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Shefa Yamim begins 2019 on front foot with permit renewals and increased resource estimates

The Israel-focused exploration firm says its main strategy is to focus on exploration targets that it deems to have the highest upside that can be brought to production at relatively low cost
Carmel Sapphire
A Carmel Sapphire containing Carmeltazite, a new mineral discovered by the firm

• Internationally recognised new mineral, Carmeltazite, discovered by the company

• Increase in estimated mineral resource at Kishon Mid-Reach project

• Renewed exclusive prospecting permits for diamonds, gold and precious stones

What Shefa Yamim does

Shefa Yamim (ATM) Ltd (LON:SEFA) is an Israel-based multi-commodity exploration mining company with its operations orientated to the north of the country.

The firm is primarily a precious stones miner, with its drilling and sampling programmes having discovered rubies, sapphires, Carmel sapphires, and diamonds.

Shefa says its main strategy is to focus on exploration targets that it deems to have the highest upside and can be brought into production at a relatively low cost.

What Shefa Yamim owns

The company owns two prospecting and one exploration permit in northern Israel, covering a total area of 614 square kilometres.

The principal exploration targets are the primary volcanic sources on Mount Carmel and the secondary sources of valley-filled sediment deposits throughout the Kishon River.

At Mount Carmel, the company has identified four sources in its exploration permit: Rakefet Magmatic Complex (RMC), Muhraka, Har Alon and Beit Oren.

To date, most of the exploration work has been carried out on the RMC, which lies on the southern portion of Mount Carmel. The company has completed geological mapping as well as rock and soil sampling, which has led to the identification of gem and industrial minerals within its target mineral assemblage.

At Kishon, the primary exploration target is the Kishon Mid-Reach placer where 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 company has delineated the Kishon Mid Reach placer in three zones; Zone 1, Zone 2 and Zone 3, all of which are at different stages of development.

Zones 1 and 2, which cover around 3.5km of the total length of the placer, are believed to contain some 1.1mln tonnes of gemstone bearing gravel. These two zones have been the focus of the company’s drilling and a bulk sampling programme.

Out of roughly 186 boreholes drilled, a total of 137 boreholes were drilled specifically in Zone 1 + 15 bulk sampling and 23 boreholes in Zone 2 + 26 bulk and mini bulk sampling, whilst approximately over 6 kilotonnes in bulk sampling has been completed in these two zones.

Inflexion points

• In January 2019, the company announced that Carmeltazite, a mineral found in one of its gemstones the Carmel Sapphire and first discovered by the company at Mt Carmel, had been recognised and approved as a new mineral by the International Mineralogical Association

• Also that month, the firm had two of its prospecting permits renewed by the Ministry of Energy, Natural Resources Administration in Israel, providing it with exclusive prospecting rights for diamonds, gold and precious stones over the permitted areas for a period of a year

• In November 2018, Shefa increased the estimated mineralised tonnage at the Kishon Mid-Reach project to around 5mln tonnes, with the Zone 1 estimate trebling to around 1.1mln tonnes of mineralised placer (basal) gravels

Looking ahead

In an update for the second half, Shefa said a technical economic evaluation (TEE) had been completed for its Kishon Mid-Reach project, will the results to be announced in January.

Meanwhile, “good progress” was being made on planning and regulatory procedures to advance the Kishon Mid Reach Zone 1 area in accordance with the prospecting license, while the production of a unique jewellery collection from Israeli jewellery designer Yossi Harari, which uses gems found by the company, was also in the final stages of production and was expected to be launched in January.

By the middle of the first quarter and after the publication of the TEE report, Shefa said it will be able to accurately quantify its funding requirement in order to progress toward trial mining at the Kishon Mid Reach Zone 1, adding that it would also expand its exploration efforts in Zone 2 and 3 of the project.

With shares trading at 60p as of 29 January, Shefa Yamim has a market cap of £8.5mln.

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