[LB034234], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to Samuel J Ritchie, November 26th, 1889


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[LB034234], Letter from Thomas Alva Edison to Samuel J Ritchie, November 26th, 1889

Editor's Notes

Replying to your letter of 21st instant, in regard to refining iron ores in Canada by means of Magnetic Ore Separator, I beg to answer your queries categorically as follows: ### "FIRST. What would be the approximate cost per ton, of the ore as mined form the ground, for crushing and separating the iron contained in it from the silica or other foreign matter, by your process?" ### A. Actual cost, 62 cents per crude ton. ### "SECOND. How much iron will you be compelled to waste in the rocky matter which you separate from the iron?" ### A. 1 ½ to 2 units of original ore. ### "THIRD. How high a grade of ore can you produce from an ore carrying, as minted, shy forty per cent, of metallic iron?" ### A. Average 65% by refining concentrates, cost 10 cents a ton, 68%. ### "FOURTH. What would be the difference per ton in cost of producing an ore that would yield sixty per cent, and one yielding sixty-eight per cent?" ### A. Ten cents. ### "FIFTH. To how low a grade of ore can you use the whole product of the mine, without throwing any portion of it into the waste heap, by sorting or separating it into second class piles?" ### A. It will pay to use as low as 20 unit ore. ### "SIXTH. Allowing, as is usually the case in all magnetic ores, that thirty per cent, of the ore mined is thrown into the waste heap, these heaps usually carrying about forty per cent., of iron, how much of the cost per ton for mining can you save by grinding up the whole amount mined and saving all the ore contained in it?" ### A. Ordinarily, mining costs $1.00 per ton; if you take everything down to 20 unit, cost generally will be 50 to 60 cents. ### "SEVENTH. Can you lower the phosphorous contained in magnetic ores?" ### A. We can reduce the phosphorous 75 to 80 per cent. ### "EIGHTH. Will the fine ore which is obtained by your crushing and separating process be worth as much per unit of iron, when delivered at the furnaces, as the Lake Superior Bescemor ores containing an equally high percentage of iron?" ### A. Yes, so the iron men say, and worth more if we go to 68 per cent. ### "NINTH. Calling the mining of the Canadian magnetic ores One Dollar per ton, the Railway and Lake freights One Dollar and sixty cents per ton, the duty seventy-five cents per ton, seventy per cent. Of the ores carrying fifty-five percent, and thirty per cent carrying forty per cent. Can you deliver this ore in Cleveland at as low a price per unit of iron as the Lake Superior ores can be delivered at same place, the Lake Superior ores being subject to a royalty of Fifty cents per ton and the Canadian ores being free from royalty?" ### A. About the same. Can on above assumption of costs deliver a 68 per cent. ore at Clevelant for $5 per ton, sure, against a 65 per cent. ore from Lake Superior. ### "TENTH. On what terms will you erect, at your own expense, upon the line of the Central Ontario Railway at the mines belonging to the Anglo-American Iron Company in Canada, the plant for which you have now completed the plans, having a capacity for treating one thousand tons of ore per day?" ### A. I will put up mill and refine for 70 cents per crude ton up to 65% and refine concentrates at 10 cents per ton, to bring up to 68%, capacity 1,000 tons daily – no less. You may purchase mill at end of two years on twenty per cent earnings, being capitalized at par. ### "ELEVENTH. On what terms will you put up a similar plant having a capacity of two thousand tons per day?" ### A. Sixty-seven cents. ### "TWELFTH. How soon can you have this plan in condition to work?" ### A. Beginning May 1st, 1890 – 90 working days. ### "THIRTEENTH. Do you think it practicable and advisable to put up a blast furnace for smelting this ore, and a steel plant for the manufacture of steel, in Canada? If so, what measures are necessary to be adopted by the Dominion Government?" ### A. Yes; Protective tariff and a bonus for eight years. ### "FOURTEENTH. Are you willing to become interested in the smelting and manufacturing of iron and steel in Canada?" ### A. Yes. Very truly yours, [signed] TAE





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Thomas A. Edison Papers, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University
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