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CARMEL SAPPHIRES:
Corundum recoveries by Shefa Yamim: Shefa Yamim has recovered corundum minerals since its establishment (1999), throughout its exploration and prospecting areas. The corundum minerals, as above mentioned, typically occur as brown with inclusions. In addition, the gem varieties of corundum (same chemistry- Al2O3, different appearance) ruby (red) and sapphire (variegated- including green, blue, pink, brown)- are included in the Company's target minerals and are also recovered by Shefa Yamim both in Primary and Secondary Source areas.
In accordance with the geological model developed by Shefa Yamim, corundum is included in the HIM Suite (Heavy Industrial Mineral suite) of Shefa Yamim together with garnet, zircon, rutile, ilmenite. Ruby and sapphire are included in the DMC Suite- (D) diamond, (M) Moissanite and gem varieties of corundum (C) the ruby and the sapphire.


The unique corundum of Shefa Yamim - "Carmel sapphire":

Since 2014, unique corundum minerals recovered in the Mid Reach of the Kishon River, both in drillings and in bulk samples. These corundum minerals are dark grey to black full with inclusions- of mostly titanium, zircon, aluminum oxides and encrusted by volcanic glass (Griffin et al., 2015). At first these were named non-gem corundum (NGC). However, polishing this titanium-rich minerals crust revealed that they have a potential gemstones value. Therefore, since January 2016, Shefa Yamim's titanium-rich corundums recovered only in the Mid Reach of the Kishon River so far, were designated as "Carmel Sapphire".
The Carmel Sapphires contain inclusions of a remarkable mineral association, crystallizing from trapped melts at the time of the explosive eruptions.
 
Tracking the inclusions that are invisible to the naked eye is done by state of the art technologies at Macquarie University, Australia (see picture below). The inclusions include the Tistarite (Ti2O3) mineral, one of the Solar system’s oldest solids (reached the Earth by meteoritic chondrites), the TAZ compound of Titanium-Zirconium-Aluminium (Ti4Al2ZrO11) and volcanic glass (amorphous, uncrystallized, product of rapidly cooling magma). It should be noted, that the first non-outer space natural tistarite ever, was recovered by Shefa Yamim in inclusions within Carmel Sapphires in the Mid Reach of the Kishon River. Polished varieties of the Carmel Sapphire highlight their inclusions and in many cases the resulted colour is different from the original specimen.

"… Therefore, we have suggested that the titanium-rich corundum should rather be designated Carmel Sapphire, since it is unlike gem-corundum known from elsewhere in the world". (Prof. Griffin, January 21, 2016)


Shefa Yamim's "Carmel Sapphire" closely imaged by a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) using the EBSD (electron backscatter diffraction) technique. Image processed by Professor William L. Griffin and his research team at Macquarie University, Australia.  

Carmel Sapphire in the Mid Reach of the Kishon River:
The Mid Reach of the Kishon River is currently prioritized by Shefa Yamim as a leading exploration target- towards definition of a mineral resource in this segment of the catchment.
Intensive exploration throughout the past 3 years includes programs of closely spaced drillings and trenching (bulk sampling) from which existing samples and future samples are sampled in the range of 500 tons each.

On December 14th, 2015 Shefa Yamim has reported the Exploration Results of a 400 tons bulk sample (sample 1124) that recovered Carmel Sapphires of some 248 carats per hundred ton (cpht) grade with two substantial +10.8 carat stones found: a 23.4 carat stone, which is the largest placer stone size to date, followed by a 12.22 carat stone.

These significant Carmel Sapphire findings play a major role and lead the company together with other important target minerals (e.g. diamond moissanite, sapphire, ruby, garnet, zircon, rutile and ilmenite) towards estimating the resource potential of the multi-commodity Kishon Mid-Reach alluvial
placer.


Articles:


Super-reduced mineral assemblages in “ophiolitic” chromitites and peridotites: the view from Mount Carmel
QING XIONG, WILLIAM L. GRIFFIN, JIN-XIANG HUANG, SARAH E.M. GAIN, VERED TOLEDO,
NORMAN J. PEARSON and SUZANNE Y. O’REILLY
European Journal of Mineralogy 29, 557-570.

    This paper gives a summary of the genetic model for the Mt. Carmel gem-bearing volcanic system and especially the origins of its remarkable suite of super-reduced (low oxygen fugacity) minerals. It then compares this suite to the super-reduced mineral association that has been found in several ophiolite occurrences, both in Tibet and the Polar Urals, and concludes that these occurrences reflect processes like those that have produced the Carmel Sapphire and other reduced minerals in the Mt Carmel volcanics. It also draws attention to the occurrence of this suite of minerals in explosive volcanoes on the Kamchatka Peninsula (NE Russia) and suggests that these processes may be more widespread than previously realized.

The European Journal of Mineralogy is the combined outlet for several mineralogical and geochemical societies in Europe. It is widely read and cited. This article was named as the Editor’s Choice for 2017 and will be available on Open Access for one year. 
     
  Super-reducing conditions in ancient and modern volcanic systems: implications for the carbon budget of the deep lithosphere
William L. Griffin, Sarah E.M. Gain, Jinxiang Huang, Yoann Greau, Vered Toledo and Suzanne Y. O’Reilly
Extended Abstract, 11th International Kimberlite Conference, Gabarone, Botswana
    This was presented as a talk at the recent (August 2017) IKC. It reproduces a summary of the genetic model from Mt Carmel, and then speculates about the effects of similar processes in cratonic areas. It suggests that the presence of moissanite (SiC) in kimberlites, diamonds and eclogite xenoliths reflects the introduction of mantle-derived CH4 + H2 fluids into the deep lithospheric mantle.

The International Kimberlite Conferences have been held each 4-5 years since 1973, in different localities around the world. They represent the peak gathering of researchers working on the mantle, kimberlites and related rocks, and diamonds. Industry is always represented. The proceedings from each conference have been published as books or special volumes of leading journals. This long abstract will be written up into a paper for the proceedings volumes.



    Deep-earth methane and mantle dynamics:
insights from northern Israel, southern Tibet and Kamchatka

William L. Griffin, Sarah E.M. Gain, David T. Adams, Vered Toledo, Norman J. Pearson and Suzanne Y. O’Reilly





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