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ON THE MILLING OF GOLD QUARTZ. STATE PRINTING . SUPT. SACRAMENTO J. By MELVILLE ATT WOOD. :::::: 1882. G.State / Mining Bureau. HENR Y HANKS. R G. State Mineralogist. YOUNG. : D. S. CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE Geology and Mineralogy OF CALIFORNIA.

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CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE Geology and Mineralogy OF CALIFORNIA. F. G.State Mining Bureau G. SUPT. S. ON THE MILLING OF GOLD QUARTZ. Bv MELVILLE ATT WOOD. HENR Y HANKS. : D. STATE PRINTING. YOUNG. SACRAMENTO j. State Mineralogist. . ::::::: 1882.

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than a simple and cheap mode of extracting the gold from low grade veinstone. I can only now repeat what I have stated on a former occasion. 242648 ." is very true. to the pyritic matter associated with the quartz in the gold-bearing veins . encouraged me to resume the subject. to have attracted considerable attention. State Mineralogist: My last paper to the State Geological Society Milling of Gold Quartz. to remain for a short time at the rooms of the Mining Bureau. therefore. which. after its publication in the Mining and Scientific Press. can easily be saved indeed. I use (I think. appears from the great number of letters that I have received respecting it. and the determination of the true condition of the ores associated with it. the Californian term. in 1859.On HENRY on " the Milling of Gold Quartz. and has. as it is in some of the Bodie veins. the language of " the old mill-man. to give those who feel interested in the matter a chance of examining them. DEAR SIR put some very important and interesting specimens from your private collection with them. but this time as a contribution to the State Mining Bureau you having kindly offered to allow the specimens accompanying this paper. THE "FREE GOLD. first applied in Nevada County. G. You have also promised to The . : HANKS. particularly so when met with. carrying scarcely any pyritic The difficulty in the concentration of the sulphurets matter." wherein I tried to describe the process of simple amalgamation of the raw pyritic matter in wooden barrels. and intended to illustrate what I have stated." As it is called. as I stated before. that at the present time I think scarcely anything can be of greater importance to the mining interests of this State. was. only give it a chance and it will take care of itself.

such as smelting." read following is a copy of a paper on before the Royal Society of New South Wales. indeed necessary. liberating the gold previously inclosed by the sulphides the mineral was then passed through the stamping battery with quartz. as carried out by the Port Phillips Company. in 1874. a process for profitably extracting the gold from their pyrites. The question of concentration being now so far solved. whereby a portion of the mineral became oxidized. and whatever portion of the sulphides remained undecomposed was retained. which they can use at their own works.. with a little free gold caught upon the blankets ." out how extravagantly wasteful of time and gold such a process must have been. for isolated mills to have some cheap and easy mode. but in all my experience never remember any machine which pleased me better than the " Frue. Except processes inapplicable to our circumstances. I have served a very long apprenticeship in the "dressing" of different kinds of ores. . in a great measure. as well as the then rude machinery for that purpose admitted. I have ventured to occupy part of your time this evening in describing the method of treating pyrites for the extraction of its gold. which contains much valuable information The : MR. to extract the gold from the concentrations. by J. to undergo another term of I scarcely need to point oxidation. makes very clean work. appears now to be. with ' comparatively little attention. overcome by the use of the " Frue concentrator." which. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN At the request of some of the members of the Royal Society. etc. with special instructions to devise. " Iron Pyrites.. if possible. which was then but America and the United States " of exposing the auriferous sulphides to the action of air and moisture for a year or so. it renders it desirable. will at once recognize the impossibility of retaining a fair proportion of such minutely divided gold as oxidized pyrites affords by far the after a time. again . the practiced in Victoria. at Clunes. Esq. Latta. for the purpose of extracting its gold. Any one practically acquainted with the treatment of mineral containing fine gold by the battery process. are." The rubber surface of the revolving cloth appears to greatly assist the operation. Yet even at the present time this process is occasionally At some claims the blanketings that is. pyritous sand. and so on whilst any remained. : In 1 86 1 I was engaged by that company as their chemist and assayer.- 4 - of this State). TREATING PYRITES FOR THE EXTRACTION OF ITS GOLD. better than a waste product. the only known means for extracting gold from such mineral was that practiced in South little put through the batteries with the quartz. and at one operation.

and other products of the decomposed mineral. upon the planes of cleavage. their surfaces are cleaned. every Now. sible evidence of qui^te This by myself in conjunction with GOLD EXISTING IN A MINERALIZED STATE IN PYRITES. late of the Victoria geoOur researches ended in obtaining but the barest poslogical staff. and how unsatisfactory would be the task of separating such liberated films from* water in motion.larger portion carried would be held in suspension by the water. each of them was made the subject of rigid experiment on an extended scale. In reference to the condition of the gold inpyrites. water concentration alone was inapplicable. most of these particles would be COATED WITH IRON OXIDE. seemed to indicate the presence of gold . rectness of these conclusions. it was equally clear that. In addition to the difficulty of retention arising from the fine state of division which gold so obtained possesses. some notion may be formed of the excessively fine state of its division. and be away by it through all the appliances devised for its retention.' if not quite. This latter difficulty deserves careful consideration. . Guided by these considerations it became evident that any attempt to mechanically separate gold from pyrite unless aided by the must prove previous decomposition of its enveloping sulphides ineffective from the impossibility of reducing it to its ultimate atoms. when such gold was liberated from its enveTo test the corlope. for so long as a cluster of sulphide atoms remain unbroken. all the gold exists agrees with the results of some experiments carried out Mr Daintree. where fine gold has to be dealt with. upon transferring them to a good microscope. before receiving them as fundamental truths to guide us in determining the best method Two parcels of pyrites of twenty tons suitable to our requirements. thus offering another hindrance to its chance of amalgamating with the mercury.s come to be pretty generally admitted that 'nearly. which upon examina- As a matter bearing somewhat engaged tion with a pocket lens. " in the metallic state. Again. and whilst in these investigations. from the fact that cleavage face was found distinctly gilded. I had the good fortune to come across some fine specimens of cubical pyrites. the presence of gold could only be determined by the aid of a good microscope. gold was distinctly seen dissecting the crystals. and thus rendered extremely sensitive to the influence of mercury placed for their detention. it li. they might reasonably be imagined to enclose those of gold. in support of this result. as from its fineness it escapes the scrubbing which the whereby larger grains receive from contact with the quartz whilst crushing. and upon . and that only as a fine gilding.

per ton: 29. Gold obtained Gold in tailings Gold carried off by water raw sand. it was decided to effect the decomposition of the pyrites by a roasting it Here will be observed that. which was then carried through mercury boxes and over blankets. Twenty tons roasted sand. and a large proportion was carried off with the water as slime. for supplying heated air to the roasting sul- i^ phides. only a small pora very much larger was left in the tailings. The whole of . with mercury . and a large quantity was carried off by the water. 1 oz. effect this economically. Along each side of the furnace are five working doors. The results are as follows Twenty tons raw sand containing Gold obtained Gold in tailings Gold carried off in water 3 oz. 42. It consists of an inclined roasting hearth. 27. a constant stream of water flow- ing through to carry off the finely ground sand. capable of holding 24 hours' supply of sand. and. but still very rich.95 per cent. with the tion of the gold was obtained . . of gold per ton: 51. and is separated from it by the fire bridge. After a number of experiments on a large scale. Above the upper end of the furnace a large hopper is constructed. With the roasted mineral more than half the gold was obtained the tailings were much poorer than those from the raw sand. the fire-hole for heating the hearth on the lower end of it.21 per cent. the best method of extracting the gold from the decomposed pyrites. secondly.21 per cent. 27. although finely ground. between the latter and the hearth is a channel for conveying into the store-pit the sand when roasted. To with Mr. 21.57 per cent. the other unroasted were ground in one of the best arastras known. process. for the workmen to turn and rake down the mineral.22 percent. patented. our first problem to solve was how to best destroy the enveloping sulphides and arsenides. 10 grs. In the foot wall of the furnace are 6 tubes. H.84 per cent. in conjunction Thompson. A. which is now used in many places throughout the Colonies. Each parcel received the same amount : of grinding and treatment in every detail. in 1862. 6 dwts. in the floor of this hopper is a trap for supplying mineral to the hearth the hopper is filled by trucks communicating with the puddles by a tramway to the stamp-house. 7 dwts. scarcely any air is admitted through the fire bars. the gaseous vapors from the fuel being completely burned by the great excess of air passing over the fire for oxydizing the pyrites. so as to get rid of the deleterious action of these minerals upon the mercury used for amalgamating and detaining the liberated gold. I devised. from to 2 inches diameter. After carefully considering the merits of the various methods suggested for extracting gold from pyrites. and. usually about 30 feet long 'by 5 feet wide. the inclined roasting furnace.- 6 - each one roasted.

workman can determine when this condition has been attained by its appearance in the furnace. the sulphurous and sulphuric acids dissolved out. I have dwelt somewhat length- upon this part of my subject. This quenching was found to be a matter of some importance. for investigation. together with the products of combustion and dust from the pyrites. In working this and. longitudinal. whilst the arsenious acid is deposited on the floor of the tunnel. as the works were close upon the township. time to deposit any heavy particles. one man being able to attend a furnace. as I am desirous to show that. kept at a gentle red heat. and finally to cover up the hot sand discharged with damp sand and spray it with water. and 3 feet wide." I may remark that when this investigation took place we were condensing over two tons of arsenic per month in the tunnel. and they placed the matter in the hands of Mr. From the size of the tunnel the vapors move slowly onward. until the whole has been shifted. down which a powerful spray of water passes. scarcely anything Some alarm was escaping from the chimney but the foul vapors. beyond 40 feet the sand is worthless. felt by the Town Council lest any feet long. sulphurous and arsenical vapors. consequently. is brought into its place again. as the quartz sand always found with . carried up the side terminating in a chimney 30 feet high. furnace the whole of the hearth is covered with pyrites to the depth of between 2 and 3 inches. here they get cooled and scrubbed. Reinck's test. when the vacant place at the upper part is refilled from the hopper. by the application of one of the most delicate tests known to science. and about 6 feet beyond An experienced it.. ARSENICAL VAPORS Should escape and prove injurious to the inhabitants. and is periodically removed for retreatment. such operations can be safely carried on. with frequent stirring. The . is carefully braced with vertical. It is then raked into the discharge channel and the mineral lying upon the hearth immediately above that The removed. who reported as follows: "I drew five gallons of the vapors from the chimney of the roasting furnace. until the mineral nearest the fire. viz. is found no longer to give off sulphur fumes. Johnson. that still further up is brought a stage lower. with fair treatment. with due 'precautions. and. pass jnto a tunnel between 200 4 feet high. and trans- present furnace has been working about ten years. In carrying out the roasting operations the work is divided into three shifts of eight hours each. will last many years more. continuing their course. Nearly all the sand and dust carried over by the draft is deposited within 40 feet of the furnace. as it contains a notable quantity of gold. and have. in the ily neighborhood of habitations. discovered but the merest trace of arsenic..7 the furnace verse ties. the vapors pass through 6 cellular brick screens. and 300 of a hill. the Government analytical chemist.

In this. after being roasted. it became necessary to discover the best condition for accomplishing it. to keep the sand in suspension in the water. The finely ground sand passed into the concentrator is kept slowly stirred for a quarter of an hour. to retain any valuable particles which might have escaped the first. and ascertaining the proportion of gold obtained in each case. will average 4 tons per 24 hours. the surface only being in contact with the sand. depending upon the richness of the mineral treated. Consequently.8 is thereby broken up and rendered friable. the water with its sand is then slowly run through a smaller concentrator. The quantity of roasted mineral the company treat by this process. . The sand. On the other hand. The quantity of sand which a furnace of the above-mentioned size can treat. until nearly all the finely ground sand has been carried off in the overflow to the concentrator. by which the the pyrites after process of grinding is greatly facilitated. water is then allowed to flow into the basin. it was shown that the quantity of water used in the grinding process was a matter of considerable importance. As the result of these experiments. with a consumption of 3-10 of a cord of wood per ton. after our earlier experiments already mentioned. From the results of a great number of experiments. again started. we were led up to the present method of working. the success of the operation to a great extent depending upon the sand being in a damp condition only. under the rollers of an ordinary Chilean mill. the mercury remained at the bottom of the mill. Having determined upon a MECHANICAL PROCESS FOR EXTRACTING THE GOLD From the roasting mineral. and allow the mercury and any amalgam which might have been carried over from the mill to gravitate through it. we were greatly assisted by the knowledge gained of the physical condition of the gold in pyrites.. and ground with mercury without an overflow until it was considered the gold had become amalgamated. and every grain of sand has a particle of mercury in contact with it consequently there is afforded abundant opportunity for the gold to amalgamate. by this means the mercury becomes thoroughly diffused. By cautiously varying the experiments. the water drained off from the unground sand and mercury. and so on until it is necessary to clear out the amalgamgenerally once a week. the mill is then stopped. and recharged with fresh sand. if sufficient water has been used to convert the mass into a semi-fluid state. consequently the opportunity for amalgamation was considerably lessened. also. and is then . and the quantity of gold extracted very much less than when working damp sand only. we carefully avoided a current of water. is ground only moderately with an equal weight of mercury for three quarters of an hour.considered sufficiently impoverished to be allowed adopted : damp to run away. the mill still revolving. the following process has been .

4d. dwts... alternately changing and discharging. 1. 10 dwts. 215 tons. 9 dwts. 1872... Taking the process as it stands.56 grs. 1866..268 ozs. 1873. through oversight or experiment. without estimating wear and interest on capital.. 6 cwt. Total gold obtained: 1867.. 9 cwt. 401 tons. 4 ozs..93 grs. we have been unable to find one that would at less cost extract the same proportion of gold. 431 tons.15 n grs. from 294 tons of pyrites. and the furnace being but 4 feet wide... 3 ozs. 5 ozs. as less work is done at the same cost than would be incurred in working a larger furnace.. 1870. 3 ozs. of the assays.19 ounces of gold per per cent. per assay: 1867. or the sand ground too wet. i dwt. 4 dwts.34 grs. as fuel during that period was unusually dear. Minerals treated: 1867. Gold.. during that period.370 ozs. amounting to i pound and 13 ounces a large proportion of which.. increased the labor cost. 1. produced no appreciable effect. 12 . 960 ozs. I think. 1868..9 when working. 1. 1870. 16 dwts. per The above ton.290 o_s.99 g rs -j 1870. 17 dwts. I found that a Targe proportion of galena in the mineral seriously interfered with the extraction of the gold.322 ozs. 1868. In carrying out these operations. zinc. 1873. Gold extracted. cwt. THE AVERAGE PROPORTION OF GOLD EXTRACTED During the last year. 561 tons. instead of 5 feet. 12 grs. per ton: n 1867. i dwt. 19. 2. 1871. a less degree of trituration was applied than that now used. 13 dwts. 368 tons. charge is rather high. 9 dwts. th return of gold was invariably diminished 4^ by several per cent. IT dwts. 1869. 4 ozs. one man attending them. might be saved by per ton improved appliances for that purpose. 1869. averages worked in . Thompson also read the following return : Returns of pyrites treated at the Port Phillip Company's works. amounted to 95. since October. Another element in the cost is the mercury which is lost. 18 tons per week the duty of two mills eight-hour shifts. 10.. contents per ton. 1872. cwt. 17 Chines. 1871. or could be safely trusted in unskilled hands with only occasional supervision. 4 ozs. 7 dwts. 16. 18 dwts. 4 ozs. The immediate cause of this loss of mercury is the severe trituration to which it is subjected with the sand. 6. 9 cwt.36 grs. 4 ozs. 13 dwts. 6. for whenever. or lead Mr. This was found indispensable. the sand averaging ton. 366 tons. 18 dwts. 1. 2 cwt. 1868..30 grs. 1871. 1869. 1868.515 ozs. 3 ozs. but a small proportion of the sulphides of copper. 1872. The cost of extraction amounted to 2 2s. 294 tons. 4.031 ozs.. together with the gold contained in it. 1873. 2. 19. Some of the parcels returned as high as 98 per cent.

i dwt. this residue may be either subjected to assay. 1872. 12.63 grs." . They are mounted on glass slides for microscopic examination. though rather costly about ten dollars per ton which.60 grs.34.. of auriferous pyrites. having procured for your inspection a number of crystals. calculations are made on the four-pound sample. dwts. the pyrite. and that here and there are seen little specks or drops of gold partially imbedded in The mill-man. 1868. 6 dwts. Latta on this subject. 1871.95. or the sulphides dissolved by nitric acid.28. 11. 1873... 1869. which is subsequently volatilized. In Phillip's Metallurgy. 1871.. and the gold weighed.94. and the concentration been carried a little further. 1870. as with a common lens the presence of the gold can hardly be detected but with a good microscope. n Percentage of gold extracted: 1867. It is now generally admitted by metallurgists of any note. I think. most finely and beautifully gilded. 3 dwts. after looking at these specimens. 3 ozs.20 grs. 92. 3 ozs. could have been much lessened had the stuff been reduced finer. The results obtained by Mr. Latta appear to have been exceedingly close and satisfactory. SAMPLING AND ASSAYING GOLD QUARTZ.89. 22. and fragments of crystals. 15 dwts. For assaying. 1872. in places. that the gold in pyrites exists in a metallic state. In either case. 15. 4 ozs. it will be found that the faces of some of the crystals are. 1870. 5 ozs. obtained from different parts of this State. very accurate results are obtained.60 grs.19. pages 166 and 167. 92. 91. about an ounce of sand and pyrites. so as to have freed the pyrites from the excess of gangue or quartz sand previous to calcination. will not be surprised at the loss sustained in the wet stamping of auriferous pyrites.22.71.56 grs.93.43. using an inch or half inch objective. 4 grs. very good directions are given for sampling and assaying gold quartz.24.IO dwts. . and it is with no little pleasure that I am enabled to practically corroborate the statements of Mr. and when the residue has been subjected to fusion... and the gold extracted by amalgamation with mercury. he says: "The most accurate results are obtained by carefully washing a four-pound sample in the After having in this way concentrated the gold in batea. 1873. 1869. 4 ozs. 7.

. and in lengths of 2 feet 2 inches. and 60 pounds of mercury. is in a free state. and amounts to about 0. without allowing them to become sufficiently mobile to admit of the settling of the mercury and amalgam at the bottom. with the exception of one ounce. and there witnessed the barrel amalgamation which I described in my last paper to the State Geological Society. It is estimated that in stamping and straking. In this country it might be perhaps better to employ separators the same as those used in the different pan mills. In their report of 1880 the results of their trials of . The charge of sulphurets for each barrel is one ton and a half. as far as I can gather from their numerous reports. below these are series of blankets or baize cloths of the same length. the stamps doing but little duty only \y^ tons per head during the 24 hours. the loss of mercury is 0. The deposit of sulphurets on the first three skins contains nearly all the gold. amount of clean water at the same time introduced to give the slimes the necessary degree of fluidity to enable the globules of quicksilver formed to become properly incorporated. with a fall of one inch to the foot.42 of a cubic foot per ton of veinstone stamped. free from There is also a sufficient decomposition.45 ounces per cubic foot of sul- The apparatus employed for amalgamation phurets amalgamated. of the total water. and which is reproduced here: Their process of amalgamation is nearly perfect. and will average less than 4 per cent. of the sulphurets consists of wooden barrels 4 feet in length and 2 feet 5 inches in diameter. their plan of concentration being principally what is called "straking. It contains about 30 ounces of gold per ton. making 18 revolutions per minute. are allowed to rotate from 20 to 30 hours. The contents of the barrels are afterwards washed in an appa" ratus called a saxe. 10 per cent. During the time I was engaged in gold mining in Brazil. the ounce of gold being mechanically mixed with the coarser grains of pyrites. but the stamping and concentration very defective. in accordance with the state of the atmosphere. having a capacity of 20 cubic feet. all of which. The trays are covered for the first 1 6 feet with bullocks' skins tanned with the hair on them." consisting of a number of fixed inclined trays 30 feet in length and 18 inches wide. amount of the gold is carried off in suspension by the Their loss in amalgamation is comparatively trifling.- 1 1 - BARREL AMALGAMATION." which is used to separate the gold amalgam from the refuse. The barrels. when charged. John del Rey mine. I stayed for some time at the St.

and to amalgamate the mechanic. and not fit for the rich. of it will pass through a sieve having 100 holes to the linear inch. The attempts to grind the sulphurets when they contain upwards of 50 per cent. of pyritic matter. to 90 per cent. of it will pass through a sieve of 100 holes to the linear inch.. G. and that iri a suitable mineralized condition as chlorides. which was then made in an apparatus being a modification of the ally Hungarian bowl. in the milling for gold that system appears to be too costly for low-grade ores. The following analyses were made by John A. F. The St. What I have tried of the California sulphurets the pyritic matter varies from 70 per cent. Was combined gold inclosed in the particles of pyrites.12 - THE COMSTOCK PAX SYSTEM anything but satisfactory indeed.. S. of pyritic matter. John del Rey sulphurets when ready for the barrel contain about 95 per cent. etc. at the same time and in the same pan. and published in his Metallurgy of Gold and Silver. . some of which I witnessed in Brazil in 1832. It is better calculated for the treatment of veinstone which contains in the ton from five to ten ounces of silver. and about 75 per cent. PYRITES CONCENTRATED FROM TAILINGS BY JOHN PHILLIPS. and are reduced so fine that 90 per cent. I lately received a letter from him. Phillips. wherein he tells me he is going to publish another work on gold : ANALYSES OF AURIFEROUS CALIFORNIA A. has not been attended with success from the earliest attempts..

from all the per cent." and. . The size of the aperture in the screens should gradually increase. 20 gr. may be worse than that the dividends are. add ." or other improved concentrator can treat to advantage. ores from the St. paid there. is from the fact of their successful treatment of such a difficult veinstone for so many years. and the reports California. the amount of arsenic varying from one to ten per cent. the stamping of it as coarse as such a machine as the "Frue. Tuolumne County. I would advise. John del Rey Company. made by Arthur 1847 : Carbonate magnesia Carbonate lime Sulphur (iron pyrites) Iron (iron pyrites) Peroxide of iron Peroxide of manganese Arsenic and gold ^ 99. of all that is . suppose we printed and published in London and. The results of years of experience in working such a mine ought to be interesting even if it were not exceedingly valuable.87 12. all. made by John A. to be. To properly understand the magnitude of estimate the yield of the veinstone in mines in pyritic matter. and called your attention so frequently to them. The reason I have said so much about these mines.84 3. J.01 16. 2 dwt. and be the largest in the upper part. MILLING OF CALIFORNIA GOLD QUARTZ. John Phillips. on the (not very wise) grounds of the mine being worked in Brazil.78 14.65 32. Silica Phillips in 1847.94 N. the work. at the same time. John del Rey works. say five worked (which is rather high).17 3. it will hardly equal that treated daily at the St. which would in a great measure prevent what is termed "dead stamping. Gold per ton equal 1 oz. CaL. for low grade rock. though in the upper part of the St..63 Traces. and have been for the last forty In the years. John del Rey mine it did not contain so much arsenic as the following del analysis. in Rey 16. as it really is yet there are not wanting those who object to any information obtained from the reports of such as the St. shows.- 13 little By careful analysis their concentrations differ but from those of some of the mines near Sonora. B. Analysis of uncrushed mines.

from numerous careful tests. As a stamp-head 8 cwt. that is. in a communication to the State Geological Society on the subject. when blankets or raw hides are used. . I am told. last better than any other. For example. to the linear inch in the bottom and 10 in the upper part..Screens having 12 holes greatly to the duty of the stamps. when the rock contains a large proportion of sulphurets. and a closer examination of the condition of the gold in the iron pyrites. I recommended fine stamping for low grade rock containing a large proportion of sulphurets but recent improvements in concentrators. particularly so. about 3 tons. Some years ago. and allowing the pulp to be discharged over the front side of the mortar. when the speed of the stamps is above seventy-five blows per minute. however. if precautionare not taken. use them with 10 holes to the linear inch. this correctly let the mill-man put two or three barrowfuls of rock very rich in sulphurets through the stamps and then watch the effect on the amalgamated plate. that is. 4 tons in the weighing average. that the loss of gold. will on an reduce then. and a greater part. and those of 6 cwt. and any trifling loss of free gold will amply be made up by what is saved in the sulphurets so that a "Ten Stamp Mill" with heads weighing 8 cwt. is in part regulated by the position of the screen. 24 hours. I believe. The Port Phillip Company. can be made to ivork to advantage 4. without using any screens. their horizontal distance from the stamp-head and the vertical height of the bottom of the screen above the level of the die. have altered my opinion on this point. and which. of it lost. The fineness of the stamping. would be carried away. but nevertheless. However. of which I find so large a proportion is in thin films. which is purposely made lower than the back or feed part of the mortar. not generally known. though I am not aware that any tests have been made when the amalgamation was done in the battery. a low degree of temperature will render the To understand amalgamated silver plates nearly useless. Steel wire-cloth is the best and will. with a rapid flow of water. in Australia. besides. and at the same . I have always considered a mistake and as entails ing a great loss of gold. The sysIt is and very tem of AMALGAMATION IX THE BATTERIES.0 tons of rock per day. are not too coarse for low grade rock.. is much greater than at a speed of fifty blows per minute. the finest work is done by splash-stamping. it is proved that in fine stamping.

26 one half of it pound very fine. only two lengths of trays of about four feet each. then wash out the gold in a batea. and in washing out the gold you will see very little float. take a piece of veinstone from the Bodie the same as marked No. and have it carefully tested. blankets should be in 3-feet lengths. and you have an what a illustration^of stamp ought to do. Where improved concentrators are used. district IN THE BLANKET SYSTEM. in one of his lectures on gold. and you will find that a large proportion of the gold will float away. and they do not like to go to the expense of a number of concentrators. Then take the other half.- 15 - time collect some of the pulp after passing over the plates. W. Smyth. about 4 inches. and two or three turns of the batea will bring all the gold into the center. pound it very coarsely. and the fall from the battery box to the head tray the same as from one tray to another. The double sets of trays are for the convenience of changing and washing the blankets. say from 3 to 5. to suit the stuff being treated. a " coarse concentrator may be made with a Tye Buddie. on them. and the tailings from it ground with the coarse concentrations in a Chil- The ean mill. in spite of every care. it ought. trays should be about 16 inches wide. Where the mill has a limited supply of water. and set free the kernel of metallic min: " eral unbroken'. or horn spoon."- Or." the It is . not so much the length of the blankets that separates the gold from the gangue. The blanket washings can be passed through a simple machine like that described in Phillips' Metallurgy (see page 185). if possible. or jump. and he will then better understand why I prefer the blanket system. but the fall. and two sets to each five stamps are required. for instance. W. to crack the enveloping shell of stone. using a grinding action with the pestle. says crack a nut with it. after the pulp has passed over the blankets. with a board placed across the end that the fall of the water or pulp will be so broken as to strike The the blanket in the tray below nearly at right angles. with Take a large hammer and gently respect to stamping. Prof. and made of coarse wool with a long nap. They should be so arranged that the inclination can be altered. even using ammonia to destroy the grease on the ends of the fingers.

and afterwards charged into wooden barrels for amalgamation. about one dwt. and to save. in the same direction. the same as described by Mr. decomposition. where the frost might interfere with this working. the sulphurets should be soaked in water. but without using the mercury. to free them from all inch. before charging. or adopting any particular process. together with a slight shake. to have some 20 or 30 tons of the rock or veinstone stamped. say. Latta. I am not prepared to say by such means they can work as closely as by using the "Frue" alone." page 187. In 3-feet lengths and 2 feet deep. The condition and quantity of the gold. or any other utensil used for washing on a small scale. with a sprinkling of clean water from a perforated pipe falling on the upper part above where the pulp strikes. is given." one of which would then be sufficient for a large mill. of Bodie or Grass Valley gold in a batea and then adding. adventurer. and you will find how much longer it takes to I would strongly recommend any mine get the same result. but. just sufficient mercury it to amalgamate jvith too much or too little will lengthen the result but if the proper quantity be used. on a fixed frame at an angle of about 3.- 16 - plans and directions for the use of which will be found in "Phillips' Metallurgy of Gold and the Silver. for . The great difference between a wooden surface and a metal one in amalgamation can easily be shown by washing out. .be ground in a Chilean mill. Try the same experiment with an iron pan. with a dropping bottle. which should be carefully concentrated in a batea. In case the mill is not situated at a very great altitude. by rubbing it with the finger in the center of the bowl it will amalgamate rapidly in less than a minute. I feel confident that larger results will be obtained by thus treating the raw ore than if it was roasted. The concentrations from though "Tye" can be passed over the "Frue. THE CONCENTRATIONS Should be sifted through a seive having 80 holes to the linear and any particles that were not fine enough should. to which a slow lateral movement backward and forward of orfe foot. a fair sample of the battery pulp from it. AMALGAMATED PLATES. might be placed with advantage between the blankets and concentrators. before erecting any quartz mill. during that operation.

analytical chemist. Now the place is quite deserted. has kindly furnished with directions for making a simple test for tellurium. which has been separated as thoroughly as possible from the accompanying gangue. should be tested and examined.000 inhabitants. and in 1865 and 1866 eight quartz mills were erected. in case telluric gold is suspected to be mixed with the sulphu- me rets.and other ores and minerals. as yet. . great deal has been written and said about the so-called rebellious gold ores of the Meadow Lake District. but I A never remember having heard of any careful analysis being made. but it contains both gold and telluric gold. so that little could have been known about them at that time. The mines were discovered. a small amount of the suspected material. or other vessel capable of resisting the action of acids. and all afterwards compared with the gross results from stamping. If tellurium is present the liquid becomes colored a clear purplish red. I . I think. It is as follows : "Place in a test tube. no mention is made of the mines or district. TEST FOR TELLURIUM. in 1862. and what the different process-m'en were going to do with them. and the other. telluric gold in two mines in one near Grass Valley. either of the veinstone or the concentrations. a large town built. by Professor Whitney. In the published reports of the Geological Survey. I Nevada County - REBELLIOUS GOLD ORES. The percentage mated at the same of the sulphurets can also be roughly estitime. In my private collection I found a specimen marked "Meadow Lake Ore. Edward Booth. Mr. 1864. the Murchie mine." have only found. as the examination and determination of them would be of the greatest importance to the mining interests of the State. Add enough sulphuric acid to well cover the sample and heat to boiling." I do not /ecollect who gave it to me.would therefore respectfully suggest to those who have any samples of the Meadow Lake ores to donate them to the State Mining Bureau. estimated to contain 5. near Nevada City.

as some think.i8 - THE PAN SYSTEM. Taquarilla mine. soda. For instance. that case. also. 3. 14 Gold in talc. and "other chemicals. pyrites. if the Idaho mines at Grass Valley were to try it. 8 and 9 Gold. that their dividends would soon be reduced one half. salt. what is the difference between the gold lode. . Gold on talc. It might be urged that the chemicals used in the Bodie In mills were for the extraction of the silver from the ores. Grass Valley. ii Gold in carbonate of lime. The following is a catalogue of the specimens which I shall place in the State Mining Bureau to illustrate this paper: No. I am afraid it would appear to be very large. salt. No. From El Dorado County. I firmly believe that' if the same pan system were used in the Victoria District. If the correct number of tons of mercury. and in the Sierra in the Mammoth Buttes lode? Is not the gold in the latter much more difficult to save. all the mines using it would soon cease to pay dividends. Brazil. 2. No. cost $2 in coin for every $i in silver so obtained. and pan system. Nos. Australia. 12 -Gold in talcose slate. i Some of the faces are Crystal of pyrite on a glass slide. in which the gold is easily recognized. Nos. and see if it did not. CATALOGUE OF SPECIMENS. 5 A specimen of arsenical pyrites with gold. very finely and beautifully gilded. Placerville." as they are called. Brazil. and 4 Gold. P^ureka mine. 6 and 7 Sections cut from the same. 10 Section cut from same. and. that have been sent to the Mono County mills were published. that had I years ago acted upon what now suggest to others. and sulphurets Mono County. I would have saved large sums of money for. imbedded in the From a mine No. near Nevada City. in little drops or specks. and would not the Comstock soda. Grass Valley. it would be exceedingly interesting to ascertain the expense. No. From the Eureka mine. Nos. my partners and myself. if introduced at the Sierra Buttes mine. with telluric gold. I I can only now add. 13 No. soon close it up like the former? For my own part. No.. so fine indeed that it requires an inch objective to see it to advantage.

on a large scale. Nos. 29 No. Many of the mines now idle in this State could be worked profitably under the system. No. by that I Company. have cut a great number of sections from the John -del veinstone. they obtain better results from the amalgamation of the raw sulphurets than any other process I have seen tried. The in lacotinga (micaceous iron). a rock which forms the sides of the lode. The tribute system has been further extended by an arrangement . but also contains considerable pyrites. as it places the hard working and intelligent miner on a much more respectable and independent footing. John del Rey veinstone. John del Rey mine. 1881. system. but could not detect the gold in any of them. 25 Yellow dusty matter mixed with gold. 29. No. No. It also encourages him to study the peculiarities of the lode and inclosing rocks besides which.. but only so far as his judgment guides him. From Nicaragua. and unless very great care is taken the batea test will hardly show any gold notwithstanding which. Section cut from No. which shows no decrease when compared with the preceding year. Bodie District. Rey . Nos 20. THE TRIBUTE SYSTEM.19 Nos. by which it the tribute system has been introduced there with appears Too much can hardly be said in favor of such great success. 18 is about the average of what was milled in 1866. and though he in a measure shares the risks. have just received a copy of the report of the Port Phillip Australia. 28 Gold in quartz crystal. 17 and 18 St. Gongo lac^irrja veins are from a few inches to many feet in width. all are jointly interested in the welfare of the mine. 19 Specimen of killas from St. . Brazil. John del Rey veinstone for microscopic examination. a system. published January 13. and 22 Sections cut from St. 27 Gold in country rock (diorite). No. In the Port Phillip report it says: The number of tributes has averaged about 200 during the year. taken out of one of the richest pockets ever found at Grass Valley. 15 and 16 Gold Soco mine. 23 and 24 Sections cut from the killas. No 26 Veinstone with gold. 30 I Gold in syenite. 21. No. St. Nos. particularly in the Bodie district. he gets the benefit of any discovery he may make.

There is no need of the hard-working miner to leave this healthy climate in search of employment. both to the placer as well as vein mining. per ton.20 with the tributers to drive the levels in the ground let to them. so that. in too many cases. and making company an allowance per fathom until the yield reaches 6 dwts.054 4s Od Leaving a profit of In conclusion. 5^ grains per ton (say $5). the company receiving half the gold obtained. and deducting from the allowance the cost of tramming. and afterward to develop them. that I wish particularly to call your attention to it.184 tons.310 10s 7d 0. understands better than the Superintendent (generally a man of business) how to conduct trials for ore. . The muscle of the skilled miner is in every respect better than foreign capital. the subject may be brought in a proper light fair tribute will before the owners of mines or claims.364 14s 7cl 26.. so thoroughly am I convinced of the great benefits that would result to this State by a more general introduction of the tribute system in an extended form. The average yield of the entire quantity raised was 5 dwts. when no further assistance is given. who. the assisting them with driving timber and rails. of tons of quartz stamped on tributers' account year was 48. By this means a large amount of driving is done at a com- paratively small cost. through the influence of the Bureau. and at the same time offer a fair tribute for working A them. for the Total receipts The number Expenditure 82. if those who own mines that are now idle would let the fact be known through the press. secure the muscle of the working miner.

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