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The Practice of De-Silverizing Base Bullion at the Port Pirie Works of the Broken Hill Associated Smelters Pty. Ltd.


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Author Campbell W H


THE de-silverizing of base bullion at the Port Pirie works is carried out in accordance with the principles of the well-known Parkes process. The base bullion produced by the blast furnace department carries (apart from silver values) impurities, the chief of which are copper, antimony, and arsenic. In order to more clearly indicate the grade of the base bullion, the following analysis, representative of a half-year’s production of base bullion, is submitted…

Before proceeding with the actual operation of de-silverizing, it is necessary that the impurities, copper, antimony, and arsenic, should be eliminated. This is accomplished in the following steps :- (1) Removal of Coppel – Copper is largely present in the base bullion as dissolved sulphide, and this is removed by liquation in a reverberatory type furnace, of which the following are the essential details :-

Working temperature 7500 to 8500 C.

Coal consumption per 24 hours 2 tons.

The hearth of the furnace is encased in a steel tank 22 ft. 4 in. long by 13 ft. 4 in. wide by 2 ft. 10 in. deep; the bottom of the tank is covered by a depth of composition conforming to the invert :-

Cement 39 cwt.

Brick dust 8.4 tons.

Fireclay 0.6 tons.

Sand 0.6 tons…