Israel-focused precious stones firm Shefa Gems (LSE:SEFA) inched up 2.9pc to 5.4p on Thursday following the news that one of its critical licences has been renewed. The commissioner of mines at the Ministry of Energy, Natural Resources Administration in Israel has extended the company’s exploration permit in the north of the country for a further year.

The licence covers the Kishon River and Kishon Mid Reach Zones two and three and includes four volcanic bodies. These are based on a coastal mountain range Mount Carmel and are called RMS, Muhraka, Har Alon, and Beit Oren. The renewal of the permit, which covers 17,363 hectares, allows Shefa to continue its local geological exploration, which it expects to include further drilling and excavations.

In line with this, the business also confirmed that it is continuing to progress planning and regulatory for Kishon Mid Reach Zone one on Thursday. It hopes that these efforts will enable it to secure a mining licence to begin planned trial mining in the area next year. Furthermore, Shefa said that exploration work to expand its resources based in Kishon Mid Reach Zone three remains on schedule.

Avi Taub, CEO of Shefa Gems, said the renewal of the organisation’s permit was an ‘important, symbolic step, that demonstrates the confidence held in the firm and its exploration programme by Turkish authorities.

‘With the additional funding secured in May 2019, we have been able to accelerate our exploration efforts in the Kishon Mid Reach area,’ he added. ‘Notably, the bulk samples recently collected from the campaign at Kishon Mid-Reach Zone 2 have begun treatment and analysis at the company's operational site in Akko. We look forward to sharing the results in due course.’

Formerly known as Shefa Yamim, Shefa Gems is a multi-commodity explorer of precious stones operating in Northern Israel.  Alongside its work on the ground, the company is building a jewellery collection called ‘Heaven on Earth’ that uses its suite of precious gemstones.

Last month, Shefa announced that it had excavated four new bulk samples and one mini-bulk sample from target gravel horizons in the Kishon Mid-Reach Zone two. The samples have been transported for treatment and analysis at its operational site in the nearby city of Akko.

This year’s work followed encouraging results from Shefa’s bulk sampling campaign last year. This produced a total of 105.65 carats of the Target Mineral Assemblage Suite with a total grade of 1.7 carats per tonne of gemstones, including Carmel Sapphire and sapphire.

Author: Daniel Flynn

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