The Stetefeldt Shaft Furnace.—Although very expensive in first cost, has many advantages. No motive power is required and the structure of the furnace is of a durable character. Its disadvantages are:—Want of control, and the occasionally imperfect character of the roasting originating therefrom.
Three sizes of Stetefeldt’s furnaces are constructed:
The largest will roast from 40 to 80 tons per diem.
The intermediate will roast from 20 to 40 tons per diem.
The smallest will roast from 10 to 20 tons per diem.
A good furnace should bring down the sulphur contents even of concentrates so as to be innocuous to mercuric amalgamation. The sulphur left in the ore should never be allowed to exceed two per cent.
A forty per cent pyritous or other sulphide ore should be roasted in a revolving furnace in thirty to forty minutes, and without any auxiliary fuel.
For ordinary purposes a 40-foot chimney is adequate for furnace work; such a chimney four feet square inside at the base, tapering to 2’ 6” at the summit, will require 12,000 red bricks, and 1500 fire-bricks for an internal lining to a height of 12 feet from the base of the chimney shaft.
When second-hand Lancashire or Cornish boiler flues are available, they make admirable and inexpensive chimneys. The advantage of wrought-iron or steel chimneys lies in the convenience of removal and erection. They should be made in sections of 20 feet long, three steel wire guy-ropes attached to a ring, riveted to a ring two-thirds of the height of the chimney, and attached to holdfasts driven into the ground; tightening couplings should be provided for each wire.
Flue dust depositing chambers should be built in the line of the flues between the furnace and the chimney; they consist simply of carefully built brick chambers, with openings to enable workmen to enter and rapidly clear away the deposited matters. The chambers, three or four times the cross sectional area of the chimney flue, and ten to twenty feet long, can be built of brickwork, set in cement; the walls are provided with a cavity, filled with sand or Portland cement, so that there will be no danger of the incursion of air. In all furnace work the greatest possible precautions should be taken to prevent the least cracking of either joints or bricks. It is surprising how much the inadequate draft of a good chimney is due to cracks or orifices in the flues; and therefore a competent furnace-man should see to it that his flues are thoroughly sound, and free from openings through which the air can enter.[*]
[*] For full details of the most recent improvements in the cyanide process and in other methods of extraction, the reader is referred to Dr. T. K. Rose’s “Metallurgy of Gold,” third edition.
MOTOR POWER AND ITS TRANSMISSION