The loss of quicksilver in the process is large, owing to the formation of calomel which is not saved.
Gold, petroleum, copper, borax and its products, clays, quicksilver and silver lead, in order of importance, representing some fourfifths of the total.
Amalgamation is based on the property of quicksilver to extract the silver from finely-pulverized ore and collect it in the form of an amalgam.
The amalgam is dipped out from the bowl into a canvas bag (the strainer), to separate the excess of the quicksilver from the pasty amalgam, which is then retorted and melted.
It is a mirror which no stone can crack, whose quicksilver will never wear off, whose gilding Nature continually repairs; no storms, no dust, can dim its surface ever fresh;--a mirror in which all impurity presented to it sinks, swept and dusted by the sun's hazy brush--this the light dust-cloth--which retains no breath that is breathed on it, but sends its own to float as clouds high above its surface, and be reflected in its bosom still.
The loss in quicksilver is small, as there is no chemical loss inherent in the process; the yield is relatively high, but the bullion is liable to be low-grade, on account of copper being precipitated and amalgamated.
Iron ore, platinum, lead, quicksilver and cobalt have been obtained in the state in merchantable quantities, and there is some zinc ore in the Cascade Range.
Near Huancavelica is the famous quicksilver mine of Santa Barbara, with its subterranean church of San Rosario, hewn from the native cinnabar-bearing rock.
Krohnke into Copiapo, Chile, in 1860, the silver mineral of the pulverized ore is decomposed in a revolving barrel by a hot solution of cuprous chloride in brine in the presence of zinc or lead and quicksilver (see B.
The process is suited to easy ores and a region where the climate is warm and dry, and horseor mule-power, labour and quicksilver are cheaper than fuel and water.