US391421A - Gold-separator - Google Patents

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US391421A US391421DA US391421A US 391421 A US391421 A US 391421A US 391421D A US391421D A US 391421DA US 391421 A US391421 A US 391421A
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    • B03B5/00Washing granular, powdered or lumpy materials; Wet separating
    • B03B5/02Washing granular, powdered or lumpy materials; Wet separating using shaken, pulsated or stirred beds as the principal means of separation


(No Model.) 3 Sheets-Sheet 1.



No. 391,421. Patented Oct. 23, 1888.

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110.391.421. Patented Oct. 23, 1888.

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Patented ont. 28, 1888.

@311g his @Hom/wig M N. rzcns. Pnxomhngmplm. minimum u c VILLIAM A. MERRALLS, OF KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI.


SPECIPICATEON forming part of Letters Patent No. 391,421, dated October 23, 1888. Application filed July 13, 1588. Serial No.27fi,S15. (No model.)

To all whom, it' may concern.-

Beit known that I, WILLIAM A. MEnRALLs. ofKansas City, Jackson county, Missouri, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in GOldSeparators, ofv which the following is a full, clear, and exact description, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, forming a part hereof.

This invention relates to an improved apparatus for extracting gold from placer mines; and it consists in the means and devices hereinafter set forth, and pointed out in the claims.

In the drawings, which illustrate the manner of carrying out my invention, Figure l eX- hibits a side elevation .of a rotary settling tank anda series ofsettling-boxes which I use. Fig. 2 is a plan view of the devices shown in Fig. l. Fig. 3 is a transverse sectional view through a mercury-trap. Fig. Li is a detail elevation of a faucet used upon the rotary settling-tanks. Fig. 5 is a sectional View of the same on line yy. Fig. 6 is an end view of the two rotary settling-tanks, looking toward the same from the left hand of Fig.v 2; andFig. 7 is a longitudinal section through one of said settling-tanks.

The purpose of my invention is to extract the ne and coarse gold from placer ground, which usually consists in bowlders, gravel, sand, 85e., among which is a certain amount of ne and coarse gold, which is of such nature that it wil-l float onwater with a current, (and sometimes without a current, and being coated with oxides it will not amalgamate, but will pass over amalgamated plates or a body of Y mercury without being taken up by it.

v eessively iner.

By means of the apparatus presently described the bowlders, gravel, and sand (except some of the very finest sand) are gotten rid of, and only a residuurn of ne sand, gold, and water is left for final treatment.

Vith this end in view my invention consists in the construction and combination of parts hereinafter described and claimed.

In carrying out my invention I employ a series of rotary screens, A, which are located one below the other, so that the material from one will be discharged into the next succeeding one, the successive screens being placed in successively lower planes and their mesh suc- Below the lowest screen I have a pair of cylinders, which l may term revolving settlingtanks,77 into which the fine gravel and gold are discharged. These settling-cylinders have a double function-viz., that of a stationary settling chamber and a revolving mixing-chamber, within which the material undergoes a certain chemical treatment, as will be presently described. Hand` holes g are provided in opposite ends of said cylinders, through which they are filled and emptied, respectively. Aseries of faucets or valves, 22, are located on corresponding ends of said cylinders, by means of which the surplus water may be drawn off when desired. The cylinders are supported upon frietiourollers 56,which are arranged beneath them in suitable bearings, and they are also provided with journals at their ends. Of course, however, the arrangement for supporting the cylinders E may be varied. For instance, they may be entirely supported by the journals 55, and the rollers 56 may be dispensed with, and vice versa. A revolving motion is given to the cylinders by means of pulleys 15, mounted on shafts 14, and pinions 13, also mounted on said shafts,which latter mesh with toothed racks l2,which encircle said cylinders at about the middle of their length. After that I employ a number of stationarysettlingboxes, F, which are sufiicient in number to properly settle any slime that may pass through the settlingcylinders E. The stationary settlers have arranged in them, so as to be near the surface of the liquid which they contain, a number of U shaped clippers, F. These are removably located in said. boxes at a height that will correspond to the level of the liquid contained therein. The series of stationary settling-boxes are connected together by overiiow-troughs I, as shown, so that the liquid may overflow from one to the other.

Some distance below the bottom of the setthug-boxes l, and connected to the last one of the series by means of an overflow-pipe, L, I arrange a filter-box, J. These boxes may be lilled with a suitable iiltering material, such as a lining of canvas and a iilling of hay or straw. A pipe, 23, is arranged to carry the water from faucets 22 into filter J. The liltered water is returned to well YV, andis used over and over again by pump l?. This pump may of course be of any ordinary construc tion.


A hose,d, is connected to pump P, and is adapted to be attached to the end .4 of main water-pipe b, and thereby supply water to the revolving screens and the several other parts of the apparatus.

Situated beneath or at one side of the revolving settling cylinders E, I employ an amalgamator, M,which is of the following eonstruction: There are a number of oppositelyinclined shelves having a drop ofafew inches from one to the other. From the last shelf the material drops upon the upper or higher one of a series of amalgamated copper plates, N. l\Iercury-traps O separate the ends ofsaid plates, as shown, and the water and slime are adapted to overflow from one mercury-trap to the other. .The highest trap has one end eX- tended some distance to form a mercury-well, It, which is separated from the main-portion of the trap by a partition having an aperture, R, formed in it near the bottom of the well, and which is to be closed by a suitable plug. The bottom 25 of the first trap (shown in plan view in Fig'. 5) is inclined toward a faucet, 24, which is located in the end opposite well R, for the purpose hereinafter mentioned.

A sprocket-chain, S, is provided'with suitable buckets and arranged to run over pulleys located in well R, and above the top shelf of the amalgamator M, so as to lift the mercury contained in the well and deposit it in a trough, T, arranged above the top shelf of the amalgamator. Said trough is provided with a series of perforations, U, through which the mercury drops to the top shelf' of the amalgamator. The mercury-elevator or sprocket-chain S is arranged to be run by means of a belt-pulley, 75, carried upon the shaft of one of its driving-wheels, or it may be run in any other suitable way.` The purpose of this arrangement of rotary screens is to hold back as much of the sand as possible, and to let only the water and tine gold pass on for further treat-ment. Such materiahafter passing through the series of screens and curved aprons, drops upon one of the troughs G, and is conducted through one of the'hand-holes g into one of the rotary settling-cylinders E, which, for the time being, is made stationary, and as it is filled up with water and lsand and whatever line gold there is in the material the sand settles to the bottom of the cylinder, and the water, with what fine slime it carries, passes on through the cylinder and out through the hand-hole in its opposite end and through trough H into the first of the series of stationary settling-boxes F, where it is allowed `.further time to settle. The water and slime pass from one stationary settling-box to another through troughs I, until they issue from thelast box of the series, whence they pass down pipe L to filter J. Should there be any tine gold that has escaped the settling-boxes, it is caughtin the filter. The filtered water passes from the filter to well W, where it is pumped up into the head of the sluice by pump P through hose d, and is used over again. The settling-boxes being nearly full of water and there being some gold so fine as to float on the surface, I introduce one or more skimmers or dippers, F', which are substantially U -shapedin cross-section, and which are arranged in said tanks so as to intercept the surface current of theliquid, the fine gold and slime settling into the hollow or troughshaped portion of said skimmers. The skimmers may be removed from their normal position and cleaned whenever necessary. Their contents should be emptied into one of the cylinders E before it is ready for amalgamation. As soon as sufficient material for a charge has settled in one of the cylinders E (while stationary) a gate or valve, X, is changed so as to carry the material into the other cylinder, and so on, as before described.

The fine sand and gold and the pulp that has4 settled in the cylinder are now ready for treatment and for a course of amalgamation. Thevhand-holes in either end of the cylinder are closed and a tight joint made, and the cylinder is allowed to make one or more revolutions for the purpose of leveling the pulp inside, when it is again stopped and the surplus water is allowed to run out through faucets 22, whence it liows through pipe 23 to the filter J, thus saving anything of value that might have gone ont with it. After the water is drained off, the cylinder is turned until the large faucet E in its side is up, when a chemical mixture (which forms no part of my present invention, and hence need not be described here) is introduced, and the cylinder is started and allowed to revolve for about an hour, when ,the ne gold that is in the pulp will have been chemically' coated with a film of Amercury in place of the coating of oxide which it previously carried. Asis well known, this oxide coating would have greatly retarded the process of amalgamation; but, the coating beingv now removed, the course of amalgamation will be very thorough and complete. The cylinder should now be stopped with faucet E downward, as shown more clearly in Fig. 7. A hose is now attached to asuitable coupling, c', formed upon body of faucet E, and a small stream of water (enough to make the pulp iow freely down the inclined shelves of the amalgamator) is allowed to enter the said faucet through said hose. Faucet E should ICO IIO

now be opened by means of handle f. The

amount of opening given said faucet should be regulated according to circumstances, and as the water and pulp iiow from the mouth of the faucet they fall upon the top shelf of the amalgamator, where the pulp will be mixed with mercury which has been lifted and distributed, as before described. The mercury and pulp thus mixed flow down the shelves of the amalgamator to the first and highest of the amalgamated copper plates N, and a portion of the mercury is retained on said copper plate, and what is not retained slides down into the first mercury-trap O, to be elevated by the sprocket-chain and used over again. Sprinkling-pipes are arranged over the several mercnry-traps, so as to shower just enough water upon the pulp to keep it loose and light as it passes from the copper plates into the traps. The mercury sinks down through the soft pulp into the trap, and the pulp passes on to the next plate, and so on. Whenever necessary, the mercury in the main portion of the traps is taken out by means of stop-cock 24 or a suitable plug, the excess of mercn ry being returned to the well R. Only the excess is returned to the Well, the mixture of gold and mercury being removed from the trap and retorted in the ordinary Way.

The amalgamated copper plates N should be cleaned off every day, or Whenever necessary, and the mercury should be strained and the hard amalgam retorted.

Having thus described my invention, what I claim isy 1. In a gold-separator, the rotary imperforate cylinder having a hand-hole and valve in each head near the periphery for receiving the pulp and permitting' the escape of Heat gold,

a valved peripheral discharge for the heavy concentrates, and discharge-cocks in one end at different distances from the periphery for the escape of the intermediate grades, substantially as described.

2. In a goldseparator, the combination of the rotary imperforate cylinder havinga handhole and valve in each head near the periphery for receiving the pulp and permitting the escape of float gold, a valved peripheral discharge for the heavy concentrates, and discharge-eocks in one end at different distances from the periphery for the escape of the intermediate grades, and astationary settling-box, into which the overflow from said cylinder is discharged, substantially as described.

In testimony whereof I af'iir: my signature in presence of two Witnesses.




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