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California Gold Mining Getting Harder To Do


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On 11/22/2022 at 8:54 AM, Jim_Alaska said:

ban on using ANY mechanical means to extract precious minerals within 100 yards of an active waterway.

On 11/22/2022 at 9:29 AM, Clay Diggins said:

but I'm not buying into the "impossible" narrative.

 I have had 2 plans approved in 2022 and one still active from 2020. They are all "dig and detect" operations which is a very sloppy way to mine but mentioning water in any plan complicates the process 10 fold. 

Jim; When I was told this and also told that "ANY depression in the ground that might hold or carry water cannot be disturbed" I demanded that the restriction be presented to me in writing. That seemed to put an end to it (for now) and the plan was approved.

 This thread and this post could easily devolve into U.S.F.S. bashing so I'll leave it ant that.

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27 minutes ago, klunker said:

 I have had 2 plans approved in 2022 and one still active from 2020. They are all "dig and detect" operations which is a very sloppy way to mine but mentioning water in any plan complicates the process 10 fold. 

Jim; When I was told this and also told that "ANY depression in the ground that might hold or carry water cannot be disturbed" I demanded that the restriction be presented to me in writing. That seemed to put an end to it (for now) and the plan was approved.

 This thread and this post could easily devolve into U.S.F.S. bashing so I'll leave it ant that.

The ban is caused by the water board, not the Forest Service. The FS had been approving plans in out area until 2022 when the state raised hell about all of this. They are using the dredging laws to stop the use of pumps in streams. At present I am trying to get a clarification on wether they will ban the use of pumps in streams if the water is to be used at a greater distance than 100 yds. Our local minerals agent informed me she was instructed by here boss to stop approving plans involving the creeks for now because they are now working with the state on all of this. Not sure where this will end up but most likely court. One of my partners in the company is working on this at the present time so we are early in the process of sorting this out. There are federal mining laws that should protect the ability to mine on claims that are legally filed. 

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This is true, it is waterboards. They have been under orders to implement a plan for permitting for all of this time, they just don't do it.

It is also true that Federal law, in the form of the 1866 mining law should supersede the state's ban, but the state simply ignores it. We fought this at the legislative level and even in court. It went all the way to the Supreme Court, but they refused to hear it.

These are public facts, not a personal rant. I hope this post is not seen as a political rant, which Steve doesn't want done; if it is seen as one Steve, feel free to delete.

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1 hour ago, GhostMiner said:

The ban is caused by the water board, not the Forest Service. The FS had been approving plans in out area until 2022 when the state raised hell about all of this. They are using the dredging laws to stop the use of pumps in streams. At present I am trying to get a clarification on wether they will ban the use of pumps in streams if the water is to be used at a greater distance than 100 yds. Our local minerals agent informed me she was instructed by here boss to stop approving plans involving the creeks for now because they are now working with the state on all of this. Not sure where this will end up but most likely court. One of my partners in the company is working on this at the present time so we are early in the process of sorting this out. There are federal mining laws that should protect the ability to mine on claims that are legally filed. 

You would think California would learn. Remember the Big Cut placer gold mine and how the county and state were screaming "illegal mining"? The state and county claimed he had no right to mine his land. He mined it anyway.

https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna46309739

The mine owner was fined 900,000 dollars (which they never had to pay). The end result of the harassment was a federal judgement for 107 million dollars in favor of the miner.

The Sacramento County Supervisor, planning director and aggregate resource manager for the county had more than 2 million dollars in judgements against them for their involvement in suppressing his mining rights.

https://verdictsearch.com/verdict/historical-mine-operators-claimed-county-revoked-right-to-mine/

There are many laws in California regarding using surface waters. All of those water laws are based on the constitutional obligation of the state to ensure that the water is used for a beneficial purpose.

California State Constitution Section 2 Article 10

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=CONS&sectionNum=SEC. 2.&article=X

There are no laws prohibiting the use of water for mining because under California law mining is a beneficial use of water.

The state water board agrees:

The following definitions for beneficial uses are applicable statewide;

Uses of water for industrial activities that do not depend primarily on water quality, including, but not limited to, mining, cooling water supply, hydraulic conveyance, gravel washing, fire
protection, or oil well repressurization

https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/about_us/performance_report_1314/plan_assess/docs/bu_definitions_012114.pdf

The water board has no power to make laws or change the meaning of laws. The California constitution would have to be changed to give the water board the power to ban surface water use for mining.

 

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The truth of the matter in all this, sadly, is you only have the legal rights you have the financial means to defend. That's the real world we live in.

Jim

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54 minutes ago, Clay Diggins said:

You would think California would learn. Remember the Big Cut placer gold mine and how the county and state were screaming "illegal mining"? The state and county claimed he had no right to mine his land. He mined it anyway.

https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna46309739

The mine owner was fined 900,000 dollars (which they never had to pay). The end result of the harassment was a federal judgement for 107 million dollars in favor of the miner.

 

 

Clay, That 100mil win was for for his Consumnes River, Sacramento county operation that got shut down. I remember reading it in our local news.  I think on the Placerville Big Cut operation he was only fined a "small" amount in the end. That guy dont have to mine no more! 

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1 hour ago, Clay Diggins said:

You would think California would learn. Remember the Big Cut placer gold mine and how the county and state were screaming "illegal mining"? The state and county claimed he had no right to mine his land. He mined it anyway.

https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna46309739

The mine owner was fined 900,000 dollars (which they never had to pay). The end result of the harassment was a federal judgement for 107 million dollars in favor of the miner.

The Sacramento County Supervisor, planning director and aggregate resource manager for the county had more than 2 million dollars in judgements against them for their involvement in suppressing his mining rights.

https://verdictsearch.com/verdict/historical-mine-operators-claimed-county-revoked-right-to-mine/

There are many laws in California regarding using surface waters. All of those water laws are based on the constitutional obligation of the state to ensure that the water is used for a beneficial purpose.

California State Constitution Section 2 Article 10

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=CONS&sectionNum=SEC. 2.&article=X

There are no laws prohibiting the use of water for mining because under California law mining is a beneficial use of water.

The state water board agrees:

The following definitions for beneficial uses are applicable statewide;

Uses of water for industrial activities that do not depend primarily on water quality, including, but not limited to, mining, cooling water supply, hydraulic conveyance, gravel washing, fire
protection, or oil well repressurization

https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/about_us/performance_report_1314/plan_assess/docs/bu_definitions_012114.pdf

The water board has no power to make laws or change the meaning of laws. The California constitution would have to be changed to give the water board the power to ban surface water use for mining.

 

Many thanks Clay. 

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30 minutes ago, GhostMiner said:

Many thanks Clay. 

   They believe it violates SB637 so can't approve POO's. 

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