Madagascar is one of the up and coming gold mining countries in the world and has great potential for future gold exploration. This means that if you are into gold mining then Madagascar should be on your radar, as the potential for finding gold here is quite high.
Madagascar is an island country located in Africa approximately 400km from the Mozambique Channel. Although gold mining has been done in this country for a long period of time, the political instability in the past meant that nothing much was done. Today, the gold mining and exploration in the country is largely underdeveloped and this simply means that there are still great potential for new comers.
The French occupation of the island in the late 19th century spurred gold exploration in this lovely island nation. Initially the mining was done by the locals, but in 1905 Rand mining experts from Transvaal started getting involved in the mining. Today the country has both small and large-scale gold mining operations with the highest recorded production coming in 2010.
Gold mining in Madagascar started in the early 20th century. The initially gold mined on the island was in alluvial deposits that were spread throughout the island. The major deposits of alluvial gold were along the Ampoasary River, which is a tributary of the Mananjary River.
Geological Conditions Associated with Gold
The main gold deposits are the mesothermal quartz-hosted type, which can be quite valuable. The gold deposits accounts for about 20% of the gold deposits in the world, and are quite often very high-grade with high ratios of gold per ton of ore.
The gold in Madagascar is mainly found in the quartz veins, greenstone belts, diffused minerals, and in quartz reefs. There are also deposits of alluvial gold and some in lateritic earth. This means that you should be ready to discover gold in a wider range of geological conditions.
Gold deposits are found throughout Madagascar. This is particularly because the regional tectonics in the country is irrelevant when it comes to the distribution of gold deposits. The main gold deposits in the country have been determined to predate the Gondwana breaking up. With the madagascar’s base rocks being divided into three: the Androyen system, the graphite system and the Vohibory system, you can find gold in any of the three rock systems although the graphite system is often the most consistently mineralized with gold and it is also forms the largest part of the Madagascar’s basement. The vohibory systems have also been proved to contain greater deposits of gold.
The gold deposits found in Madagascar can be classified into two major categories: the primary deposits and the secondary deposits. The primary deposits are those located in the Precambrian metamorphic terrains and are further classified according to the period they were formed. This includes subcategories such as the Proterozoic Eon, the Mesozoic Era and the Archean Eon primary gold deposits.
The secondary gold deposits are formed from the primary deposits by processes such as water concentration of surface gold. Examples of secondary gold deposit is alluvial gold deposits found along river valleys. These placer deposits of gold within river channels can be quite valuable when high concentrations of gold are found.
Placer gold sources are usually the first to be exploited and worked out when gold discoveries are made in a country, but Madagascar still has good potential for future gold discoveries in the rivers. Large suction dredging operations would be the best choice to find the most gold.
Mining Laws & Future Production in Madagascar
Exploring and mining gold in Madagascar requires that you comply with the county’s legal system. The first mining legal frame work in Madagascar was set up in 1902, by the passing of a mining law. The mining law was later amended in 1905 so as to bring down the cost of the prospecting permit from £4 to£1. All the current mining laws governing the exploration and mining gold are base on these initial laws.
Some of the current mining laws that you should consider includes act no. 2005-022 of 2005, which specifies the rules that govern large scale investment in the mining sector and the mining code and decree number 2006-910 of 2006 which governs the execution of the mining code.
Like many countries in Africa, there are excellent opportunities for both small-scale artisanal gold miners, as well as large gold mining companies to find gold in Madagascar. With limited historical mining activity and instability in the region for many years, the country is just getting started when it comes to all types of mineral production.
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