Eastern Oregon Mining Association
Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20180112

Volume 340

Meetings are held on the first Friday of the month. The next meeting will be Friday, JANUARY 5TH, 2018 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. As usual there will be a drawing for a $50 silver medallion at the meeting!

Congratulations to Greg on having the winning ticket for the highbanker. Greg now has the rest of the winter to make his plans for using it.
Ticket sales after the Jubilee, which brought in several hundred dollars, gave EOMA another $377.00. EOMA appreciates the support of all of you who bought tickets!

President Donald Trump is ordering the government to develop a strategy to boost production of critical minerals. The President wants Federal agencies to find ways to increase exploration, mining and processing of critical minerals, and streamline permits for private mining companies. He views the nation’s reliance on imported critical minerals to be a “security risk”. What a great opportunity for miners to help the Federal agencies come up with a strategy.
The first one that comes to my mind is: Transfer full control of the minerals program on the National Forests to the Department of Interior. This would be the filing of notices and plans of operation, etc. BLM already administers the filing of claims, recording assessment work, and administers mining on BLM ground.
OK, miners, that’s my suggestion, anyone else have one? Talk to your directors.
EOMA Executive Board members serve one-year terms. Board members serve two-year terms, with half the Board members running for election alternate years. We need a secretary, since Carmelita can no longer drive into the meetings. So far, the following people have agreed to run for the election held in March. Any other paid up members interested in running for the executive Board or Board of Directors, please call Chuck Chase at 541-523-3285.

EOMA EXECUTIVE BOARD (up for election 03/02/ 2018)
President – Ken Alexander alxk@ortelco.net 541-446-3391
Exec. Director – Chuck Chase chase3285@msn.com 541-310-8510 or 541-523-3285
Vice Pres. – Ed Hardt twohardts@hotmail.com 541-377-9209
Treasurer- Bobbie Danser bobbiedut@yahoo.com 541-403-1770
Corresponding Sec. Norma Myers ng5horn@gmail.com 541-962-4828
Recording Sec. OPEN Carmelita says she can no longer serve
Dir. Of Govt. Affairs - Terry Drever Gee tdreverg@live.com
Mineral Pol. Director – Jan Alexander alx@ortelco.net 541-446-3413
Sergeant At Arms – Fred Zimmer fzimmer@eoni.com 541-523-5080

EOMA BOARD OF DIRECTORS (up for election 03/02/ 2018)
Scott Guthrie
Becky Guthrie
Craig Monpas
Jim Haney
Tork Ballard
Keith Magnuson
Bob Heitmanek
Ed Baldwin
Russ Fleetwood

Assessment work must have been completed by September 1, 2017, and affidavits into BLM by the end of December. If you have missed these deadlines, you will need to refile your claims.

A new 20 acre placer claim will cost you $212, a 40 acre claim will cost you $367 (must have two locators) a 60 acre claim will cost you $522 (must have three locators) and so forth, up to a 160 acre claim which will cost you $1297 (must have eight locators). All lode claims are 21 acres and cost $212.
Frank Mason and I, from the EOMA, attended the American Exploration & Mining (AEMA) Convention in Reno, Nevada, from the 5th to the 8th of December. Ken Anderson, who traveled with me, had a booth in the Exhibit Hall featuring the Camp Carson Mine. Pictures of the mine’s old hydraulic placer pits and ore samples from this huge deposit of Rare Earth Metals were on display. The booth garnered a lot of interest from different mining companies. I tried to spell Ken between different mining sessions of interest to me, such as what new regulations are looming, and where the mining industry is headed.

Calico Sells Grassy Mountain Mine
I attended a session on Oregon’s permitting of the large deposit located near the Idaho border at Grassy Mountain. Calico Mining has sold its holdings out to another mining company, Paramount Mining, making it the fifth or sixth to try to get a permit to mine. It seems that Calico was taking some big hits from the cattlemen in the area who were concerned over the plans to use well water for processing on private land. The new company, Paramount Mining, hired a company to do the permitting for them. They removed the proposal for locating the plant on private land, because of the friction with local cattlemen, and the chance that appeals to the State land use boards would further delay the process. BLM has worked with the company on locating the plant on public land.

Paramount was successful in using coordination with ODEQ, and once the plant site was not to be on private ground, the rest of the state agencies that deal with public lands were satisfied. The company is consolidating base line data dealing with their state permits. They have designated a single state lead agency to provide coordination, accountability, and mediate disagreement, pertaining to environmental performance standards with DOGAMI, Water Resources, Department of State Lands, and DEQ. According to Paramount Mining, they expect the process to last about 15 months from beginning to end.
There has been a change in Oregon’s attitude towards large mining projects. Even our governor stated that she “wasn’t opposed to environmentally sound mining practices.” Large mining companies have started coming back to Oregon at Quartz Mountain, and interest down in Harney County has been revived.

Oregon: Large mining companies have worked to help change laws affecting mining in Oregon. More and more companies are getting interested in exploration for minerals in Oregon. New changes in the NEPA regulations include using the word “shall” instead of “may” in an effort to stop regulators from using weak language to stop mining.

Nevada Congressman, Mark Amodei talked about the fact that agencies are putting in place pro minerals persons like Bob Bishop, who is spearheading the biggest resource push in the west.
There was discussion about China buying Molycorp, along with our only operating rare earth mine and refinery in the U.S. That got the attention of Congress big time. Since that time, there has been a big effort to pass the Critical Minerals Act, which is languishing in the Senate.
There was an opportunity at the convention to visit with officials high in Forest Service and BLM. We discussed problems with permitting and the stumbling blocks thrown up by Federal Agencies to delay mining operations, and permit writers working for small mining interests. There seemed to be a general agreement that this was indeed a big problem, with recognition of the out-right bias and the direction of different agencies. The discussion then focused on the Forest Service and the manner in which they deal with proposed mining operations. There was also discussion about the upcoming Blue Mountain Revision of the Wallowa Whitman Forest Plan. Locking up of huge tracks of Forest land, and ripping up massive amounts of roads, with an increase of roadless areas and wildlife corridors were all proposals viewed as counter-productive for mining. In addition, the Wallowa-Whitman’s general attitude in refusing to coordinate with Baker County’s Natural Resource Plan made it plain even to the Forest Service officials present, that minerals is not a favorite resource for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

The Forest Service has made enough waves, that they are being heard clear back on the Potomac River, in Washington DC. It seems there is an effort to take the Forest Service clear out of minerals after the mid-term elections, according to sources in the Interior Department.

The main gist of this speech was that “things don’t switch overnight”. It will be a big job for a department of over 20,000 people, to cut regulations and rebuild the years of mistrust from previous Administrations. Balash also noted that the critical minerals resources are the very minerals which are being used in our “new super technologies”. He referenced the Critical Minerals Act, which is currently being debated in the Senate, along with everything else the House has sent them, plus another 140 bills. Balash stated that these all will probably stay there in the Senate until after the up-coming mid-term elections in 2018. If the Republicans prevail, these bills will get their chance of becoming law. There was a big emphasis on the rare earth minerals, with a discussion that a lot of mining restrictions will be lifted in support of REE exploration and mining. But even the base metals drew a lot of attention as a base for building new technology.

The word from the Department of Justice was that BLM must do nothing to get that agency into the liberal 9th Circuit Court. As to sage grouse, after spending over 1.5 billion dollars on trying to list the Sage Grouse, it was revealed that much of this money was wasted on totally goofy “science”, such as only counting the males. The new Interior Director will move quickly on the determination on the Sage Grouse.

Oil and gas leases are up over 88%. There is a new focus on mining by Congress to move the Forest Service under the Interior’s BLM, but this change, unfortunately, would have to come from Congress. In the near future, the focus will be on revising the Forest Service minerals programs and regulations to mirror the Interior’s BLM regulations.
Matt Ellsworth, of AEMA, gave an interesting talk. Interior has added David Bernhardt to straighten out the interior offices. Joe Balash, Secretary for Lands and Minerals is a real Bull Dog, and “doesn’t sweep anything under the rug”. Casey Hammond, new Deputy Assistant Secretary of Lands and Minerals, is very active and is pro-resources. Another pro-resources appointment is Kathy Benedetto, Interior Policy Advisor. Even Forest Service Chief, Toney Tooke, evidently has shown his willingness to correct the Forest Service’s “weak policies”. Miners and the nation will have to wait for any meaningful mining reform until after the mid-term elections. Right now, if America had to build another Golden Gate Bridge we would have to go to another country for the minerals to build it.

Mike Hunter will run for Republican Representative Jodi Hack’s District #19 position. Representative Jodi Hack will be leaving January 1, 2018. Mike Hunter is Willamette Valley Mining Association’s Vice President and their current Director for Government Affairs.

Oregon miners need a strong voice in Oregon’s legislature to help stop the radical anti-mining bills like SB-838 and SB-3 that shut down all ESH mineralized streams to motorized placer mining. Most likely, all upper stream reaches above Essential Salmon Habitat streams and off stream motorized mining adjoining ESH streams will be a target for future legislative sessions. If this trend continues only prospecting/mining with non-motorized equipment will be allowed in Oregon streams. Not many streams will accommodate siphon or gravity fed dredges. Mr. Hunter has worked for over 4 years and spent countless hours lobbying at the Oregon legislature on mining related issues. He has written letters to the highest levels of government agencies, testified at countless committee hearings, participated in state agencies’ rule/regulation committees and helped legislators draft bills. Mike Hunter is a registered “citizen” lobbyist to help Oregon miners. It will require funds to accomplish this goal. We ask each individual, each association, each mining enterprise, each lobby interest, and each large scale organization to give generously to Mr. Hunter’s campaign.
You can review Mr. Hunter’s credentials, background and motivation factors on his face book page @ Michael Hunter- captainmvh.

Parvaim and Swan are working to expand their mining operation north of Sumpter. They were able to get all the tax lots in the patented Sumpter Deep Gravel Placer Mine rezoned from Recreation, (RR-5) where mining is prohibited, to Mineral Extraction, (ME). For the Baker County Planning Commission, this made sense, because the Baker County Land Use Plan states plainly that all patented mining claims are a Goal 5 significant resource and should be zoned ME. However, Parvaim/Swan also requested that another of their properties, which was not part of a patented mining claim, also be rezoned to Mineral Extraction. The Planning Commission had never been presented with this kind of proposal before. But, they listened to the proposal, debated its good and bad points, and in the end recommended to the County Commissioner that this tax lot also be rezoned to mineral extraction. A win-win for mining and the Baker County economy.
The General Authorization for Recreational Placer Mining within ESH (but not State Scenic) waterways is being drafted.
Activity-Specific Conditions
(1) Prevent Fish Stranding. Upon completion of the activity at any given location, the responsible party must level all piles and fill all furrows, potholes and other depressions created by the activity. The activity is complete if the responsible party does not return to that location to conduct the activity within 24 hours.
(2) Wet Perimeter. The activity is confined to the wet perimeter.
(3) Disturbance of the Bank and Riparian Vegetation. The activity must not disturb the bank. Undercutting or eroding banks and removal or disturbance of boulders, rooted vegetation or embedded woody material and other habitat structure from the bank is prohibited. Creation of new access routes that disturb or destroy woody riparian vegetation is not allowed.
(4) Fish Passage. The activity does not divert a waterway or obstruct fish passage.
(5) Minimization of Impounded Water. The activity may impound only the minimal area of water necessary to operate the dredge under the following conditions:
(a) The temporary dam does not extend across more than 75% of the flowing water;
(b) The designs for the temporary dam are consistent with ODFW requirements set forth in ORS 509.580 through 509.901 and OAR 635-412-0005 through 635-412-0040;
(c) The impoundment structure is removed immediately upon completion of the mining activity. The activity is complete if the responsible party does not return to that location to conduct the activity within 24 hours.
(6) No Disturbance of Stream Structure. No movement of boulders, logs, stumps or other woody material from the bed is allowed, other than movement by hand and non-motorized equipment. The boulders and other stream structure must be returned to its original position upon completion of the mining activity. The activity is complete if the responsible party does not return to that location to conduct the activity within 24 hours.
(7) Dredge Intake Nozzle Limited. Any gravity or syphon dredge used during the activity may not have an intake nozzle that has an inside diameter exceeding four inches.
(8) Annual Report Required. The responsible party must maintain a monitoring log and record the date, location, nozzle diameter and amount of material disturbed for each day of operation. By February 28 of each year, the responsible party must submit to the Department an annual report, on a form provided by the Department, which states the estimated amount of material that was filled, removed or moved in each specific waterway during the preceding calendar year. If no jurisdictional activity was conducted, the report must be submitted reporting zero cubic yards for the year. Authorizations will not be renewed for the following calendar year if the annual report is not filed by February 28.
(9) Responsible Party Must be Present. Alternate persons may operate equipment, provided the responsible party listed on the authorization is present at all times during the activity.
(10) Limited to One Suction Device. Only one dredge, one hose, and one nozzle may be operated at any given time under this authorization.
(11) Motorized Equipment Not Allowed. Operation of motorized equipment is prohibited below ordinary high water.
Gravity Dredge Activity-Specific Conditions Continued
12) Operation Limited to Locations Listed. The operation is limited to the locations listed on the authorization. Written requests to modify locations for this authorization will be reviewed within 14 days of the request, upon which time the Department may issue a revised authorization.
(13) Obstructions to Navigation and Recreation Prohibited. In no circumstance shall anchoring or operation of suction dredges interfere with navigation or cause a safety hazard to public recreation.
(14) Avoid Mussels. Mining equipment, including suction dredges and in-water non-motorized mining equipment must not be used where live freshwater mussels are present. Operations must be relocated if live mussels are encountered during excavation.
(15) Avoid Lamprey. Mining equipment, including suction dredges and in-water non-motorized mining equipment must not be used where Pacific Lamprey ammocoetes are present. If Pacific Lamprey ammocoetes are found, the operator must salvage the ammocoetes by sifting through streambed material in the area of operation and in the removed substrate and returning salvaged ammocoetes to the stream away from the activity.

The Supreme Court will be deciding whether to hear the Rinehart case, which involves suction dredge mining.

James Buchal, attorney for the Rineharts, expressed his concern that the Solicitor General did not fairly represent the case to the Court. The Solicitor General told the Supreme Court, that unless a state prohibits all mining within its borders, no obstacle is presented whatsoever for a partial prohibition.
James Buchal stated in a letter to President Trump, “The precise issue concerns whether comprehensive federal land management statutes and federal mining law forbid states from outlawing mining on federal land. The Constitution does not allow state rules that stand as an obstacle to the accomplishment of the full purposes and objectives of Congress, and a hundred years of precedent confirms that states cannot bar mining on federal land which Congress set aside for mineral development. The federal interest in developing minerals on federal land (with full environmental protections under federal law) simply pre-empts local objections to particular mining projects”.

Many miners use suction dredges to mine their federal minerals. Miners must mine where the minerals are, and in many instances, the minerals are in the stream, not beside the stream in the uplands. Mining is an important industry in Oregon, and all miners, whether they use suction dredges or not, will be affected by this case.

These are currently selling for $50.00 apiece plus $5.00 shipping, handling, and insurance. (Prices are subject to change). The 2018 medallions will be here about the middle of January. 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, we will have them for you to buy at our EOMA meetings.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Mining Association (NMA) today welcomed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision that new, duplicative financial responsibility requirements for the hardrock mining industry are unnecessary. Today’s decision stems from environmental group litigation seeking to use the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund Law) to impose additional, crippling financial and regulatory burdens on the mining industry.

On December 12, 2017 the Subcommittee held an oversight hearing on the arduous and uncertain regulatory scheme governing domestic mineral development and resulting impacts on America’s economic and national security. Panel members discussed America’s reliance on foreign minerals and the benefits of increasing domestic production.
“From rocks to roads, rare earths to green technologies, and iron ore to wind farms, all infrastructure projects rely upon a mining operation,” Subcommittee Chairman Paul Gosar (R-AZ) said. “The diversity of the nation’s mineral endowment allows for the U.S. to be self-sufficient, yet domestic production of solid mineral resources has been falling.”
Despite the domestic availability of many needed raw materials, the nation’s dependence on non-fuel mineral materials has more than doubled from 30 to 64 commodities since 1986. Today, less than half of minerals are sourced domestically.

Eastern Oregon Mining Association now has a Facebook page. For those of you who use Facebook, check it out. For those of you who don't, it may be time to learn!
Sign in, and come learn, add your suggestions, and get to know other miners.

The Oregon Mining Association is a non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting mining and the mineral industry in Oregon. The corporation is supported by donations. Please send what you can to save mining in Oregon to Oregon Mining Association, P.O. Box 23213, Tigard, OR 97281-They have both a website and facebook page. http://oregonmining.org/

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. https://www.facebook.com/OregonMiningAssociation/
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.

Your 2017 Oregon Political Tax Credit ends on December 31, 2017. If you pay Oregon income tax, you can take a $50 credit ($100 per couple) off your Oregon income taxes and give it directly to the Mining Political Action Committee. The address for Mining PAC is P.O. Box 23213, Tigard, Oregon 97281. Please write your check payable to “Mining PAC” today!

Looking for someone mechanically inclined to learn and run a hard rock gold mill. One may be available for scrap price. Time to pass on the technology and know-how. Need a younger working partner and gold ore to run. Dr. Thom: tseal@unr.edu

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.

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

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)
For price, pictures and details, call Don Enright, 509-860-1145 or email:  donaldenright25@gmail.com

4 unpatented placer claims (Simpson is 80 acres, Lucky claims total 60 acres) located in the Whitney Mining District on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. These claims have approved Plans of Operation and I have posted the bonds for mining. Access roads are good, but the claims are somewhat remote. If you are interested, call Dave Smith at 810-523-7313.

Contact Dave or Earl Graham for all your mining supplies. If there is something you need and they don't carry it, they will find it for you. Call Dave at 541-786-0921 or Earl at 541-805-8206.

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.