White Mercury Mining Process
In alluvial, colluvial or elluvial placer deposits, mercury is used for the extraction of secondary gold by gravity methods. Thanks to its intrinsic properties mercury allow to easily separate gold from other materials. "Mercury readily forms alloys with other metals called amalgams (...) Mercury is amalgamated with gold to facilitate the recovery of gold from its ores." wrote Anne Marie Helmenstine, our About Guide for chemistry.The article main introduce white mercury mining process.
To recover gold from the 50% mercury and 50% gold amalgam, it is heated to evaporate the mercury, leaving the gold behind.
White mercury mining process used in gold. Surprisingly and on top of being the world's largest employer in gold mining and representing 90% of the gold mining workforce worldwide, small-scale gold mining produces 15% of the annual gold production.
Mercury metal has many uses. Because of its high density it is used in barometers and manometers. It is extensively used in thermometers, thanks to white mercury mining process high rate of thermal expansion that is fairly constant over a wide temperature range. Its Its ease in amalgamating with gold is used in the recovery of gold from its ores.
Industry uses white mercury mining process as a liquid electrode in the manufacture of chlorine and sodium hydroxide by electrolysis of brine. Mercury is still used in some electrical gear, such as switches and rectifiers, which need to be reliable, and for industrial catalysis. Much less mercury is now used in consumer batteries and fluorescent lighting, but it has not been entirely eliminated.