First it was oil, then natural gas, now a group believes it has found a commercially-viable concentration of gold in Israel. A few weeks ago, Gulliver Energy Ltd. officially applied for a gold exploration permit in the mountainous area surrounding the southern Israel resort town of Eilat.
Chaired by former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, Gulliver believes, according to past drillings, that the area contains a reasonable amount of gold in concentrations of 3-4 grams per ton. Of course, the company would also expect to find large quantities of other precious metals, like copper. The mountainous regions of southern Israel were famous for their copper mines during Israel's biblical period.
Gulliver has teamed up with Northwood Exploration of Australia to explore the 43 square kilometer (16.6 square mile) area covered by their permit.
Should a large amount of gold and other metals be found, the companies' biggest problem will be that much of southern Israel is designated as nature reserves, and therefore off limits to mining.