Philip Argall died at Denver, Colo., U.S.A., on March 18th, 1922, in his 69th year. He was of British origin, being born in Ireland of Cornish parents, but he became a naturalized American citizen on taking up his permanent residence in the United States in 1887.
His ﬁrst twenty-ﬁve years were spent in Ireland, where he worked on two copper mines, at ﬁrst on ore-dressing, then as shift-boss, and ﬁnally as superintendent. Though he had started life with few educational advantages, he acquired learning, and before leaving Ireland he had already began to write on geological subjects.
At the age of 25 he crossed the St. George’s Channel to Wales, where he was given charge of a de-tinning plant at Swansea and in that connection devised a new method of smelting the slags. Shortly afterwards, he went to Cornwall and joined the ﬁrm of Rickard Brothers, for whom he later travelled to Australia. For one year he was manager of the Kapanga Mine in New Zealand.
In 1887 he was appointed manager of the La Plata Smelter and so began his long association with the mining industry of Colorado. He was a pioneer of the cyanide process in the United States and built the ﬁrst large plant at Cripple Creek to deal with the sulpho-telluride ores, adapting cyanidation to this end with the aid of ﬁne crushing and preliminary roasting. Other successful mills that he designed included the Metallic Plant of Florence, and he was also associated with Stratton’s Independence, Golden Cycle and Dolores mines. He took also a considerable share in adapting ﬂotation to the treatment of zinc ore in New Mexico.
During the latter part of his life he was closely engaged in the microscopic study of free gold in quartz and in sulphides, a work which necessitated considerable periods spent in the laboratory of the U.S. Geological Survey at Washington.
In 1902 he contributed a paper to the Transactions of the Institution on ‘Sampling and Dry Crushing in Colorado’ (vol. x, 1901-2), in recognition of which in the following year he received the award of ‘The Consolidated Gold Fields of South Africa, Ltd.’ Gold Medal.
Mr. Argall was elected a Member of the Institution in 1898.
Vol. 32, Trans IMM 1922-23, pp. 285-6