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Oklahoma Mining Company Claims Gold Deposit In Alaska’s Tongass National Forest

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September 30, 2009

Oklahoma Mining Company Claims Gold Deposit In Alaska’s Tongass National Forest

By Dave Hurteau

From The Oklahoman:
Jan Cannon. . ., a geologist who lives in Tecumseh, picked up some sand in southeast Alaska more than 30 years ago. . . . When he. . . went back . . . he found something better: a potentially massive cache of gold.

His company, Oklahoma City-based Geohedral LLC, recently announced it had claimed more than 10,000 acres in the Tongass National Forest.

"In our opinion, we have a ‘world class’ discovery,” Cannon said this week in a news release.

The question is, what affect will getting that gold have on wildlife and its habitat?

Be sure to check out the full article.

Comments (10)

Top Rated
All Comments
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Pebble Mine II?

I thought the residents of Alaska took a vote and they agreed overwhelmingly to "No Mines" and were very content with their subtance lifestyle.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Sand. Wasn't it the beach sand they panned at Nome, the whole beach being an alluvial deposit of quartz gold bearing sand washed down from the mountain and collected at the delta where the river met the sea? If the inhabitants vote "No Mines " that is one thing, but I seem to recall another time when the inhabitants of a region said "No Mines", It was the Black Hills and the objecters were Lakotah , the denoument was Custer's Last Stand and the end result was Mt. Rushmore.
Gold mining can be particularly disruptive to the environment and the responsible path would likely be to lightly glean any gold that can be recovered without disrupting the biome and use those assets from the sale of the gold recovered to fund continued stewardship of the wild lands. But they wouln't do that, it might be sensible, and where Gold is found men go mad...

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from bluecollarkid wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I don't see how they can "claim" a gold deposit by simply taking a sand sample - unless they paid for the rights to explore and excavate the area beforehand. If they haven't a contractual right to the gold deposit then I could very well go up there and start excavating on my own. Boy, that would burn their britches, wouldn't it?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

If they truly have the mineral rights they can do pretty much anything they want as long as they cover the hole up when they are done, just like companies do with gravel excavations.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Unfortunately, the General Mining Act of 1872 has been interpreted by various administrations to give a nearly unregulated hand to minerals extraction on Federal land. I don't recall any limits on the size of the claim that may be filed under that Act, so probably the *claim* is valid. Much subsequently depends on the attitude of the Forest Supervisor.

Here in AZ we have a mining company that owns private mineral deposits but has staked a "mining claim" under the GMA1872 to dump the tailings and waste rock on Federal land, thereby filling to the brim three relatively pristine canyons that are excellent coues deer and quail hunting ground. The Forest Supervisor at first even refused to acknowledge that "Not Permitted" was an allowable response.

To make things worse, the claims are owned by a Canadian mining company (which may, since the GMA1872, gives the privilege of mining claims to citizens of the US, be illegal), and they're going to export all the hard rock copper to China for smelting. So the American taxpayer will give up valuable hunting land for free, foot the bill for the superfund site cleanup as these things ALWAYS create, for the near exclusive benefit of a bunch of Chinese and Canadians.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from chadlove wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Mike just summed up perfectly how the 1872 Mining Act works in reality: destroy (literally, in most cases) one public resource (our landscape) in order to extract and export to foreign countries yet another public resource (the minerals and/or metals present therein) and reap a completely private profit on the entire venture.

And, as an added bonus (and as Mike also pointed out) the taxpayers will almost always, always, be the ones to pay for cleaning up the toxic, ravaged aftermath.

It is outrageous. It is reprehensible. It is criminal in spirit if not in statute and our elected officials on both sides knowingly allow it to continue because they are, quite bluntly, a bunch of ethically defunct stooges, lackeys and legally-sanctioned criminals.

As you can see, I got no love for the 1872 Mining Act. In my opinion it should have been repealed about 1873...

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Another consideration:

The whole idea behind imperialism was to create markets for your nations finished goods by subjugating another nation, forcing them to purchase your goods, and forcing them to yield the bounty of their national resources. This was ever the case for subjects of the British, French, Spanish, and Dutch empires in their day, and in all those banana republics that the USA diddled after the end of the Second World War. Pretty much everyone has agreed that such policies were a rotten deal for the people of the colonized or otherwise subjugated lands.

So here we are in 2009. Our greatest export from the United States by volume is recyclable paper, a raw material. Our greatest export by weight is recyclable metal, a raw material. Good taxpayer owned and Federally managed lands are regularly destroyed by people who aren't citizens of the USA so that the raw materials can be exported to some other nation to be transformed into finished goods.

Thanks, Supply Siders, for reducing the United States to the equivalent of a colonized third world nation.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from bluecollarkid wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I don't doubt that's how the GMA1872 operates. There are a lot of issues there and the relative lack of strict construction of the act allows for many abuses. What I was saying was that I could essentially "claim jump" them by going up there and extracting the minerals myself if they had no prior right to them other than taking a sand sample.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from logan.vandermay wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

The gold mining in the Black Hills never hurt anything. There is still plenty of wildlife there. I know because I am from SD.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 4 years 27 weeks ago

The Black Hills was the sacred lands of the Lakotah People, we broke our treaties with the Lakotah after the gold was discovered there and kicked the Lakotah into the rez after spilling a whole lot of blood.
What would you do, Logan if some mining company discovered a valuable ore on your land, then instead of attempting to purchase the rights to mind, or asking permission just proceeded to dig up your pasture in a massive way. What if local courts ignore your pleas for redress or if that mining company attempted to take your land by intimidation and graft? What if the land in question was the graveyard of your grandparents and great grandparents? Would you passively leave? Or would they need a SWAT team to remove you...
Gold has the mystical property of making men go mad, that is likely why wedding rings are made of it...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Bella wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Sand. Wasn't it the beach sand they panned at Nome, the whole beach being an alluvial deposit of quartz gold bearing sand washed down from the mountain and collected at the delta where the river met the sea? If the inhabitants vote "No Mines " that is one thing, but I seem to recall another time when the inhabitants of a region said "No Mines", It was the Black Hills and the objecters were Lakotah , the denoument was Custer's Last Stand and the end result was Mt. Rushmore.
Gold mining can be particularly disruptive to the environment and the responsible path would likely be to lightly glean any gold that can be recovered without disrupting the biome and use those assets from the sale of the gold recovered to fund continued stewardship of the wild lands. But they wouln't do that, it might be sensible, and where Gold is found men go mad...

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from chadlove wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Mike just summed up perfectly how the 1872 Mining Act works in reality: destroy (literally, in most cases) one public resource (our landscape) in order to extract and export to foreign countries yet another public resource (the minerals and/or metals present therein) and reap a completely private profit on the entire venture.

And, as an added bonus (and as Mike also pointed out) the taxpayers will almost always, always, be the ones to pay for cleaning up the toxic, ravaged aftermath.

It is outrageous. It is reprehensible. It is criminal in spirit if not in statute and our elected officials on both sides knowingly allow it to continue because they are, quite bluntly, a bunch of ethically defunct stooges, lackeys and legally-sanctioned criminals.

As you can see, I got no love for the 1872 Mining Act. In my opinion it should have been repealed about 1873...

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Another consideration:

The whole idea behind imperialism was to create markets for your nations finished goods by subjugating another nation, forcing them to purchase your goods, and forcing them to yield the bounty of their national resources. This was ever the case for subjects of the British, French, Spanish, and Dutch empires in their day, and in all those banana republics that the USA diddled after the end of the Second World War. Pretty much everyone has agreed that such policies were a rotten deal for the people of the colonized or otherwise subjugated lands.

So here we are in 2009. Our greatest export from the United States by volume is recyclable paper, a raw material. Our greatest export by weight is recyclable metal, a raw material. Good taxpayer owned and Federally managed lands are regularly destroyed by people who aren't citizens of the USA so that the raw materials can be exported to some other nation to be transformed into finished goods.

Thanks, Supply Siders, for reducing the United States to the equivalent of a colonized third world nation.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Unfortunately, the General Mining Act of 1872 has been interpreted by various administrations to give a nearly unregulated hand to minerals extraction on Federal land. I don't recall any limits on the size of the claim that may be filed under that Act, so probably the *claim* is valid. Much subsequently depends on the attitude of the Forest Supervisor.

Here in AZ we have a mining company that owns private mineral deposits but has staked a "mining claim" under the GMA1872 to dump the tailings and waste rock on Federal land, thereby filling to the brim three relatively pristine canyons that are excellent coues deer and quail hunting ground. The Forest Supervisor at first even refused to acknowledge that "Not Permitted" was an allowable response.

To make things worse, the claims are owned by a Canadian mining company (which may, since the GMA1872, gives the privilege of mining claims to citizens of the US, be illegal), and they're going to export all the hard rock copper to China for smelting. So the American taxpayer will give up valuable hunting land for free, foot the bill for the superfund site cleanup as these things ALWAYS create, for the near exclusive benefit of a bunch of Chinese and Canadians.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

Pebble Mine II?

I thought the residents of Alaska took a vote and they agreed overwhelmingly to "No Mines" and were very content with their subtance lifestyle.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bluecollarkid wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I don't see how they can "claim" a gold deposit by simply taking a sand sample - unless they paid for the rights to explore and excavate the area beforehand. If they haven't a contractual right to the gold deposit then I could very well go up there and start excavating on my own. Boy, that would burn their britches, wouldn't it?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Walt Smith wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

If they truly have the mineral rights they can do pretty much anything they want as long as they cover the hole up when they are done, just like companies do with gravel excavations.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bluecollarkid wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

I don't doubt that's how the GMA1872 operates. There are a lot of issues there and the relative lack of strict construction of the act allows for many abuses. What I was saying was that I could essentially "claim jump" them by going up there and extracting the minerals myself if they had no prior right to them other than taking a sand sample.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 4 years 27 weeks ago

The Black Hills was the sacred lands of the Lakotah People, we broke our treaties with the Lakotah after the gold was discovered there and kicked the Lakotah into the rez after spilling a whole lot of blood.
What would you do, Logan if some mining company discovered a valuable ore on your land, then instead of attempting to purchase the rights to mind, or asking permission just proceeded to dig up your pasture in a massive way. What if local courts ignore your pleas for redress or if that mining company attempted to take your land by intimidation and graft? What if the land in question was the graveyard of your grandparents and great grandparents? Would you passively leave? Or would they need a SWAT team to remove you...
Gold has the mystical property of making men go mad, that is likely why wedding rings are made of it...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from logan.vandermay wrote 4 years 28 weeks ago

The gold mining in the Black Hills never hurt anything. There is still plenty of wildlife there. I know because I am from SD.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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