Prev | Next | Contents


The following extract which relates to Californian Gold Mill practices is from Bulletin No. 6 of the California State Mining Bureau. I quite agree with the practice.

"The battery water should enter both sides of the mortar in an even quantity, and should be sufficient to keep a fairly thick pulp which will discharge freely through the grating or screen. About 120 cubic feet of water per ton of crushed ore may be considered an average, or 8 to 10 cubic feet per stamp per hour.

"Screens of different materials and with different orifices are used; the materials comprise wire cloth of brass or steel, tough Russian sheet iron, English tinned plate, and, quite recently, aluminium bronze. The 'aluminium bronze' plates are much longer lived than either of the other kinds, and have the further advantage that, when worn out, they can be sold for the value of the metal for remelting; these plates are bought and sold by the pound, and are said to contain 95 per cent of copper and 5 per cent of aluminium. Steel screens are not so much used, on account of their liability to rust."

I have had no experience with the aluminium bronze screen. I presume, however, that it is used only for mills where mercury is not put in the mortars, otherwise, it would surely become amalgamated. The same remark applies to brass wire cloth and tinned plate. Unless the metal of which they are composed will not readily amalgamate with mercury, I should be chary of using new screen devices. Mercury is a most insidious metal and is often found most unexpectedly in places in the battery where it should not be. Probably aluminium steel would be better than any substance mentioned. It would be hard, light, strong, and not readily corrodible. I am not aware if it has been tried.

Under the heading of "Power for Mills" the following is taken from the same source.

Prev | Next | Contents