Current News for American Mineral Research

June 3, 2021
American Mineral Research shines light on past, present, & future federal land lock-ups in SW Oregon.

Filmed in spring of 2021, this mini-documentary linked above includes a variety of discussions by the management team and a board member of American Mineral Research. This covers the impacts resulting from how federal land is managed in Josephine County and SW Oregon, some of this area's rich critical mineral and precious metal mineral development opportunities, and information about past, present, and pending federal mineral withdrawal and wildland expansion proposals.

* Disclaimer: American Mineral Research does not have any mineral properties that would be directly affected by these federal proposals and is merely acting to protect SW Oregon's economic and tourism future. Our state geology department (DOGAMI) hasn't ever had a budget to do significant field mineral research in SW Oregon and American Mineral Research has been collaborating with local governments and agencies such as DOGAMI / Oregon State University to inform the public of the billions of public and private opportunity costs and fire risk costs that come with these federal land lockup proposals.

April 24, 2021

American Mineral Research pens article about Federal Mineral Withdrawals in Josephine County for first monthly edition of the Josephine County Eagle in May of 2021.  We want to help local law enforcement!

American Mineral Research does NOT have any mineral property developments that would be directly affected by current US Federal Mineral Withdrawal proposals.  However, as part of the mission of American Mineral Research is to help our local governments in Josephine County, especially public safety, law enforcement, and tourism in Josephine County, we wrote the following article for the first monthly edition of the Josephine County Eagle.  This newspaper is mailed by the Eagle to all residents and businesses in Josephine County.  Facts in this article are based on our many years of historical and current scientific mineral research in Josephine County and SW Oregon.

Do you have a comment or want to help us work in favor of local law enforcement funding?  Please reach out to us using the CONTACT page.

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Our [County's] Mineral Wealth Under Attack

​Few locally seem to know that politicians in Washington D.C. have proposed legislation that would majorly affect Josephine County. Certain bills would have a devastating long-term financial impact on our local communities and future tourism in Josephine County. These are proposed federal mineral withdrawals and wildland expansions in Josephine County and SW Oregon which would ban minerals/metals exploration and related activities in large areas [certain federally managed lands].

One example is that in February 2021, without gathering current local input, Rep. DeFazio added a title to H.R. 803 Protecting America's Wilderness and Public Lands Act to enact a permanent mineral development activity ban on certain lands in Josephine and Curry counties. Despite DeFazio’s claims of protecting watersheds and fish habitats, most areas subject to this legislation don’t even have flowing water for much of the year.  DeFazio’s mineral ban section in H.R. 803 must be removed or Congress needs to compensate Josephine County for the loss of billions of dollars of precious metals and critical minerals in this area.

Tellurium is the rarest of all the critical minerals on the USGS Critical Mineral list and is a semiconductor metal primarily used in making solar panels.  We were recognized by state geologists for the discovery of high levels of native Tellurium on our properties in Josephine County long before Tellurium was added to the critical mineral list in 2010.

Our County was built on the mineral development industry.  In the 1920’s, the world’s eyes were on Grants Pass as a major federal mineral investigation concluded that this area had abundant minerals and many of the lands should be reclassified as mineral lands. In the 1930’s, our state geology department was started in Grants Pass because democrat Governor Martin thought SW Oregon’s mineral wealth could pull Oregon out of the Great Depression.

Well as we say, rocks don’t change. Southwest Oregon’s geology, located in the northern half of the Klamath Mountain range is unique in the world. We believe Josephine County is the center of the mineral wealth in this region.

Other than some of our recent privately-funded efforts, no modern geology research has been conducted locally and our lands remain improperly classified. Some think we have a trillion dollar opportunity in SW Oregon.

Our county’s primary mineral wealth comes from lode (hard rock) mineral deposits.  We have developed a unique lode mineral development program based on our complex geology which is a tiny surface impact and doesn’t impact our local watersheds or beautiful natural environment.

Significant law enforcement revenues for Josephine County’s justice system can also result from responsible mineral development efforts on our public lands, just like past timber agreements. By both the spirit and letter of the law, our public lands are supposed to “contribute to the economic stability of local communities and industries.”

The Senate needs to remove DeFazio’s mineral withdrawal title in H.R. 803 or compensate Josephine County for the loss of billions of dollars in mineral deposits. If we don’t act soon, much of the opportunity to improve Josephine County’s future economy and our local justice system funding in this way will be lost forever.

Let’s not forget the county justice system financial crisis of 2012-2017, let’s vote to renew all current public safety funding sources and fix the rest of the local challenges through our vast mineral wealth.  If you agree that Josephine County should be compensated for the mineral wealth and hundreds of potential future high paying jobs that would be taken away, drop an email to the County Commissioners at bcc@josephinecounty.gov so we build local support.

November 6, 2021
American Mineral Research and Josephine County Commissioners collaborate to put our county on the map in Washington, D.C.

After almost three years of warning the Josephine County Commissioners about how much Josephine County and SW Oregon is being damaged by our congressional delegation and a series of mineral withdrawals and wildland expansion acts proposed by Rep. DeFazio and Senator Wyden, we have finally caught someone's attention in Washington, D.C.

As we've tried to shout from the rooftops in 2021, Josephine County now faces no less than three major federal bills that would lock up hundreds of thousands of acres of federally managed lands in Josephine County and SW Oregon.  Most of them have been proposed in 2021, but we’ve known for years the damage that DeFazio and Wyden intend to do to Josephine County’s economic future. 

Josephine County Commissioners finally got the hint in 2021 and started paying attention.  While County Commissioners have much more to do to fight these damaging proposals in our view, a letter they sent to D.C. back in September 2021 finally got someone’s attention.

On September 8th, 2021, Josephine County Commissioners sent a letter to all US Senators and all members of the US House Natural Resource Committee which requested Josephine County be removed from the acreage within these damaging land lockup proposals.  In the letter they highlighted American Mineral Research’s discovery of high levels of Tellurium in certain parts of Josephine County and the fact this rare critical mineral needs to be protected for green energy manufacturing (used to make a certain type of high efficiency solar panel).  They also attached our Op-Ed that called out Senator Wyden for misrepresenting the voices of those of us that live in rural Oregon in the areas that would actually be affected by these costly and unnecessary Acts.  That September letter is here:  Josephine County Letter 9.8.21 H.R. 803 and S.192.pdf

At the end of October, County Commission chair Dan DeYoung was invited to testify on November 9th about one of these bills to a subcommittee of the House Committee on Natural Resources.  On Friday November 5th the County submitted additional information to the record for this hearing, including resubmitting the September letter plus a new four-page letter written by American Mineral Research explaining how damaging these proposals are to Josephine County.

The congressional subcommittee hearing starts at 10am PT this Tuesday November 9th and can be watched on the committee’s YouTube page.  Ten separate bills are before the subcommittee in this hearing so Josephine County and this topic may not get much “airtime,” but let’s hope Commissioner DeYoung is bold during his 5 minutes of allowed oral testimony time.  These Acts are unnecessary and very damaging bills to Josephine County, because current law already protects our watersheds and the salmon and we would be losing billions, perhaps trillions, of future economic potential just in the mineral values that would be locked up forever. 

Let’s hope Congressman Bentz, who is expected to attend this hearing, speaks out publicly for the first time on how damaging these proposals are.  To date, he’s been largely silent on what we see as the biggest long-term federal issue facing Josephine County other than being quoted in an editorial from the Capital Press on August 5, 2021, as having surveyed the County Commissioners in his district and 53 of 63 County Commissioners oppose the River Democracy Act.  The River Democracy Act would unnecessarily lock up huge amount of acreage in Josephine County and over 3 million acres in Oregon. 

But that’s not all!  American Mineral Research also drafted a new six-page letter and requested Congressman Bentz submit it to the record for this upcoming hearing.  Congressman Bentz, since your new district lines will soon include all of Josephine County, it’s time to stand up for what the vast majority of Josephine County citizens want and need.

For the full story of why this should be on the radar of everyone in Josephine County, please see our new six-page letter here:  

American Mineral Research - Additional Congressional Testimony 11-9-21 Hearing.pdf