Russian Tanker Spills Chemicals Associated With Rare Earth Mineral Extraction In The Far East

In the far eastern regions of Russia, there is a little region called the Kamchatka peninsula which forms the starting point of an archepelago stretching to northern Japan. These islands, called the Kuril Islands in Russian and the Chishima Islands in Japanese, are a source of major tension between Russia and Japan since as reported, there are centuries of rare earth minerals in those island that are critical to use in robotics, advanced computing, and new forms of technology.

One of the major trends that we have identified as something to watch is disputes over minerals and other resources related to the development of supertechnologies, since just as the machine gun and poison gas won the First World War, the atom bomb the Second World War, the country that controls the computers, AI, and robotics the best will be the winner of a Third World War.

In an interesting development in that region, there has been a large tanker spill of phenol by Khalatyrsky Beach on Kamchatka, near the start of the archepelago.

Poisoning of water in the area of Khalaktyrsky beach in Russia’s Kamchatka region, according to preliminary data, was caused by oil products leak from a commercial tanker, which was eliminated. The ownership of the vessel has not yet been established, a source in the emergency services of the Far East region told TASS on Saturday.

“According to preliminary data, a commercial tanker followed the sea route along the beach with a leak, which was eliminated but led to a spill of oil products containing phenol. The vessel’s ownership has not yet been established, a search is underway,” the source said.

The source added that “this area of the Pacific Ocean has active routes of sea cargo ships.”

It was reported earlier that an excess of phenol and oil products was found in the coastal zone near Khalaktyrsky beach, where, according to local residents, a massive stranding of sea animals was seen on the shore. Later, phenol and oil products were identified in three more areas of the Avachinsky Bay in the Kamchatka region. The Russian Investigative Committee began a procedural check of information about the mass death of sea animals on Kamchatka beaches. (source)

Since phenol and phenol derivatives are used in the extraction of rare earth minerals, it suggests Russian mining activities taking place in this region, and given the tensions, while there is no way to prove it conclusively, one may wonder if the sinking was a genuine accident, or perhaps if there was external involvement, especially from a Japan with aspirations to return as a world military power.

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