By Shannon Cafagna:
Richard Cockle/The OregonianAndrew Bentz and Andy Gaudielle of Calico Resources USA stand atop an estimated 425,000 ounces of gold in the bowels of Grassy Mountain south of Vale. The company hopes to win over environmentalists and get permission to sink mine shafts into the mountain to claim the rich lode, which geologists say could include an additional 500,000 ounces of gold.
ONTARIO -- SprawlingMalheur County could soon be in the spotlight as a mining hub -- or a battleground of uraniumand goldmining interests vs. environmentalists trying to protect its lonesome sagebrush landscape.
Australian-owned Oregon Energy LLC hopes to mine 18 million pounds of yellowcake uranium from the southeastern Oregon high desert 10 miles west of McDermitt near the Oregon-Nevada boundary. The go-ahead to mine the so-called Aurora uranium deposit could bring up to 250 construction jobs to the county, followed by 150 mining jobs.
Meanwhile, Calico Resources USA Corp., a subsidiary of a Vancouver, B.C., company, may seek permits this month to chemically extract microscopic gold from a high desert butte south of Vale called Grassy Mountain, a project likely to create another 100 jobs.
Gold: Mining once was a major part of Oregon's economy and the most sought-after mineral was gold. Since its discovery in Oregon in the mid-1800s, miners have wrested an estimated 5.5 million ounces of gold from the state's streams and underground "hardrock" mines. At today's prices, that gold would bring about $1,616 per ounce. Half to two-thirds was found in northeastern Oregon. Baker County and Josephine County have had the most active claims.
Uranium:Uranium was first discovered in Oregon in the 1930s and a small amount was mined on Bear Creek Butte, 40 miles southeast of Bend, in 1960. The White King and Lucky Lass mines near Lakeview came later and there are known deposits of uranium in Baker, Clackamas, Crook, Curry, Harney, Jackson, Lake, Malheur, Polk and Union counties.
The proposals will be the first real test of the 1991 chemical processing mining law passed by the Legislature in response to a debate over mining's future in Oregon, said environmentalist Larry Tuttle. The law ushered in tough new bonding requirements to weed out marginal operators and guarantee environmental cleanup.
Approval of the Grassy Mountain project could trigger a deluge of new chemical mining in Malheur County. Up to a dozen gold deposits similar to Grassy Mountain dot the high desert between the Snake River town of Huntington and Jordan Valley.
The county, sparsely populated with only 31,313 people, could use new jobs, said County Commissioner Dan Joyce. Its unemployment rate in November was 10.3 percent, compared with 9.1 percent for Oregon and 8.6 percent for the nation.
Mining companies have passed up the county in the past because of Oregon's environmentally conscious reputation, Joyce said. But this time, the sluggish local and state economies, higher mineral prices and technological advances in mining and cleanup could open a door to mining, he said.
"I'm thinking people are a lot hungrier now than they were," Joyce said.
Uranium mine plan
Oregon Energy's proposal calls for extracting ore from a mile-long, 600-foot wide, 250-foot deep open pit 10 miles west of McDermitt and 3 miles north of the Oregon-Nevada border. The mine, adjoining the former Bretz Mercury Mine, a contaminated open-pit site from the 1960s, would cost $200 million to develop and uranium extraction could continue for up to 20 years, said Oregon Energy President Lachlan Reynolds.
Plans call for the ore to be crushed and mixed with an acid solution in enclosed vats to leach out the uranium, he said. The acid would bond with the uranium and when dry become a sand-like powder called uranium oxide concentrate, or yellowcake. Yellowcake would bring $52 per pound and could fuel nuclear reactors or be processed into weapons.
Tuttle, spokesman for the Portland-based Center for Environmental Equity, foresees environmental problems.
The likelihood of sulfuric acid being used in processing the ore means it could remain in the mine tailings after milling, he said. The snag is that sulfuric acid tends to continuously leach out heavy metals that occur naturally in waste rock and tailings, contaminating ground water.
"Just because you are through with the processing, years later you still have the issue with that interaction," he said.
But probably the biggest environmental hurdle for the Aurora mine would be the release of mercury, Tuttle said. "The whole Owyhee Reservoir has been affected by naturally occurring background mercury," and uranium mining could release more, he said.
Gold mine proposal
Environmental considerations first thrust Grassy Mountain into the consciousness of Oregonians in the late 1980s and early '90s when Newmont Gold Co. proposed introducing Nevada-style open-pit cyanide heap-leach gold mining there.
Low gold prices ultimately prompted Newmont to write off its $33.8 million investment and abandon plans to mine Grassy Mountain in 1995, but only after the site came to symbolize the conflict between economic development and environmental activism in eastern Oregon.
Calico Resources would take a dramatically different approach, said Andrew Bentz of Ontario, spokesman for Calico. The company proposes to sink an 850-foot underground shaft or tunnel to remove 1,000 tons of ore per day from Grassy Mountain, he said.
The operation expects to remove at least 425,000 ounces of gold from the mountain. The company's investment and exploration costs probably will total $100 million before mining begins, said Calico project manager Andy Gaudielle.
Mineral-bearing rock would be milled for microscopic gold in a closed chemical process that wouldn't include the bird-attracting open settling ponds of diluted cyanide that worried Newmont's opponents, said Bentz, a retired Malheur County sheriff.
Mining and reclamation of Grassy Mountain would take about 12 years, unless new gold discoveries are made, he said.
Bentz believes Calico won't face the level of environmental opposition that attended Newmont's proposal.
OREGON DEPARTMENT OF GEOLOGY AND MINERAL INDUSTRIES An open-pit uranium mine is proposed on this high desert site in southeastern Oregon's Malheur County -- the same ground where the old Bretz Mercury Mine (shown here) once stood. Uranium, mercury, silver, gold and other heavy metals often are found in the same areas, geologists say. Mercury was discovered here in 1931, and state mining records show that 152,000 tons of ore were mined in 1937. More mining took place during the 1940s and '50s, and at one point the Bretz was one of the largest high-grade mercury mines in the nation.
Reynolds, the Oregon Energy chief, said mining companies no longer can operate in ways that caused the environmental problems of the past. Improvements in mining technology result in more efficient and environmentally responsible operations, he said.
"We will have to post substantial financial bonds to ensure that there is full reclamation of the site to an approved plan when mining ends," Reynolds said.
Only 5 percent of the nation's domestic-use uranium is produced within U.S. borders, although the United States takes more than 20 percent of its electricity from nuclear power plants, Reynolds said.
The most likely buyer of Aurora uranium would be a U.S. electricity utility, he said. He estimated the mine could become the source of up to 30 percent of uranium produced in the U.S.
Public hearings will be held after the companies apply for permits to begin mining, said state geologist Vicki McConnell of Portland.
Sixty-one acres of Grassy Mountain is patented, private mining land, but substantial portions of both sites are on federal land administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Both sites are remnant volcanic regions where geothermal and hydrothermal activity has pulled heavy metals and other substances close to the surface, McConnell said.
Calico hopes to begin taking gold from Grassy Mountain in five years, but the regulatory pathway is likely to be longer for the Aurora mine because uranium is involved.
In addition to the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, the Oregon Energy Facility Siting Council, the U.S. Department of Energy and the federal Environmental Protection Agency must review the uranium mine.
BLM permits will be required for tailing piles and the use of desert roads for both the uranium and gold mining.
Oregon has a process in place to allow mining to proceed if resources can be extracted profitably and in a way that's environmentally safe, McConnell said.
Whether that's the case here has yet to be determined, she said. "Geologically, we know there is gold in Grassy Mountain and we know there is uranium in the McDermitt area," she said.
Clinton`s made a deal ,and gave the Russians our uranium. Pay close attention at the 24 minute mark of the video.
Thanks Kevin, I've seen this before but it IS pertinent. I suggest that if you can you should down load and copy that video and save it to a DVD. People watching this may have noticed that some of the Haitian people were forcibly removed from their farms and land at gun point while their farms were bull-dozed.
The Bundy's and the Hammonds ran head-long into this without really knowing what they were really up against. The deal with UraniumOne and probably several other mining companies (Gold and Silver) requires the US Federal Government to first obtain and secure "ownership" of that land that is currently occupied by many US western farmers and ranchers.
Obtaining "ownership" of that land (and getting rid of the current occupants) is the task of the BLM.
This is what the Bundy's and Hammonds ran into.
So how far down does this chain of corruption go? How far does this mess extend into State and local politics?
Apparently all the way down to the State of Oregon governors office, the Oregon Courts and judicial system, and all the way down to the local Harney County board of commissioners. The same must be said about Nevada and many other states.
LaVoy Finicum was killed in order to set an example. He may have been the first, but I doubt he will be the last.
Cliven Bundy and his family will now spend what could result in the rest of their lives in prison, as will Dwight Hammond.
That land WILL be taken one way or another, and it doesn't matter how many people they have to kill to get it.
Remember - This is only the beginning, we haven't seen anything yet.
....................Wait until Hillary Clinton becomes President................................................................................
Rooster, I see you know well what I know. You are so right about Lavoy and the Bundy`s not having the whole picture. I did not know about the Haitian`s being forcibly removed from their lands while their homes were bull dozed ...The Oregon event I watched through the Santilli live streams every day. I put hours in each day. I had known about the Bundy ranch stand off from 2014. So their occupying the refuge grabbed my attention.When Lavoy was shot , it seemed like I lost a good friend. It effected me big time. I know the truth of it and feel I have to tell as many as posible. It gives me pleasure to see you know the truth.. The occupy movement was starting to paint the picture of what was going on , I just hope that the news (fox) is only quiet because they are investigating this..I e-mailed Judicial watch (8 days ago) with my concerns. They responded with letting me know they could not say much. but for me to be patient for this is not being swept under table. I hope this will break wide open. (FINGERS CROSSED)
This video is probably stuff you have seen. BUT, I want you to go to the very end. Were it has a screen shot of Uranium 1 face book article thanking the Oregonian news for their help. You will have to zoom in to read it..
Here's a little piece I wrote back in January. I posted this on Facebook, and someone asked me if I could name even one company that Obama had nationalized. The answer is simple, Why bother to nationalize any specific company when you can nationalize all the minerals and resources that THAT company depends on? Note the mention of the food supply.
This is the same thing every Communist regime has done once they have achieved full control over the country. Hugo Chavez did it in Venezuela just a few years ago. Fidel Castro did it in Cuba in the 1960's. Before that Joseph Stalin did it in Russia, and before him it was Mao Ts-Tung in China. The idea is simple, the federal Government seizes control and ownership of all natural resources.
Then those resources like Gas, oil, iron, copper, lead, gold, uranium, and what ever else is under that land is mined and excavated or drilled and pumped out. The surface resources like water and land is controlled in order to regulate farming and ranching.
By Nationalizing all resources the Federal Government can control the food supply and they control all the wealth produced by those other minerals and productions. Once the Government controls the food supply they control and regulate the population. Food becomes a weapon used by the Government and the population can then be systematically reduced to Sustainable levels. (Agenda-21) The minerals like oil, gas, uranium, and copper and gold are excavated and sold just as they would be normally, except that under Government control all the wealth generated by these resources does not go to the people. The money will NOT go to feed the people. Instead it all goes to a very select set of individuals. In the case of American resources the wealth would belong to people like Warren Buffet, George Soros, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and a few dozen other Wall-Street and Government insiders.
And of course in the case of Barack Hussein Obama, he will also get his “fair share” through the United Nations where the rest of all American wealth is redistributed to foreign nations.
Everybody gets filthy rich – except the American people.
The Obama administration is using the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the EPA to force the farmers and ranchers off the land. This process did not start with this Obama administration. It has been happening for over thirty years. But it has accelerated to a point of finalization and completion under this administration.
The “tree huggers” and environmentalists who think they are “saving” the land, and those who love to hate big oil and gas companies will not be happy when they discover those natural resources are being excavated at a greatly increased pace. The land will be strip-mined to extract all those solid minerals like copper, gold, lead, and uranium.
What did you think Obama meant when he said they would “Fundamentally Transform America”?
Rooster, I understand the whole evil involved. From Bilderberg scum to simple local governments that dance to the Agenda 21 rumba...I have painted the picture very well to myself. There are many like minded people who are starting to educate others. We must keep pushing with the information and knowledge we gain. The conspiracy label can be hard to wear. With that said I can only say.Use your faith and work it hard. God will help shine the light when asked.People are having a hard time because of they do not stand on their Faith hard enough. They must be firm in spirituality to fight this fight...I am dropping this video as it kinda relates to what the big picture is........PS: LaVoy worked his faith hard . We will lose many good Men and Women in this fight.But those who stand on Faith will be Rewarded..I am sure LaVoy is fine ,and will continue this fight from a more strategic position.
Shawna Cox cell phone video....Be prepared to get angry..
I hope to GOD you made a copy of that and saved it to your cpmputer
In today's world of sound-bite news articles most people, including the talking-heads on radio and television, simply miss the bigger picture. We hear things like Hillary Clinton's email server, Bernie Sanders wins some state primary elections, Donald Trump – yata-yata-yata; In the midst of all this chatter there was a short news clip about a bunch of crazy armed and angry radicals taking over a wild life reserve up in Oregon, and one of them got shot and killed before the rest surrendered and are now being held in County jail as Domestic terrorists. Somewhere along the line the news media may have also mentioned something about the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the 2014 Bundy ranch stand off and now Mr. Cliven Bundy was now one of those arrested for illegally grazing his cattle on Government property without paying his “fair share” of the land use taxes.
Included some place in the mix of the last eight years of the administration of president Barack Obama there was very little mention of some process or plan they have called “A Fundamental Transformation Of America”. We all heard this in Obama's speech in 2007, but the media skipped over that and never said another word about it. There was one short comment made by present Democrat candidate Bernie Sanders when he said “This is about the Transformation of America”. Again the media skipped over that and all mention of it has disappeared from the world of the sound bite news. There is also no mention anywhere in the news media of something they call a “New World Order”, whatever that is, but we have no mention or discussions about it. It apparently doesn't rate in the world on 30 second sound bites.
Once again in the continuing saga of the scandals and schemes of world finance, deals, and money laundering of Hillary and Bill Clinton, somewhere, (now long gone from the Sound-bites) there was a quick mention of a Russian company making a deal to buy out a Canadian Uranium mining company. That “deal” had to be signed off and approved by the US Secretary of State, which at the time just happened to be Ms. Hillary Clinton. And some place along the line, back in 2014, there was that thing going on with the militia radicals and the stand off with the BLM and Bundy's out in Nevada.. Nevada Senator Reid said “This is not over yet”, and that was about the end of the instant sound-bite coverage until the Burns Oregon stand off at the wild life reserve.
Now the new Secretary of State John Kerry has been bragging about making a deal with Iran over their ongoing efforts to construct a Nuclear weapon. Again only a 30 second sound bite. Over the past few years the news media has covered it all. But in the world of sound-bite news no one has bothered to put the pieces together.
The whole deal is pretty simple – and very scary.
Iran needs and wants uranium, Russia will supply it once they manage to extract it. That uranium is currently hidden under the surface in the hills of Oregon, Nevada, and Idaho. Russia needed the permits and access first and that was provided by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Secretary of State John Kerry made the final deals with Iran, and Obama made the final trade deals through the Pacific Trade Treaty. (TPP)
All they had to do now was get rid of those pesky Oregon and Nevada ranchers. The deal is now set. The Ranchers are all in jail and headed to prison, - or dead. The BLM has forced the Ranchers out and have forced their families to sign papers that will “Sell” the land to the Federal Government once they have finally declared bankruptcy,, (which has been made inevitable through BLM pressures on leases, taxes, and arrests – and at least one murder).
Russia gets the uranium, which they will sell to Iran. Hillary and Bill Clinton get $130 million dollars in their Canadian family trust. Harry Reid gets his cut of the $38 million paid by China and some Australian mining company who will get the mining permits for the Gold in Oregon and Nevada.
So what did the people of Oregon get? About 130 new jobs over the next 5-8 years. No word yet on what the Harney County Commissioners and Oregon State prosecutors might stand to gain, but rest assured – they will all be compensated for their assistance. I guess American Capitalism is great – if you're properly and sufficiently well connected, and don't care about some old papers called a U.S. Constitution, American Sovereignty, and the rights of the American Ranchers. Crooked Capitalism is great as long as you can get someone else to handle the dirty work do the killing for you.
But then again none of that fits into a 30 second sound bite, so I guess it wont be covered.
i am sure these people have it covered rooster. there are many good patriotic groups working on exposing the truth.