The general characters of a soap are a certain greasiness to the touch, ready solubility in water, with formation of viscid solutions which on agitation yield a tenacious froth or " lather," an indisposition to crystallize, readiness to amalgamate with small proportions of hot water into homogeneous slimes, which on cooling set into jellies or more or less consistent pastes.
The process is rarely applied to ores direct; free-milling ores are generally amalgamated, and the tailings and slimes, after concentration, operated upon.
Of gold to the metric ton (2000 ib), is stamped and amalgamated, and the slimes and tailings, containing about 32 dwts.
After well washing with water, the slimes are roughly dried in bag-filters or filter-presses, and then treated with dilute sulphuric acid, the solution being heated by steam.
The slimes are treated chemically for the separation of the metals contained in them.
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