The Israeli government is planning to drill a new deposit of aluminum ore in the Negeb Desert for the first time since the 2014 collapse of the iron ore mine at Adua.
The announcement on Tuesday follows a long-awaited study by the Ministry of Natural Resources, which found that the ore deposit in the area of Negevi is the most suitable location for extraction, as it contains high concentrations of iron, nickel and copper.
The plan is expected to begin operation by late 2019.
According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the ministry’s chief economist, Naftali Shalev, said that the plan is to drill the 1,500-meter (4,200-foot)-long (2,500 meters) deposit of the ore in order to obtain the required quantities of iron and nickel.
The project is expected help to alleviate pressure on the Negeri Shomron mine in the south of the Negen region, which was abandoned in 2014 due to high ore extraction costs and environmental concerns.
The area has a proven record of production of aluminum.
The Negevir Gold Mine in the southern Negebi region was shut down by the Israeli government in January 2016 amid the ongoing crisis at the Aduas iron ore mining project.
Aduasi Gold Mine was opened a year later, but its production was only half of what was originally promised.
The Israeli government was also planning to develop an ore deposit of iron in the eastern Negevan region.
However, in the months leading up to the mine’s closure, the mine had been under fire from protesters who claimed it was producing more aluminum than it was supposed to.
A number of Israeli politicians have expressed their support for the planned Aduani mine and have called for the mine to be reopened.