On Friday 31 May 2019, Michèle Rousseau, the BRGM's Chair and Executive Director, and Fidiniavo Ravokatra, Madagascar's Minister for Mining and Strategic Resources, signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Paris Museum of Natural History for the BRGM's donation of a lithology collection to Madagascar, in the presence of the President of the Republic of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina.
The BRGM strengthens its support to Madagascar's sustainable development approach for the mining sector
In order improve the framework for investments and sustainability goals in the mining sector, the State of Madagascar has adopted an approach to improve governance in its mineral resources sector. This will involve strengthening its institutional capacities and its archive collections.
As the French geological survey organisation, the BRGM holds a substantial repository of knowledge on Madagascar's specific geographic, cultural and subsurface characteristics. The BRGM has been working in Madagascar since 1947: although its role as a mining operator came to an end in the mid-1990s following a French government decision, it has maintained its activities for different players in the country, including ministries and public institutions, private companies, international development agencies and NGOs.
As an example, the BRGM is currently involved in several training and mapping projects to support natural risk prevention linked to climate change.
An important lithological collection acquired over 70 years
To support the State of Madagascar's committed approach, the BRGM has donated its lithological collection on Madagascar, which includes:
- about 1 000 crates of core samples,
- several dozen sacks of powdered rock samples,
- an open-source integrated library management application parameterised for the geosciences and for Madagascar's geography,
- 900 descriptive catalogue entries from the BRGM library,
- a digitised document collection including 537 reports and 368 maps.
This donation was made together with technical assistance on exploiting the wealth of this lithological collection to the Directorate for geological and mining studies and promotion (DEPGM) of Madagascar's ministry for mining and strategic resources. The samples collected by the BRGM during its studies in Madagascar can now be placed in context, in particular by linking them to the reports on studies relating to them.