Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20190524

MAY 2019
Volume 356

Meetings are held on the first Friday of the month. The next meeting is Friday, MAY 3RD 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 Bohmker case was filed with the Supreme Court on January 22, 2019 and on April 4, 2019
A "Reply" brief to "Response" briefs by Oregon and the Intervenors was filed by Miners. These briefs are posted on the Waldo Mining District website.

In this case, the miner was prohibited from using a suction dredge on his claim, even though his mineral deposit was in the stream and there was no other way for him to mine. The Ninth Circuit’s ruling allowing a categorical state-law ban on the development of federal mining claims on federal land is contrary to this same Court’s decision in Granite Rock, decisions of the United States Courts of Appeal for the Eighth and Federal Circuits, and decisions of the Supreme Courts of Colorado and Idaho. It is contrary to Congressional intent and direction with respect to mineral development on federal lands, and with respect to the role of states in the management of federal lands. This decision sets a precedence for more and more radical State environmental limitations on natural resource uses on Public lands across the west.
On April 26, 2019, the Supreme Court will make a decision about which cases to hear. Our hope is this case will be heard by the court. If not, people throughout the west lose.
The final annual refresher for this year will be held in Baker City at the BLM office, 3100 H Street on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. Call Jan Alexander at 541-446-3413 to reserve a place in this class. Class starts at 8:00AM. Ed Sinner will be the instructor.

Anyone needing new miner training needs to call Jan Alexander to reserve a place in this three day class. The training will be held at the Baker BLM office at 3100 H Street. Class starts at 8:00AM. Ed Sinner will be the instructor. Call Jan Alexander at 541-446-3413 if you are interested in this training.

Ranger Cikanek has made it clear that he will not honor previously submitted, or new Power of Attorneys which name me as “agent”. Basically, this means he will not instruct his staff to forward copies of correspondence from the Forest Service to me, even if miners want him to do this. In addition, his staff will not talk to me.

Ranger Cikanek does not have an issue with me working with the miners, typing plans and correspondence, but does have an issue with me talking to the Forest Service on a miner’s behalf.

So, if you need assistance with plans or notices, or are having trouble understanding what the Forest Service wants, send me copies of your correspondence and I will try to help. BLM has no problem with Power of Attorneys naming me, nor does the North Fork District on the Umatilla.
The biggest problem for miners is if they lose paperwork, they cannot contact me for a duplicate copy. Miners must take the initiative to send copies to me so I can keep a back-up file.

A Regional Review Team will be in Ukiah on Tuesday, May 7, to hear from employees and partners about how the NFJD RD is meeting the Forest Service mission. The team is made up of the Regional Forester and/or Deputy Regional Forester and various resource staff from the Regional Office. EOMA has been invited to participate.

We appreciate, and continue to be impressed, that Paula wants to work with miners to improve the functionality of the mining program.

HB 2007
Directs Environmental Quality Commission to adopt by rule diesel engine emission standards for medium-duty trucks and heavy-duty trucks. Requires owner or operator of truck that enters Oregon for purpose of operating in Oregon to maintain evidence demonstrating that engine of truck meets federal emission standards at time of manufacture. Beginning January 1, 2020, requires certain public improvement contracts to require use of motor vehicles and equipment with 2010 model year or newer diesel engines in performance of contract.

HB 2020 Establishes Carbon Policy Office within Oregon Department of Administrative Services and directs Director of Carbon Policy Office to adopt Oregon Climate Action Program by rule.

SB 870 Enacts Interstate Compact for Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote.

HB 2623 Prohibits use of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas exploration and production.
Sunsets January 2, 2030. Declares emergency, effective on passage.

SB 928 Relating to the Oregon Climate Authority; declaring an emergency.
Establishes Oregon Climate Authority and creates Oregon Climate Board, effective on passage.
Establishes Oregon Climate Authority. Establishes] and creates Oregon Climate Board, effective on passage. Transfers greenhouse gas reporting program from Department of Environmental Quality to Oregon Climate Authority, operative January 1, 2022. Abolishes State Department of Energy. Transfers duties, functions and powers of State Department of Energy related to issuance of loans for small scale local energy projects to Oregon Business Development Department. Transfers remaining duties, functions and powers of State Department of Energy to Oregon Climate Authority, operative July 1, 2020.

SB 978 Originally this bill (Directs Department of State Police to conduct study on reporting of attempted unlawful firearm transfers and present report on findings to interim committees of Legislative Assembly related to judiciary on or before September 15, 2020.) This wording has been eliminated and 978 A says something entirely different now.
This is the Gun Bill the Democrats “Gut and stuffed”. Among other things, it says, if I steal your gun from you and I shoot someone else, it is your fault.
We all should write and call our senators expressing our opinions on this bill and others.

On March 8, 2019, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) issued a Section 404 Permit for Hudbay Minerals Inc.’s Rosemont Project. Soon after, on March 21, 2019, Hudbay received the approved Mine Plan of Operations (“MPO”) for the Rosemont project from the U.S. Forest Service. The issuance of the MPO is the final administrative step in the permitting process. The company now holds all required state and federal permits required to move into project development.

Rosemont is a copper development project, located in Pima County, Arizona, approximately 30 miles southeast of Tucson. Rosemont will have significant economic benefits for southern Arizona, generating an estimated $350 million in new local tax revenues over the mine’s lifetime. The capital expense to build the Project is $1.9 billion over 2.5 years and the construction will employ up to 2,500 workers. It will be one of the largest construction projects in the history of southern Arizona and the third-largest copper mine in the United States, accounting for 10% of domestic annual copper production.

On March 11, 2019, President Donald J. Trump proposed a $12.6 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget for the Department of the Interior.

The 2020 budget includes $30.3 million for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for critical minerals research and data collection, supporting Executive Order 13817, “A Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals” to provide the advanced topographic, geologic, and geophysical data needed to locate U.S. critical mineral resources, reduce dependence on foreign sources, and support job creation and technological innovation

Submit your Comments on the proposed Pebble Mining Project.
Last month the Pebble Project received the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The next phase in the process involves extensive public review and comment to inform and guide the development of the final EIS and record of decision (ROD) for the project.
The 90-day public comment period began March 1. We need mining supporters like you to tell the U.S. Corps of Engineers that you support the Pebble Mine’s thoughtful and measured permit proposal. Submitting your comments is easy using the formatted message on the AEMA website.
The Round Table was attended by participants from Baker County, BLM, Wallowa-Whitman NF, Umatilla NF, and EOMA. Representative Findley joined the group via the phone.

BLM reported that the cadastral survey at Virtue Flat entailed placing 120 survey markers. It was a much bigger job than anyone anticipated. The final report will be out in 9 months. The Washington Office of BLM will move to Colorado, the Regional office will be in Boise, Portland or Vancouver. No decision has been made to date.

On the Forest, it was reported that the TRI Forest Geologist position is open. The Powder Plans of Operation have gone from over 40 or more Plans in the analysis to 22 Plans. The ranger did not know why. The ranger hopes to begin approving Plans this fall. Robert Macon has left for a detail on the Mark Twain National Forest and will probably not be returning to work in Baker for the Forest Service. The Forest will be hiring someone for Robert’s position.

Ranger Gamble from La Grande has not been willing to authorize a testing plan using mechanized equipment at Camp Carsen. Ray said the miners would need a Plan of Operation for these test holes. He said there were wetlands involved.

Ranger Cikanek said he would not recognize Jan Alexander as an agent for any miners. Terry asked Jan what the solution would be. Jan replied that any miner needing her help would have to get a copy of the letter from the FS to her via e-mail, fax or mail.

There was a discussion of mining districts. Tom Montoya said he did not view mining districts as a local government. Dan Johnson asked if he thought the districts qualified as “entities of interest”. Tom told him this was a good point. There are seven organized mining districts right now. Maps will be sent to the FS and BLM.

Paula said she sees the Forest Service withdrawing the forest plans as an opportunity. She said the Umatilla would move forward and would be talking to the forest users.

There was also a discussion of bonds. The FS used the BLM spreadsheet for Granite POOs, but now the FS is developing their own spreadsheet. The ranger thought some bonds might come out too low because reclamation in the forest is not the same as on BLM lands.
There was also discussion about fire waivers. On the BLM, waivers are granted if the miner wants to mine, and his operation is fire safe. On the Forest, waivers have not been granted.

On March 5, 2019 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the annual Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) National Analysis for 2017.That same day the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s Commissioner Jason Brune released a powerful press release in response to the 2017 TRI National Analysis. Commissioner Brune points out that “TRI data alone do not reflect actual exposures or risk posed by releases, since almost all of the releases are regulated under permit conditions designed to limit human health and environmental exposure.” The press release goes on to provide greater clarity and important context behind the TRI data reported in Alaska.

We believe this is the first time a state has publicly criticized EPA’s TRI Information Report for mining as inaccurate and not a reflection of risk. This statement from Alaska is very helpful to our efforts to convince EPA politicals that a rule-making is required with respect to reporting releases to land. If anyone knows of other states following Alaska’s lead, please let us know.

On March 8, 2019, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced legislation with Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) titled, “The Elimination of Double Subsidies for the Hardrock Mining Industry Act of 2019” that would end the percentage depletion allowance that allows mining companies to deduct a portion of their income on their federal taxes.
AEMA Response
“Economically viable deposits of the minerals American society requires are extremely rare and hard to find,” said American Exploration & Mining Association Executive Director Laura Skaer. “Hardrock mining is an exceptionally capital-intensive business with unparalleled financial risks. Percentage depletion is not a subsidy. It recognizes the unique risks and uncertainties associated with mining and ensures that mines are not prematurely closed. Eliminating percentage depletion will severely weaken America’s national and economic security as high paying family-wage jobs are exported and our Nation becomes more reliant on foreign sources of strategic and critical minerals needed for infrastructure, renewable energy, medicine, and advanced technologies.”

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.

On March 15, 2019, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued the Records of Decision (ROD) finalizing the land use plan amendments for conservation of the greater sage grouse (GSRG). The amendments were initially proposed in 2017 after western governors requested the revisions to the highly restrictive 2015 plans put in place by the Obama administration.

The changes to the 2015 land use plans with respects to GSRG include:

• Removal of mandatory compensatory mitigation previously embedded in the 2015 plans. Under the revised plans, compensatory mitigation must be voluntary because neither BLM nor the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) have statutory authority to require compensatory mitigation. BLM's authority under the Federal Land and Management Policy Act (FLPMA) is limited to preventing unnecessary or undue degradation (UUD). However, BLM recognizes that some Western states, including Nevada, may require compensatory mitigation and will analyze that requirement in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, but will not require the project proponent to comply.
• Abandonment of the “net conservation gain” standard included in all 2015 land use plan amendments. The standard is replaced with a “no net loss” standard under which BLM will continue to require the mitigation standard outlined in the current Council on Environmental Quality regulations for the National Environmental Policy Act calling for avoidance, minimization, and other onsite mitigation to adequately conserve GRSG, but without compelling a net conservation gain outcome not authorized by statute.
• Removal of Sagebrush Focal Areas (with the exception of Montana and Oregon) which were previously designated to support the since-rescinded 10-million acre withdrawal from location and entry under the General Mining Law of 1872.
• Certain modifications to lek buffers.
• Increased flexibility with respect to No Surface Occupancy stipulations and density caps.

The latest revisions to the Obama-era plans shift land use plans from a “one-size-fits-all” approach under the old rules and give more flexibility to local land managers and the States.

Many of the issues AEMA raised are similar to the issues raised in our litigation challenging the 2015 plans. That litigation has been stayed, pending the final outcome of this new plan amendment process. AEMA is currently in the process of reviewing the RODs to determine to what extent the issues raised in our litigation have been addressed.

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

OPPORTUNITY -Looking for someone mechanically inclined to learn about 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.

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.

One trommel 6ft long and 2ft across in a frame, 2 sluice boxes 7ft long, 1ft wide and 7 inches tall, 5 sets of riffles 3 3ft and 2 2ft, a 10 1/2 HP Briggs and Stratton Motor, a hopper box, a metal standing platform diamond cut and some other items for the trommel. It just needs to be put together, but is pretty much complete. Also, a boat trailer to mount it on.
Also for sale, a rock classifying screen with 1/4 in square holes in a frame with bearings on both ends. It is 5 ft 4 inches long and 18 inches across. It just needs a motor. I have a hopper box for it. Also, two good truck bed trailers and a pop up tent trailer. Make me an offer.
I also have a 1965 Aloha trailer for sale-$500.00 or best offer. Call Kenneth Brasel 541-519-3305

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.

Mine rail was salvaged out of an old mine tunnel and was stored until needed. Approximately a dozen rail that needs a home. Assorted lengths including short lengths used as switch guard rails. Some of the mine rails include the rail connectors tying the rail together. $1 per foot per rail. See at 740 Valley, Baker City, corner of Valley and Plum, or call at 541-310-8510.

Hand Held Core Drill And Drill Stems $150
A two cycle hand held gas operated core drill, drill stems and pump. Used some for shallow drilling, the cores are stored in the drill stem as the hole depth progresses. They have to be removed from time to time as the hole deepens. Accompanied with a pressure pump that feeds water to the drill stem and floats the drill cuttings out of the hole. Condition of motor and pump is good, drill stems are fair to bad. See at 740 Valley, corner of Valley and Plum. Or call 541-310-8510.

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