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 NEWS96A8

- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20190924

Volume 360

Meetings are held on the first Friday of the month. The next meeting is Friday, SEPTEMBER 6TH 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!

The Powder Mining Projects EIS will be coming out soon. Miners in the project area and interested publics were notified and asked to respond as to whether they wanted a CD or a paper copy. The letter from Ranger Tomac stated that paper copies were very expensive and he hoped people would not ask for them.

Jan always wants a hard copy. She actually reads those documents. I prefer a CD as I like to quickly find all references to a specific claim or stream. I encourage all miners who are interested, to get ahold of the Forest Service and get a copy of the EIS.

We will have 60 days to read the document and write our comments. Every miner whose operation is in the Powder watershed needs to see what kind of restrictions the Forest Service will be placing on his or her operation. The Forest Service would not allow any of the miners to see what areas they would approve for mining, so hopefully there will not be many changes from what each miner proposed.

If the Forest Service ignores our comments, we will have the opportunity to “object”. They used to call this the appeal process, but the procedure has changed somewhat. EOMA will help any miners with objections if that becomes necessary.

The new fee for locating a 20 acre claim is $225. That fee includes a $20 processing fee, a $40 location fee and a $165 maintenance fee.

“Within 30 days after the performance of labor or making of improvements, or making federal fee payments required by law to be annually performed or made upon any mining claim, the person in whose behalf such labor was performed or improvement or payment was made, or someone in behalf of the person, knowing the facts, shall make and have recorded in the Mineral and Mining Record of the county in which the mining claim is situated”.
In other words, if you are filing assessment work now, your last day of work should be within the past 30 days.

A miner from ID (Don Smith), with help from PLP and ICMJ, has sent a Petition for Rulemaking to the EPA & Army Corps requesting that they revise their regulations to clearly state that suction dredges used in-water do not "add" pollutants - and therefore do not need Section 402 permitting (NPDES).

Chuck Chase wrote the following letter of support: “I am writing to you today in support of Mr. Donald Smith’s letter appealing to you to remove small dredging from the NPDES permit. This is the same permit that Portland uses every time it storms, overflowing their city sewage into the Willamette River. I am not sure how anyone can compare a sewage discharge to a small dredge lifting materials from the creek and depositing the same back into the creek with no added pollutant. This does not constitute putting a pollutant in the creek by any rule or law out there. Lumping small dredgers on the same level as Portland and their sewage problem or industrial waste discharge is not even a close comparison and is ignoring current law and court decisions.

There has been study after study on dredging of rivers of the United States. Not one of these studies showed any pollution, or environmental problem, in fact these studies showed a positive solution to the dumping of junk in the river. These dredges pick up and clean tons of fishing tackle, bullets and odds and ends that people lose or dump in our streams. The loose gravels left after dredging are used by salmon and steelhead to spawn in. The holes left by the dredges are a safe cool place for fish to go to find cooler water in the summer heat. In conclusion, the state agencies have bent over backwards to restrict and stop all dredging, saying the activity caused environmental damage, when the exact opposite was happening.”

The Eastern Oregon Mining Association (EOMA) was started back in the summer of 1978 in the front room of a home in the small NE Oregon town of Durkee. The first President was Stephen York a long time miner in NE Oregon. It was decided to move the next meeting to Baker City because that is where most of the miners in the area lived. Almost from the start, we put out a monthly newsletter, and met on the first Friday of the month.

At the height of the mining boom in the “70 and 80’s” in NE Oregon, the EOMA boasted of over 500 members, including hard rock, placer and “wanna be’s”. The Mining Association is an educational C-6 and puts on seminars on geology, ore deposits, rare earth minerals, and geophysics just to name a few mineral related courses the EOMA has sponsored over the years.

As the Eastern Oregon Mining Association expanded its presence in Eastern Oregon, the Baker City Chamber of Commerce asked us to help revive the “Miners Jubilee” that had been a big Baker City event back in the “30’s”, but ended at the start of WWII. So, in 1982, EOMA put on a large exhibition of rock drilling, hand steeling, hand mucking contests, speed panning, along with other mining events that had cash prizes for winners. We also displayed different mining equipment used in working both placers and lodes.

Over the years we have watched in dismay as the Federal Land Agencies and State Government Agencies have shut down mining projects, through increased regulation, excessive bonding, stalling for ten years or more to approve a simple placer Plan of Operation. Miners were dying of old age waiting for the Forest Service to complete analysis and approve their Plans. The Forest Service would do a complete Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for several small-scale mining operations. The Environmentalists would sue, and the Forest Service would immediately give up, refusing to defend their analysis. They would then start all over for another ten years.

Over the years the EOMA has litigated both by itself and with other Mining Organizations in Oregon. Of all of these litigated cases, the EOMA only had one solid win, well almost solid, and that was our first case with Grant County. They were charging miners a tax on their mining claims and were excavating placer gravel from mining claims to build roads. We only won half of that suit, in that we stopped the taxing of mining claims, but lost our damage position on behalf of the miners who lost placer gravel. One of the lawyers of the old California Mining Association helped to litigate the case for us.
Over the years we have established a legal fund and we have continued to work with other organizations to fight our common injustices.
The Forest Service is determined to make three inches of straw on all reclaimed sites a requirement.

I got a copy of the publication, Organic Mulching to Improve Mining Soil Restoration, January 2017, which states the following: “Regarding organic wastes, (i.e. material such as straw) their adequate selection is important because some changes can be negative (i.e., pH change in the topsoil), and they should be taken into account”. Forest soils are naturally acidic, and a better mulch for forest sites is woody material.

The article goes on to state: “Improper handling can also lead to problems, because if the mulching is too deep, it can create an excess or deficiency of moisture in the root zone and anoxic conditions may result because of the difficulty created for air and water to penetrate the ground”.

“As to thickness of mulching, this depends on the type of mulching material and the soil drainage. In general, well-drained sites can be mulched applying 5–10 cm; if the site is poorly drained, less thickness should be considered (2–5 cm”. Many mining sites are not well drained. One-inch equals 2.54 cm, so one to two inches of straw would be more useful for encouraging seeds to germinate.

Also, a low slope is recommended. “As a guideline, a slope around 3%–5% may be the limit considered for using organic wastes. The main objective is to avoid moisture accumulation, as excess water in the topsoil can seriously affect root respiration”.

The Forest Service needs to rethink this 3 inches of straw business. Woody material, such as branches, limbs, small trees is a far better mulch than straw.

EOMA will not be minting 2019 medallions. 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.

This 20 Acre claim is located on the North Fork of the Burnt River in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Burnt River Road runs parallel to the river from one end of the claim to the other offering excellent access to the river and campsite. Claim contains over ¼ mile of river open to dredging. Copies of approved 2017 DEQ permit 600 PM and 2017 DEQ 700 PM (4” suction dredge) available. This claim is for sale for $2500. Contact Joe Toce email: toceja@hotmail.com

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.

5 unpatented placer claims (160 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, will take gold, silver or will sell for a lesser price for cash. Call Ken at 541-519-9497 or Chuck 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 2019 work. Call Charles Stewart at 541-910-5435 for more information.

The Vcella T-60 is the older version of the TL60. Completely rebuilt, new brick, new coils, new graphite crucible. The newer version of it is the TL-60 advertised in the ICMJ.  It will smelt up to several hundred pounds of brass, copper, silver and Gold. Call (541-310-8510)
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 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.