributary of Bull Run Creek. The mine has a Plan of Operation and is set up for a trommel and backhoe operation. Can assume the plan and the $1,400 Bond. Six off channel ponds. Number six pond is the fresh water pond and number five you can discharge into. Can pan gold out of the tailings. Quite a bit of testing done and assay work; has all of the 17 Rare Earth Minerals. Call (541-310-8510)

The Sue is located on the North Fork Burnt River, which is open for suction dredging, and is accessed by a good county road. The North Fork has a long dredging season-July 1-October 31 each year. I am selling the 20-acre Sue claim, along with two dredges (a 4” and a 6”), two trailers for them and accessories, two wet suits with weight belts, one repair kit and a few other items. There is also an approved Plan of Operation with the Forest Service for using a trommel and mechanized equipment beside the river.

The equipment alone is worth over what you will be paying for the total package, it's like getting the claim for free. For information call Stan Baker 541-938-8353 HM
509-386-7465 CELL swbrockett@msn.com.

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 started today.

Remember too, new members joining EOMA (see page 2) will receive a free one-year subscription to ICMJ. EOMA members who give gift memberships to EOMA will be put in a drawing for a silver medallion as well as the new member receiving a subscription to ICMJ.