BOLARUS IX — A Federation mining team has unearthed a massive thallium deposit on the Bolian homeworld.
Multiple inquiries, over a period of two years, were made to investigate possible mining prospects into the relatively empty east continent on Bolarus IX. The inhabitants of Bolarus IX, mostly Bolians, made apparent their problems with natural resources on their world some time ago. They had therefore begun an investigation into the metallic mountains on their continents. The depletion of multiple copper mines near the capital in the last year have led to increasing dependence upon Federation cargo shipments.
“The vast distance from other Federation colonies makes it difficult for long-range supply vessels to reach the homeworld,” said Federation Trade Secretary O’Stell. “It would help in their self-preservation if the people of Bolarus IX could harvest many rare metals from their own system.”
Apart from the discovery of multiple dilithium deposits and a large titanium deposit, the biggest discovery was a thallium mine found by Dr. T’Vrell, a renowned Bolian geologist who served as Chief Science officer on the USS Halibut. She led efforts into the search for metal-rich deposits on Bolarus IX. Thallium has multiple purposes but is mostly used for multiple sensors in tricorders, mostly for detecting electromagnetic signals ranging from infrared to gamma rays. However, raw thallium is known to interfere with Starfleet astrometric sensors. As such, the mining of the material is a dangerous endeavor.
“Thallium is a highly volatile material,” explained Dr. T’Vrell as she answered queries from multiple mining companies. “It will require some heavy mining tools not easily accessible from the Federation market. Also, the thallium must be extracted from its naturally occurring minerals, crookesite and hutchinsonite. This makes the production of this metal a long process.”
Several Bolian companies have already offered contracts to build and operate the mining systems for the thallium mine. However, the Federation has also expressed interest in the thallium deposit, in order to use it to construct tricorder equipment. They also wanted to use the thallium ore to research the influence it has on sensor and deflector technology. Dr. Robert Langley, a former pupil of renowned Dr. Brody, has expressed specific interest in securing several thallium shipments.
“Thallium has troubled Starfleet vessels who’ve come upon contact with it. It seriously disrupts sensors and deflector shields on vessels, and there are multiple accounts of Starfleet crew encountering interference from thallium asteroids,” said Dr. Langley. “The research into the detection and alleviating of these side-effects of raw thallium will help in the prevention of further dangers that might occur.”
The thallium mines are also a significant boost for the Bolian people, according to Secretary O’Stell. Unemployment has seen a slight increase of the last years, and despite increasing recruitment from Starfleet, many lower-educated Bolians lack a fulfilling job. Many are welcoming a change to work in the mines or the refineries, even if the jobs are somewhat unhealthy and hazardous.