♫♫ Hi everyone, Cody here So ive been hiking around most of the day and in fact uh I’m now off the ranch, if i think about it the ranch should be that way a couple of miles And I’m actually currently on public lands, behind me is a thing I’ve been looking for right back there This uh mine, they were actually mining mercury here Lets go get a little bit of a closer look at that Yeah, here’s the entrance of the mine here You can see that somebody’s been in there recently, with some beer cans, but you’ll notice that all of the wood is actually fairly new Now, my dad says that he was over here when he was a little kid and and they were still mining this I think there were still mining in here till the 80’s so that would mean this wood is only like what… 40 years old, not even 40, maybe even closer to 30 Yeah see that was probably bought at Home Depot It was probably one of the newer mines in the area Yeah, I don’t want to go in there today, mostly because I don’t have a light, and second I have no idea what’s back there could be a.. there could be a hole in the ground that was covered up with stuff and I would never know So! Actually lets head back out and go look at the thing that I actually wanted to come out here for Now, I actually brought my other camera you can see it right here might as well pick this back up Now unfortunately this thing is a brick right now because I packed the wrong battery and I don’t have a way to get it to run again So unfortunately I’m using my cell phone here anyway Right down there is the thing I wanted to come over here and look at and here it is If my sources are correct this should be a mercury still they were actually distilling the mercury right here now It looks kind of weird and I actually don’t know how it works but uh yeah they were definitely roasting something see there’s a fire box in there looks like a hopper just sticks in it so yeah My objective for today was to have a look at this and see how it works okay.. So I’m up standing over the hopper here.. see it mostly got sticks and stuff that has fallen down in it and I’ve been trying to dig this out a little bit.. using this uh.. what I assume is a some sort of rake to see exactly where those tubes go so I’m still digging those out but I’m also finding some rocks in here pulling those up towards me see yeah this rock doesn’t look like ore to me In fact, most of the rocks in here appear to be more or less random I think someones throwing them in lets see, there’s a white one there looks like calcite let’s pull that up eh that looks promising oh yeah there we go there’s some cinnabar right there see this red spot little bit different color than you would see with iron see here’s some iron staining right there see how the cinnabar is a much darker red yeah so here’s our ore right here in fact.. if I’m not mistaken there’s another piece right there there we go ehh definitely what I would expect to find associated with cinnabar look’s like mostly iron staining there sure if I broke it open and looked at it a little closer I might find something but yeah so that’s the ore they’re using and I’m assuming that this thing I’m assuming this hopper was filled with the ore and then it fed down into the heat box down there so this would have been full of fire would of gotten hot let me look at this a little bit more Okay, so it looks like the ore would come down this big square shoot then I’ve got this pipe that goes through it now.. that goes down into here where it would be heated by a fire Okay, so my current hypothesis is that the rock, after it’s been roasted and heated up, comes out this shoot here and air, I’m thinking, would be sucked in here possibly there’s some holes so that it would mix the air with the rock not entirely sure on that It looks like there’s a little bit of corrosion here …maybe I can bust this open and see what’s inside. see here… It looks like there are some rocks in there Know what, that looks like a piece of lime Which I’m assuming was calcite which has been heated up Excellent. Hypothesis verified. So the ore did come in here and then out here Looking in there I don’t really see a connection but I’m assuming there is one So my thoughts are that mercury vaporizes from the rock and then it gets pulled along with heated air up this pipe goes around goes down here and up that stack the top of that is capped off, I’ve looked at it then hot gasses would go down this little pipe there then there’s a second stack coming up So, I’m assuming the mercury would settle down at the bottom of these things and get collected So I dug down on this and it appears that either this piece of steel has completely rotted off or it was open at the end. So there must have been a collection vessel right down there to collect the mercury Possibly even something that, like, screwed on? Uh, you can see it a little bit better over on this side See this one’s also about the same It looks like it’s quite a bit rotted but it used to have some threads on there. So they might have had a bottle or something to catch the mercury and uh, this tube right here is vented to the atmosphere So yeah, these were the condensation columns to collect the mercury Awesome So the rock would go down this hopper and this chute get heated up in this box til it’s red hot then air would pass over it being sucked in, because it’s buoyant the air would go up through this pipe down there up here and it’d get cooled off and then it’d go down this one and up that one to get finished cooling What an awesome piece of engineering. Heh, heh Okay That’s all I wanted to know I guess I’ll go back to my own mine. Okay, so I’m back at the ranch I’ve got a battery for my camera and, there’s an outcrop of cinnabar ore behind me here which I’ve extracted mercury from in the past. Now, the cinnabar ore here is a little bit different than what’s on the other side of the mountain You can see here it’s got sandstone instead of the calcite. as you can see there. Now, I would argue and say that the ore is actually the same it’s just had a little bit of different chemistry happen to it since it was formed. The rock that’s associated with the ore that was on the other side of the mountain is the same. It is sandstone and it’s got those little red specks throughout it and it does of course contain cinnabar The thing that’s mainly different here is the fact that there’s no calcite. But I would actually venture and say that there used to be calcite here. In fact there were probably veins of calcite just like this and because the conditions on this side of the mountain were a little bit more acidic the calcite has dissolved away over time leaving these nice smooth pieces of cinnabar behind Uh, the coloring is a little bit different but I would actually say that that’s probably due to the fact that this has been hot at one point. I’m not sure if that was because it was in the hopper next to the fire, or if there was a forest fire that came through and heated it up but yes it’s uh, it’s gotten a little bit hotter Uh, the color is similar, It could also be due to the fact that the crystal size in this one’s a little bit larger than this one So the ore here is very similar to what they have on the other side of the mountain But, I’d say that the quality here is quite a bit lower which is why that I personally have only been able to extract maybe about a pound of mercury from it. So that raises the question: where on earth did I get hundreds and hundreds of pounds of mercury to flush down a toilet? (chuckles) …if you’ve seen that video, well link over there somewhere. The answer to that is actually that a lot of the mercury did come from over on the other side of the mountain My grandpa was friends with them and mercury wasn’t actually what they were mining for mostly. They were actually after the gold which is associated with the cinnabar. See the cinnabar actually contains a very small amount of gold in it and what they were doing is they were roasting it out, they were extracting the mercury and then they’d save the rock and they’d crush it up probably did a cyanide process to it to leech out the gold. And uh as far as I know they were actually selling the mercury until the price of mercury dropped and they still had a bunch of mercury they wanted to get rid of and my grandpa took several flasks off of their hands and that’s the mercury I have today. That’s not all of the mercury I’ve got though I did have a dentist or actually the son of a dentist down in California, he had a bunch of little one pound bottles of dental mercury he wanted to get rid of them, I was someone who was very experienced with working with mercury and… so I took them off his hands. So I hope that answers some of the questions you had Hope you enjoyed and I’ll see you next time.