Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20220126

Volume 388

Many thanks to Alice Knapp for letting us continue to meet at the saw shop while City Hall is not available for meetings. We will have a meeting on JANUARY 7th, 2022 at the Elk Creek Enterprises saw shop located at 890 Elm Street. 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 $50 dollar silver medallion at the end of the meeting. Come to the meeting, buy a ticket, and support EOMA.

The U.S. Forest Service has named a new forest supervisor for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in northeast Oregon. Shaun McKinney Took over the position in late October. He replaces Tom Montoya, who retired in June after 36 years with the agency.

McKinney comes to the Forest Service from the West National Technology Support Center in Portland, where he led a team providing direct assistance and training to USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service staff throughout the western U.S. In a statement, Pacific Northwest Regional Forester Glenn Casamassa said McKinney brings experience working in both public and private land conservation. “His considerable experience in organizational leadership, science-based decision-making and innovative problem-solving will serve him well as he serves the residents and communities of Eastern Oregon as forest supervisor on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest," Casamassa said.

“I’m looking forward to returning to the Blue Mountains, where I began my career, to work together with the staff, communities and partners on healthy ecosystems and economies," McKinney said. "It will be an exciting next chapter filled with challenges and opportunities."
Brian Anderson, District Ranger at Enterprise, put on a virtual meeting to Dec. 17, to talk about his district and his projects for 2022. He talked about the importance of “maintaining access so the public could drive to the trailheads and drive the roads”. He emphasized the importance of access during hunting season. He said that if a road is not being used, and there are fish passage problems, he would pull the culvert. If the road was being used, he would replace the culvert.

We also heard from the new Forest Supervisor, Shaun McKinney, and his views about the Wallowa-Whitman. As to the Blue Mountain Forest Plan revision, he said that the Forest is working to find areas of agreement between the public and the FS. He said “my door is always open”.

New leadership is badly needed on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. The public would like to see Kendal Cikanek provide information on projects on the Whitman Unit, like Ranger Anderson did. An updated Schedule of Proposed Action (SOPA) would go a long way in assuring the public that his staff actually has some projects that they intend to accomplish in 2022. The latest SOPA shows the Bonnanza Mining Project and the Powder Mining Project with expected decision dates of 11/2021 and 04/2021 on the NEPA documents, when these NEPA documents have not even gone out for public comment. Updating the SOPA, and transparency about what the Whitman Unit staff is doing, would go a long way in establishing some level of trust.

Early in November, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684), commonly known as the infrastructure bill. A few days later, President Biden signed the bill into law. The infrastructure bill contains a number of provisions that will benefit or affect the hardrock mining industry. Here are a few highlights:

(1) $3 billion to establish a new hardrock AML reclamation program at the DOI; (2) Permanently reauthorizes the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (FPISC) to coordinate permitting decisions for major infrastructure projects; (3) Codifies the “One Federal Decision” framework, streamlining permitting processes, mandating agency coordination and timelines on NEPA reviews; (4) $825 million for mineral security and Critical Mineral Supply Chain Research Facility; (5) $300 million to accelerate Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI) at USGS; (6) $167 million for energy & minerals research at USGS; (7) $140 million to Dept. of Energy to demonstrate the feasibility of a full-scale rare earth element extraction and separation facility; (8) The Manchin-Murkowski “American Mineral Security Act” language, requiring Interior to review its minerals permitting processes and report to Congress on what steps the agency will take to improve the timeliness and efficiency for permitting critical mineral projects; (9) Expands eligibility for Department of Energy’s Title 17 (from the Energy Policy Act of 2005) Loan Guarantee Program to include production, processing and recycling of critical minerals.

On November 12, President Bident announced his selection of Christopher Williamson to be his nominee for assistant secretary of Mine Safety and Health at the Department of Labor. If confirmed, Williamson would head the Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA), leaving his current position as senior counsel to chairman Lauren McFerran at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Prior to his stint at NLRB, Williamson served in MSHA’s senior leadership during the Obama Administration, and has also served as labor counsel or labor policy advisor to several members in the U.S. Senate. Williamson is a West Virginia native.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) this month formally published its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring that employers with 100 or more employees ensure that their employees are vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. It does not apply to MSHA regulated areas, but many mines have OSHA and MSHA regulated areas. The ETS was supposed to go into effect immediately, but its implementation has been stayed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in response to legal challenges.

An asteroid “ideal for mining exploration” ( Copper Gold Lithium Palladium Platinum Rare Earths) will break into Earth’s orbit on December 10. Asteroid 4660 Nereus is as big as a football field, and has been singled out by scientists as an ideal target for a mining exploration mission.

While the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) labels the asteroid as “potentially hazardous” due to its size and how close it will get to our planet’s surface, those features make asteroid 4660 Nereus an attractive candidate for potential exploration. As an Apollo-class asteroid, Nereus’ orbit frequently puts it close to Earth. Its orbital resonance is approximately 2:1, meaning that it orbits almost twice for every orbit of the Earth. This makes a mission to explore the asteroid very feasible.

Nereus will come the closest to our planet it has been in the past 20 years, yet it is set to pass 7.4 million km away, which is about 10 times the distance between the Moon and Earth. No missions are currently known to be ready to explore Nereus, however it has been considered before. Both NASA’s Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous-Shoemaker (NEAR) robotic mission and the Japanese Hayabusa mission looked into Nereus as target, but both eventually chose other options.

According to NASA, if a mission were to be launched this year, it would take anywhere between 426-146 days, though the delta-v this time around would be around 10.37 km/s, slightly higher than launching a rocket into low-orbit.

USA Rare Earth announced that it expects to produce nearly half of the critical minerals listed in the US Geological Survey’s revised list of raw materials deemed crucial for national security and the economy. In a press release, the Texas-based company said that together with partner Texas Mineral Resources, it is committed to developing the Round Top heavy rare earth, lithium and critical minerals project in Hudspeth County, thus making it a national strategic asset for supply chains essential to the US economy.

“USA Rare Earth will bring into domestic production nearly half of the critical minerals identified by the USGS, including gallium, which tops the new Critical Minerals List,” Thayer Smith, USA Rare Earth president, said in the media brief. “We commend the USGS for its robust evaluation of these important mineral commodities and for identifying the material constraints for American technology and national defense.”

According to Smith, in February 2021, the USGS identified Round Top as the largest gallium deposit in the United States. Gallium is a critical semiconductor chip material, for which there are currently no US producers. In addition to Ga, the Survey deemed 16 rare earths as critical, including neodymium, dysprosium, praseodymium, and terbium. Smith pointed out that the Round Top project, which should become operational in 2023, is a uniquely enriched polymetallic deposit weighted toward heavy rare earths and contains 16 of the 17 existing rare earth elements, as well as lithium, gallium and other US-listed critical minerals.

At the planned initial production rate, the mine has sufficient identified resources to operate for more than 100 years. The mining rate has been estimated at 20,000 tonnes per day, with all mineral processing expected to take place on-site. REO production is projected to average 2,313 tonnes per year total, including approximately 180 TPY of Neodymium and 67 TPY of praseodymium. The lithium resource is estimated at 9,800 TPY lithium carbonate production.

“USA Rare Earth is developing a fully domestic mine-to-magnet supply chain, while the lithium at Round Top will also support the manufacture of battery electric vehicles,” Smith said. “Rare earth magnets are necessary for defense, medical, green energy, and electric vehicle production. Currently, US companies get the vast majority of their rare earth materials and magnets from China.”

The Mountain Pass mine in California, controlled by MP Materials Corp, is the only active rare earths mine in the United States.

The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission voted 3-1 to establish the Climate Protection Program which sets enforceable and declining limits on greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels used throughout Oregon. This new DEQ program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon by 90% by 2050. The limits apply to diesel, gasoline, natural gas and propane, used in transportation, residential, commercial and industrial settings. As approved, the new rules put Oregon on track to reduce emissions from fossil fuels by 50% by 2035 and 90% by 2050, reductions that scientists agree are required to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

DEQ held multiple public hearings on the proposed rules and received more than 7,000 written public comments. “We must act decisively and urgently to keep what makes Oregon so special – the fisheries, the farms, the snowy mountains, the forests and vineyards,” said EQC Chair Kathleen George. “So, guided by the best science, DEQ’s Climate Protection Program is a critical step forward to achieve deep, long-term reductions in Oregon greenhouse gas emissions, and to help strengthen climate resilience across the state. This is a historic opportunity to be leaders in creating a resilient economy that is decreasingly reliant on fossil fuels.” This action makes Oregon the second state in the nation to set enforceable limits on greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, including gasoline, diesel and natural gas; California was the first state to take such action.

How the program will work
Starting in 2022, the CPP will issue permits – known as “compliance instruments” – to companies that supply fossil fuels for use in Oregon. The permits, each equal to 1 metric ton of emissions, will be issued each year in amounts equal to that year’s annual emission limit. Each year, the allowable emission limit will be reduced by lowering the number of compliance instruments issued to those companies. Failure to reduce emissions from fuels will result in enforcement action by the state.
Suppliers of fossil fuels can comply with the declining emissions limits in a variety of ways. Many of these companies are already incorporating renewable fuels, such as ethanol and renewable diesel, into their fuels mix, displacing fossil fuels and lowering carbon emissions. Companies also can trade with one another if some reduce faster than others. Fuel suppliers also can elect to meet part of the program requirements by paying into a new Community Climate Investment fund. This fund will invest in projects that help communities transition from fossil fuels more rapidly – reducing emissions, improving health and creating new jobs. The CCI fund will invest in communities historically disadvantaged by air pollution and particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including communities of color and tribes, as well as rural communities.

The rules also include more specific requirements to curtail emissions at about a dozen large manufacturing facilities. These regulations require facility-specific evaluations to identify technologies and practices that will reduce those emissions.

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.