Eastern Oregon Mining Association
Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20220301

MARCH 2022
Volume 390

The information you need is on the last page of this newsletter.

Many thanks to Alice Knapp for letting us continue to meet at the saw shop for meetings. We will have a meeting on MARCH 4th, 2022 at the Elk Creek Enterprises saw shop located at 890 Elm Street in Baker City. The Board Meeting will begin at 6:00 PM with the general meeting following at 6:30 PM. Don’t forget, we will give away a 1 oz. silver medallion at the end of the meeting. Come to the meeting, bring your suggestions, and support EOMA.

If you can’t pay in person, please send your $35 dues ($40 for a family) to the EOMA, PO Box 932, Baker City OR 97814. You should also be able to pay with a credit card or pay pal on our website. www.h2oaccess.com If you have trouble making the website work for you, please contact Ken Alexander. The EOMA will be going all out in this important election cycle to try and elect responsible people that realize the importance of minerals to the well-being of our country.

EOMA Executive Committee members serve one-year terms. Board of Directors members serve two-year terms, with half the Board members running for election alternate years. You must be a paid-up member to vote or hold office. A ballot was included in the February newsletter for those who are unable to attend the March meeting. Be sure your ballot is returned to EOMA, PO Box 932, Baker City OR 97814 before or at the March 4th meeting.
A year ago, the Biden-Harris Administration ordered a review of America’s critical mineral supply chains, which revealed the nation’s over-reliance on foreign sources and adversarial nations for critical minerals. “We can’t build a future that’s made in America if we ourselves are dependent on China for the materials that power the products of today and tomorrow,” Biden said at a White House event. One has to wonder about either his sincerity, or his competency, when one looks at the record of what he is doing.

What has Biden’s administration done to help the mining industry produce critical minerals? He has blocked several proposed US mines, including the Pebble project in Alaska, Rio Tinto’s Resolution copper project in Arizona and Antofagasta’s Twin Metals project in Minnesota. His administration has also taken steps to slow down development of a lithium mine in Nevada proposed by Ioneer, Ltd.

Now, the Department of Interior has announced they will be looking at revising the mining laws. They repeatedly state that mining is still being governed by the 1872 mining law, and needs to be changed. This completely ignores the truth that there are numerous laws and environmental regulations that actually restrict, and govern mining in today’s world. The substantial delays and expense currently endured by mining companies, just trying to obtain permits to do any kind of mineral exploration or development, has already destroyed many proposed projects. In fact, this newest proposal to initiate future royalties, and making more environmental constraints, will definitely drive away any serious efforts to develop mineral deposits in this country.

On top of this, the Biden administration is removing literally millions of acres from even being considered for any type of mineral development. Instead of moving forward with creating an environment that could explore and develop a secure supply of needed materials and minerals, the USA is looking at total dependence on foreign nations for the minerals critical to our way of life.

We have a new instructor this year, Trent Hawn. Classes will be located at 890 Elm Street at Elk Creek Enterprises saw shop. The three-day training will cost $250. The cost of the annual refresher on March 10 is $40. Classes begin at 8:00AM each morning. Give Jan a call at 541-446-3413 if you need to take New Miner Training.

The March 10 annual refresher is full. There is still space available in the April 26 Annual refresher. The cost of the annual refresher is $40. Classes begin at 8:00AM each morning. Give Jan a call at 541-446-3413 if you need this class.

Just wanted to say “thank you” for all your support of Ken and me after my fall. So many cards, phone calls and e-mails, to say nothing of the dinners, deserts and cookies. I am pretty much overwhelmed. Miners are quite simply the best people!

The Legislative Session is already winding down. Speaker Rayfield issued the notice that Sine Die is imminent indicating we are about a week out from the end of the short session. Most of the bills we were tracking died on the chamber deadline, but there are a few bills to note. Primarily, Speaker Rayfield's EPD bill, HB 4139, will likely pass. This bill was heavily worked by APAO and OCAPA. The bill will provide a framework for ODOT to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the materials sector. HB 4141, the ban on petroleum diesel, has turned into a task force to look at economic opportunities to develop a renewable diesel industry in the state.

Much of the session was spent on how to spend more than $2.5 billion in surging revenue unplanned for when the legislature passed the state budget last year.
Surprisingly, the legislature had no problems supporting its spending habits. Its solution involved hundreds of millions for housing, climate change, mental health, job training, and other pressing needs. In an interesting political move, the Speaker and Senate President gave the minority republicans $100 million to spend essentially as they see fit for their rural Oregon districts.
The Governing Board of the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) is still seeking applications to fill two board positions including our mining position. More information about the agency's vacancies can be found by visiting https://www.oregongeology.org. If anyone is interested, please let me know and I will help guide you through the process.
HB4141 bans petroleum diesel in the state of Oregon. Yes Really!! The bill received some misplaced legislative attention (move about 30 minutes in) and then, of course, the wrangling began. Opposition was everywhere, and likely the bill was dead early in the session until some members of the lobby decided a study was warranted.

As of this moment, Sen. Findley and Rep. Boshart Davis are trying to save the day by assembling an amendment to study renewable diesel instead of banning petroleum diesel. Because of skepticism over DEQ running any diesel-related study, a task force of stakeholders is now being assembled.

In an historic marker of bipartisan collaboration, the Oregon Legislature is on track to approve a $100 million investment package to support infrastructure projects and economic development in rural Oregon for many years to come. A bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators is developing recommendations to address urgent infrastructure and economic development needs facing their communities. The workgroup includes legislators representing the Coast, Mid-Willamette Valley, Central Oregon, Southern Oregon, Eastern Oregon, and Northeastern Oregon.

These investments will create jobs across the state while supporting Main Street economies and the small businesses that make up the backbone of Oregon’s economy.

“It’s a good day when Republicans and Democrats can come together for the good of all Oregonians,” said Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend). “This money will help move forward important public projects throughout Oregon.” “These will be transformational investments to improve rural communities for generations and create hundreds of good paying jobs,” Rep. David Gomberg (D-Central Coast) said. “As our infrastructure ages, small town are looking at big price tags to replace or repair water and sewer systems, bridges, and public buildings. Now with the state’s help and federal dollars on the way, we can bring lasting change to rural communities across our state.”
House Speaker Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) and Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) have prioritized funding for these projects, in addition to investments made in every community across Oregon, including affordable housing, education, behavioral health, and more.
OREGON LEGISLATURE-Representative Mark Owens
We’re at the halfway point through the short legislative session and it’s moving quickly, maybe not quickly enough.
The short session was originally created to address only budget bills and revenue fixes. Since voters approved annual sessions over a decade ago, they’ve strayed far from the original purpose. Policy bills are being introduced under the guise of budget bills to try to advance agendas, and not all of it is good.
I’m often asked what the most challenging part is in being a legislator, particularly during such a highly political time in our state and country. The politics outside the building and the diversity of our district and our state aren’t a problem. In fact, I’m eager and honored to serve and represent every constituent, every voice, and every viewpoint and I respect all—it is more important for me to be your voice in theses politically charged times.
The challenging part is when the politics inside the building prevent the ability to move good policy forward or stop bad policy from having long term unintended consequences on our livelihoods.
Hardrock AML’s are historic, the result of more than one hundred years of mining practices used prior to the enactment of modern environmental laws and regulations and the requirement to provide financial assurance to guarantee proper reclamation.

Today’s mining industry is governed by a comprehensive body of federal and state environmental laws and regulations and financial assurance requirements that work together to ensure that today’s mines will not become tomorrow’s AML’s. Thus, the AML problem is finite and historical, and not one that will grow in the future.

Spokane Valley, WA - The American Exploration & Mining Association (AEMA), a national trade organization representing the hardrock mining industry, praised the introduction of the Good Samaritan Remediation of Abandon Hardrock Mines Act of 2022 (Good Samaritan) legislation today. With more than 1,200 members in 44 states, AEMA has been actively involved in efforts to craft and introduce “Good Sam” legislation alongside industry allies and conservation stakeholders for many years.

Although some progress has been made with the inclusion of abandoned mine land (AML) cleanup funding in the recently passed infrastructure bill, the number one impediment to mitigation and cleanup of hardrock AML sites is the potential for immediate, “cradle to grave” liability for anyone who wants to voluntarily mitigate and reclaim an AML.
Effective Good Samaritan legislation would remove that impediment by allowing mining companies and others with no previous involvement at an AML site to voluntarily improve safety and environmental conditions and reclaim that site, in whole or in part, without the threat of potentially enormous liability under CERCLA, the Clean Water Act, and other federal and state environmental laws.
“The mining industry has the desire, the experience, the technology, the expertise and the capital to remediate and reclaim AMLs. Good Samaritan legislation makes sense and can be a win-win-win-win for the environment, for the Good Samaritan, for the community, and for the society,” said American Exploration & Mining Association Executive Director Mark Compton. “We applaud Senator Risch and Senator Heinrich for their leadership on this issue, and we look forward to working with them and multiple stakeholder partners to pass this commonsense pilot project legislation.”

Editor’s Note: the following story is by Brooke Myers, long time EOMA member and historian. She has a passion for the Greenhorn area and its historic past. I so enjoyed it, I have asked Brooke to research our Gimlet Placer and the town of Gimletville-Jan.

James Diffin, better known as “49’ Jimmy,” was a pioneer of prospectors. If you are a fan of
local history, you’ve likely heard of “49’ Jimmy” and his like named claim in the Robinsonville

Jimmy was born a world away in Ireland circa 1824. Some unnamed misfortune must’ve
struck him early in life as he immigrated at the tender age of fourteen to be with an uncle in
Canada, and shortly thereafter began adventuring westward. He was nipped by the gold bug
and headed to California in 1849, thus landing him the moniker he’d carry out the rest of his
days,”49’ Jimmy.” As the story goes, Jimmy did quite well in California. He made good
money from mining and timely investments in real estate. He allegedly was just as skilled at
spending money as he was at making it. Jimmy was reported to have chartered a custom
schooner to take him and a group of friends to the South Seas where they landed on an island
and set up a “mock” government for themselves.

One of Jimmy’s accomplices, and likely the one that introduced him to fame through written
Word, was author Joaquin Miller of John Day notoriety. Jimmy and Joaquin mined together in
the Florence Diggings (presumably in Idaho) and in Canyon City. Joaquin made Jimmy his
muse and characterized him in fictional writings that were published across the U.S.

Jimmy settled in the area of Robinsonville in the early 1860s. By the mid 1870s, Robinsonville
was a supply hub for the many burgeoning mines in the area. In the year 1875 it held a store,
hotel, butcher shop, blacksmith shop, saloon and several homes. In 1878, Robinsonville found
itself front and center in an “Indian Uprising.” Jimmy was said to have been involved in staving
off a band of Native Americans that had been angered about their treatment on the “Malheur
agency” and went on the war path. Jimmy survived, but a few of his fellow miners in the Olive
Creek area were not so lucky. In 1884 the core of Robinsonville was consumed by fire. The
commerce that had been prevalent in Robinsonville never resumed, but instead took a seat in
the nearby city of Greenhorn. The easily had placers petered out, and eventually the population
dwindled down to only Jimmy and his assortment of pets. Nonetheless, Jimmy continued to
have noteworthy adventures. In 1890 newspapers circulated notice that Jimmy had died. Lucky for Jimmy this was all just a nasty rumor and a few months later announcements were made that
he was not dead after all. Jimmy escaped the grim reaper’s scythe six years later when saved
by his heroic dog. Jimmy had been digging in an embankment that collapsed upon him. His
dog dug him out.

Jimmy had many good friends who looked after him, bringing him supplies, and forcibly giving
him an approximate biannual bath and shave. Although Jimmy was touted a “hermit,” his
hospitality remained. He would keep mail for local miners dropped by the post and had a hot
pot of tea on the ready for a warily traveler who might happen by his way. To describe Jimmy
as “perseverant” is an understatement. When the deep winter blankets of snow began to lay in
the Greenhorns most of the nearby quartz miners took leave to the valleys, but Jimmy stayed
on through the winters.

Years have a horrible way of catching us all, and no exception was granted to Jimmy. In 1900,
Jimmy’s frailty led to the sheriff removing him from his home and depositing him in the Prairie
City poor house. Jimmy was none too happy about this and fought his departure from the
Greenhorns with all the might he could muster. Local reporters took pity on Jimmy writing
articles about his sad state and the unsympathetic solution society had for it. This could have
been the end of the story, but Jimmy’s mine had one more bonanza left in it.

Around 1901, there were whispers that sylvanite had been found on the “Forty-nine Jimmy’s”
claim. As was common practice in the day, eye-catching specimens of sylvanite began to
circulate the mine camps. Like dangling shiny bait to catch a fish, so too does dangling a shiny
piece of ore work to land investors. In 1902 the “Forty nine-Jimmy” was taken under bond by
several local business men who reported a handsome pay out. In 1903 the mine sold to
investors that heeded from the state of Virginia.

The earnings from selling his claim allowed Jimmy to leave the poor house and live
independent until the end of his days. In February of 1904 at the age of 79 Jimmy passed
away and was buried near Canyon City. Jimmy’s legend, however, continued to grow. Rumors
that he was a rich miser and had hidden his wealth spread. Greedy hands tore apart the
remnants of his cabin and tilled up the soil about it. In reality, Jimmy’s estate had totaled $400
at the time of his death, $5.00 of which was in gold dust.

Of note, records from the Oregon Department of Geology show sylvanite to occur only rarely
and in trace amounts in Eastern Oregon.

Sylvanite is one of the few minerals that is an ore of gold, besides native gold itself. The element gold is typically either found as native gold (in its elemental state), as an alloy with other metals such as silver and copper and as trace amounts in a few minerals. To be an actual significant part of a non-alloyed mineral is really quite uncommon for gold, and this makes sylvanite a unique mineral indeed.

Crystals of sylvanite are unique and of interest to collectors. Typically found as prisms that can be twinned causing sharp bends, reticulated individuals and skeletal or arborescent formations.


EOMA still has silver medallions available. They are currently selling for $50.00 apiece plus $10.00 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 $10.00 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.

These claims are located in the Granite area on Bullrun and Swamp Creeks. A 10-year Plan of Operation is in place with the U.S. Forest Service (expires 10/31/2031). Access is via the paved County Road. Process ponds are in place, assays show silver and REEs in addition to values in gold. Contact Dan Brown at danbrown@eoni.com. $12,500 OBO.

These claims are in the Greenhorn Mining District, adjacent to the Parkerville and the Bonanza patented properties. Geiser Bowl- 60 acres, PW #1- 80 acres, PW #6 -100 acres, Black Beauty- 100 acres, Blue Mt Channel #3-100 acres, Carranza-80 acres, Dottie Two-80 acres, Mart Jones-60 acres, Wizzer-80-acres.

Contact LaRayn Rose for list prices, and of course, any reasonable offer will be considered especially for multiple claim purchases. (503) 317-6914

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.

Two water pumps with belt driven clutch system (heavy duty) driven by a 2-cylinder Wisconsin gas engine for $250.

Also, a 5" intake 7" discharge Fairbanks and Morse high pressure pump. Driven by a 30 HP 3 phase electric motor for $450. Call Ken Anderson at 541-523-2521 or 541-519- 9497
I need a jaw crusher or small hammer mill. Please call Pete at 541-910-9712 if you have one you want to sell.

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. Want to pick up an order in Plains Montana? We have moved to Plains, Montana…. please call 406.826.9330 to place the order. This way our staff can have it pulled and ready for pick up. Otherwise, we can always ship your order! sales@actionmining.com • www.actionmining.com

A lot of information in this newsletter was obtained from the American Exploration & Mining Association newsletter. To stay up to date on mining issues, you can become a member of AEMA.
by going to their website at https://www.miningamerica.org/

EOMA is a member of OCAPA. This is undoubtedly the largest type of mining in Oregon. They have a very interesting and informative website that also may be of interest to metal miners. They keep track of the bills introduced in Oregon’s legislature that may affect all mining in Oregon.
It will be necessary to remind the Oregon legislators, who mainly come from the Willamette Valley, that not all of Oregon has a moderate climate. A bill such as SB 715 which mandates higher percentages of biodiesel doesn’t work for the people who live and work at higher elevations.
Check out their website: https://www.ocapa.net

If you have informative or interesting articles about mining items to share in the newsletter, send them to Ken Alexander alxk@ortelco.net, or Chuck Chase CHASE3285@msn.com, or Jan Alexander alx@ortelco.net. Be sure to indicate the source of the information you send.