The Computer Buzz
||April 1st, 2010|
Nome and Paul Van Middlesworth - owners - The Computer Factory
Cactus Jack’s Story of “Sweet Success”
This article appeared in last Fridays Temecula Times – Herald.
“Cactus Jack” Trosper, owner of the Rainbow Computer Emporium and weekend prospector recently completed negotiations with Chinese candy giant SJI&T (Shantou Jinnanhua Industry and Trade Co, LTD) for the mineral rights to his claim in the Cleveland National Forest south of Lake Henshaw on the Santa Ysabel Reservation.
It all started in the spring of 2007. “Cactus Jack” was gold prospecting in a remote area of the fifteen thousand acre Santa Ysabel Nation Reservation. Working his way up a creek in a deep canyon he spotted a large white boulder partially submerged in a pool of water. The boulder had fallen from a gleaming white outcrop near the top of the canyon wall. It looked like quartz and quartz can contain gold veins or gem pockets. As Jack approached the boulder he saw that it was buzzing with bees, wasps, butterflies and other insects. Several hummingbirds were also flitting about occasionally swooping in to drink from the pool. The mineral seemed to be melting. It was like nothing Jack had ever seen. He removed a test sample.
The following week Jack took the sample to CSUSM geology professor Dr J. Yip. Dr Yip immediately recognized the sample as mineral sugar. He was skeptical that the sample had actually come from California since this extremely rare mineral form of sugar was known to occur in only two locations, both in China. When Cactus Jack assured him that the sample was indeed local, Dr Yip became very excited.
Mineral sugar is used in traditional medicine throughout much of Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe and sells for about $10 an ounce. Jack’s five-pound sample was worth $800 in Beijing. The two men agreed to form a partnership. While Trosper negotiated mineral rights with the Santa Ysabel Reservation Tribal elders, Yip discretely made contact with the owners of the mineral sugar mines in China.
Mineral sugar forms in a unique manner. Millions of years ago a freshwater dessert marsh formed in the bed of an ancient dry salt lake. A reed-like plant, much like sugar cane, covered the marsh during wet winter seasons and died out during the dry summers. Year after year the winter storms buried the dead reeds in a layer of sand that prevented bacteria from consuming their sugar. Over millennia the sugars mixed with salt and percolated through the soil to the bedrock where the salt and sugar solution became trapped. The salt and sugar separated into distinct layers, dried out and, over time, became buried under hundreds of feet of sediment hardening into two distinct strata with the mineral sugar being the bottom layer. As the land uplifted and eroded, ground water carried most of the salt layer away leaving behind only the layer of solid mineral sugar.
The Reservation Elders agreed to share the mineral rights equally with Trosper. A Chinese survey team determined the fifteen to twenty foot thick deposits covered nearly twelve acres. The total amount of mineral sugar in the Santa Ysabel deposit was four times the known Chinese reserves. The value of the Santa Ysabel mineral sugar reserves at current prices is estimated to be over six billion dollars.
SJI&T will not begin extracting minerals at the Santa Ysabel mine site until the two mines in China become too costly to operate. Then they will continue to control the output keeping prices high, much like the DeBeers control the diamond trade.
In late March this year the checks for the first quarterly installment of the several million dollar a year mineral rights lease payments were formally presented at a private gala held at the “Eagles Nest,” (Santa Ysabel Nations Casino and Resort) in the mountains overlooking Lake Henshaw. “Cactus Jack” Trosper, Dr. Yip, the Tribal elders and the representatives from SJI&T celebrated long into the night.
“Cactus Jack” said he plans to keep operating The Rainbow Computer Emporium for the foreseeable future although he and Dr Yip have already started a new venture. “We bought two hundred acres of vineyard east of Temecula” Jack told our reporter. “We’re tearin’ out the grapes and plantin commercial grade marshmallow trees,” Jack continued. “They can grow them retail package marshmallows just about everywhere in South America but the only place they can grow the big ten pounders that bakeries and candy makers use is in the Maya Mountains of Belize. The soil and climate here is just like it is in them mountains. We start plantin’ this spring.”
Don’t bet against “Cactus Jack” Trosper.
Contributed on this 1st day of April, 2010, by Paul Van Middlesworth, of The Computer Factory