Fire Assay Crucible


This relatively simple looking ceramic (we call them pots) made of fire clay and proprietary additives, has an extremely long history in the gold business. Its use is referenced in historical texts that are more than 3000 years old, which when you think about it, is no surprise really. A crucible is, in simple terms, a ceramic cup.

The crucible is used for the first part of the fire assay fusion process. The following process is typical:

Flux and sample are added to the crucible

The above additions are mixed together inside

Heat is applied to the crucible and mixture by placing the pot in a furnace at > 1000oC

After a pre-determined period of time the crucible is removed and the molten contents are poured into a cast iron mould

The crucible is cooled and ready for it’s next use however, it may be disposed of if the previous sample contained high quantities of gold.

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