Detectives in Kalgoorlie have unearthed what appeared to be a backyard gold extraction lab at a Turner Street business.
Police obtained a search warrant and a 37-year old man was arrested after the search of 22A Turner Street revealed evidence that the man was allegedly using mercury to extract gold.
Detectives found ore and gold at the premises.
The man has been charged with possessing stolen or unlawfully obtained property.
Detectives told the West Australian that it was a “small, unsophisticated set-up”.
Mercury is used to extract gold particles from ore by dissolving the gold into amalgam.
The mercury/gold amalgam is then heated to evaporate the mercury.