What toxic compound is extracted with gold?

Large amounts of Hg are released into the environment as a result of its use in gold mining. Mercury is a shiny liquid metal that attacks the nervous system. Exposure can cause lifelong disability and is particularly harmful to children. At higher doses, mercury can kill.

Its most important use worldwide is in small-scale gold mining. Artisanal, small-scale gold mining is a vital source of income, but it's also very dangerous because miners use toxic mercury to separate gold from ore.