February 17, 2018 
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Another U.S. precious metals miner goes foreign

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 By Michael Miller

12/07/2017  2:03PM

This date stands strong with me for two reasons: Pearl Harbor and my father’s birthday, December 7, 1906. Now it also stands with September 11 as 9/11, as infamous days of terror.

The Japanese, with few natural resources, sought to copy the pattern of European colonialism in Asia. The Japanese military faced a particular tactical problem in that certain critical raw materials — especially oil and rubber were not available in Japan or their colonies. The intensification of Chinese resistance to the pressure of the Japanese military drew Japan into a draining war in the vast reaches of China proper. Japan was not militarily or economically powerful enough to fight a long war against the United States, and the Japanese military knew this. Its attack on Pearl Harbor was a tremendous gamble.

Our country and today my state home, California, must reform its understanding of our own natural resources. Our public service industries lead the nation in economic and scientific ignorance regarding its value and development. Let’s begin meaningful reformation today.
 By Michael Miller

10/19/2017  8:59AM

Scotiabank will sell its gold trading unit following a scandal involving a US refinery and smuggled gold from South America.

The Canadian bank’s ScotiaMocatta business is one of London’s main gold-trading banks, and was acquired by Scotiabank almost two decades ago., Chinese buyers are the key targets of the sale, which is being led by JPMorgan. What prompted the sale was Scotiabank’s lending to Elemetal, a precious metal refinery in Dallas.

Earlier this year, US prosecutors accused workers at NTR Metals, a subsidiary of Elemetal, of a money-laundering scheme using “billions of dollars of criminally derived gold,” mostly from Peru: “knowingly conspired to purchase gold with the intent to promote the carrying on of organized criminal activity, including illegal gold mining, gold smuggling and the entry of goods into the US by false means and statements to US Customs, and narcotics trafficking.”

Of course the whole issue has layers of responsible entities downstream from the bank. NTR Metals is said to have imported more than $3.6 billion worth of gold from Latin America between 2012 and 2015. Scotiabank and ScotiaMocatta have not been accused of any wrongdoing.
Scotiabank has been seeking a buyer for the unit for up to a year, and is likely to shrink the business if a sale is not completed. Scotiabank has the biggest foreign presence of any Canadian bank, and is focusing its international strategy on the Pacific Alliance, a Latin American trade bloc comprised of Mexico, Peru, Chile and Colombia.
 By Michael Miller

07/20/2017  4:50PM

US President Donald Trump and staff were approach with a suggestion to nationalize the whole Mountain Pass enchilada to turn it into a national laboratory “dedicated to rebuilding America’s rare-earth mining industry, so the world knows it is safe to build high-tech manufacturing plants in the U.S.”

The Trump administration has not commented on the proposal that Mountain Pass be nationalized by eminent domain via the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Yikes!!
Shall I make a comment regarding my belief that the U.S. must retain a domestic mining industry? Yes.

Whether it is gold in California or rare earth minerals in California, state and federal governments must take notice as to reasons our rare earth deposit fell into a mixture of foreign hands and the Sixteen to One mine is again the last commercial underground gold operation. BUT, nationalization?

No, our governments have projected a negative attitude to miners. We ask for a neutral behavior of regulating the industry or even a helping hand. Nationalization will bring more harm than benefits. Yet, to make America greater than it has been for a while, how about governmental bureaucracy easing the pain to our miners? Hey business leaders…find another way.

Here is a tiny story of what I currently face regarding California water regulations. The Sixteen to One mine is a mineralized area commonly called a deposit. Surface water trickles through the earth and discharges from an underground hole excavated in 1865. The water has done this over 150 years with no adverse effect to Kanaka Creek and its environment. When the federal and state bureaucrat launched its broad brush to save the environment, identifying mineral levels jumped from measurements in parts per million to parts per billion. The number becomes larger and frightening to the “soft knowing eyes.”

Here is the result: California water public servants decided that the water from the Sixteen to One mine must be treated to meet drinking water standards before it passes into mineral rich Kanaka Creek, previously recognized as highly mineralized. This is governmental insanity without doubt! Mine water is not a problem. Using precious funds to negate a non-problem without beneficial gain is money lost towards production. There is no economy here that provides benefit to the public.

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