The Mine Site is located 80 km east of Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, near the town of Moramanga. The Mine is only a few kilometers from the road and rail networks that connect it to the port city of Toamasina, on the east coast (see map).
The ore body at the Mine consists of two large, weathered lateritic nickel deposits located approximately 3 km apart (the “Ambatovy Deposit” and the “Analamay Deposit”). Combined, the Ambatovy and Analamay Deposits constitute one of the worldâ€™s biggest lateritic nickel reserves, covering an area of about 1,600 ha, with depths ranging between 20 and 100 m. Due to the soft nature of the ore, no blasting is necessary. Ore is surface-mined by hydraulic excavators and delivered to the Ore Preparation Plant (OPP) in articulated haulage trucks.
Ore Preparation Plant
The OPP is located at the Mine Site and separates the soft lateritic soil from rock and waste material. The laterite is combined with water to produce a slurried ore, which is pumped into the Pipeline that links the Mine to the Plant Site 220 km away.
With the difference in elevation between the Mine and the Plant site, the design has maximized the use of gravity to minimize the need for energy-intensive pumping facilities.