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Wealth is under the Arctic Ocean in Russia

NSUSSIA largest The component republic is Yakut. It extends to the Arctic Circle and is the size of Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Finland and Romania combined, but has a population of only 1 million. In the last 10 years, due to the retreat of sea ice, a new route along the coast, the North Sea route (NSR). This is the shortest passage between East Asian and Western European ports, but its icy sea offers something even more valuable. It is a geological blessing deep in the surface in the form of cobalt, tin and rare earth metals.

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Due to bad weather and other mining obstacles NSR A daunting adventure. Nevertheless, many weapons and private investors in the Russian state have already turned to these underwater minerals in addition to the oil and gas in the region. The discovery of sediments on land gives hope for further offshore blessings. The nodules (small spheres of oxide scattered on the seafloor and first identified off the coast of Siberia) have a special promise. They contain minerals that can be used in everything from electronic devices to rechargeable batteries.

But there is a problem. Nodules are formed when seawater seeps into a magma chamber deep in the ocean floor. This water is heated to extreme temperatures before rising towards the surface through a chimney-like vent, a submarine volcano. In this process, metal seeps out of the crust and deposits on the seafloor. However, the stomata also warm the water nearby and maintain a prominent ecosystem on the ocean floor. These habitats are poorly understood and will take decades to be fully studied. Without proper environmental management, biologists and oceanographers fear that mineral extraction around stomata can destroy irreplaceable habitats.

“Impact assessments are easy to do on land,” says Javier Escartin of the Laboratoire de Géologie, an academic institution in Paris. “We do not have data on the ocean, where ecosystems are very fragile and often do not recover on the human timescale.” NSR Advanced robots are required to collect samples and map the ocean floor. Some argue that it is so expensive that the use of submarine resources becomes impossible.

So far, Russian mining companies are on guard. Russia’s largest diamond producer, Alrosa, describes Yakutia as the “northern frontier of short-term exploration,” but the company does not provide details. Norilsk, a major producer of nickel off the Taymyr Peninsula, emphasizes the need for green construction standards, but “we have not done deep sea mining and currently have no plans to do so.” But in 2001, Russia filed a claim to extend the exclusive economic zone from the coast 200 nautical miles to the Arctic.

The Yakut waters, which were completely frozen only 20 years ago, are now navigable by ordinary vessels for four months a year, and global warming could open up their windows. As the aisles get crowded, many are aware of the alarming risks. In addition to environmental impact assessments, increased protection of indigenous peoples, restrictions on dredging and pollution, and transparency of mining operations are required. “Especially now that the Arctic is open, regulations are inadequate,” says Marte Hampert, founder of the Arctic Institute, an American think tank. NS NSR, It appears to be a new economic and environmental flash point, both above and below the surface. ■■

This article was published in the European section of the printed version under the heading “The Jewels of Poseidon”.

Wealth is under the Arctic Ocean in Russia

Source link Wealth is under the Arctic Ocean in Russia

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