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Consular reports, Issues 252-255 online

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cined again in a muffle furnace, with 14 per cent of salt, for about
twelve hours. The calcined ore is now placed in wooden tanks and
washed with warm water slightly acidulated with hydrochloric from
the towers, where the fumes are absorbed. These tanks are fitted
with false bottoms. After the copper is all washed out, which
should be in about ten washings, during which time the mass is kept
stirred, the liquor, if it does not contain too much silver, is run
direct into other wooden tanks containing clean scrap iron. Precipi-
tation is here assisted by a jet of steam. The copper proportion so
produced may run over 70 per cent.

I have already described how ore may be treated in the open
after crushing. The liquors from the settling tank, as at the North
Mount Lyell mine, run into canals filled with pig iron. Pig iron is
found best at the head of a canal system, and scrap iron at end, as
the latter is best adapted to catch copper in weak liquors.

The leaching heap only requires to be picked now and again, and
percolation goes on smoothly. This can easily be effected by divert-
ing the waters on the surface, as already explained, without inter-
rupting the process. The copper proportion so produced may run
from 75 to 85 per cent.

The canals and vats or tanks used in connection with the above
are of wood throughout. No nails are employed in the construction.

Lead pipes or wooden canals are used for liquors containing
sulphuric acid. All pump fittings are of gun metal, and discharge
pipes are lined with lignum-vitae.

Consul Webster, of Hobart, under date of March 8, 1901, trans-
mits the following memorandum, furnished by the government geol-
ogist of Tasmania, Mr. W. H. Twelvetrees:


Copper ores are not treated by the wet method in this State, nor concentrated
previous to smelting.

There are two smelting works in the State which receive copper ores for reduc-
tion. The principal establishment is that at Queenstown. belonging to the Mount
Lyell Company, where copper ores, averaging 2.48 per cent copper, 1.95 ounces
silver, and 0.074 ounce of gold per ton, are treated by the pyritic method of smelt-
ing, in which the fusion of the sulphides is nearly entirely effected by the heat
arising from their oxidation. No wet treatment enters into the process.

Two sets of furnaces are in blast, one comprising six, the newer addition five.
The first plant had two-blast furnaces, subsequently increased to six. with six

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i2S-hor5epower boilers and four hot-blast stoves, with five blowers, dynamo, etc.
The third furnace is the shorter one — for matte concentration.

The size of the second nest of farnaces is large for copper smelting, viz, 21c
inches by 42 inches in the clear of the hearth; the height from tapping floor to
charging floor, 20 feet-, the number of tuyeres, 40. The blast is heated by four
hot-blast stoves, in two sets. The power blast consists of six boilers of 125 horse-
power each and five vertical compound condensing engines, each coupled direct
by a flexible coupling to a No. 8 Roots blower.

The disposal of the slag is conducted by means of granulation.

The other works are at Zeehan and belong to the Tasmanian Smelting Com-
pany. A furnace is prepared for copper-ore smelting, if such ore should be sup-
plied, but is built for future requirements, rather than for present needs.


, Consul Lang, of Sherbrooke, January 18, 1901, writes as follows:

The mines of the Eustis Mining Company are located at Eustis,
Quebec, 10 miles south of Sherbrooke, on the line of the Boston
and Maine Railroad, and the information herein contained has been
obtained from the officers of that company, and applies only to the
manner in which the mining business of that company is conducted.

The ore mined by this company consists of low-grade copper
pyrites, or, speaking more accurately, iron pyrites carrying a little
copper, silver, and gold. Analysis of the valuable contents of the
ore gives from 45 to 50 per cent of sulphur, 2 to 3 per cent of copper,
from I to 2 ounces silver, and a trace of gold.

The first treatment is to extract the sulphur, making sulphuric
acid; then the burnt product, or cinder, is smelted and refined.
The last process consists of refining by electrolytic methods, which
gives pure copper and saves the silver and gold.

The ore is broken to the proper size for acid manufacture (about
2 inches square) by hammers. Rock breakers driven by machinery
make a large proportion of fine ore, which is of less value.

Ore from the mine is dumped onto apparatus with 2^ -inch spaces;
what goes over this is ** rough ore,'* and has to be broken into small
pieces. The ore then falls on a screen with i-inch meshes. The
larger pieces going over the screen are also broken by hand ; the
finer, going through the i-inch mesh, are afterwards screened into
three sizes, passing through a revolving circular screen, the sizes
being from i inch to three-fourths of an inch, from three-fourths of
an inch to one-fourth of an inch, and from one-fourth of an inch to

* Consul-General Turner, of Ottawa, says that nowhere in Canada is copper produced by the
wet process.

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dust. These different sizes are put through the ordinary plunger
jigs, by which method the rock is separated.

A very small proportion of valuable ore is lost in tailings. There
is no leaching. The material, or sulphur in ore, is sold to acid
makers. The resulting cinders are smelted by the company into
mattes, and these are refined by smelters.


Commercial Agent Beutelspacher, of Moncton, says that copper-
mining enterprises are located at Point Wolfe and Dorchester, New
Brunswick. The company at Dorchester is busily engaged in erect-
ing concentrating machinery and smelters, but no process has de-
veloped, as the copper industry in the district has not yet passed
beyond the crudest stage.


Consul Carter, of St. John's, reports that no ores are smelted in
the colony, the copper mined being shipped to the Cape Copper
Company, Swansea, Wales, at which place it is treated. The ship-
ments of the crude material amounted last year to about 80,000 tons
of 3j4 per cent.


The method employed in crushing silver ores is almost universally
used here for copper, but in a few instances where concentration is
contemplated the coarse crushing is done by rock breakers (Blake or
Dodge) and the fine crushing is done either by stamps or rollers,
the latter being preferred on account of their yielding a more homo-
genous material.

The screening is done by trommels, the coarse material being
generally passed by automatic elevators to a second set of rollers.
I do not know of any dry concentration of copper ores in this coun-
try. The concentration by water is performed in jigs first, and the
fine ores are concentrated on different systems of tables, such as
Frue vanners, Wilfleys, or Bartletts; in some instances, large bud-
dies are employed in their place. In olden times, concentration was
successfully carried on by means of Mexican **planillas," a kind of

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inclined plane made of wood, the water being thrown thereon by
men with buckets, and the material being moved with a shovel dur-
ing the operation.

I do not know of any leaching process for copper ores in use in
this country.

The assay value of concentrates is naturally variable, according
to the gravity of the substances accompanying the copper ores, such
as galena, blende, iron pyrites, etc. In some instances, ores con-
taining originally i per cent of copper, or even less, are concentrated
to 9 or 10 per cent. In the case of the Inguaran mines (Michoacan)
and surrounding regions, the ores consist of copper in large crystals
in the vein matter, with very little iron pyrite accompanying them;
and the concentrates there obtained assay over 30 per cent in cop-
per, differing from the contents of the original ore.

The copper ores of this country are those generally spread all
over the world; carbonates (malachite and azurite), silicates, and
chlorides on the surface and upper levels of the mines, turning
gradually into the different classes of sulphides (chalcopyrites, bor-
nite, phillipsite, etc.) in the zones where atmospheric influence or
erosion has put a stop to the decomposition and alteration. Gray
copper is also widely spread over the country, and the mines are
worked on a large scale. Minerals formerly unknown have been
met with in small quantities; for instance, the boleite and cumen-
gite in the Boleo mines in Lower California. Black and red oxide
of copper as well as native copper are of frequent occurrence. The
assay value of the ores may be said to be in proportion to the
width of the ore bodies, small streaks averaging often over 15 per cent,
while the average of commercially valuable veins or bodies of 2 to
20 feet may be termed 5 to 6 per cent, and the many still larger
bodies known average from 2 to 4 per cent; these, however, though
of rather low grade for direct smelting, are in certain cases very
valuable on account of their adaptability for concentration.

Andrew D. Barlow,

Mexico City, May 11, igoi. Consul- General.


Consul Greene sends from Antofagasta, June 7, 1901, the follow-
ing letter from Mr. E. Stewart Jackson, a mining expert:

I take much pleasure in giving you the data you require regarding the concen-
tration of low-grade copper ores in the Antofagasta copper districts.

In the Department of Antofagasta are the districts of Chuquicamata, El A bra,
Conchi, Loinas Bayas, Tuina, Sierra Gorda, Naguayan, Desesperado, Chacaya,

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Cerro Gordo. Portczuelo, Sierra Miranda, Coloso, Cobre, etc. There were exported
last April:

In ores.

In regrulus..
In bar



Per cent of

Sp. quintals *






* I Spanish quintal = 101.41 |K>unds.

There are very few concentration plants, owing to the scarcity of water. In
Chuquicamata, there are three establishments, which employ dry cylindrical screens,
without any crushing.

These screens are double and treble and concentrate up to t6 per cent, putting
through poor rock with films of atacanite ore, which assays, on an average in
bulk, 0.64 per cent. For every 500 tons passed through the screens, 20 tons of 16
per cent are recovered. In some places, the ore is far richer. The mines that work
lode stuff do not concentrate. This ore averages 16 per cent. In Calama, there
are two Wilfley tables doing high concentration, but the classifiers are not good,
giving anything but satisfactory results. The plant is being improved. In ** El
Abra," owing to thescarcity of water,only a small concentrating establishment has
been put up — one Blake's crusher, a set of cylindrical screens, an elevator, one pair
of rolls, another set of screens, and four jiggers (continual working).

The ore is composed of black sulphides and yellow sulphurets, and is concen-
trated from 8 per cent to 16 or 18 per cent. There are no other concentrating works
in any of the mines.

In Antofagasta, there is a small establishment for leaching the carbonates and
oxychlorides with imported sulphuric acid, and precipitating with old iron. The
output of cement is insignificant. Most of the ores are exported to England, espe-
cially the higher grade ore. From 15 per cent down, a better price can be realized
at the large establishments of Playa Blanca or Fundicion Templeman. These works
smelt all the ore in blast furnaces, either making matte, which is generally made
argentiferous by adding silver ores from Caracoles and Bolivia, or refining to bar.

In the Department of Tocopilla are the districts of Tocopilla, Punta Blanca»
Gatico, Cobija Michilla, Painzos Blancos, and Hornos. None of these ores are con-
centrated, being all sent to the south to the establishments of Lota and Guayacan,
where they are smelted, except the Gatico ores, which are smelted on the spot. In
Tocopilla, all the smelting establishments have been shut down. The present pro-
duction in this department is about 1,000 tons of 13 per cent ore a month.

In the Department of Taltal are the districts of Guanaco Esploradora, Bandur-
rias, Paposo Canchas, and Portezuelo. None of these have concentrating estab-
lishments, owing to the scarcity of water and the expense of fuel.

The exports in 1900 were 87,403 Spanish quinuls, with 19,315 Spanish quintals
fine or 890 tons bar. In the first five months of this year they amounted to 46,300
Spanish quintals of 22 per cent ore, with 10,063 quintals fine or 463 tons bar. Aver-
age, 9,000 Spanish quintals of 22 per cent a month. In the whole department, the
production can be put down at —

Tons fine.

Antofagasta 350

Taltal 90

Tocopilla 75

Total \ 515

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Several people have thought of putting up a sulphuric-acid establishment or
chlorination process in Calama, on the banks of the River Loa, at 10 kilometers
(6.a miles) distance from Chuquicamata, to treat the colored ores, which obtain a
small price from the smelters. Nothing has been done, from want of capital. The
ores are specially adapted for leaching, and as sulphur and nitrate are to be found
in the vicinity at comparatively small cost, this business would thrive.


Consul-General Bellows writes from Yokohama, March 2, 1901 :
In response to an inquiry addressed to the mining bureau of the
Japanese Government, I have received the following:

Copper ores in Japan, both high and low grades, are alike treated by smelting.
With the very low classes of ore, the wet method has been tried at some mines,
but, finding it not very profitable, it was abandoned. We, therefore, have no
knowledge as to the most economical method of treating such ores. At present,
they are simply thrown aside.


Consul-General Stowe writes from Cape Town, May 20, 1901 :
There is but one company in this colony engaged in copper
mining (Cape Copper Company, Limited, Ookiep, Namaqualand),
and the officials of that company, in reply to my request, express
regret at being unable to give the information.

I may add that the latest report on output gives:






9, 100


Valuable finds, yielding a large percentage of copper, are re-
ported in Cape Colony and Rhodesia.


The recent race in this country for the international cup was a
** walk-over " for France. After all the talk of automobilists of other
countries, the contest finally narrowed down to a full representation
on the part of the French. That much progress has been made and
prestige obtained by the automobile as a factor in everyday life was
shown at the exposition.

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Without doubt, the excellent roads of this country have contrib-
uted much to the development of the automobile industry. The
highways are remarkable for their durability and evenness, and they
receive continual attention. If a rut or a hollow forms, it is at once
attended to, usually by being deepened and roughened, so that new
material will adhere, and then rounded by small chip stones. This
is undoubtedly one of the prime reasons for the superiority of the
French machine. The smooth running necessitates less repair and
less power. One of the greatest aids to American industry along
this line would be better public roads.

The Automobile Club of America has only this year taken up the
subject of placing signposts upon the highways. It is to be hoped
that they will be of a material that will not decay or the figures
become illegible. Here all the roads are fully provided with explicit
information and the posts are of iron.


Has it ever occurred to the manufacturer that the time and
money put in automobile shows could be more profitably invested
in some other manner? Several of the French manufacturers say
that one of the great difficulties they have at automobile exhibitions
is to **fix" intending purchasers. A person sees so much that,
realizing the startling rapfdity of automobile improvement, he is
afraid of an expensive purchase becoming **antique" in a couple of

It would prove much better to have the machine visit the people
instead of having people come to see the machines. A tour of the
country with a train of automobiles would advertise and popularize.
The expense of such a proceeding would be comparatively small.


The Austrian Minister of Railways has ordered an automobile
carriage from the Vienna Daimler Motor Company. It is to be of
the dimensions of an ordinary third-class European railway carriage,
with thirty-two seats and standing room. Under the flooring will
be placed a 30-horsepower 4-cylinder motor, with the mechanism
and supplies necessary to enable the carriage to travel independently
at a speed of 30 miles an hour. Controlling levers will be placed at
both ends of the carriage on platforms inclosed with windows, and
will enable the carriage to move in either direction. The car neces-
sitates the services of only one man, and will probably be put into
use during the coming autumn on the Southwestern line, in Lower

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Such a vehicle will permit exceedingly economical traffic on local
lines in thinly populated districts, and consequently more frequent
trains and better connections with Tiain lines. The drivers of
automobiles in this country often outdistance the fastest trains.


Among the many uses to which the automobile is applied in mili-
tary service is that of a new mill and bakery, called the Schweitzer
Military Mill-Bakery Automobile. This will follow the regiments
on the march and make fresh bread from the wheat obtained on
the spot. There is mounted on an automobile car a mill with bolt-
ers and kneading troughs, all run by the same motor which runs the
automobile. The oven is drawn along in the rear. The bran
obtained serves as food for the cavalry horses. By this method,
5,000 men can be fed daily. This mill bakery can also render
service in cases of large labor contracts which bring together num-
bers of workmen.


The manufacturers here, in their zeal for speed, seem to have
forgotten the conditions which the automobile supplants. If an
accident happens to a vehicle drawn by horses, it is not necessary to
go very far to find someone who can repair it; but the technicality
of the make-up of the automobile prevents this. The vehicle that
shows the least departure in construction from the usual type will
be the most successful. The design should be well known in the
art, and made susceptible of repair by any carriage manufacturer,
and the electrical parts should be so standardized and simplified
that any electrician could successfully make the inspection and
repair that may be necessary from time to time


Every daily paper has some accident to mention. There are
many different causes — exaggerated speed, inexperienced drivers,
want of attention — but there is one cause which is becoming more
and more dangerous; it is the cheap automobile. In all industries,
the moment a high-priced article has won public favor, natural laws
of competition begin to lower the price.

There would appear to be but two legitimate means by which
the price of the automobile- could be cheapened. First, to manu-
facture in quantities with special machinery, thus reducing cost;
secondly, to simplify the mechanism of existing models and to man-
ufacture only a single type.

These two legitimate ways are-not always followed. There is,
unfortunately, a desire to sell to the public a machine which has

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only the appearance of the first-class original, the qualities of resist-
ance and security being entirely wanting.

The many accidents have caused legislation all over Europe. M.
Waldeck-Rousseau, President of the Council, and M. Pierre Baudin,
Minister of Public Works, sent only a few days ago to the Conseil
d'Etat the project of a decree to reduce the excesses of speed against
which so many complaints have been made. The maximum speed
allowed in the open country is 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) an hour.
According to the new project, any automobile capable of exceeding
this speed, and thus liable to violate the law, shall be provided in
front and behind with ** plaques" bearing a registered number, and
this number shall always be visible. The use of alarm horns is to
be circumscribed. The horn must not be sounded except for the
purpose of giving notice of approach in dangerous places and of
avoiding accidents. It is no longer to be employed for the purpose
of ** clearing the way" an unlimited distance ahead in order to guar-
antee a free and exclusive passage. Finally, some very minute
directions are to be given with regard to racing.

The Statthalter, of Lower Austria, in consequence of complaints
of the police regarding excessive speed, recently sent a letter to the
Automobile Club of Austria on the subject. To this letter the club
sent a long reply, from which the following passages are taken:

It can not be denied that certain automobilists drive very fast and make them-
selves liable to accidents. This is, however, the exception and not the rule. The
greater number of prosecutions are really due to the fact that the police authorities
do not completely understand the automobile. An automobilist, when driving at
full speed, can bring his vehicle to a standstill within 2 yards, and can therefore
drive up to an obstacle without diminishing speed to any great extent. A carriage
drawn by a horse at a slow pace, which can be stopped only within 7 yards, is
much more dangerous than a fast-traveling automobile, which can be brought to
a standstill within 2 yards.

At the conclusion of its letter, the club expresses the opinion that
the present state of affairs is similar to that prevailing at the intro-
duction of the bicycle, and that in a short time people and horses
will get accustomed to the automobile as they did to the cycle.


Some weeks ago, I had occasion to see a vehicle which was in
some respects a novelty. It was a two-seat voirturette, with a third
seat in front, a sloping steering bar, and with the mechanism entirely
inclosed in a metal frame independent of the carriage, facilitating
the inspection of the working parts. This mode of arranging the
mechanical system does away with the loss of work caused by
the bending of ordinary frames, which with carriages, generally
speaking, amounts to 50 per cent. The mechanism is reduced to

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its simplest form ; the double-cylinder water-circulation motor is 5
horsepower; the total weight is 800 pounds; maximum speed on a
level, 30 to 40 miles.

Another French manufacturer has put upon the market a ** petite
voiture/' four seats, 8 horsepower, with a weight of 1,100 ()ounds.
It is claimed that there is no vibration whatever from its motors.
Alcohol or oil can be used, either mixed or separately. The makers
claim that they possess the only motor doing this.

Another machine, manufactured by the Compagine des Trans-
I>orts Automobiles, has the name of **voiture mixte.*' It has a
6-horsepower petroleum motor and also an electric motor, giving,
combined, 20 horsepower. These two motors can be used together
or separately, which would prove invaluable in case of a sudden
breakdown in a difficult country. The ordinary motor is placed in
front and the dynamo behind. No chain is used.

Another firm has a single-cylinder, water-circulation, 3-horse-
power motor.

At a recent automobile exhibit in this country, a French manu-
facturer showed a very convenient interchangeable coup6 and
victoria. The motor was electric and the construction so arranged
that in a few minutes the body of one vehicle could be lifted ofif its
base and the other substituted.

The celebrated Panhard-Levassor Company has a large delivery
van, suitable for a grocery or a laundry, with places for seating

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of Commerce and Labor United States. Bureau of Foreign CommerceConsular reports, Issues 252-255 → online text (page 5 of 65)