Natural resources of Madagascar

Natural resources of Madagascar

Madagascar composes less than half a percent of the earth’s landmass, but harbors nearly 5% of the world’s biodiversity. The country’s natural resources include;

New mineral potential

Strong nickel, copper and platinum group metal anomalism have been identified in rock chips and soil samples taken from gossan and intrusive rocks at its Ampanihy project in Southern Madagascar. Petrographic analysis is currently underway to confirm the findings. 12 major lenses of high-grade graphite have been identified at its Maniry project in Southern Madagascar.


The common fish species are cray fish, crabs, shrimp, tilapia, catfish and herring. They inhabit the island’s rivers, lakes and streams.

Mangroves and coral reefs

The about 5,000 kilometers of coastline of Madagascar support extensive stands of mangroves and coral reefs.

Water bodies

Madagascar has the following major rivers Mangoro, Maningory, Mananara, Ivondro and Mananjary. The rivers drain the flood plains making them fertile for agriculture. The lakes in Madagascar include; Alaotra, Kinkony, Tritiva, Ihotry, and Tsimanampetsotsa.


Madagascar boasts nearly 10 million hectares of intact, native forests. The rain forests mainly consist of numerous unique plant species and the island houses about 900 species of orchids.


Madagascar’s coal potential has been estimated to contain as much as 100 Mt of good quality coal. The resources of coal at Sakoa in the southeast of the island where the total resource are in excess of 500 Mt.


Madagascar has known bauxite deposits in Manantenina in the southeast of the country, which have been estimated at containing 100 Mt of bauxite.


400Mt of iron ore are also reported near Solala. However, there is a lack of infrastructure to service these mineral deposits for economical exploitation.


Madagascar has the world’s largest reserves of sapphires.  In actual fact, gem dealers estimate that more than half the world’s sapphires are mined in Madagascar.


Madagscar is among the first ten producers of chromite.


Madagascar has ten recognised gold belts from which artisanal miners extract considerable quantities of between 3 and 4 tons of Gold per year. Madagascar is estimated at producing as much as 70 tons of Gold in total.

Other Mineral resources

  • Graphite
  • Rare earth elements
  • Quartz
  • Tar sands
  • Semiprecious stones
  • Mica
  • Salt

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