Police have uncovered a makeshift gold processing plant in the backyard of a Kalgoorlie-Boulder house.
Police said they discovered the rough-and-ready plant at a Carrington Street address in Western Australia when they were executing a search warrant issued for drugs, the ABC reports.
It is alleged during the search police uncovered about 3.5 grams of methylamphetamine as well as a rudimentary gold processing plant, including a cement mixer and steel balls for use as a makeshift crush and grinding circuit.
Gold stealing detection unit’s Dave Tobin said initial findings suggest mercury was being used in the extraction process.
Police are concerned the mercury may have contaminated the property.
"Mercury, if not dealt with correctly, can be quite dangerous and harmful to one's health," he said.
"As a result the place was cordoned off; we're waiting for the chem centre, environmental protection and also DFES to come in and assess it, and deal with that appropriately."