S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Torrente, Mr Miguel (metallurgy, geology)

Born: March 1862, Madrid, Spain.
Died: 17 November 1915, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Miguel Torrente, a consulting metallurgist, married Fredericka Falkensteyn in Lydenburg in October 1885. They had five children. In 1890 he appears to have resided in Klerksdorp, but by 1897 had settled in Johannesburg. He became an associate of the Chemical and Metallurgical Society of South Africa in 1897. In January 1900, just after the start of the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), he offered his services (as translator probably) to the government of the South African Republic (Transvaal) during the arrival of the Spanish military attache. After the war, in 1902, he became a member of the renamed Chemical, Metallurgical and Mining Society of South Africa, served on its council during 1904-1907 and on its pubication committee for 1906/7. A paper by him on "Improvements in slimes treatment" was published in the society's Journal (Vol. 5) for 1904/5.

Torrente presented a paper on "The evolution in the treatment of by-products on the Witwatersrand gold fields" at the second annual congress of the South African Association for the Advancement of Science, held in Johannesburg in 1904. His paper was published in the association's Report (pp. 71-83) for that year. Three years later he compiled a Report on the Vryheid (Natal) iron ore and manganese deposits, made for G.H. Bonas (Kimberley, 25 February 1907, 14p). The report was commissioned by the diamond merchant and financier Gustav H. Bonas (1866-1928). On the basis of Torrente's favourable findings Bonas obtained a concession from the Natal Government to build a railway line to Hlobane, but did not proceed.

Torrente was divorced in 1913. At the time of his death two years later he was married to his second wife, Harriet A.M. Meyer.

List of sources:
Chemical and Metallurgical Society of South Africa. Proceedings, 1897-1899, Vol. 2, lists of members and associates.

Chemical, Metallurgical and Mining Society of South Africa. Proceedings, 1902-1903, Vol. 3, list of members; Journal, 1904-1907, Vol. 5-7.

Dictionary of South African biography (G.H. Bonas), Vol. 5, 1987.

National Archives Repository (TAB), Source MHG, Vol. 0, Ref. 27638: death notice, Miguel Torrente.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). . Documents relating to Torrente, Miguel / Torrente, Miquel / Torrente, Mignel / Torrente, M.

South African bibliography to the year 1925. London: Mansell, 1979.

Compiled by: C. Plug