The Twenty-five Mile was at one time the centre of great expectations, and large sums of English capital have been sunk in the prospecting of the district. It has, however, remained for an Adelaide company, under the efficient management of Capt. Benj. Bryant, to attain the first and at present the solitary success in the locality in question. The mine is equipped with a 25-head mill by Messrs May Bros, of Gawler, S A, an air compressor by Messrs. Thomson & Co, Castlemaine, Vic,. and a special cyanide plant of the Simpson-White air agitation process type. The cyanide plant is the only one of its kind at present erected in Western Australia. The capacity of the pant is about 2,400 tons per month. The treatment of the sands and slimes, by this plant, is as follows: The tailings are conveyed from the battery direct to the cyanide plant by means of an air pump or lift: they then pass through Butters distributors into three large collection vats of 150 tons capacity each. The slimes overflow from these and are carried away in circular launders, attached to the vats, to the slime settlers. The vats are drained off from below and the tailings are trucked to agitator vats of a conical shape, which have a capacity of 10 tons each. Here the necessary cyanide solution is added. The charge is then agitated from a valve below the bottom of the agitators by compressed air for a period of two hours, more of less, according to the character of the ore.
A pressure of 20 lbs, of steam is sufficient for agitation.
The cyanide fumes or hydro Cyanide Acid Gas, which has been proved
to be to be a gold solvent, is conveyed to the next agitator vat,
and having passed through the remainder o the series, returning
eventually to the receiver. After agitation the contents of the
agitating vats are discharged into eight filtration vats, which
are of the same capacity as the conical shaped ones used for agitation.
The process then follows the recognised cyanide
principles. This treatment and style of plant has been most successfully
worked at Stawell, Victoria, on comparatively low grade ore, and
the Western Australian Government are at present erecting a similar
plant at the Norseman Public Battery. Right:
Cynade Plant, Premier Gold Mine, Kunanalling.
Below: Afternoon Shift at the Premier Gold Mine, Kunanalling.
The position of Cyanide Superintendent, on the Premier Mine, is filled by Mr F L Thomas. He has had a great amount of experience in the Simpson-White method of cyanidation, having managed the Mentronia plant at Stawell, Vic. He is a first-class chemist and will doubtless make a success of the position he at present occupies.
Captain Benjamin Bryant took charge of the Premier Mine in September, 1898, having resigned his position at the Gibralter Gold Mine, Adelong, NSW, in order to accept the new post above mentioned. A native of Cornwall, Captain Bryant had many years experience in the copper, tin, lead and silver mines of his native country. Leaving for Australia in 1871, he has had nearly 30 years of practical mining in Austalasia. Captain Bryant is one of a mining family, his two brothers, Mr Robert Ford Bryant, J.P., of Ballarat, Vic., and Captain Joseph Bryant, manager of the Morning Star Mine, at Mt Magnet, being well known mining identities, and his father and uncle managed some of the best known mines in Cornwall. The call for volunteers to uphold the British name in South Africa awoke the old marshal spirit in Capt. Bryant's family, and his eldest son, Mr Ernest William Bryant, now wears the Queen's uniform in the Western Australian Imperial Bushman's Contingent force. Being a first-class athlete in every branch of sport, he will doubtless uphold the honour of his country, be a credit to himself, to his family, and to the memory of his grandfather, who fought with Nelson at Trafalgar - "England expects every man to do his duty."
The capital of the Premier Gold Mining Co. is 50,000 shares of one pound each, on which 12s 6d have been paid. When Captain Bryant took charge of the mine the shares stood at 5s each, to-day they stand at 30s. He has paid three dividends, installed a splendid electric light plant by Splatt, Wall & Co., Perth, cyanide plant and increased crushing machinery, has paid all mine expenses and development work, and improved the mine plant generally to the value of 10, 000 pounds. This is a record to be proud of and one which the directors are not backward in appreciating. The sterling qualities of Captain Bryant are known to his many friends, who respect him as a manager and esteem him as a man.
Left to Right; F Aldridge, F Thomas, Capt. Benj. Bryant, F Dawe, J Dawe
We are specially favored in being able to present the portrait of Mrs Bryant, a lady of kindly and motherly feelings; her acts of charity have made her popular in Kunnanalling. She is a great supporter of the Church, and her efforts have been the means of securing a piano for the new Mechanics' Institute, Devoted to her husband and family, she is hospitality itself to the travellers who may be fortunate enough to stop at the mine. We trust both Captain and Mrs Bryant may long be spared to enjoy many more years of a happy married life.
The engineer is Mr Frederick Alderidge-known to his friends as a good fellow, he lives up to his reputation. Since January 10th, 1898, he has had complete charge of the mine machinery. From a 10-head mill crushing an average of 400 tons monthly, he has seen it increased to 25-head, giving an output of 1500 tons. Self-feeders are in course of erection, and with an increased water supply a great advance in the monthly tonnage crushed can be expected. At the moment a pipe line of 3 in. pipes, 3 half miles long, is being put down and should be completed within a few weeks. On the right: Mrs Benjamin Bryant
The financial department is entrusted to the care of Mr H G Beever, a South Australian. Mr Beever has been for some years mining accountant to Messrs, John Wyles & Co., Adelaide, in whose office the Premier Gold Mining Co. is registered. He assisted in the flotation of the company early in 1894, and has therefore seen it grow to its present enviable position. He was appointed to take charge of the office and financial departments on the mine some nine months ago. Mr Beever knows his work well and is invaluable to Captain Bryant.
Before closing this article we must mention that Mr J W Archibald, J.P. is the representative in this Colony for the Simpson-White Cyanide process. His advice, which is appreciated by Captain Bryant, has been of value to the mine.
Further articles: Merchants' Notes, Mining Machinery Requirements, How We Get Our Men. Anyone interested please email.
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