Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20170203

Volume 329

Meetings are held on the first Friday of the month. The next meeting will be Friday, February 3, 2017 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!

President Trump has promised to look at the nearly endless array of Federal Regulations that need to be repealed. In the Department of Agriculture, the regulations at 36CFR228 Subpart A, which pertain to locatable minerals, are simply not working. The timeframes in those regulations are ignored. Even making the decision that no Plan of Operation is needed because no significant effects will take place, still means ESA consultation. The District Ranger has "discretion" to decide how each operation will be treated. Since minerals is low priority for the Forest Service, some Rangers appear to use their "discretion" to delay mining operations.
Perhaps, using the new popular "repeal and replace" strategy, the 228 regulations could be repealed and replaced by BLM's 43CFR3809 regulations. BLM's regulations are working, the Forest Service's regulations are not. BLM does not have a backlog of Plans of Operation waiting for approval, because BLM's regulations allow for bonded Notices. These Notices are exempt from NEPA. Miners who wish to conduct exploration work can be authorized to begin work in less than a month's time after the complete Notice is submitted. Miners on the National Forest must wait many years to even be authorized to conduct exploration work. Granite watershed is a prime example of this. Many of these small scale Plans were submitted in 1998 and 1999. Many finally got approved for exploring 1/4 acre over the next ten years. If they find a deposit worth mining, they must wait another ten years to mine. This is simply unacceptable.

EOMA is there for its members. This coming year is going to be critical in getting reasonable forest plans adopted, and also a travel management plan for the Wallowa-Whitman and Umatilla National Forests that will allow people to utilize and enjoy our public lands, and wisely use our natural resources. The Oregon legislature is meeting this month. We need to support OMA and our lobbyist, Rich Angstrom. Oregon does not appreciate its mining industry, and the legislature is ready to pass bills that will not help us. Keep educating your friends and neighbors and encourage them join us in saving our public lands and the minerals industry.
Please send in your EOMA dues of $35 or $40 for a couple. The information you need to renew your membership is on the last page of this newsletter.

EOMA ELECTIONS 2017-Chuck Chase
Enclosed with this newsletter is your absentee ballot for the nominees for both the Executive Officers and the Board of Directors. For those who can’t make the March meeting in person, fill out the Absentee Election Ballot and send it in before the March meeting. For your ballot to be counted, you need to have your dues paid and have signed the ballot. If you have a dual membership, both of you need to sign the ballot and both of you need to mark the ballot.
The outcome of the March vote count will be in the April Newsletter.

Mark your calendars for March 9,10,11,12, 2017 for the annual Mine Safety and Health (MSHA) new miner and annual refresher training to be held in Baker City. The session begins at 8:00AM and runs until about 4:00PM. Ed Sinner is the instructor. This is a worthwhile safety course for anyone involved with mining, whether it’s placer or lode. Space is limited in each class, so please call Jan Alexander at 541-446-3413 and let her know which class you will attend.

Oregon miners rally is planned for March 15th.  It will run from 8:00am until 5:00pm. Miners have an 18 foot by 18 foot space similar to what we had at the 2013 rally.  We reserved the front of the Capitol steps and below to the main side walk curb area.  There will be a podium with microphone and speakers.  We may want to have signs for people to carry around to protest against anti-mining bills like SB 3 currently being introduced.  We will have one panning booth inside the capitol area with our equipment display.   The contact person is Tom Quintal 503 371-9747.  Eben Ray said he would be our MC coordinator to handle speaker introductions.  
Armadillo Mining said they may send a bus to Salem for Southern Oregon miners to participate at the rally, and I need to follow up with them to see if they will do that.
 Some of us will be contacting Senators and Representative to join us at the podium to say positive things about how mining helps rural Oregon communities etc.  We would appreciate Oregon miners who want to speak at the rally who can explain Oregon mining history and how minerals helped develop our state.  We also need to refrain from calling legislators criminals for passing their illegal bills.  This type of negativity will work against us in the 2017 legislative session. Thank you for all the support you can give to the rally.  If SB 3 does pass, most all upstream mining will be put in the same moratorium as SB 838 until 2021.
SENATE BILL 3-Tom Quintal
The Legislature will soon be in session, and with this event comes anti-mining bills. The first one is SB 3 which is more restrictive than SB1530, which Senator Bates tried to pass in the February 2016 short session.  If SB-3 becomes law, very little suction dredge mining will be done using an overly restrictive DEQ 700 NPDES permit.  Miners will need to come up with more financial support for our current litigation against DEQ’s illegal 700 NPDES Industrial Discharge suction dredge permit.

On Page (1) Section (1) and continued on Page (2) (A) (b)  "To any tributary to a river in this state, if the confluence of the tributary with the river is above the lowest extent of a segment of the river containing habitat described in paragraph (a) of this subsection".  And Page (2) Section (2) (A) (b) SB-3 adds the same words for SB 838 moratorium up to year 2021.

That means all Upper stream reaches that feed into (ESH) Essential Habitat Streams will be added to the no motorized mining moratorium until 2021 if SB 3 does pass.

Under Permitting requirement Page (3) Section (5) (1) continued to Page (4) of Section (5) (c) "Motorized mining equipment that is six horsepower or greater for a placer mining operation for site preparation or excavation".  Now I wonder if this means DEQ will limit up to six horsepower for their future 600 WPCF permit (if they every write another one???).  The old 600 WPCF permit for up to 1500 cubic yards never had a horsepower limit. 
Under Penalties, Page (4)  Section (7) (1) SB 838 still requires a valid operating permit and is still a Class A Violation with 1 year jail term and $6,250.00 fine. Page (4) Section (7) (3) Operating without a valid permit they added $10,000 fines if you cause harm to the environment. Page (5) Section (10) (1) continued to Page (6) (3) Department of State Lands with a memorandum of understanding can transfer authority for DEQ to charge fees for permits.

The Trump administration has just installed a media blackout at the Environmental Protection Agency and has stopped staff from awarding any new contracts or grants. This is part of a broader communications clampdown within the executive branch. This clampdown includes press releases, blog updates or posts to the agency’s social media. EPA has also been ordered what it called a “temporary suspension” of all new business activities at the department, including issuing task orders or work assignment to EPA contractors. These orders were expected to have an immediate impact nationwide. Officials at state and local agencies that rely on EPA for funding said they were left in the dark, saying they had received no information from EPA about the freeze. Now Oregon DEQ is wondering and trying to understand the impact of this action on their ability to administer critical programs. Environmentalists said the orders were having a chilling effect on EPA staff and they were suffering from low morale.

President Trump and his EPA pick for the head of EPA, Pruitt, have both been frequent critics of the agency and have questioned the validity of climate science.

The Baker Resource Area Draft RMP proposed that under Alternatives 1, 3, 4, and 5 that parcels without BLM access or certain ACECs (Areas of Critical Environmental Concern) be designated as closed. BLM estimates that approximately 80,000 of 340,000 acres (1/4) of public land in Baker Resource Area would have this designation.  Most of these parcels were placed in this designation because they did not have access. Many of these areas have both historic mining and current claims.  The 'closed' designation may require that a plan of operation be filed, even for exploration work (notice level) under 3809.11(c)(5). The RMP is currently on hold, so this is not an immediate problem. BLM will look into this and report back.

As the state of Oregon is nailing the last of the nails in their anti-mining laws and restrictions, there is a glitter of hope. In many cases, Oregon has used its control of the waters of the state to lock out and lock up the small-scale suction dredge miners. Miners across the west have fought a losing battle in the courts and in their respective state legislatures.

However, now, miners across the west are celebrating the Trump victory. We will need to see how his pick for Secretary of Agriculture, Sunny Perdue, works out for National Forest resource users, and how changes to the heads of National Marine Fisheries, Environmental Protection Agency, US Fish and Wildlife and numerous other agencies, help miners on the National Forest.

Under the previous Administration there were huge withdrawals, National Monuments and other restrictions heaped upon the miners, locking them out or regulating them out. But now we have a new sheriff in town who understands how unnecessary regulations and restrictions drive businesses, like mining, out of the country.

There have been several attempts in the past to pass meaningful Congressional Legislation that would correct the overbalance of state and federal regulation, but these efforts have been blocked by the Democratic majority. Now there may be hope on the Federal level. The Critical Minerals Act, which will cut through tons of red tape and will be a push back against state interference with mining, listed a number of minerals that were critical to the United States in communication, electronics, military and other fields, and were vital to the tech industry. These are the Rare Earth Elements, some 15 to 20 critical elements vital to today’s industrial needs. The West has an abundance of these elements; they exist in intrusive bodies and intrusive bodies that have been eroded and redeposit in layers of sedimentary rock deposits and also in placers.

Most all of the placer miners that have to deal with hundreds of pounds of black sands, get a small amount of gold from this concentrate. But, miners should take another look at all this black sand and other heavy material that accumulates in buckets in their garage. This material should be analyzed by a competent assay lab, like ALS in Vancouver BC. Request an RE determination of this concentrate. If the results show the presence of rare earth elements, you may be mining Rare Earth Elements, with gold as a by-product! All that glitters may not be gold!

Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) released the following statement after reintroducing two bills dealing with the 67 percent of the State of Utah that is under federal ownership. 
 “It’s time to get rid of the BLM and US Forest Service police. If there is a problem your local sheriff is the first and best line of defense. By restoring local control in law enforcement, we enable federal agencies and county sheriffs to each focus on their respective core missions.
“The long overdue disposal of excess federal lands will free up resources for the federal government while providing much-needed opportunities for economic development in struggling rural communities.” 
Details of the two Bills:
H.R. 622, Local Enforcement for Local Lands Act, first introduced last year, removes the law enforcement function from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service. Instead, the bill calls for deputizing local law enforcement, combined with block grant funding, to empower existing duly elected law enforcement offices to carry out these responsibilities. The bill, jointly sponsored by Utah’s Rep. Mia Love and Rep. Chris Stewart, also establishes a formula to reimburse local law enforcement based on the percentage of public land in each state. The resulting cost savings will reduce the BLM budget by five percent and the Forest Service by seven percent. 
H.R. 621, Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act, calls for the responsible disposal of 3.3 million acres of land identified by the Clinton Administration as being suitable for sale to non-federal entities. Encompassing just over one percent of total BLM land and less than half of one percent of all federal lands, these lands have been deemed to serve no purpose for taxpayers.  In Utah, some 132,931 acres of land are eligible for disposal.
WASHINGTON, DC— U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) issued the following statement on President Obama’s unilateral expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument: “With this designation, the outgoing administration is locking up more of our public lands through a process that cut out many in the surrounding communities. It appears like it was rigged from the beginning. I’ve heard from landowners and county commissioners who were not even consulted in the crafting of the proposal. The Clinton Administration similarly rushed to declare the original Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument at the last minute without the necessary work upfront. As a result, I had to come back and legislate a solution around Soda Mountain. It is unfortunate that the current administration has followed the same failed pattern. I will work with the Trump Administration to do what we can to roll back this midnight expansion.”

This site will enable you to look up information about Bills, meetings, and hearings on legislation that will be affecting your lives in the future. Get involved!

National Mining Association (NMA) President and CEO Hal Quinn issued the following statement on the introduction today of the “National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2017” by Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) in partnership with Rep. Mark Amodei (R-Nev.):
“The U.S. mining industry applauds Sen. Heller and Rep. Amodei for introducing this important legislation, which addresses a key issue for the country’s future economic growth and job creation. The U.S. is blessed with abundant mineral wealth essential for our basic infrastructure needs, our national defense systems and the consumer products we use every day. Yet we are burdened by a painfully slow mine permitting process that can take seven to 10 years.
“The result places the U.S. at a competitive disadvantage and forces us to increasingly rely on foreign producers for minerals we can produce domestically. Our dependence on foreign minerals has doubled in the past 20 years. Today, less than half of the mineral needs of U.S. manufacturing are met from domestically mined minerals, a trend that will only worsen unless we reform the permitting process responsible for it. Our broken permitting process also hinders the creation of high-wage jobs supported by minerals mining.

“This legislation carefully addresses the deficiencies of our outdated and underperforming permitting system. It provides for efficient, timely and thorough permit reviews and incorporates best practices for coordination between state and federal agencies.
“Using our country’s minerals responsibly and efficiently is a bi-partisan priority for putting Americans – including our miners – back to work. NMA urges Congress to support this common-sense legislation designed to make the most of our skilled workforce and abundant wealth of natural resources.”

EOMP SCHEDULE for 2017-Randy Stockum
Members of EOMA's sister organization, Eastern Oregon Miners and Prospectors (EOMP), are definitely looking forward to spring! The following is a list of dates for the Porch Panning and outings this year.
March 25th    Porch panning @ Missouri Flat Grange Hall
May 20th – 21st Outing @ North Fork
June 24th – 25th Outing @ Camp Creek
July 14th  – 16th         Miners Jubilee in Baker City
Aug 19th – 20th Outing @ TBA
Sept 22nd – 23rd Outing @ TBA
If you have any questions please give Randy a call at 541 216-3253. See you in March.

Besides the drawing for the 1/2 pound of gold on June 2, 2017, there will also be drawings for all kinds of mining equipment. The proceeds from ticket sales will go to help pay legal fees for several law suits which are critical to keeping Oregon miners mining. You do not need to be present to win! More information can be found at:

Winnemucca, Nevada - January 23, 2017 - Paramount Gold Nevada Corp. (NYSE MKT: PZG) ("Paramount") announced today that the Technical Review Team ("TRT") of the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries ("DOGAMI") has approved installation of deep monitoring wells at its 100%-owned Grassy Mountain Gold Project. Drilling will begin shortly. Water quality monitoring data is required as part of the process of preparing a Consolidated Permit Application for construction and operation of a proposed underground mine. Paramount expects to initiate the Consolidated Permit Application preparation later this year.

Work is also progressing on schedule for completion of a Pre-Feasibility Study ("PFS") for the Grassy Mountain Gold Project before year end. The PFS is a highly detailed analysis of all the key parameters involved in constructing and operating a mine including projected capital and operating costs, production levels and the expected economic return under different scenarios. The PFS will form a central component of the Consolidated Permit Application.

MORE NATIONAL MONUMENTS -Americans for Responsible Recreational Access
The Obama Administration designated nearly 600 million acres, an area five times the size of California, onshore and offshore as national monuments. These include multiple inappropriately massive designations on public lands that will negatively impact access for all sorts of multiple uses including recreation. While ARRA and others will continue to work to protect access in those areas already designated, especially the Monuments created in the last few days of Obama's Presidency, it remains important to curb the unilateral authority to make designations that has been abused by previous Administrations.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) has reintroduced legislation, S. 33, the Improved National Monument Designation Process Act, a bill to facilitate greater local input and require state approval before National Monuments can be designated on federal lands and waters. The legislation requires a specific authorization by an Act of Congress, approval by the state legislature, and certification of compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act before any National Monument can be declared on public land.
Please support Legislation to Limit the President's Authority to Designate Massive National Monuments. While ARRA has asked you to engage on this issue many times over the past few years, it is of particular importance to keep this issue at the forefront right now. There is momentum gathering and the new Congress and Administration need to hear from you early and often that you believe it is finally time for a change. There are plenty of reasons for optimism, including the fact that 25 Senators have already cosponsored S. 33 which was only just introduced on January 5, 2017.

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.

Rebuilt John Deere 420 crawler $6,500. Contact Bill Johnson at 541-932-4582

Email Katerina Paley at katerina.paley@ALSGlobal. We will work with miners, and get you an analytical elemental determination of your concentrates.

Mini Excavator, thumb, blade a plus. Either in good working condition or in need of repair.
Call: Roy at (541) 881-6413 or Ray at (541) 892-0933.

Big Horse Customs has experienced heavy equipment mechanics, a mobile service truck and we can do your welding, fabrication and repairs. Call Sam at 541-519-5751 or 541-519-8196.

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-get your subscription started!

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.

These claims are located on Bullrun Creek, downstream of the Record Mine. The price is negotiable. Equipment available includes the trommel, conveyor, and a generator in a cabover van truck with sliding door. A Plan of Operation has been submitted to the Forest Service. There is plenty of water and a good processing site. In 1940-1941, 2,161 ounces of gold and 253 ounces of silver were recovered from these claims, and from the adjacent private land, according to the State Department of Geology. If you are interested, call Ray Andrews at 541-446-3449.