patio process


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patio process

[′pad·ē·ō ′prä·səs]
(metallurgy)
A crude chemical method of reducing silver from its ores, followed by amalgamation in low heaps with the aid of salt and copper sulfate.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
He discusses the genesis and nature of silver ores, the dry refining process: smelting of silver ores and its impact on the environment, the wet refining process: the chemistry of the patio process, the physical infrastructure of the patio process, the Hacienda Santa Maria de Regla, the patio process and smelting at Regla, the economics of refining silver, and the environmental impact of silver refining: a shift of paradigm.
The Spanish discovery of the cinnabar deposit at Huancavelica, Peru around 1560 proved vital for the prosperity of silver mining in the New World because the "patio process" for the amalgamation of silver ores (invented in Pachuca by Bartholome Medina in 1554 and used widely in the New World thereafter; see later) required mercury.
Before the advent of the patio process, these ores were simply roasted out of the veins, then reduced in crude furnaces: one observer wrote that "the Peruvians get the silver by burning the hill, and, as the sulfur stone burns, the silver falls in lumps" (Rickard, 1932).
Before the advent of the patio process, the Spanish in South America borrowed their ore-smelting technology from the Incas.
These early technologies were rendered instantly obsolete, and the whole Spanish-American mining industry took a quantum leap forward, in 1554 with the advent of the "patio process" for the amal-gamation of silver ores.
The success of the patio process meant that mining no longer was confined to near-surface bonanza ores; some lower-grade ores could also be worked economically.