There are old Cinnabar mines around my area. What’s Cinnabar you ask, why it’s Mercury Sulfide. Back in the day, they’d dig that stuff up by hand, then heat it in big metal pots over a wood fire to render out the Mercury.
I know this cause one of the Olde Timers in the area was talking about going to the mines as a boy, and watching his father work while playing with Mercury and running around in the fumes from the pots.
He’s fine, no ill effects. Don’t know how everybody else turned out, but I’m damn sure not trying that. We’ve progressed since then in scientific and safety thinking. No need to go back.