Polymetal Says 700 Tons of Golden Ore Were on Missing Cargo Ship

A cargo ship that went missing yesterday in the Sea of Okhotsk was ferrying about 700 tons of golden ore that belonged to Polymetal International Plc, a Russian gold miner on London’s FTSE 100 index.

The vessel was carrying ore mined at the Avlayakan deposit, the St. Petersburg-based company said in an e-mailed statement today. “Responsibility for the cargo lies with the freight carrier,” according to the statement.

The dry-cargo freighter Amurskaya, operated by a company based in Nikolayevsk-on-Amur, was en route to Okhotsk from the port of Kiran with nine people on board when it disappeared near the Shantar Islands. The authorities deployed aircraft and ships for a search operation that has so far brought no “negative or positive results,” Alexander Khokhlov, an official at the port of Nikolayevsk-on-Amur in the Khabarovsk region, said by phone.

The incident won’t cause a substantial loss for Polymetal, according to Nikolay Sosnovskiy, an analyst at VTB Capital. Based on Polymetal’s earlier estimate for the Avlayakan deposit, the lost cargo contained gold worth an estimated $800,000, Sosnovskiy said by phone.

Polymetal and the port declined to comment on what cargo and ship insurance was in effect.

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