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Membership Agreement

 

Mining License Agreement Between The New 49’ers, Inc. and Members

 

THIS AGREEMENT is made between The New 49’ers, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as the “The New 49’ers” or “New 49’er”), 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, CA 96039 and the person who is signing this Agreement, enrolling as a Full, Associate or Affiliate Member (hereinafter referred to as “Member”) for the purpose of gaining access to unpatented placer mining claims leased or owned by The New 49’ers (hereinafter referred to as “New 49’er Properties”) and participating in events that are organized, managed or sponsored by The New 49’ers (hereinafter referred to as “New 49’er Events”). Unless specifically qualified, the use of the term “Member” in this Agreement refers to any and all of the three kinds of members. The purpose of this Agreement is also to license the mining rights on New 49’er Properties to the Members on a revocable basis.

I. Membership Terms 

1. FULL MEMBERSHIP DEFINED: A “Full Member” is defined as a person the age of 18 years or older, together with his or her spouse, and any of his or her children under the age of 18 years.

2. FULL MEMBERSHIP COST: The cost of Full Membership is outlined on the enrollment contract between Member and The New 49’ers.

3. UNLIMITED ACCESS TO FULL MEMBER: A Full Member, together with his or her spouse and children under the age of 18 years, is allowed unlimited access to the New 49’er Properties and to all New 49’er Events. A Full Member may also bring a guest to the Properties for a one-week period and to the New 49’er Events.

4. ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP DEFINED: An “Associate Member” is defined as a person the age of 18 years or older, who is allowed access to New 49’ers Properties for one week per year between the months of May through September.

5. ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP COST: The cost of Associate Membership is outlined on the enrollment contract between Member and The New 49’ers.

6. AFFILIATE MEMBERSHIP DEFINED: An “Affiliate Member” is defined as a person the age of 18 years or older, who is allowed access to New 49’er Properties during a two-week outing. Affiliate Groups may schedule a single two-week group outing on New 49’er Properties between the months of May through September.

7. NEW 49’ERS ACKNOWLEDGMENT: Each Member is acknowledged by The New 49’ers as a legitimate small-scale gold miner under the federal 1872 General Mining Law and the applicable provisions of the California Public Resources Code, with permission to conduct mining operations, including but not limited to, locating and developing valuable gold deposits on New 49’er Properties. The New 49’ers further acknowledges that it licenses the revocable mining rights on New 49’er Properties to Members.

8. MEMBER ACKNOWLEDGMENT: Member acknowledges that his or her reason for becoming a member is to belong to an active association, sponsored by The New 49’ers, of small-scale gold miners licensed to mine on New 49’er Properties, for mutual support, and to gain access to more valuable mining opportunities. Member further acknowledges that this license of mining rights on New 49’er Properties to Member is revocable, on the basis specified in Chapter IV, Paragraph 1, Subparagraph (d), below.

II. In Exchange for the Covenants to be Kept by Member Set Forth in Chapter IV Below, and Payment of the Membership-Cost as Set Forth in Chapter I Above, The New 49’ers Shall Provide the Following Privileges to Member: 

1. NEW 49’ER PROPERTY: The New 49’ers shall allow Member access to New 49’er Properties. Most of the New 49’er Properties are located on the Klamath, Salmon and Scott Rivers, and their tributaries, within the general vicinity of Happy Camp, in Siskiyou County, California. A description of all or most of the New 49’er Properties can be found in the New 49’er’ published set of maps and official Claims Guide.

2. NEW 49’ER PROPERTY MAPS: The New 49’ers shall provide maps showing the locations of the New 49’er Properties that are available to Member. Maps of newly-acquired properties are produced periodically as new areas are procured. The latest information about property acquisitions and other New 49’er news can normally be found on the New 49’er’ website at www.goldgold.com. 

3. NEW 49’ER JOINT MINING PROGRAMS FOR MEMBER:

a) During the mining season, The New 49’ers may schedule occasional New 49’er Events in the form of weekend mining programs which provide Member with an opportunity to participate with others in sampling, sluicing (sometimes with motorized pumps), panning, gold cleanup procedures, electronic prospecting and other gold prospecting techniques. b) The General Manager of The New 49’ers on occasion will form joint ventures with individual miners to conduct mining operations, including but not limited to, locating and developing valuable gold deposits on New 49’er Properties. There is normally a participation fee for these particular joint ventures. 

4. MEMBER CAMPING FACILITIES: 

a) In the areas where New 49’er Properties are located, U.S. Forest Service regulations (Forest Service regulations) in Siskiyou County generally allow persons to camp anywhere within the National Forest (as long as the area is not posted as a “no camping” area) for up to 14 days without the need for any permits or notice to anyone. In addition to the normal 14-day allowance to visitors, The New 49’ers may have designated New 49’er long-term campgrounds (meaning that Member can stay there longer than the normal 2-week limit) on or near New 49’er Properties.

b) The federal 1872 General Mining Law provides additional rights to miners for occupation of mining claims consistent with Forest Service regulations. Member is responsible for complying with Forest Service regulations and communicating as necessary with Forest Service personnel, if Member chooses to camp at any location on the New 49’er Properties outside the New 49’er long-term campgrounds for more than two weeks. 

5. REGULATIN OF MINING:

a) Depending upon the impact-level of Member’s intended operations, independent approval may be required from the U.S. Forest Service or other government agencies. In this event, Member shall file his or her own Notice of Intent (NOI) or Plan of Operations (PoO) with the appropriate ranger districts, if required; and Member shall otherwise comply with Federal, State and local regulations concerning mining.

b) It is understood and agreed that mining opportunities provided to Member by The New 49’ers may only be exercised in accordance with applicable laws and regulations; and The New 49’ers cannot be held liable for laws or regulations that pertain to mining or changes in the interpretation by a court or agency of the laws or regulations that pertain to mining that could result in a reduction of mining opportunities on New 49’er Properties. 

6. RECOVERABLE GOLD:

a) The New 49’ers fully expects that Member will be able to recover some gold from the New 49’er Properties if he or she makes a reasonable effort to do so.

b) The New 49’ers cannot guarantee how much gold Member will recover from New 49’er Properties.

c) The Klamath, Scott and Salmon Rivers are proven gold-bearing rivers. Generally, the Member can expect to recover gold in proportion to the extent that he or she applies himself/herself in prospecting and mining activity on New 49’er Properties.

III. Member Shall Have the Following Rights and Privileges: 

1. MEMBER MINING RIGHTS UNDER LICENSE: By executing this Agreement with The New 49’ers, Member obtains a revocable license to the mining rights on New 49’er Properties, which permits the Member to conduct mining operations, including but not limited to, locating and developing valuable gold deposits on New 49’er Properties. 

2. MEMBER RIGHT TO KEEP GOLD PRODUCED: Providing Member is within the other provisions of this Agreement, Member may keep all gold production from his or her operations along New 49’er Properties; with the exception that for any operations using mechanized earth-moving equipment such as bulldozers and backhoes or suction dredges with hose-sizes larger than 6-inches in diameter, Member is required to pay The New 49’ers a 10% royalty of gross gold recovery, regardless of how much or little Member is producing. This 10% royalty shall be paid by Member to The New 49’ers on a weekly basis, on or before Wednesday for all gold recovered on or before the preceding Sunday. 

3. MEMBER RIGHT TO CLAIM GOLD DEPOSITS: When a Member chooses to develop a deposit on New 49’er Properties, he or she has the right to claim a portion of such deposit to the exclusion of other Members. Member is entitled to claim 60 linear feet of the creek or river at one time (but only from one bank to the center of the Klamath River), or a 60-foot diameter circle area if mining on the surface. Member must be actively mining or be actively moving equipment to the location in order to claim it. Equipment sitting idle for a week or more constitutes abandonment of any right to claim that area until the Member resumes mining activity. 

4. MEMBER RIGHT TO TRANSFER OWNERSHIP: An active Full Member’s membership credit can be given or sold to another person. There is a $50 transfer fee which is payable to The New 49’ers at the time of transfer. Annual membership dues must be paid to date for a Full Membership to be transferred. 

5. OTHER MEMBER RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES: Member shall also have the right to avail himself/herself of the privileges The New 49’ers provides, as set forth in Chapter II, paragraphs 1 through 6, above. 

IV. Member Rules and Responsibilities 

1. NEW 49’ER OPERATION RULES:

a) The New 49’ers has a set of “Operational Rules for Members and Guests” (hereinafter referred to as the “Operation Rules”) for all Members, as well as the respective Members’ spouses, children and guests.

b) Member agrees that the most current set of Operation Rules and Operating Guidelines for specific New 49’er Properties are a continuing part of this Agreement and these are incorporated by reference. Member agrees that continuation of the license granted under this Agreement, and continued active membership in the miners’ association sponsored by The New 49’ers, requires Member to adhere to the Operation Rules and any Operating Guidelines that apply to any New 49’er Property on which Member is conducting operations.

c) Member acknowledges that he/she has received a copy of Operation Rules and the Operating Guidelines applicable to specific New 49’er Properties. Member shall carefully read the Operation Rules and the Operating Guidelines applicable to any New 49’er Property on which Member plans to operate and conduct himself/herself in accordance with these Operation Rules and Operating Guidelines at all times while being present on or around New 49’er Properties, or participating in New 49’er Events.

d) If it should come to pass that New 49’er Management determines (in the sole judgment of New 49’er Management) that Member has violated the Operation Rules and/or applicable Operating Guidelines, Member agrees that New 49’er Management has the right to temporarily suspend or permanently revoke the Member’s rights, including Member’s license of mining rights, depending (in the sole judgment of New 49’er Management) upon the severity of the violation. In the event that New 49’er Management temporarily suspends or permanently revokes a Member’s rights due to Operation Rule or Operating Guidelines violations, Member agrees to abide by New 49’er Management’s decision until such time as the matter can be reviewed in a court of competent jurisdiction.

e) Member understands that the Operation Rules are general operational guidelines for New 49’er Properties and other activities which have been included within NOIs or PoOs accepted or approved by the U.S. Forest Service over a period of time. Some New 49’er Properties may not be included within accepted NOIs or approved PoOs. Member acknowledges that he or she has received a copy of The New 49’er current Claim’s Guide, and agrees to read and abide by the specific Operating Guidelines concerning each New 49’er Property before proceeding with a prospecting or mining program. 

2. MEMBER IS AN INDEPENDENT MINER: Member acknowledges and agrees that Member joins The New 49’ers as an Independent Miner to obtain a revocable license of mining rights on New 49’er Properties, and is free and responsible to conduct his or her own mining operations along New 49’er Properties in any way he or she decides to, providing New 49’er Operation Rules and Guidelines are followed, and Member’s mining operations adhere to State, federal and local law. Member agrees that meeting such obligations is completely the responsibility of the Member. 

3. COMMERCIAL OPERATOR: A “Commercial Operator” is any New 49’er member who operates mechanized earthmoving equipment such as bulldozers and backhoes or suction dredges with hose-sizes larger than 6-inches in diameter on New 49’er Properties. Commercial Mining License Agreement must be signed by Member and The New 49’ers before Member may become a Commercial Operator. 

4. MEMBER HOLDS THE NEW 49’ERS HARMLESS FROM LIABILITY:

a) Member expressly agrees that his or her active participation in mining or prospecting or other outdoor activities can be potentially dangerous to Member, Member’s spouse, children and guests; and Member agrees to use good judgment to not place Member or any other persons in danger. As a result of Member’s past experience in outdoor activities, Member certifies that he/she is personally qualified to make good judgment in these matters.

b) Member acknowledges that he or she is aware of and familiar with the ordinary and physical hazards and risks involved with outdoor activities on New 49’er Properties, and/or Member’s active participation in New 49’er Events. In careful consideration of the personal benefits Member wishes to enjoy from the opportunities afforded to Member through membership privileges offered by The New 49’ers, Member shall assume all risks and/or hazards associated with Member’s activity on New 49’er Properties, or Member’s participation in New 49’er Events. In consideration of the opportunity to participate in New 49’er Events, or engage in activities on New 49’er Properties, for Member and Member’s spouse, children and guests, and each of their heirs, assigns, executors and administrators, Member agrees that The New 49’ers, and its officers, shareholders, directors,

managers, instructors, Event leaders, assistants, agents, attorneys, and/or employees and/or claim owners (individually and/or severally hereinafter referred to as the “New 49’er Agents”) shall not be liable, jointly or severally, for any injuries or losses to the person or property of Member. Member also agrees to indemnify and hold harmless New 49’er Agents from and against any and all actions, claims, demands, liability, loss, damage and/or expense of any kind, including attorney’s fees arising from any such claims.

c) Member personally assumes full responsibility for any injury, loss or liability, including but not limited to, loss of life, limb, health, employment and/or sight, which may result, or be alleged to have resulted, from Member’s, or Member’s spouse’s, children’s, or guest’s participation in New 49’er Events or activities on New 49er Properties.

d) Member agrees that in the event of sudden illness or injury to Member, or to Member’s spouse, children or guests, Member authorizes The New 49’ers or New 49’er Agents, any hospital, doctor, emergency personnel, or those persons who are present, to render immediate emergency aid or other assistance at the time, as conditions and experience will allow. Member will hold harmless any such person(s) who attempts to assist him/her, and understands and agrees that any financial expense from such emergency or medical services will be Member’s personal responsibility to pay.

e) Member acknowledges that group accident insurance has been offered to Member by The New 49’ers. 

5. MEMBERSHIP PAYMENTS: Member must maintain Membership payments up to date in order to actively mine on New 49’er Properties. A Member who chooses to participate as a Full Member under the monthly payment plan must keep installment payments current to maintain active status and enjoy the benefits outlined hereto. Any Member who falls three months or longer behind on installment payments may be dropped from active status as a Full Member, and all rights outlined hereto will be rescinded, upon notice by The New 49’ers, mailed to the Member, as set forth in Chapter V, paragraph 1, below.

6. YEARLY DUES: Full Members must pay annual dues of $50. Annual dues must be paid in order to keep Full Member on active status with The New 49’ers. 

7. COMMITMENT: There is no contract binding Member to continue installment payments if Member chooses to drop out of the association. To drop out, Member shall notify The New 49’ers by mailing his or her Membership card along with a note to that effect to The New 49’ers; and Member’s active membership will terminate as of the date mailed, as set forth in Chapter V, paragraph 1, below. 

8. RELEASE: Member agrees that pictures or video-footage may be taken of Member and Member’s spouse, children, and/or guests while Member is active on New 49’er Properties, or while Member is participating during New 49’er’ Events. Member hereby grants The New 49’ers permission to freely use such pictures or video footage within any future New 49’er promotional or other materials. 

V. Further Terms: 

1. NOTICES: Any notice or other communication (“Notice”) required to be given under the terms of this Agreement shall be in writing and shall become effective when personally served upon the party to be given such Notice, when posted by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, or when delivered by telex, telegram, telecopier or other wire service. 

The addresses for such Notices shall be: 

MEMBER: _________________________________________________________ 

THE NEW 49’ERS: P. O. Box 47/27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, CA 96039: (530) 493-2012; Fax: (530) 493-2095. 

2. GOVERNING LAW AND VENUE: This Agreement is to be governed by and construed under the laws of the State of  California and the federal 1872 General Mining Law. The New 49’ers and Member consent to litigate any dispute under this Agreement in the Siskiyou County Superior Court, unless the dispute concerns a specific New 49’er Property in another county, in which case either The New 49’ers or Member may elect to litigate that dispute in the superior court of the county in which The New 49’er Property is situated.

3. SEVERABILITY: Any provision of this Agreement prohibited by the laws of the United States or the State of California shall be ineffective to the extent of such prohibition without invalidating the remaining provisions of this Agreement. 

4. ATTORNEYS FEES TO PREVAILING PARTY: In any litigation over this Agreement, the prevailing party (either The New 49’ers or the Member) shall be entitled to reimbursement of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred from the other party. 

5. EFFECTIVE DATE: The effective date of this Agreement shall be .

The parties hereto have executed this Agreement on the date set forth hereafter. 

MEMBER: _______________________________________________  Date _______________

THE NEW 49’ERS:

Name: _________________________________________________________  Date _______________

Title: _____________________________________________________