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Shefa Yamim regularly participates in the Annual Meeting of the Israel Geological Society (IGS) since 2006 (excluding 2012, due to the sudden death of the late chief geologist Mr. Alan Roup) presenting the recent progress of the exploration campaign via a poster and an accompanying scientific abstract.
In direct continuance to Shefa Yamim's recent progress, whereby the Company increased its sampling volumes alongside its treatment facilities, fascinating relevant data are being presented to the scientific community during the past two years. This intensive publication includes three posters presented last year in the frame of the IGS Annual Meeting 2015, covering three different aspects of Earth Sciences relevant to the project: (1) unique geochemistry of Earth mantle shown by corundum minerals recovered by Shefa Yamim, (2) analysis of kimberlite Indicators Minerals from Rakefet Magmatic Complex incorporated and modeled in a Pressure-Temperature diagram deciphering the source of this assemblage and (3) exploration advance in the Mid Reach of the Kishon River - a specific target area delineated by the company. These publications were already described last year. This year's IGS meeting held in Eilat during January 19-21, has turn out to be an important benchmark in the Company's campaign.
Shefa Yamim has certainly heralded its significant recent advance hosting two distinguished professors, Professor William L. Griffin and Professor Suzanne Y. O'Reilley both world-leading researchers in the field of deep Earth geochemistry from the ARC National Key Centre for Geochemical Evolution and Metallogeny of Continents (GEMOC), Macquarie University, Australia (their scientific profile is described below).
In addition, Dr. John Ward, the geological consultant and exploration specialist of the Company, working with Shefa Yamim since 2003 has also participated in this visit, presenting a talk focused specifically on recent exploration progress in the first priority target placer of the company.




Deep-Earth Methane, mantle dynamics and mineral exploration:

insights from northern Israel, southern Tibet and Kamchatka

Griffin, W. L., Gain, S.E.M., Adams, D., Toledo, V., Pearson, N.J., O’Reilly, S.Y.

Prof. Griffin has been honored by the IGS to open the Annual Meeting in a special Plenary Talk, presented to a full-house assembly of an enthusiastic geological audience.

Geological settings of heavy and gem minerals from various sites (Tibet, Kamchatka) were described in relevance to Shefa Yamim's exploration campaign in Israel. Prof. Griffin has opened a window to the project's uniqueness, showing fascinating scientific aspects that may change part of the current geological knowledge regarding northern Israel terrains.



Shefa Yamim has managed a special session specially tailored to the IGS Annual Meeting, in order to spread the words of recent exploration progress, alongside unique scientific findings evolving from it. Four talks were given in the frame of this afternoon special session, followed by four correlative poster presentations later in the evening. The talks were given in English, apart from one talk, focusing on the local geological setting that was intentionally given in Hebrew to facilitate the understanding of exploration methods and findings within the Israeli geoscience community context. The poster session enabled both a second chance for those who missed the afternoon talks and an opportunity to revisit and discuss the data.

Talk No. 1:

The role of the deep lithosphere in metallogeny
O'Reilley, S., Griffin, W.L., Pearson, N.J.

    This talk shortly reviewed geological and geochemical mechanisms of the deep lithosphere, a layer composed of the Earth's crust and uppermost mantle at a depth range of 100-150km below the surface. Definition of these processes at depth, reflects on surface recovery of gem and heavy minerals, of which metallic minerals were stressed out.
Prof. O'reilley has also referred to Shefa Yamim's exploration area in northern Israel where the eruption of gem-bearing volcanic rocks appears to be related to a major lithospheric suture (the Dead Sea Transform) and related faulting. The Dead Sea Transform is a 1000km plate boundary stretching out from Turkey in the north to Eilat Bay in the south. As such, it is a preferred pathway for magma emplacement crystalizing in volcanic bodies that are being surveyed by Shefa Yamim as Primary Sources for gem and heavy minerals.

Talk No. 2:

 Developing the resource characteristics of the Kishon mid reach multi-commodity alluvial placer, northern Israel.
Toledo, V., Ward, J.D., de Wit, M., Spaggiari, R.I., Apter, D., Wald, R.

        Dr. John Ward has reviewed the exciting recent exploration progress within the alluvial placer of the Mid Reach of the Kishon River. This talk only described one of the Company's targets within the Kishon catchment. Exploration activities included trenching - opening of trenches and extracting approx. 500 tons from each. Based on the sampling so far, preliminary volume estimations of mineral hosting gravel beds were shown in two specific target zones. The results lead towards better delineation of the placer and incorporate new insights as for the near future, developing the confidence level of this inferred mineral resource estimation. This year's work highlighted significant advance in geological understanding, description and delineation of the placer. The audience was introduced to major milestones in mineral exploration, of which most are new to the local geoscience community- since these were not previously implemented in Israel. More specifically, to date only ore exploration (e.g. copper, phosphates, oil shales deposits) along with aggregate industry has been practiced in Israel. Therefore, the methodology was described in detail including field sampling, treatment sequence and mineral visual sorting highlighting the Target Mineral Assemblage that the company explores.

Talk No. 3:

Volcanic host rocks as sources of corundum recovered from Shefa Yamim's multi-commodity alluvial placer, northern Israel. 

Wald, R., Toledo, V.


        This talk focused on the proximal reach (closest to its source) of the Kishon River, covering the Yizre'el Valley and its margins. In this terrain Shefa Yamim's exploration area overlaps the PhD study area of Reli Wald, the company's geologist. The Yizre'el basin hosts a large volume of basalts, sourced mainly from fault planes, but also from volcanoes (vents). Combination of datasets gathered from intensive exploration of Shefa Yamim, including site specific geophysics (high resolution ground magnetometer) and three-dimensional (3D) geological and geophysical subsurface mapping of Reli Wald's PhD study, has enabled quantification of the basalt volume. Since the basalts are known as host rocks for corundum xenocrysts (both gem and industrial minerals), volume estimations become handy when analysing Shefa Yamim corundum species recoveries including the gem derivative sapphire. Corundum findings of the Mid Reach alluvial placer were explained by introducing the geological Miocene (geological period) volcanic setting of the hinterland (proximal reach), in terms of a supplier. Corundum crystals have crystallized in the uppermost mantle, been elevated by magmatic intrusions into the crust, and brought to surface by later, younger volcanism. Corundum findings thus emphasize rift-related setting and recurring magmatism in northern Israel whereas important questions regarding the connection between sapphire and corundum and the possibility for a deep subduction regime still await answers...

Talk No. 4:

Heaven on Earth: tistarite (Ti2O3) and other "nebular" phases in corundum aggregates from Mt. Carmel volcanic rocks.  

Griffin, W.L., Gain, S.E.M., Adams, D., Huang J-X, Saunders, M., Toledo, V., Pearson, N.J., O'Reilley, S.

        This ending talk, focused on the ongoing cooperative research of Prof. Griffin and his team at Macquarie University and Shefa Yamim, since January 2014, highlighting unique corundum species characteristics. Preliminary results of this research were presented in the IGS Annual Meeting of 2015, whereas this year Prof. Griffin has shared innovative findings only microscopically tracked within titanium-rich corundum aggregates. One of the more abundant minerals is Tistarite (Ti2O3), previously known only as a single grain in a primitive type of meteorite (!). An article has been submitted to a scientific journal detailing this first terrestrial occurrence. Several other minerals are common in meteorites, but unknown or extremely rare on Earth.
About half of these minerals are unknown to science, and will be described as new minerals in the scientific literature. The first of these is a Titanium-Aluminium-Zirconium oxide, informally known as TAZ; it will be submitted to the International Mineralogical Association for recognition as a new mineral, ShefaTAZite.
Using state of the art technologies such as Thermal Ionisation Mass Spectrometry (TIMS) and Electron Microscopy Facility (EMF) that has three scanning electron microscopes, all with EBSD capability, and a transmission electron microscope - Prof. Griffin revealed spectacular imagery of minerals and rare compounds associated with titanium rich corundum aggregates.




   Professor William L. Griffin:
• Professor of Geochemistry, University of Oslo, Norway (1980-1988)
• Research Scientist CSIRO Exploration and Mining (1986)
• Senior Principal Research Scientist CSIRO Exploration and Mining (1988)
• Chief Research Scientist CSIRO Exploration and Mining (1990 - 2006)
• Adjunct Professor, Macquarie University

Awards and positions
• Reusch Medal, Norwegian Geological Society (1974)
• Elected Fellow of Norwegian Academy of Sciences (1985)
• Elected Fellow of Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters (2003)
• Concurrent Professor of Geochemistry, Nanjing University (from 1997)
• Chief Editor of Lithos; now Member of Editorial Board. Editor of several Special Volumes, Editorial Board for the China-Russia Geotraverse Project (from 1998)
• Invited to Beijing (2002) to provide advice to the newly-formed Geological Survey of China on the best strategy for building an international-standard geochemical facility
• Co-convenor of Special Session "Geophysical and geochemical imaging and modelling of continental roots and beyond: implications for the formation and evolution of continents" at the International Geological Conference in Florence, 2004
• Convenor of special session on The Deep Earth for IAVCEI (2006); also keynote speaker in Lithosphere Evolution symposium at IAVCEI
• Elected Fellow of the Geochemical Society, 2007

Fields of research include: Petrology and geochemistry of the deep crust and lithospheric mantle, Geochemical and dynamic evolution of the crust-mantle system; magma generation and metasomatism in the crust and mantle; isotopic systems and their resetting; integration of petrological and geophysical data; development of techniques for in-situ microanalysis of trace elements and isotopic compositions; delineation of prospective terrains for the minerals industry.

Internet website:



    Professor Sue O'Reilley: 
Director of the ARC National Key Centre for Geochemical Evolution and Metallogeny of Continents (GEMOC) since 1995 and leader of the Lithosphere Mapping and Mantle Dynamics Group in GEMOC.

Fields of Research

Fields of research include: the integration of geophysical, geochemical, petrological, petrophysical and tectonic data to construct realistic lithospheric structure and evolution models (4-D Lithosphere Mapping) and understand whole-mantle dynamics through time; the geochemistry and evolution of the mantle and deep crust; the geochemistry and origin of basaltic magmas and their geodynamic significance; trace element dispersions, residence sites and mineral partitioning in the mantle; relationship between mantle geochemistry and structure, volcanic activity, tectonic environment and economic deposits.

Selected Awards and Positions
• Elected Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America (1989)
• Editors' citation award for excellence in reviewing for Journal of Geophysical Research, 2000 (presented at the May Meeting of the American Geophysical Union)
• 1997, invested as Concurrent Professor, Nanjing University
• Editorial Board member for Chemical Geology and Lithos, China-Russia Geotraverse Project; regular reviewer for the whole spectrum of international geoscience journals.
• ARC Expert Advisory Committee member for Physics, Chemistry, Geosciences (2001-2003)
• Member of DEST Expert Advisory Committee for National Research Priorities 2002
• Member of organising committee for 2012 International Geological Congress in Australia
• Elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences (2002);
• Elected Fellow of the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (2002)
• Awarded Visiting Professorship, CNRS France, 2003
• Awarded Centenary Medal for services to Geosciences 2003
• Member of the Australian Academy of Sciences National Committee for Earth Sciences from 2002
• DEST NCRIS (National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme) Steering Committee member 2006-2007
• Elected Fellow of the Geological Society of Australia (2007)
• Awarded W.B. Clarke Medal by the Royal Society of NSW (2008)

Fields of research include:
the integration of geophysical, geochemical, petrological, petrophysical and tectonic data to construct realistic lithospheric structure and evolution models (4-D Lithosphere Mapping) and understand whole-mantle dynamics through time; the geochemistry and evolution of the mantle and deep crust; the geochemistry and origin of basaltic magmas and their geodynamic significance; trace element dispersions, residence sites and mineral partitioning in the mantle; relationship between mantle geochemistry and structure, volcanic activity, tectonic environment and economic deposits.

Internet website:



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