Tag: Rhean

Key figures from the past of American mining

first_imgThe Mining Foundation of the Southwest reports that this year, “six exceptional individuals who have made significant contributions in mining related industries will be honoured at the 31st American Mining Hall of Fame Awards Banquet and Fundraiser. www.miningfoundationsw.org The Hall of Fame Banquet, an annual fundraiser with about 500 attendees, recognises the achievements of individuals and companies, who through their innovations and leadership, not only have significantly impacted mining successes but also have contributed to the continued relevance and strength of the modern mining industry.Bartolomé de Medina 1497-1585 Inventor of the Patio Metal Extraction Process He was a successful Spanish businessman who discovered that silver could be extracted from ground ores using mercury and salt water brine. The process involved first crushing silver ores to a fine slime, then mixed with salt, water, magistral (impure copper sulfate), mercury and then spread in layers in a shallow-walled open enclosure patio. The introduction of amalgamation to silver refining replaced smelting as the primary method of silver extraction and inaugurated a rapid expansion of silver production in Mexico and Peru.The Americas became the primary source producing three-fifths of the world’s silver supply until around 1900. Spanish American production fed the demand for silver, facilitating the develop-ment of extensive trade networks and this rapid expansion is often recognized as the key to early modern world trade linking Europe, Africa, Asia, and Americas.He has also been nominated to the International Mining Technology Hall of Fame – www.im-halloffame.comBen Williams 1852-1925 Mine Superintendent and General Mine Manager Ben Williams was the son of a prominent family of Welsh metallurgists and whose father and brother-in-law , De Witt Bisbee, founded the mining firm of Bisbee, Williams and Company. Williams’ first job in Arizona was as superintendent of the San Xavier mine and he was placed in charge of general operations when the Copper Queen claims were purchased by a group of mine investors and hired Bisbee, Williams and Company from San Francisco to manage the Copper Queen mine near Mule Gulch in 1880. The company was instrumental to the development of the Copper Queen mine and the mine became the first and only successful one in the district. As trade and commerce increased, Mule Gulch population grew sufficiently to warrant a post office and the town was renamed in 1883 after Bisbee for his total support in ore prospecting.At Williams’ retirement, Bisbee was “Queen of the Copper Camps” and he continued to be active in general business and local fraternal organisations.Charles E. Mills 1867 – 1929 Mining Manager, Founder and President, Apache Powder Co and The Valley Bank He left major footprints in both the banking and the mining industries. He joined the Copper Queen mine at Bisbee, Arizona in 1888, shortly thereafter, left for Harvard University and returned after two years to become the general manager of the Detroit Copper Mining Co at Morenci. In 1912, he became the dual general manager of the Inspiration Consolidated Copper Co and the International Smelting Co at Miami. The Inspiration mine is today one of the largest copper producers in the world.On his return after WWI, Mills recognised the need for a regional source of explosives and formed the Apache Powder Co providing explosives for the southwestern mines and successfully eliminating freight expenses. In 1899, Mills embarked on another notable career beginning with the Gila Valley Bank and Trust Co and under his direction, became the largest branch banking institution in Arizona. In 1914, Mills was appointed to reorganise The Gila Valley Bank and The Valley Bank and merged the two banking institutions in 1922 to form The Valley Bank, later known as The Valley National Bank. Mills remained the guiding source of The Valley Bank and the Apache Powder Co and served as President of both industries until his death in 1929.Louis Caryl Graton 1880 – 1970 Economic Geologist and Professor Emeritus, Harvard University He was valedictorian of his class and received both his BS and PhD from Cornell University. While he timely completed the PhD course requirements, the degree was not conferred until 28 years later following submission of his 1930 thesis, Hydrothermal Origin of the Rand Gold Deposits. In 1903, Graton joined the US Geological Survey and was appointed Director of the newly formed Copper Producers’ Association in New York City in 1909 but left immediately when invited to join the faculty by Harvard University. When the US entered WWI, Graton served as secretary of Copper Producers’ Committee for War service. Graton devoted his life to the study of ore deposits and occupied a pre-eminent position in eco-nomic geology. He was President of the Society of Economic Geologists in 1931 and was the winner of the Penrose Gold Medal in 1950.John (Jack) Spence Finlay (1873-1935) Edwin Burton (Burt) Royle (1904-1957) Co-Inventors of the Mucking Machine Together they increased mucking production through their revolutionary design at faster and easier ways than ever thought possible. Finlay was the North Lilly Mine superintendent when the young Royle, a hoist engineer, approached him with his vision for a powered mucking machine to replace the hand removal of broken rubble. Finlay realized the potential of the machine and approved its assembly using parts from the mine’s “bone-yard” (scrap pile). After several improvements, four mucking machines were manufactured for $1,600 per unit. The earlier mucking machines were known as the EIMCO-Finlay Mucker.An agreement to commercialise the invention was later reached and the first patent was issued in 1938 to Royle. The Overshot Mucking Machine not only freed underground miners from backbreaking work but also allowed the job to be completed more efficiently.Also been nominated to the International Mining Technology Hall of Fame – www.im-halloffame.comlast_img read more

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