Antoine M. Gaudin His Influence On Mineral Processing

Arbiter, Nathaniel
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1976
In attempting to assess the contributions of Antoine Gaudin to the profession which he illuminated for almost a half-century, we will need to examine a very broad canvas. He was active in three significant areas: as a teacher; in research, both through his own endeavors and those of his students; and as a consultant to the mining industry and to the Government. Beyond these specific contributions, there was the major personal influence he had on scores of students, friends, and colleagues in the profession. If a single measure of the man's contribution is to be found, it will be the extent and direction in which he influenced the practice of his profession. To find this we should examine the state of miner- al processing when he began his activities in the 1920's, the progress which has taken place over the past half-century, and the part his activities played in this advance. However, there is a provocative and broader examination which I have chosen to make instead. This is to examine the past century in mineral processing through the lives of three men who, by common agreement, stand on the heights, both in teaching and in their contributions to industry: Robert H. Richards, Arthur F. Taggart, and the man whose memory we honor this evening, Antoine M. Gaudin. Their careers, by coincidence, cover just a century. This is also AIME's first century, and the first century of mineral industry education in the United States. In fact, mineral processing itself on any significant scale in the country encompasses only a century and a quarter. BEGINNINGS OF PRACTICE IN THE U.S. Before the 1840qs, U.S. mining, except for coal and iron ore, was on a small scale and was confined to the eastern states, with processing practically nonexistent. The 1840's saw the beginning of Michigan native copper production, including ore dressing; the 18501s, iron ore production in Minnesota; and the 18601s, lead production and processing in Missouri. But the most explosive event was the California gold rush after 1848, which not only brought tens-of-thousands of fortune hunters to the West, but also catalyzed broad mining activities and processing within the following decades. This was not only in Calif-
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