Gold and mercury

Nevada is still the top gold producing state, turning out 85 percent of the U.S. total, according to the Nevada Division of Minerals. The state’s mines produced 6.852 million ounces of gold in 2005, though that was down a hair from the previous year.

As if in confirmation, Christopher James Gold Corporation this week announced it will reopen two old mining districts in south-central Nevada. The Canadian corporation has acquired options on a couple hundred historic gold claims.

In the first case, James Gold has optioned 159 claims over five square miles in the area of the Olympic and Loo mines, which was a boom area in 1919-1920.

The Canadian corporation also has optioned 48 claims immediately east of the Olympic Mine area, which it is calling the Cedar Mountain Project. It is the site of the Warrior Mine, which was active in 1930.

A statement from the company said of the Warrior site, “The alteration and geochemical signature at HD indicate a high-level epithermal gold environment with anomalous mercury, arsenic and gold. … Rock chip samples demonstrate anomalous gold and strongly anomalous mercury that may be leakage along structure from an underlying mineralized body.”

On Tuesday, gold prices surged above $700 an ounce—a point not reached since 1980.