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Study Group Urges Integrated Combine to Exploit Israel’s Minerals

The establishment of an integrated chemical combine to exploit the mineral resources of the Negev was urged here today in a report handed the government by a joint Israel-United Nations development board which, under the chairmanship of Sir Ben Locksperiser, one of Britain’s foremost scientists, has studied Israel’s natural resources picture.

In support of its thesis that a giant unified complex is needed, the report notes that mineral deposits in the Negev are so situated as to “form a natural complex presenting an opportunity for constructing a diversified chemical industry which could give a ‘new look’ to Israel’s balance of payments.”

The report noted that both production and the rate of productivity in government-owned corporations involved in developing mineral resources had risen and that the exportation of Israeli chemicals had increased by 250 percent. By way of criticism, the report noted that the government companies invested less than one pervent of the total production in basic research.