A technical history of the Rio Tinto mines: some notes on by Leonard Unthank Salkield (auth.), Maurice J. Cahalan (eds.)

By Leonard Unthank Salkield (auth.), Maurice J. Cahalan (eds.)

Whether the Phoenicians and t he within the south-west of the Iberian Carthaginians ever truly labored Peninsula there's a substantial pyritic the mines , or have been only investors, is mineral ised quarter, referred to as the no longer definite , yet after 205 BC, while Andevallo, extending from close to they defeated the Carthagi nians, the Seville to south of Lisbon, a space Romans introduced their very own males expert a few a hundred and fifty kilometres lengthy and 30 in mining and metallurgy. kilometres large. The Romans occupied many of the The Rio Tinta Mines , that are the Iberian Peninsula for six hundred years , greatest of this "pyrites belt" , lie until eventually approximately 425 advert - the newest within the zone referred to as Andalusia, Roman cash came across at Rio Tinto express a few ninety kilometres north-west of the top of Honorius who used to be emperor Seville and seventy five kilometres north-east from 395 to 423 advert. Mining needs to of Huelv8 . they've got a really lengthy have declined with the invasion of background, courting again to pre-Iberian Barbarians within the fifth century and the days; then got here the Iberians , a race next entr y of the Visigoths who of North African starting place (Turdetarian have been finally absorbed into the and Tartessian) , the Phoenicians , the folk of Spain. In 711 advert the Carthaginians , the Romans , the Moors, Moors invaded the Peninsula from the Spaniards and the British. It North Africa.

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Additional resources for A technical history of the Rio Tinto mines: some notes on exploitation from pre-Phoenician times to the 1950s

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The furnace walls were of porphyry lined with firebrick. Two tapholes were provided for slag and one for matte . A new waterwheel was built, with an output of about 2 HP to drive bellows able to delive r 4 cubic metres at 15-19 cm water gauge . The furnaces were blown in on 9 January 1865 and, after experiencing some of the difficulties common to such start-ups, demonstrated an improved performance . Campaigns lasted up to 10 days, double that of the earlier furnaces. and the two furnaces were capable of smelting a total of 14 tonnes of charge per day.

Furnace campaigns were of about 5 days - the front wall was then taken down and the hearth remade . The reverbera t ory or "spleiss" furnace used for refining black copper was also of German design and details are shown in Figure 9. 7 metres in diameter , with a tuyere at "c" connected to a bellows . Wood was the fuel; flue gases escaped through the semi- spherical roof at ports marked "x". The furnaces were known locally as "Alemanes". a name probably dating back to the period afte r 1750 when Ge r man smelting specialists from Mansfeld were brought to Rio Tinto by Tiquet .

Artificial cementation"; it consists of r oasting at low temperature , which r- , , I -J Figure 9 Refining Furnace 1840s - 29 - converted copper sulphides to water solu ble sulphates , and leaching the copper from the r oasted mineral. The roasting , called "slow roasting" , involves a higher degree of sulphur elimination compared with the high temperature r oasting for matte smelting. Acid water from the Cueva del I~go was preferred for the leaching and up to 70% recovery of copper from ores of less than 3% Cu wa s obtained with higher grade ore reco very was lower; as little as half that figure.

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