The mining industry is in the grip of a mining fatigue.
The mines are closing at a rapid rate, with one-fifth of the mining workforce retiring or retiring too soon, and the number of vacancies climbing to 40% of the workforce.
The phenomenon has been widely blamed on the fact that Israel is the only country in the world where the state owns and operates mining companies, and is thus subject to international sanctions that prevent it from exporting to the rest of the world.
It has also been blamed on Israel’s weak political leadership and the fact the government is not in charge of the industry.
A study released last year by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, for instance, concluded that there is no economic recovery for the mining sector, which employs around 15% of Israel’s population.
The study also pointed out that Israel’s mining industry has experienced a rapid decline in the past five years, with only two mining projects under construction.
“It has been difficult to find new investments, due to the lack of international demand, and to keep up with the increase in price of minerals,” it wrote.
“The mining industry will need to do better in order to survive in the future,” said Tzvi Kivim, head of the Institute for Labor and Employment Studies at the Tel Aviv University.
“There are too many mines in the country, and there are not enough skilled workers to keep them going.”
Israel has seen a steady decline in its mining industry over the past decade, with a recent survey revealing that around one-third of the country’s population employed in the mining and quarrying industry was over the age of 65.
Kivim also said that the sector has suffered from a lack of infrastructure, which has left many businesses unable to keep their operations going.
“In the past 20 years, there has been an increase in mining equipment that does not meet the needs of the mine,” he said.
“I do not think that this will change anytime soon.
I think that the mines will need a lot more investment in infrastructure.”