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Although mercury may be found a the native metal, this is extremely rare. The main resources are three ores :cinnabar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinnabar)corderoite (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corderoite)livingstonite (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Livingstonite)Cinnabar is by far the most common, and was already known in Roman times as a source for mercury. Marco Polo also describes how mercury is won by roasting cinnabar.
Controlled oxidation of cinnabar by roasting in air will give mercury. Mercury can also be recovered from its compounds by roasting with soda.