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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Deadwood in Lawrence County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Riches from Mud

 
 
Riches from Mud Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, July 23, 2009
1. Riches from Mud Marker
Inscription. Gold had to be removed from the ore (rock) brought out of the mine. Milling processes crushed the ore to the size of sand. Mercury, cyanide or heat then isolated the gold particles. Deadwood Gulch mill men used several methods, including stamp/amalgamation, chlorination, cyanide leaching, and smelting. The Slime Plant in front of you extracted gold from muddy, finely crushed ore. This slime was dried in large filter presses, then leached with cyanide solution, which dissolved the gold. Charles W. Merrill invented this variation of the cyanide process for the Homestake Mining Company. The company paid the inventor a percentage or the gold that his method saved – making Merrill a wealthy man. The plant operated from 1906 to 1973.

[Illustration captions, top right; bottom row, left to right:]
Workers exposed themselves to dangers in both industrial mining and milling. [Photo:] Black Hills Mining Museum.
The press floor in the Slime Plant. [Photo:] Homestake Mining Company Filter presses in the Slime Plant. [Photo:] Homestake Mining Company.
A diagram of the layout of the Slime Plant. The sludge entering the mill at the top of the hill, on the left of the diagram.
 
Erected by Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission.
 
Location.

The Slime Plant being renovated image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, July 23, 2009
2. The Slime Plant being renovated
44° 22.5′ N, 103° 43.823′ W. Marker is in Deadwood, South Dakota, in Lawrence County. Marker is at the intersection of Pine Street and Water Steet on Pine Street. Touch for map. This marker is adjacent to the "Bonanza in the Hills" marker. Marker is in this post office area: Deadwood SD 57732, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bonanza in the Hills (within shouting distance of this marker); Gold in the Gulch (within shouting distance of this marker); Gold Discovery in the Great Sioux Reservation (within shouting distance of this marker); Civic Stability (within shouting distance of this marker); Deadwood Changing -- 1884 1902 and Now (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Serving the Black Hills (about 400 feet away); Waite Block Annex (about 400 feet away); Sherman Street and the East Side (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Deadwood.
 
Additional keywords. mining
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 19, 2011, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 499 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 19, 2011, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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