A subsidiary of Gulliver Energy, headed by former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, is partnering with an Australian mineral mining firm to request a gold exploration license in the mountains of Eilat.

The two companies – Anat Oil Exploration, a daughter company of Gulliver Energy, and Northwood Exploration – have submitted a request to the Energy and Water Ministry for an exploration permit that covers an area of 43 square kilometers in the Nahal Roded region of the area, according to Gulliver.

In a 51-49 percent partnership respectively, Northwood and Anat intend to conduct numerous tests, analyses and drillings in the location to determine whether there is justification for mining for gold and other accompanying metals in the area, the Israeli firm said.

Evidence that there may be gold in the region is based on a geochemical survey conducted by the Geological Survey of Israel as well as previous research projects that have identified a presence of gold in the Nahal Roded and Yedidya Passage areas, according to Gulliver.

In two past drillings conducted in the region, investigators found gold in concentrations of 3-4 grams per ton at a depth of 40-50 meters, the company said.

Among the leaders of the Australian-Israeli venture will be head geologist Yoram Grossowicz and Avi Olshina, a special adviser to the project who has served as an expert on gold at the Geological institute of the Australian state of Victoria – GeoScience Victoria. Thus far, the work plan for the exploration includes the implementation of continuous core drilling as well as the launch of an atmospheric aeromagnetic survey over the entire licensed area by means of helicopters, the company said.

While the region may contain some of the sparkling expensive metal, much of the lands in the Eilat mountains technically constitute a Israel Nature and Parks Authority protected nature reserve.

The INPA would not issue an official statement regarding the matter, but a representative from the authority charged that the companies “do not want to mine gold; they want to boost the value of their stock, and we are not willing to participate in this game.”

Meanwhile, Eilot Regional Council head Udi Gat told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that he has not yet received any information about the project.

Assuming that the company is only doing a small amount of drilling and intends to repair the environment to how it was before, Gat said he is not sure whether he would be for or against the plan, and that he needs much more information from Gulliver to offer his opinion on their intentions.

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