Russian scuba divers find shipwrecked Polymetal gold cargo

MOSCOW Wed Nov 7, 2012 2:49pm IST

Related Topics

Stocks

   

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian scuba divers have found a sunken cargo ship loaded with 700 tonnes of gold ore owned by Polymetal International Plc shipwrecked off Russia's Far East coast, the transport ministry said on Wednesday.

The dry-cargo freighter Amurskaya, whose cargo was worth an estimated $230,000, went missing early last month in the Okhotsk sea - one of the main routes for Russia to Asian markets.

The vessel, built in 1972, had a nine-member crew on board, but no bodies have been found in the wreckage, rescue workers said.

"Scuba divers investigated the sunken object - it is the Amurskaya freighter," the Transport Ministry cited state lifeguard services as saying in a statement. "We plan to continue work by penetrating inside the vessel."

The ship, operated by a company based in Nikolayevsk-on-Amur, left the Kiran Sea terminal on October 28 carrying ore from Polymetal's Avlayakan mine to be deliver at its Hakanja processing plant.

At current gold prices, the 700 tonnes of gold ore is worth about $230,000, analyst Sergey Donskoy at Societe Generale said. Each tonne of ore out of the Avlayakan mine contains about 6 grammes of gold.

The shipwrecked freighter was discovered on the sea bed at a depth of 25 metres (82 feet), where experts say it sunk after its cargo was displaced in roiling, high seas - swiftly capsizing the vessel.

"A ladder, the lack of people on the bridge, the open door to the room below the bridge deck and the lack of lifeboats on board confirms with a high likelihood that the crew attempted an emergency evacuation," the ministry statement said.

The director of the ship's operator is being investigated on charges of negligence for having sent the vessel out in bad weather and overloading it with gold ore.

(Reporting By Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Alison Birrane)

FILED UNDER:

Sony Cyber Attack

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Exit Polls

Exit Polls

BJP unlikely to form Jammu & Kashmir govt - polls.  Full Article 

Forceful Conversions

Forceful Conversions

BJP distances itself from religious conversions.  Full Article 

Photo

Fund Raising

Flipkart raises $700 million in fresh funding.   Full Article 

Reforms Push

Reforms Push

Modi may order insurance, coal reforms if vote delayed - officials.  Full Article 

Economic Pulse

Economic Pulse

Crank up public spending to revive growth - chief economic adviser.  Full Article 

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

India looks to sway Americans with nuclear power insurance plan  Full Article 

Down Under

Down Under

Magic Johnson inspires Australia to second test win.  Full Article 

Going International

Going International

Bollywood’s Priyanka Chopra sets sights on American TV.  Full Article 

India This Week

India This Week

Some of our best photos from this week.   Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device   Full Coverage