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Ballarat School of Mines Metallurgical Laboratory, c1873, Federation University Historical Collection (Cat. No. 5658)



In 1873 the candidate for the Certificate of Assayer at the Ballarat School of Mines were required to pass the following subjects:




Candidates could either present themselves for both of the above Subjects at one Examination, or they may present themselves for the first Subject at one half-yearly Examination, and the remaining Subject at a second examination, but not more than two half-yearly examinations must intervene between the first and second examinations.[1]

THE VICTORIAN SCHOOL OF MINES. (From the S. M. Herald.) THE school of mines is one of the institutions of Ballarat. ... The chemical laboratory is a very interesting sight when all the students are engaged at their several experiments. This laboratory is fitted with all the appliances and chemicals necessary for studying inorganic chemistry to its highest stages; and so also are the metallurgical departments, with their twelve smelting - furnaces used for assaying ores as well as smelting gold. Last year no less than 66,408 oz. of gold and 715 oz. of silver were smelted in these furnaces, and 2114 assays and analyses were made. The school, in the matter of assays, offers a great boon to miners who come in with their gold, not knowing its real value. All they have to do is to go to the school and get their cake of the precious metal assayed, and they are told to the fraction of a penny what the gold-buyer or bank should give. There are also cupellation furnaces and a blast furnace, the balances for ascertaining the specific gravity of substances, and for weighing in connection with quantitative analysis to the 1000th part of a grain. A feature connected with the school of mines is the yet unfinished pyrites works. The extraction of the gold from pyrites and the utilization for commercial purposes of other substances connected with pyrites are peculiarly important to Ballarat, because were a simple and inexpensive method devised there are millions and millions of tons of: quartz that would then be made remunerative. With this thought in their minds two scientific gentlemen invented the school of mines self-acting rotatory furnace. This, for lack of funds, has not been completed as yet, but the amount in hand for the purpose. is daily increasing, and it will eventually be. an accomplished fact. It is in contemplation also to erect machinery shops,in connexion with the school, and it is purposed to construct a steam-engine to do at once the work of the pyrites treatment and the machine room. A model shaft and mine too are being prepared for on the reserve, so that practical mining of the most thorough character may be taught on the ground.[2]

Staff Members

Hubert Murphy's Ballarat School of Mines Certificate of Competency as Assayer, 1897. Federation University Historical Collection (Cat. No. 436)


John Dickinson - Frederick Holst - William F.M. Johnson - H.R.W. Murphy - Leonard P. Seal - R. T. Vale

Ballarat School of Mines Certificate of Competency in Assaying (including Metallurgy)

# Name Year
Frederick James Gromm 1874
Alexander Hughes 1874
Alexander Thompson Morrison 1874
Richard Taylor Vale 1874
Isaac Lewis(New Zealand) 1875
Robert Malachy Serjeant 1875
Samuel Ernest Figgis 1875
Samuel Baird 1875
John Rowe 1875
Charles Flude 1876
Matthew Dougald Hamilton 1876
John Sharp 1876
William Edward Burbridge 1882
Stephen Harris 1882
James Robert Bradshaw 1883
William Thomas Henry Corbould 1883
William Thomas Gronow 1883
Arthur Edward Hogue 1883

Also See

Ballarat School of Mines




  1. The School of Mines Ballarat: A Statement of the Objects and Present Resources of the School, 1873.
  2. Queanbeyan Age, 18 September 1978.
Leonard Seal's Ballarat School of Mines Certificate of Competency as Assayer, 1902. Federation University Historical Collection (Cat. No. 437)

--C.K.Gervasoni 09:56, 27 February 2014 (EST)

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