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The California Coast Ranges mercury deposits are part of the western North America mercury belt, in which mercury occurs most commonly as red cinnabar (α-HgS), sometimes associated with its high-temperature polymorph, metacinnabar (β-HgS). In the Coast Ranges, ores were deposited from hydrothermal solutions and range in age from Miocene to Holocene. Ore deposition at Mount Diablo generally occurred along active faults and associated extension fractures in the Franciscan complex, most often in serpentinite that had been hydrothermally altered to silica-carbonate rock. The Mount Diablo mine lies ~48 km (~30 miles) northeast of San Francisco in Contra Costa County and...

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