Madagascar: mining licence process map

What is the process for awarding mining rights in Madagascar? What steps must the company and the government follow?

These ‘maps’ present this process as a step-by-step guide. They sheds light on a process that is often complex and complicated, making it more transparent.

The three maps below describe the process of obtaining a prospecting authorisation, a small-scale prospecting and mining permit, and an exploration and extraction permit.

To read more about Transparency International-Initiative Madagascar’s research into the corruption risks in the process of awarding mining permits, visit the country page.

English and French versions of these maps can be downloaded below.

Les versions anglaise et française de ces cartographies peuvent être téléchargées ci-dessous.

Mining in Madagascar

Small-scale prospecting and mining licence

This process map looks at the small-scale mining permit (PRE), which is for research and exploitation over an area that must not exceed 100km2. It is valid for eight years and can be renewed for four years each time.

Madagascar contains numerous deposits of industrial and metallic minerals, as well as precious stones. Its mining industry is predominantly small-scale.

All deposits of mineral substances located on the surface, in the subsoil, waters and seabed of the Malagasy Territory are the property of the State.

A mining permit covers a perimeter composed of one or more ‘squares’, an area of just over 625 metres squared.

Madagascar’s mining licences are all managed by the national mining cadastre (BCMM), which is attached to the Ministry of Mines. Mining permits are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Exploration and Mining permit

The right to conduct exploration and exploitation is obtained through a standard permit including an exploration permit and an exploitation permit.

An exploration permit (Permis de Recherche (PR)) is granted to individuals and legal entities under Malagasy law. It confers to its holder the exclusive right to carry out exploration on a limited area of 10,000km². It is valid for 5 years, renewable twice for a period of 3 years each time it is renewed.

An exploitation permit (Permis d’Exploitation (PE)) confers to its holder the exclusive right to exploit the substance or substances covered by the permit, as well as to pursue prospecting and mining research on an area that cannot exceed 1,000 km².

The PE is valid for a period of 40 years, renewable for a period of 20 years each time.

Standard permits are granted by the Minister in charge of Mines who may delegate his or her authority.

Before starting any exploration or exploitation activities, the operator must have the approval of the competent authority in conformity with the regulations of the environmental sector, the prior agreement of the landowner, and the commitments contained in the environmental commitment plan. The applicant must submit this to the department in charge of the environment within the Ministry of Mines and inform the authorities of the Decentralized Territorial Collectivities (autonomous local authorities).

Madagascar licence map PR/PE
Madagascar licence map AERP

Prospecting authorisation

Applicants (companies or individuals) have the option of applying directly for a small or large-scale mining or exploration permit or through an Exclusive Perimeter Reservation Authorisation (AERP).

An AERP is not a mining title but a simple authorisation allowing an individual or a company to do some preliminary works in a specified area in which the prospector has the exclusive right to prospect. Note, in Madagascar, the size of mining areas are calculated as ‘squares’, which are each just over 625 metres squared.

This authorisation is valid for three months and not renewable. It confers on the applicant the right to:

  • Consult the authorities of the commune(s) in question for information on the nature of the environment and the existence or otherwise of minerals
  • Inform the local authorities and, where appropriate, other miners of the possible future installation of an exploration or mining project
  • Undertake prospecting work; and
  • Initiate an Environmental Impact Assessment.

No environmental authorisation is required to undertake prospecting activities under an AERP.