Mercury Contamination from Historic Gold Mining in California
Most of the mercury used in gold recovery in Cali fornia was obtained from the Coast Ranges mercury belt on the west side of California's Central Valley (ﬁg. 4). Historic mercury production peaked in the late 1870s (ﬁg. 5). Total mercury production in California between 1850 and 1981 was more than 220,000,000 lb (pounds) (Churchill, 1999).