Since 2008, Vato Consulting has predominantly focussed on the provision of mineral exploration services to Clients in Madagascar. To date, Vato has been involved with more than 50 individual projects in various parts of the country and a diversity of mineral commodities that include chromite, coal, copper, gold, graphite, iron, limestone, nickel, platinum, rare earth elements and uranium.

As a result of the time focussed on Madagascar, Vato Consulting is in a position to offer its Clients the following benefits:


If you are serious about exploring in Madagascar, Vato Consulting is already here to assist you


Please refer to the SERVICES page for more details


The map below shows the location of many of the projects Vato has been involved with. To view the details of these, either click on the point of interest or scroll down:

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Madagascar: the Country

Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the World (after Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo) and is located 400 to 800 km southeast of the African continent, due east of Mozambique.

The island encompasses an area of approx. 587,000 sq. km, extending 1,570 km from north to south and up to 575 km laterally. The interior largely consists of highlands inter-dispersed with plateaus, with the margins characterised by low-land and coastal plains. The highest point is in the far north of the island at 2,876 m above sea-level.

Madagascar typically has two distinct climatic seasons, a hotter rainy season between November to April and a cooler dryer season from May to October. The eastern side is exposed to the prevailing winds from the Indian Ocean and can be monsoonal during the summer months (January to March).

Because of its 80-100 million year separation from the neighbouring continents, more than 80 percent of Madagascar’s plant and animal species are endemic and include lemurs, the carnivorous cat-like fossa and six species of baobab trees.

The human population is approx. 21 million, who are mainly concentrated in the more vegetated and fertile eastern part of the country and in the central highlands. The capital city Antananarivo (locally abbreviated to Tana) is the country’s largest city with a population of approx. 4 million.

Madagascar’s population is predominantly of mixed Southeast Asian, Pacific Island and African origin and the island is believed to have been uninhabited until between 1,500 and 2,000 years ago. Malagasy culture represents an interesting and diverse mixture of Southeast Asian, Arabic, African and European influences.

The official languages are Malagasy and French, although outside of the cities few people speak the latter. The majority of the population believe in traditional Malagasy religions, followed by Christianity (approx. 40 percent) and then Islam (approx. 7 percent).

Madagascar has a road network of greater than 54,000 km, although less than 10 percent of it is bitumised. The main airports are in Antananarivo, Antsiranana, Tolanaro (Fort Dauphin), Toliara, Toamasina and Mahajanga. In addition to Antananarivo, several operate international flights. There are also a significant number of regional airstrips, to and from which flights can be chartered. The principal ports are Toamasina, Mahajanga, Antsiranana, Toliara and Fort Dauphin.

Telecommunications have improved greatly in recent years, with numerous companies providing cellular network coverage around the country.

Originally an independent kingdom, Madagascar became a French colony in 1896 and remained so until it regained independence in 1960.

Post-independence, Madagascar enjoyed comparatively good political stability. However, in 2009 the existing government was deposed amid political unrest and replaced by a new party. This was generally viewed as unconstitutional and not recognised by the international community, resulting in sanctions and pressure to hold regulated elections. In October 2013, elections and the political reform process finally commenced.

In 2012, the estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was USD 21.37 billion. The services industry represented the main component of the economy, accounting for approx. 55 percent of the GDP. Agriculture, including fishing and forestry, represented approx. 28 percent and employed 80 percent of the population. Industry, including mining, accounted for approx. 16 percent of the GDP.

Significant exports include vanilla, coffee, sugarcane, cloves, cocoa, rice, cassava, beans, bananas, peanuts and livestock products. Madagascar’s main growth industries are tourism, textiles, light manufacturing exports, agricultural products and mining. Despite the economic diversity, it is estimated that two-thirds of the Malagasy population live below the international poverty line of USD 1.25 a day. The local currency is the Malagasy Ariary (MGA), with one USD equal to approx. 2,200 Ariary.

Madagascar: the geological setting and mineral prospectivity

Madagascar is part of the Mozambique Belt and has a diverse and complex geological setting that resulted from the continental collision between east and west Gondwana.

The eastern two-thirds of the island is dominated by Precambrian (to Archean) rocks that are divided into a series of major tectonic units, some of which are separated by lithospheric-scale shear zones. The major tectonic units are as follows:

The Precambrian rocks are dominated by quartzo-feldspathic gneisses, with a variable but lesser amount of metasedimentary, metavolcanic and metaplutonic rocks. In places, the eastern two-thirds of the island also includes Cretaceous through to Neogene basalts, dolerites and rhyolites.

The western third of the island consists of Phanerozoic (Upper Palaeozoic to recent) sedimentary and volcanic rocks that were deposited in two large basins (the Morondava and Mahajanga basins).

Madagascar contains a diversity of mineral commodities, including aggregates, aluminium, beryllium, chromium, coal, cobalt, copper, gas, gemstones (including emerald, ruby and sapphire), gold, graphite, iron, limestone, nickel, niobium, petroleum, platinum, rare earth elements, titanium and uranium.

It has the world’s largest sapphire reserves and is the leading producer of mica. It also exports significant quantities of graphite and chromium.

Madagascar is also a recognised gold producer with major artisanal activity in various parts of the country. Understandably, due to the prevalence of what are largely illegal and unregulated mining practices, obtaining accurate gold production figures is not possible. However, it has been estimated gold production attains up to 3,000 and 4,000 kg (95,000 to 130,000 oz) per year.

Despite its vast mineral potential, Madagascar is extremely underexplored. This is considered to be in part due to past political environments (for example a socialist-Marxist government from the 1970s to 1990s), a reduction in geological research following independence and a subsequent lack of economic geology-related data, and accessibility.

Up until the political situation in 2009, Madagascar attracted a reasonable amount of exploration interest and resulted in the identification and development of a number of major projects. Examples include the Rio Tinto QMM minerals sands project and the Sherritt Ambatovy nickel and cobalt project, both categorised as “world-class” deposits.

Other noteworthy projects include the Energizer Resources graphite project, the Tantalus rare earth elements project, the PTT Asia Pacific mining coal project and the World Titanium Resources mineral sands project.

Of relevance to the exploration and mining industry, in 2003 the World Bank and the Governments of Madagascar, South Africa and the United States approved funding for the Mineral Resources Governance Project.

The objectives of the five-year project were: to improve of the legal and statutory framework, particularly with respect to mining; to establish an agency to promote investment in the Malagasy minerals sector; to improve the geo-scientific infrastructure by completing airborne geophysical surveys, geological mapping and providing training; to certificate and improve the marketing of Malagasy gemstones; to develop a management system for artisanal and small-scale mining; to address environmental, health and safety issues, as well as contributing to the general reduction of poverty. The project also resulted in the development of a Mining Code.

With the resolution of the current political situation underway, improved geo-scientific knowledge-base and a favourable Mining Code, Madagascar represents an exciting jurisdiction for the exploration and discovery of a variety of mineral commodities. Whatever commodities you chose, Vato Consulting can help you find them.

The Madagascar projects completed by Vato Consulting include:

AMBAROFINANDRAHANA - Bedrock-hosted rare earth elements (REE)

AMBATOMITAMBA - Bedrock and regolith-hosted graphite (C)

AMBOSITRA - Bedrock-hosted copper, lead and zinc (Cu-Pb-Zn)

AMPASINDAVA - Bedrock-hosted and ion adsorption clay-type rare earth elements (REE)

ANALAVOKA - Bedrock-hosted orogenic gold (Au)

ANDRIAMENA - Bedrock-hosted orogenic gold (Au)

ANDRIANTANTELY - Regolith-hosted nickel (Ni)

ANDRORANGAVOLA - Bedrock-hosted orogenic gold (Au)

ANOSIBE - Bedrock-hosted orogenic gold (Au) and Alaskan-type platinum (Pt)

ANTANAMBAO - Bedrock and regolith-hosted graphite (C)

BEKISOPA - Bedrock and regolith-hosted iron (Fe)

BELAFIKI - Bedrock-hosted uranium (U)

BERONONO - Bedrock-hosted uranium (U)

BESATRANA - Bedrock-hosted copper (Cu)

BETANIMENA - Bedrock-hosted uranium and rare earth elements (REE)

BETROKA - Bedrock-hosted iron (Fe)

BETSIAKA - Bedrock-hosted epithermal gold-silver (Au-Ag)

BRIEVILLE - Bedrock-hosted orogenic gold (Au)

ESIRA 1 - Bedrock-hosted rare earth elements (REE)

ESIRA 2 - Bedrock-hosted rare earth elements (REE)

FIANARANTSOA - Bedrock-hosted orogenic gold (Au)

FIRAVAHANA - Bedrock-hosted orogenic gold (Au)

FOLAKARA - Bedrock-hosted uranium (U)

FOTADREVO - Bedrock-hosted orogenic gold (Au)

IFANADIANA - Bedrock-hosted orogenic gold (Au)

IFANADIANA - Bedrock and alluvium-hosted gold (Au)

ILALANA - Bedrock-hosted uranium and rare earth elements (REE)

IRINA - Bedrock-hosted uranium (U)

IVOHIBE - Bedrock-hosted uranium and rare earth elements (REE)

MAEVATANANA 1 - Bedrock and regolith-hosted orogenic gold (Au)

MAEVATANANA 2 - Bedrock-hosted orogenic gold (Au)

MAHAFINARITRA - Bedrock-hosted orogenic gold (Au)

MAHALY - Bedrock-hosted uranium (U)

MAINTIRANO - Basalt-hosted copper (Cu)

MANAKARALAHY - Bedrock-hosted orogenic gold (Au)

MANAMPATRANA - Bedrock-hosted orogenic gold (Au)

MANDABE - Bedrock-hosted orogenic gold (Au)

MILANOA - Bedrock-hosted orogenic gold (Au)

MORAFENO - Emerald

MORONDAVA - Bedrock-hosted uranium (U)

RANOMAFANA - Bedrock-hosted orogenic gold (Au)

SAKAMENA - Bedrock-hosted orogenic gold (Au)

SAKOA - Coal (C)

SATROKALA - Bedrock-hosted uranium (U)

SOALARA - Limestone

TSARAVONIANA - Bedrock and regolith-hosted graphite (C)

TSINJOARIVO - Alluvium-hosted / placer gold (Au)

VOHIBATO - Bedrock-hosted uranium and rare earth elements (REE)

VOHIBORY - Bedrock-hosted orogenic gold (Au)

VONDROZO - Bedrock-hosted orogenic gold (Au) and iron (Fe)