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The Deadwood Terra Gold Ore Stamp Mill C. 1888
Ore was pulverised and crushed in the Stamp Mill and then washed over mercury coated copper plates where the fine gold formed an amalgam with the copper. The amalgam was then scraped off and put through a process of heating and evaporation that released the gold bound to the mercury. The recovered mercury was then reapplied to the plates and the gold extraction process continued.
Mercury is one of the most toxic substances know to man. They are cleaning the amalgam off the copper/mercury plates in this photo in preparation for heating. No doubt the workers suffered extreme neurological and physical destruction from inhaling mercury fumes if they worked at the mill for any prolonged period of time.
Based upon a photograph taken by John Grabill.
June 17th, 2012
Viewed 88 Times - Last Visitor from Bismarck, ND on 07/27/2014 at 10:20 PM
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