Eastern Oregon Mining Association
Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20210103

Volume 376



Many thanks to Alice Knapp for letting us meet at the saw shop while City Hall is not available for meetings. We will have a meeting on January 8th, 2021 at the Elk Creek Enterprises saw shop located at 890 Elm Street. There is a big TIMBERUNITY sign in the window-you can’t miss it!

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 buy a ticket, support EOMA and who knows, you may get lucky!

According to a press release from Juan Labreche/APR, in a historic first, President-elect Joe Biden will nominate Rep. Deb Haaland to lead the Department of the Interior. Deb Haaland would be the country's first Native American Cabinet secretary. She opposed many Trump environmental rollbacks on public lands and considers climate change "the challenge of our lifetime."
In a statement, the Biden-Harris transition team called Haaland a "barrier-breaking public servant who has spent her career fighting for families, including in Tribal Nations, rural communities, and communities of color, who will be ready on day one to protect our environment and fight for a clean energy future." I agree with one thing, this will be the challenge of our lifetime.
This didn’t work out for me, just couldn’t justify the time sitting down and watching these presentations. I have been slammed with work here lately. It seems like everyone wants to mine as soon as winter sets in. I think we are all just anxious for spring to come.

I have requested written copies of the AEMA talks, but I doubt they will provide these. If I get them, I will share.

Alice Knapp, Chuck Chase and Dan Brown are to be commended for their work contacting members to see who is willing to serve as Executive Board members and Directors. At the meeting on January 8, we will take any additional nominations from the floor.

Once we have a full slate of officers who are willing to serve, these names will be on the ballot we will send out with the February newsletter. The ballots will be counted, and the election results will be announced at our March meeting.

The Supreme Court last week unanimously ruled in Tanzin v. Tanvir that a trio of Muslim men may sue a group of FBI agents for damages after the government officials put them on the no-fly list for refusing to spy on their own communities. It's been hailed as a win for religious liberty, and it is. But the ruling also strikes at something deeper: namely, that the tide may be turning on how we are able to hold public officials accountable when they violate our constitutional rights.

Muhammad Tanvir, Jameel Algibhah, and Naveed Shinwari allege that the FBI harassed them at their workplaces, confiscated their passports, and stripped them of their travel privileges after they declined to act as informants, costing them money on lost airline tickets and squandered job opportunities. They then sued under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1993, which prevents the government "from substantially burdening a person's exercise of religion" and authorizes litigants to pursue "appropriate relief" when such rights are infringed on. Yet while the Department of Homeland Security eventually removed the respondents from the no-fly list, the government countered that the "appropriate relief" referenced in the statute does not allow for monetary damages.

Writing for the unanimous panel, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas categorically rejected that argument. "A damages remedy is not just 'appropriate' relief as viewed through the lens of suits against Government employees," he said. "It is also the only form of relief that can remedy some RFRA violations. For certain injuries, such as respondents' wasted plane tickets, effective relief consists of damages, not an injunction."

When you file a mining claim, the minerals, but not the surface, become your private property. Section 4 of PL-167 specifies how the surface of a claim can be used for all claims located after July 23, 1955. This Section provides a means for the United States to manage and dispose of the vegetative resources and to manage other resources, except locatable mineral deposits. The pertinent portions of this section appear below, as these represent the most important statutory authority concerning surface use of mining claims.
“Any mining claim hereafter located under the mining laws of the US shall not be used, prior to issuance of patent therefor, for any purposes other than prospecting, mining or processing operations and uses reasonably incident thereto”.

“Rights under any mining claim hereafter located under the mining laws of the US shall be subject, prior to issuance of patent therefore, to the right of the US to manage and dispose of the vegetative surface resources thereof and to manage other surface resources thereof (except mineral deposits subject to location under the mining laws of the US). Any such mining claim shall also be subject, prior to issuance of patent therefore, to the right of the US, its permittees, and licenses to use so much of the surface therof as may be necessary for such purposes or for access to adjacent land”.

Thus, on your unpatented claims, the United States controls the surface resources, and its “lessees, permittees and licensees” can use your claim as directed by the Government, however, since the Government does not control the private property right in the minerals, they cannot materially interfere with your mining operation.

Northern Dynasty Minerals (TSX: NDM; NYSE: NAK) will in January submit its request for an appeal of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE’s) negative record of decision (RoD) for its Alaska’s Pebble copper-gold-molybdenum-silver project. The company said it would argue that the USACE’s mitigation requirements for Pebble were contrary to policy and precedent in Alaska and that the agency’s rejection of the mining firm’s compensation mitigation plan (CMP) was procedurally and substantively invalid.
“Although we believe the USACE’s ‘significant degradation’ finding to be contrary to law and unsupported by the administrative record as established by the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), we set out in good faith to meet their demand for in-kind and in-watershed mitigation at a very high and unprecedented ratio for Alaska – and after a tremendous amount of professional effort and investment, we did it,” Ron Thiessen, Northern Dynasty’s president and CEO, said in a press release. “For the USACE to summarily reject a CMP that is directly responsive to its requirements, to do it on the basis of what we believe to be largely minor and arbitrary deficiencies and without giving the proponent an opportunity to respond to those alleged deficiencies or otherwise amend its application is, we believe, without precedent in the long history of responsible resource development in Alaska.”
If permitted, Pebble would be North American’s largest mine with 6.5 billion tonnes in the measured and indicated category containing 57 billion pounds of copper, 71 million ounces of gold, 3.4 billion pounds of molybdenum and 345 million silver ounces.
Shortly after the November 3 election, the Biden-Harris transition team formed and began identifying candidates for various positions in the incoming administration. Just this week, that pace has quickened, with several announcements made about Cabinet-level positions, several of which will be important to AEMA and the mining industry as a whole.
Climate change and environmental justice (the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies) will be top priorities for the Biden Administration. While we might expect an individual’s environmental bona fides to come up for positions like EPA, Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ), or a few others, the Biden team and progressive supporters talk about climate in the context of Treasury, Labor, OMB and other appointments where environment might not have historically been the primary concern. It is important to understand the singularity of focus.
So, who has President-elect Biden chosen so far? Here’s what we know: Early on, Biden focused on his foreign relations and national security team, making picks for Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Treasury, and a Special Envoy for Climate (putting this climate envoy in the first round of appointments again shows the importance they are placing on the issue).
More recently, the Biden team has moved on to the group of Cabinet appointments directly dealing with minerals and mining-related issues. Tom Vilsack will be nominated for Secretary of Agriculture. Vilsack served all eight years as Obama’s Ag Secretary. It will likely take time before we find out who fills the vitally important deputy secretary for natural resources position, which oversees the U.S. Forest Service.
Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm (she also served as state attorney general) has been tabbed for Secretary of Energy. Neera Tanden, long-time Clinton ally and President of the Center for American Progress, was chosen for Director of Office of Management and Budget, which is an important regulatory role. Her nomination received widespread, bipartisan pushback, however. It remains to be seen if she will get confirmed, but there is no doubt she will have a rocky path forward.
Over at CEQ, Biden nominated Brenda Mallory, who formerly served as general counsel there in the Obama administration. She currently works at the Southern Environmental Law Center.
Yesterday, the Biden team filled slots at EPA and Interior, nominating Michael Regan and Rep. Deb Haaland, respectively. Regan currently leads the Department of Environmental Protection for the State of North Carolina. The announcement was hailed by environmental NGOs who felt Mary Nichols of California’s Air Resources Board (CARB), another candidate under serious consideration, was not sufficiently dedicated to environmental justice. Haaland was the progressives’ favorite for Secretary of Interior, and gained momentum over the last several weeks. These groups extolled her support of the Green New Deal, and encouraged Biden to make history by appointing the first Native American (male or female) to a Cabinet-level position. Haaland has been a staunch opponent of mining, cosponsoring Rep. Grijalva’s H.R. 2579, and introducing several anti-mining bills of her own. As a strong supporter of renewable sources of energy like wind and solar (which require massive amounts of minerals), she has called for expansion of renewable projects on public land. Clearly, the Biden team is under intense pressure to make the “right” picks, even from within his own coalition. These reflect the Biden priorities of addressing climate change, environmental justice, and reviving the economy.
National Emancipation Day is the day every year when you quit working for the government. Its calculated by the Tax Foundation and in 2019 it was April 16. According to the Tax Foundation the average American will spend 42 days just to pay state and federal taxes, 29 days to pay social security and Medicare, 11 days to pay property taxes, 13 days to pay interest on the national debt, and 14 days to pay for national defense.

That’s the equivalent of 109 days per year to pay all your taxes. Another way of looking at it is, you’re working every Monday just to pay state and federal income taxes. In a normal 8-hour day, nearly three hours are spent working for the government. For a nation that was established to avoid taxes, we sure do pay a lot of them.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with the National Marine Fisheries Service, finalized their rule defining “habitat” this week, publishing it in the Federal Register on December 16. The rule goes into effect 30 days after publication (January 15, 2021). Providing a definition of “habitat” is a step in the right direction toward clarifying when areas, including both public and private lands, may be considered “habitat” for the purposes of the ESA. AEMA submitted comments supporting the rule with a coalition of natural resources organizations in September

The Bureau of Land Management has begun the process of replacing LR2000, the database for land and mineral use authorizations, conveyances, mining claims, withdrawals and classifications. On December 11, BLM sent a letter to businesses with active mining claims in LR2000. The letter contained information on how to register in the new system – MLRS – when it goes live, and other important details. Individuals with claims will not need a letter in order to register on MLRS. If you have questions about the new database, we would encourage you to visit BLM’s website for more information about the transition here. The website includes a webinar where BLM staff answered questions from participants, and the video is available anytime. You can also sign up for future e-mail updates, which may be handy as the rollout draws closer.

It is time that we as a nation recognize the critical importance of minerals to our national security, our economy and our everyday lives. Most people never think about the pivotal role mining plays in their lifestyle and standard of living, but mined products are key to the advanced, technological, comfortable and more healthful existence we enjoy. Mining is a unique industry in that it is the basis for our entire way of life, yet few people ever give it a second thought, much less consider its significance. That needs to change.

Every year, the average American uses hundreds of newly mined minerals. It’s relatively easy to visualize that we need mining for items such as cars, televisions, computers, cellphones, and even our national security. New hybrid cars use twice as much copper as cars powered by gasoline alone; electric cars even more. Computer chips are made from as many as 60 different minerals or their constituent elements. Reports from the World Bank Group and the International Energy Agency shine a light on the growing need for minerals to fuel clean energy technologies, while the U.S. Department of Defense uses more than 750 thousand tons of minerals annually. Our mineral dependency is at a record high, double what it was 20 years ago.. Domestic mining is key to our nation’s success.

EOMA still has 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 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.

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.

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.

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, but additional time can be applied for). DEQ WPCF 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

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 2020. 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. PO Box 1913, Sandy OR 97055 Phone: 503 826-9330 • 800 624-1511 sales@actionmining.com • www.actionmining.com