A view of what was smelted at the Chihuahua plant. (from Metal Magic: The Story of the American Smelting and Refining Company by Isaac F. Marcosson, p. 200-201)
“At Santa Eulalia, the Mining Department has been supplying the Chihuahua smelter with oxidized lead-silver ores since its establishment in 1908. During the twenties, it was discovered that the ore from the San Antonio mine contained an appreciable amount of tin which was detrimental to the refining of lead bullion. With the development of a process for separating the tin from the silver and lead, and the production both of high-grade silver-lead and of tin concentrates, a 200-ton-per-day mill was built. It started operation in 1930. The operation comprised flotation, gravity concentration, and magnetic separation.”
“Exhaustion of the ores containing tin and the opening up of ores containing vanadium caused a shift in milling procedure to the treatment of the vanadium ores. It produced a vandium concentrate in addition to the silver-lead concentrate for the Chihuahua smelter. The exhaustion, in turn, of the vanadium ores and the development of a considerable tonnage of lead-zince sulphide ores necessitated remodeling and enlargement in 1940 to treat these ores. The remodeled mill was put in operation on a 600-ton daily basis in 1941. in this mill you have an illuminating instance of the progressive evolution in operation due to changes in ores and processes. Similarly the Tecolotes sulphide mill was rehabilitated. A portion of the plant was utlized in treating the accumulated tailings from the old gravity-concetration plant. These tailing still contained an appreciable amount of gold values together with some silver, lead, and zinc.”
“No further expansion in milling operations occurred until the United States’ entry into World War II, which created an abnormal demand for metals. A 200-ton-per-day section was added to the Avalos mill of the Santa Eulalia unit. It was built to handle certain ores from the San Antonio Mine, development ores from other small mining units, and miscellaneous high zinc custom ores from outside shippers that were not suited to direct smelting. Acquistion of the San Carlos properties brought with it a 400-ton mill at San Carlos, which was rehabilitated and place in operation in 1942. It produces lead concentrates for the Chihuahua smelter.”
To the far right, my great-grandfather, William James Morris and to the far left, plant manager, L.B. Harrison.
25 Years of Service Dinner
This photo courtesy of my aunt, Catina Wilson Shupe and Coky Zangwill Bohanon, shows some of the employees at the Avalos Smelter. From left to right: Pancho Bremer, Jr., Bob Harbin, George Zangwill, Bob McDonald, Andy Bradford, Rafael Gutierrez. Second row left to right: Mike Young, Pancho Bremer, Sr., Art Collins, Angel Alvarado. Back row left to right: Jack Austin, and standing J.K. Hardy and Emilio Navarro.