A vessel with a nine-person crew and 700 tons of gold ore onboard has gone missing in stormy seas off Russia's Pacific Coast. The ship sent a distress call yesterday as it was sailing from the coastal town of Neran to Feklistov Island in the Sea of Okhotsk. The vessel, hired by mining company Polymetal, was carrying the gold ore from one deposit to another where it was to be processed. Gold ore is the material from which gold is extracted and contains only a small percentage of the precious metal.
Polymetal's spokesman would not estimate the value of the cargo. The company said it has shipped ore via that route before, and there was nothing unusual in shipping it by the sea.