Washington (Jul. 21)
(Jewish Daily Bulletin)
The franchise for exploiting the mineral deposits of the Dead Sea will shortly be awarded by the British government, according to a report published in the Washington “Post”, which states that the task of awarding the franchise has occupied the authorities of London and Jerusalem for some months. In this connection the report also declared that the full details of the Palestine earthquake are awaited with great interest in commercial as well as scientific quarters because it is believed that the up-heaval may have affected to some extent the level of the Dead Sea.
The value of the enormous chemical deposits which are known to be contained within the Dead Sea, at current quotations, is stated to be $1,267,620,000,000.
It is expected that work will shortly be authorized and that the development will not only add millions of dollars to the treasury of Palestine and afford employment for thousands, but will serve to furnish potash to the entire world at prices far below those exacted by the German and French syndicates, which today control the product, including that of Poland, Russia and Spain, states the report and adds:
“The problem to be solved, which is of so much interest to Americans is how far below the present prices shall the price of the Palestinian products be fixed to meet the demands of agriculture throughout the world?
“During the centuries of Turkish control all efforts to persuade the Sulran to permit the deposits to be exploited were without result. But since Great Britain took the mandate for Palestine careful estimates of the possibilities for recovery of the salts have been made by some of the foremost experts of the world. These experts have reported that the potential tonnage to be obtained amounts to 1,300,000,000 tons of potash, 853,000,000 tons of bromin and enormous supplies of salt, gypsum and calcium chloride.”
The British Colonial Office, acting with the Palestine administration, has the power to grant concessions, and tenders have been invited for the recovery of the salts.