In this article, we examine the use of an unconventional procedure, PETRIMES, to estimate mineral resources of mercury deposits in California. The study, which is based on the nonparametric discovery process model and Q-Q plots, suggests that a lognormal distribution is appropriate for the mercury deposits in California. The results of the assessment are summarized as follows: (1) the total number of mercury deposits in the population is approximately 165; (2) the median value of the largest undiscovered deposit size is 487 flasks; (3) the mean of the remaining mercury potential is 2,500 flasks; and (4) the population resource ranges from 1,040,000 to 4,300,000 flasks (at a 0.9 probability level). ?? 1994 Oxford University Press.