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Mercury Help Needed
swizz
post May 31 2011, 04:13 PM
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I collected three sluice samples this weekend and one of the concentrates contains a LOT of liquid Mercury. I noticed a good sized ball in my #20 mesh, and much more in my #30.
Needless to say... I stopped processing at that point and quarantined this bag of concentrate. I realize that the Mercury is probably holding all of the Gold from that sample and don't care to recover it.
Not sure whether I hit a naturally occurring deposit or if it was residual from something else. This was in the lower reaches of Kaufman Creek, so miners beware. crossbones.gif
Thankfully my other two samples were taken elsewhere and have no Mercury. All samples were taken from pristine NF lands which were never commercially mined.
Question: Now that I have removed it from the environment I would like to dispose of this properly, what is the safest and best method?
Thanks. cheers.gif


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kmontoya911
post May 31 2011, 04:24 PM
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swizz,

CSU has a group that can dispose of it. Or, I can try to contact them or a member of our haz mat team tomorrow. For now, a glass jar that seals would be best.


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swizz
post May 31 2011, 04:53 PM
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Hi Ken,
Thanks for the fast reply and I responded to your PM.
I currently have the Mercury-contaminated concentrate stored in a Ziploc storage bag and quarantined.
Myself and all equipment which came in contact has been cleaned.


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russau
post Jun 1 2011, 08:08 AM
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cover it with water also, then put that bag into a glass container to protect the bag from getting punctured.handel with care obviously!
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Coalbunny
post Jun 4 2011, 12:54 AM
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First, put it in something better than a bag.
Second, water is not needed if the bag/container is sealed. Hg does evaporate, but the rate of evaporation/vaporization decreases with cold temps.
Third, if I find any I'm keeping it.

So put it in a bag, push the air out, seal it, and put it in the freezer. It may not solidify, but the vapor potential is miniscule compared to when it's at room temps. You can also put it in a second bag, just in case.

The problem is in using it. Open sores, cuts, scrapes, stuff like that, increases your absorption. If you use golves and use it in a proper setting, it's relatively safe and can be recycled. Just because the government says it's poisonous should not scare you. Just use precautions.

A can of RAID is more toxic than Hg is. Yet you can buy it over the counter. Attacking Hg is only reducing the methods available to recover fine gold in an economic fashion.
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swizz
post Jun 4 2011, 06:43 AM
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I can save it for you if you'd like.


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Coalbunny
post Jun 13 2011, 02:15 AM
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Sure. Wurx pher me!
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ColoradoProspect...
post Jun 14 2011, 08:16 AM
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Mercury isn't all that scary to have or deal with really. You can seperate it from the cons rather easily too.
Jesse down at Vic's gave me some tips on how he seperates it and recovers it from the cons he has done.

Set up a stainless steel cooking tray with the 2 inch sides in a sunny spot. Make one corner lower than the rest just a little.
Spread out the cons in the try to dry them out. As they are drying gently roll them over keeping the lowest corner empty of cons. If there is enough merc in the cons they it pool up in the low spot when dry since the merc isn't going to adhere to anything else in the sands, just the gold it touches.

Mercury doesn't evaporate at that low of a temp either so that won't be a concern for sun drying the cons. You may not get much to pool if it's a small sample so this may not work for seperation at the sample levels, just thought it was worth a mention.
I've got loads of mercury around from grand dad's old stuff, I keep it in the bottles he had it in.....heavy glass, dark brown and not full.

Good luck out there everyone and be safe.

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russau
post Jun 14 2011, 08:28 AM
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QUOTE (Coalbunny @ Jun 13 2011, 02:15 AM) *
Sure. Wurx pher me!

Carl dont talk with your mouth full! its hard to understand! :)
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