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Bureau of Mines / Minerals yearbook area reports: international 1963
Year 1963, Volume IV (1964)

Murdock, Thomas G.
Malagasy Republic,   pp. 983-992 PDF (1.1 MB)


Page 989

 THE MINERAL INDUSTRY OF THE MALAGASY REPUBLIC 989 
 Monazite also was mined from beach sands at Fort Dauphin by Soci~t~ d'Eploitation
des Monazites, a subsidiary of Etablissements Tricot, manufacturers of lighter
flints in Paris The treatment plant had a capacity of 200 tons of monazite
per year, but in 1963, it produced only a fraction of that. At yearend the
plant was being moved to Vohibarika. 
 Nickel.—Investigations have been in progress by the Malagasy Geological
Service, the French Bureau de Recherches Góologiques et Minières,
and TJgine of the potential nickel resources of the Ma.lagasy Republic. Earlier,
efforts to develop the small, low-grade deposits south of Ambositra, classic
occurrences of lateritic alteration over periodotites, were unsuccessful.
Detailed exploration of nickeliferous laterites around the periphery of the
Ambatovy and Analamay ferruginous shields continued in 1963, but results
have not been announced. Exploration methods included sample pits and drill
holes. The 100 tons exported in 1962 was shipments to France for metallurgical
testing. Previously, 35 million tons of lateritic iron ore was proved in
the portions of these ferruginous shields inside the areas of nickeliferous
laterites. 
 Uraniuni.—The Malagasy production of uranium is as uranothorianite,
a mixture of uranium and thorium. First exploitation was in 
1954 and subsequently the mineral has become the country's second 
most valuable export. According to the Directorate of Mines~ the 
1962 exports were valued at CFAF389 million. All exports have 
been to the CEA plant at Le Bouchet, near Paris. 
 The uranothorianite occurs as an accessory mineral in pyroxenite lenses
in Precambrian rocks; all the economic deposits are within the loop of the
Mandrare River, about 80 kilometers due northwest of Fort Dauphin. Mining
has been on the surface and overburden has been moderate. At the mines of
the CEA, the principal producer, blastholes are drilled with wagon drills
and the ore is loaded with front-end loaders into heavy trucks. Most of the
pit equipment is of U.S. manufacture. CEA's Ambindandrakemba mine supplied
most of the ore until early 1963, when it was exhausted. At that time the
nearby treatment plant and the mine town of Ambatomika were closed down and
the equipment was moved about 40 kilometers north to Betioky, which is near
the ore body, Belafa. The ore reserve at B.elafa is estimated at~about 2,000
to 5,000 metric tons of uranothorianite (about 100,000 to 300,000 tons of
ore), but exploration of the deposit is not complete. The ore body is a typical,
almost flat-lying, irregular lens. The ore at Belafa averages about 0.3 percent
uranothorianite, ranging from 0.2 to 0.6 percent. At the end of 1963, some
ore was being obtained by CEA from three smaller ore bodies near Belafa.
 In addition to the operations of CEA, the following four private operators
were active during 1963: C. F. Lanouó, Kotovelo (plant at Marovato);
Sociét~ des Minerais de la Grande Ile, Ambatoaho mine; Soci~t~ d'Exploitation
des Mines d'Andrananondambo, Bevalala mine; Soci~t~ Minière et Forestière,
Betanimera. 
 The CEA will provide a stable market until 1970. The contracts under which
the CEA purchases uranothorianite from the small producers offer CFAF2,850
per kilogram of uranium metal content and 


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