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Shefa Yamim A.T.M's chief operating officer writes about its mining potential in Israel

Vered Toledo writes about mining in Israel and where Shefa Yamim A.T.M fits in
A sapphire
A sapphire

The land of Israel could be crossed in merely 6 hours from north to south, from the Galilean green mountains, across the Golan Heights, Mount Carmel, the coastal plain, Judea and Samaria Mountains, Judea desert cliffs, the land of the Negev desert craters ("Makhteshim") and highlands to Eilat mountains.

This journey takes you across a geological timescale that ranges from the Precambrian epoch through to modern day geological processes.  

Whilst Israel’s geology is highly varied in age and characteristics, the country has not been considered a prospect given its sparse mineral resources.

However, some companies that continue to explore Israel’s mineral wealth using modern prospecting techniques, have made new discoveries.

The recent discovery of a large gas field offshore of Israel – the Leviathan gas field – is just one breakthrough, whilst the other and just as significant is the discovery of precious minerals in northern Israel, an area that had previously been considered barren and not a mineral resource prospect.

This pioneering discovery in northern Israel by Shefa Yamim has not only proven the existence of precious minerals in Israel, but has also and continues to unravel a unique geological setting.

The link between these precious minerals and this unique geology had not been identified before.

The company’s exploration and prospecting permits are located across the Kishon River catchment area of Haifa and Mt Carmel in northern Israel, covering a total area of 614 km2, some 85km north of Tel Aviv.

The company’s also maintains an operational centre of 6,000 meters with a processing facility and laboratory in Akko, a town north of Haifa.·       

In the the Kishon Mid Reach is the Carmel Sapphire, a combination of sapphire (corundum)  plus TAZ elements: zirconium, aluminium and titanium that it is only found as inclusions in the corundum - nice little crystals in the trapped melt pockets -  found so far in one place on Shefa Yamim’s (A.T.M.) acreage in the shadow of Mount Carmel and the Kishon Mid Reach.

The company has received a trade mark from the Israeli Government to market the stones under the name Carmel Sapphire.

The company also has backing from Macquarie University in Australia, who stated that after polishing and cutting, the Carmel Sapphire has “unique qualities and significant potential as a gemstone”.

The company has been exploring the greenfield terrain includes the Kishon River, the volcanic bodies on Mount Carmel, the Zevulun and Yizre'el valleys and their margins - Menashe Hills, Tivon-Alonim Hills and Nazareth range.

The company is the 75% owned subsidiary of Shefa Yamim Ltd, which is listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. All of the exploration and prospecting permits are held by the Company.

The Kishon Mid Reach placer is the company’s most advanced exploration project and ongoing exploration activities are being undertaken with the aim of defining a SAMREC compliant Mineral Resource.

The target is 4.5 km long and about 150 m wide with gravel layers of variable thicknesses between 0.5 m and 4.5 m.

All gemstones are entirely found within the gravel fractions.

The company has delineated the Kishon Mid Reach placer in three zones, namely: Zone 1, Zone 2 and Zone 3, all of which are at different stages of development.

The company performs its exploration activities in accordance with the SAMREC CODE issued under the auspices of the South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, the Geological Society of South Africa and the Institute of Mine Surveyors of South Africa.

The company’s explorations have produced a unique array of precious stone findings across its permits, in both the primary volcanic sources and the secondary alluvial deposits.

The company has classified the mineral assemblage it considers its priority exploration objective, the target mineral assemblage, into two mineral suits:

·   -   “DMCH” suite; which consists of Diamond, natural Moissanite and the Corundum gem varieties of sapphire, Carmel Sapphire, ruby as well as Hibonite.

·    -  The “HIM” suite: Heavy Industrial Minerals, which consist of zircon, rutile, ilmenite and garnet.



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