Fool's Gold Mining.
Millions of dollars' worth of gold has been illegally extracted from a gold mine in the Manado area of Indonesia, according to a 31 July 2000 BBC news report. Trespassing miners use large quantities of mercury to separate gold from surrounding materials. Toxic by-products of this process are dumped directly on the soil. An estimated 200 metric tons of mercury was released in the area during the first half of 2000. Environmental scientists have determined that mercury has made its way into nearby waters, which the local population of 400,000 depends on for food and fishing income.