Advertisement

Areal value assessment of the mineral resources endowment of Israel

  • Dan Gill
  • John C. Griffiths
Article

Abstract

The achievements of the mineral industry of Israel and an overall reconnaissance of the natural resources endowment of the country have been evaluated by the areal value estimation method, using the COMOD software package. In broad terms, the evaluation relies on geological variables obtained from quantifying the geological map of a region and on cumulative past production records, which, when prorated per unit area, yield a series of “unit regional values” (u.r.v.)measurements for individual commodities, resource sectors, and total resources. The two groups of variables facilitate conducting comparisons with other well-developed and/or geologically similar regions from which the future potential of the region, with respect to both overall endowment and individual commodities, can be assessed. The model underlying this appraisal method assumes that all regions above a size of about 5,000 sq kms are equally valuable with respect to total endowment in natural resources, regardless of inherent geological characteristics. To date, several areal value estimation studies have been carried out for 11 different countries, encompassing a total of 111 politically-administratively defined regions. These studies provide an adequate information base for between-region comparisons. The individual states of the United States, constituting what can be regarded as well-developed regions, may serve as an expectation for all such comparisons. The distribution of the u.r.v. of total resources of the individual states is lognormal with a geometric mean of 54,954 1967 U.S. dollars per square kilometer. Based on the above assumption, this value can serve as a conservative estimate for the total output any region can be expected to produce. Thirty different mineral commodities are known to exist in Israel. Of these, 19 are economically exploited and the remaining 11 are at present uneconomical mineral occurrences. Past production records have been obtained and assembled for 14 of the exploited commodities. From these records, a number of statistics were computed to evaluate the development of the mineral industry of the country and its future potential. In absolute figures, the overall cumulative production has been rather small, amounting to only 1,679.8 million deflated 1967 U.S. dollars (equivalent to 2,082 million current U.S. dollars or 10,260 million current Israeli pounds). Only bromine, potash, and phosphate are of worldwide significance, amounting respectively to 10, 2.9, and 1 percent of the world production in 1977. Construction materials, with the longest production history, have been the most valuable, accounting for 53.6 percent of the total cumulative output. They are followed by nonmetals (34.7 percent),metals (8 percent)and fuels (3.7 percent).The value-ranking of individual commodities and their respective contribution to the total cumulative output is: cement, 35 percent; potash, 19 percent; stone, 15 percent; phosphate, 11 percent; copper, 8 percent; sand and gravel, 4 percent; bromine, 3 percent; petroleum, 2.5 percent; natural gas, 1 percent; periclase, 0.7 percent; salt, 0.4 percent; and glass sand, 0.2 percent. Total annual output for the period 1948–1977 exhibited a constant growth with no indication of approaching a plateau of diminishing returns. As new commodities became exploited, the share of constructional materials in the total output gradually declined from 100 percent in 1948 to 45 percent in 1977. The contribution of the mineral industry to the annual gross national product rose steadily from 0.55 percent in 1951 to 2.2 percent in 1964. Thereafter, it fluctuated around an average of about 1.8 percent. Total output and production of constructional materials correlate very highly with both gross national product (GNP)and population size. However, when only the annual changes in these variables are considered, the correlation coefficients are found to be insignificant. The u.r.v. of Israel (with an area of 20,700 sq kms and a population of 3,653,000)is 81,154 deflated 1967 U.S. dollars per sq km. It exceeds the expected value for well-developed regions. It can therefore be concluded that Israel is not exceptionally poor in natural resources, as is commonly felt. On the other hand, its high u.r.v. also implies (unfortunately)that the development potential of its mineral industry is rather limited. The u.r.v. estimates, which are based on area alone, can be refined to some degree by considering the geological characteristics of the investigated area. The geological composition of the country was quantified by point counting the geological map, using a grid network of 40.3 sq km cells. Each map unit was assigned to one of 65 standard time-petrographic units. This sampling density results in the recognition of 11 time-petrographic units (instead of 15, which are actually present).Based on linear statistical association between mineral resource diversity and geological diversity established for the states of the United States, Israel can be expected to possess 31 different commodities. Since only 19 have thus far been exploited, Israel can be expected to produce 12 additional commodities. The identity of these “missing” resources can be inferred by examining the inventory of commodities produced in other regions with a similar geological framework and by evaluating the potential of the 11 noneconomical mineral occurrences, which have already been discovered in the country. The geology of Israel was compared to 12 other regions; of these Egypt, Libya, Sudan, and Sinai were found to be most similar to Israel, each having 8 or 9 time-petrographic rock types in common with Israel, 7 of which are identical. Based on these comparisons and on additional information from other sources, it appears that the commodities that are more likely to be produced in the foreseeable future include manganese, feldspar, uranium (from phosphates),lignite, oil shale, and iron. The mineral industry of Israel accomplished quite significant achievements in the course of its modern history of only 35 years. These resulted from concerted national exploration and development efforts, which were supported by massive governmental capital investments. The areal value method of mineral resources appraisal is based on a cybernetic “black box” system model in which the “degree of commitment” derived from the socioeconomic infrastructure is viewed as the driving agent in converting the inherited geological characteristics of the region into economic marketable mineral commodities. The case history of Israel provides a strong substantiation for this generalized system model.

Key words

resource appraisal areal value method Israel's mineral resources 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anonymous, 1977, The industrial and metallic minerals of Israel: Geol. Surv. Israel, Mineral Resources Division, Report M.P. 570/77, 60 p. (in Hebrew).Google Scholar
  2. Arteaga, D. M., 1978, Unit regional value of the mineral resources in Venezuela: Unpubl. M. Eng. Thesis, Penn. State University, 91 p.Google Scholar
  3. Atkins, R. H., 1974, Mathematical structure in human affairs: Heinemann Educational Books Ltd., London, 212 p.Google Scholar
  4. Ball, M. W., and Ball, D., 1953, Oil prospects of Israel: AAPG Bull., v. 37, no. 1, p. 1–113.Google Scholar
  5. Bar-on, M., 1977, Civil engineering as practiced in Biblical times: World construction, v. 30, no. 7, p. 42–43.Google Scholar
  6. Bartov, Y., Steinitz, G., Eyal, M., and Eyal, Y., 1980, Sinistral movement along the Gulf of Aqaba—its age and relation to the opening of the Red Sea: Nature, v. 286, no. 5762, p. 220–221.Google Scholar
  7. Bein, A., and Gvirtzman, G., 1977, A Mesozoic fossil edge of the Arabian Plate along the Levant coastline and its bearing on the evolution of the Eastern Mediterranean,in, Biju-Duval, B. and Montadert, L. (Eds.), International Symposium on the Structural History of Mediterranean Basins: Editions Technip, Paris.Google Scholar
  8. Bentor, Y. K., 1961, Petrographical outline of the Precambrian of Israel: Bull. Res. Council of Israel, Sec. G. (Geosciences), v. 10G, no. 1–2, p. 17–63.Google Scholar
  9. Bentor, Y. K., and Vroman, A., 1954, A structural contour map of Israel (1:250,000) with remarks on its dynamical interpretation: Bull. Res. Counc. Israel, v. 4, no. 2, p. 125–135.Google Scholar
  10. Bentor, Y. K., Vroman, A., and Zak, I., 1970, Geological map of Israel, 1:250,000, southern sheet: Survey of Israel.Google Scholar
  11. Bersky, Z., 1978, Combined production of copper and manganese at Timna: Proc. 4th Israeli Conf. Min. Eng., p. 215–217. (in Hebrew).Google Scholar
  12. Bogoch, R., and Shirav, M., 1978, Petrogenesis of a Senonian barite deposit, Judean Desert, Israel: Mineral. Deposita (Berl.), v. 13, p. 383–390.Google Scholar
  13. Bonan, M., Finkelstein, N. P., and Holdengraber, C., 1980, A Process for the production of manganese and copper sulphate at Timna: Proc. 5th Israel Conf. Min. Eng., English section, p. 34–40.Google Scholar
  14. Cargill, S. M., and Clark, A. L., 1978, Report on the activity of IGCP Project 98: Jour. Math. Geol., v. 10, p. 407–410.Google Scholar
  15. Cargill, S. M., Meyer, R. F., Picklyk, D. D., and Urquidi, F., 1977, Summary of resource assessment methods resulting from International Geological Correlation Program Project 98: Jour. Math. Geology, v. 9, p. 211–220.Google Scholar
  16. Chavez-Martinez, L., 1978, The unit regional value of the mineral resources of Mexico: Unpubl. M.Sc. Thesis, Penn. State University, 288 p.Google Scholar
  17. Cohen, A., 1978, Recommendation for sulphur prospecting in the Diqla area: Geol. Surv. Israel, Report OD-06/78—M.P.B.K. 412/78, 20 p.Google Scholar
  18. Emery, K. O., and Neev, D., 1960, Mediterranean beaches of Israel: Geol. Surv. Israel, Bull. 26, 14 p.Google Scholar
  19. Engelder, P. R., 1979, Application of the unit regional value concept to a study of the mineral resources of Australia: Unpubl. Ph.D. Thesis, Penn. State University, 356 p.Google Scholar
  20. Freund, R., 1977, Updating the stratigraphic sequence of Israel: Israel Jour. Earth Sci., v. 26, p. 30–33.Google Scholar
  21. Freund, R., and Garfunkel, Z., 1976, Guidebook to excursion along the Dead Sea Rift: Unpubl. Report, Dept. of Geol., Hebrew Univ., 27 p.Google Scholar
  22. Freund, R., Garfunkel, Z., Zak, I., Goldberg, M., Weissbrod, T., and Derin, B., 1970, The shear along the Dead Sea rift: Phil. Trans. Royal Soc. London, v. A267, p. 107–130.Google Scholar
  23. Freund, R., Goldberg, M., Weissbrod, T., Druckman, Y., and Derin, B., 1975, The Triassic-Jurassic structure of Israel and its relation to the origin of the Eastern Mediterranean: Geol. Surv. Israel, Bull., v. 65, 26 p.Google Scholar
  24. Garfunkel, Z., 1978, The Negev—regional synthesis of sedimentary basins: Tenth Inter. Congress in Sedimentology, Guidebook, Part I, p. 34–110.Google Scholar
  25. Gorin, H., 1980, Benefication of feldspar from the Shehoret Formation: Proc. 5th Israeli Conf. Min. Eng., Hebrew section, p. 60–67, (in Hebrew).Google Scholar
  26. Greenberg, M., Wurzburger, U., Bakler, N., and Nahmias, Y., 1970, Black sands along the coast of northern Sinai: Geol. Surv. Israel, Report M.P. 517/70, 18 p. (in Hebrew).Google Scholar
  27. Griffiths, J. C., 1968, Geological data for classification: Western Minerals, v. 41, p. 37–42.Google Scholar
  28. Griffiths, J. C., 1978, Mineral resource assessment using the unit regional value concept: Jour. Math. Geol., v. 10, p. 441–472.Google Scholar
  29. Griffiths, J. C., in preparation, Unit regional value assessment of the mineral resources of Zimbabwe.Google Scholar
  30. Griffiths, J. C., Watson, A. T., and Menzie, W. D., 1980, Relationship between mineral resources and geological diversity, p. 329–341in, Miall, A. D. (Ed.), Facts and Principles of World Petroleum Occurrence, Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists, Mem. 6, 1003 p.Google Scholar
  31. Griffiths, J. C., Labovitz, M. L., and Walsh, D. A., Measurement of Geological Diversity: Jour. Math. Geol. (in press).Google Scholar
  32. Horowitz, A., 1979, The Quarternary of Israel: Academic Press, New York, 394 p.Google Scholar
  33. Kafri, U., and Lang, B., 1979, Hula lignite project geological report: Geol. Surv. Israel, Report HYDRO/3/79, 85 p.Google Scholar
  34. Krenkel, E., 1924, Der Syrische Bogen: Centralblat. Mineral. v. 9, p. 274–281, v. 10, p. 301–313.Google Scholar
  35. Krynine, P. D., 1948, The megascopic study and field classification of sedimentary rocks: Jour. Geol., v. 56, p. 130–165.Google Scholar
  36. Krynine, P. D., 1950, Petrology, stratigraphy and origin of the Triassic sedimentary rocks of Connecticut: State Geol. and Natl. History Surv., Connecticut, Bull. no. 73, 247 p.Google Scholar
  37. Labovitz, M. L., 1978, Unit regional value of the Dominion of Canada: Unpubl. Ph.D. Thesis, Penn. State University, 366 p.Google Scholar
  38. Labovitz, M. L., Menzie, W. D., and Griffiths, J. C., 1977: COMOD: A program for standardizing mineral resource commodity data: Computer and Geosciences, v. 3, p. 497–537.Google Scholar
  39. Lang, B., and Bogoch, R., 1979, The Zinc-Lead mineralization at Har Kahal, Mt. Hermon: Geol. Surv. Israel, Report M.P. 578/79, 17 p.Google Scholar
  40. Langotzky, Y., 1963, Asphalt in the Dead Sea area: Geol. Surv. Israel, Report M.P. 129/62, 28 p.Google Scholar
  41. Lin, Y., and Minster, Z., 1980, Potential of industrial limestone in Israel—an inventory: Geol. Surv. Israel, Report M.P. 586/79, 50 p. (in Hebrew).Google Scholar
  42. Meadow, D. H., Meadow, D. L., Randers, J., and Behrans III, W. W., 1972, The limits to growth: Universe books, New York, 205 p.Google Scholar
  43. Menzie, W. D., 1977, The unit regional value of the Republic of South Africa: Unpubl. Ph.D. Thesis, Penn. State University, 235 p.Google Scholar
  44. Menzie, W. D., Labovitz, M. L., and Griffiths, J. C., 1976: Evaluation of mineral resources and the unit regional value concept. p. 419–430in, Ramani, R. V. (Ed.), Application of computer methods in the mineral industry, Proc. 14th Intern. Symp., Soc. Mng. Eng. of Amer. Inst. Mng. Metall. and Petrol. Eng. Inc., 1207 p.Google Scholar
  45. Metzer, A., and Katz, M., 1978, Development of a new extraction process for Ramim iron ore: Proc. 4th Israeli Conf. Min. Eng., p. 196–200.Google Scholar
  46. Missan, H., Cooper, B. R., el Raba'a, S. M., Griffiths, J. C., and Sweetwood, C., 1978, Workshop on areal value estimation: Jour. Math. Geol., v. 10, p. 433–440.Google Scholar
  47. Neev, D., and Emery, K. O., 1967, The Dead Sea: Geol. Surv. Israel, Bull. 41, 147 p.Google Scholar
  48. Nissenbaum, A., 1978, Dead Sea Asphalts—Historical aspects: AAPG Bull., v. 62, no. 5, p. 837–844.Google Scholar
  49. Nissenbaum, A., 1980, Sulfur occurrence in Israel and Northern Sinai: Israel Jour. Earth Sciences, v. 29, no. 1–2, p. 85–92.Google Scholar
  50. Picard, L., 1954, History of mineral research in Israel: Israel Economic Forum, v. 6, no. 3, p. 10–38.Google Scholar
  51. Picard, L., 1959, Geological map of Israel, 1:500,000: Survey of Israel.Google Scholar
  52. Picard, L., and Golani, U., 1970, Geological Map of Israel, 1:250,000: Survey of Israel.Google Scholar
  53. Pielou, E. C., 1976, An introduction to mathematical ecology: Wiley Interscience, New York, 286 p.Google Scholar
  54. Poss, J. R., 1979, Timna—mining and metallurgical cradle: World Mining, v. 32, no. 4, p. 66–67.Google Scholar
  55. Rohlich, V. Metzer, A., and Zohar, E., 1980, Potential iron ores in the Lower Cretaceous of Israel and their origin: Israel Jour. Earth Sciences, v. 29, no. 1–2, p. 73–80.Google Scholar
  56. Rothenberg, B., 1972, Timna Valley of the Biblical Copper Mines: Thames and Hudson, London.Google Scholar
  57. Shadmon, A., 1972, Stone of Israel: State of Israel, Ministry of Development Natural Resources Research Organization, 64 p.Google Scholar
  58. Shekarchi, E., 1979, Mineral industries of the Middle East: U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, 49 p.Google Scholar
  59. Shimron, A. E., 1980, Proterozoic Island arc volcanism and sedimentation in Sinai: Precambrian Research, v. 12, p. 437–458.Google Scholar
  60. Shirav, M., and Ginzburg, D., 1978, A guidebook to the oil shale deposits of Israel: Geol. Surv. Israel, Mineral Resources Div., 20 p.Google Scholar
  61. Sudri, D., and Shiloni, Y., 1976, Considerations in estimating the phosphate ore reserves of Israel: Proc. 3rd Israeli Conf. Min. Eng., p. 1.2.1.–1.2.8. (in Hebrew).Google Scholar
  62. Walsh, D. A., 1979, An assessment of the mineral resources of the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland: Unpubl. M.Sc. Thesis, Penn. State University, 132 p.Google Scholar
  63. Watson, A. T., 1977, An appraisal of the mineral resources of New Zealand: Unpubl. M.Sc. Thesis, Penn. State University, 129 p.Google Scholar
  64. Weisberger, S., Zimals, Y., and Metzer, A., 1980, Benefication of the Ramim iron ore: Proc. 5th Israeli Conf. Min. Eng., Hebrew section, p. 78–81. (in Hebrew).Google Scholar
  65. Weissbrod, T., and Bogoch, R., 1979, Characterization of syenite from the Shen Ramon instrusive—background for magnetic benefication: Geol. Surv. Israel, Report M.P. 587/79, 15 p.Google Scholar
  66. Wurzburger, U., and Greenwald, Z., 1980, Pre-feasibility study, mine and power plant, lignite deposit in the Hula Valley: Inst. Petrol. Res. and Geophy., Hula Lignite Proj., Holon, Israel, 56 p. (in Hebrew).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dan Gill
    • 1
  • John C. Griffiths
    • 2
  1. 1.Geological Survey of IsraelJerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.Department of GeosciencesThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

Personalised recommendations