Fort Dauphin, Anosy
QIT Madagascar Minerals (QMM), near Fort Dauphin in the Anosy region of south-eastern Madagascar, produces ilmenite which is a major source of titanium dioxide, predominantly used as a white pigment in products such as paints and paper.
QMM includes the deep-water Port d’Ehoala, where the raw material is shipped to the Rio Tinto Fer et Titane plant in Canada and processed into titanium dioxide.
QMM is a joint venture between Rio Tinto (80%) and the government of Madagascar (20%).
QMM targeting carbon neutral by 2023
From 2022, we’ll use solar and wind energy to provide 60% of QMM’s annual power needs, as well as supply clean power to Fort Dauphin and surrounding communities in Madagascar.
The project is one of the steps QMM is taking to be carbon neutral by 2023. It is part of a broader programme to reduce our environmental footprint in Madagascar, focussed on emissions reduction, waste and water management, carbon sequestration, ecological restoration and reforestation.
Protecting the environment
We are committed to protecting the plants and animals of the Anosy region, near our QMM operations in Madagascar.
We have environmental and social obligations to fulfil as part of our mining license and environmental permits. To meet these commitments and to minimise any potential environmental impacts, we use the mitigation hierarchy: avoid, minimise, restore and offset.
We have avoided mining part of the deposit (8%), which is located in biodiverse areas of coastal forest. This area has also been integrated into the existing Protected Areas of Mandena, Petriky and Sainte Luce.
We implement a broad range of activities to minimise our impacts on the environment, such as transplanting priority plant species (endemic and threatened) before mining operations begin, moving priority fauna, conservation of seeds, installation of nurseries and road safety awareness campaigns and strict speed limits to help prevent traffic-related injuries to wildlife.
Over the life of mine, we will restore 300 hectares of wetlands and 200 hectares of littoral forest on the Mandena deposit with carefully selected native species. In 2021, 600 people from surrounding communities harvested Mahampy from previously restored wetlands.
We are systematically rehabilitating areas once mining has finished. These areas are carefully rehabilitated with fast-growing species – mainly acacia and eucalyptus – to provide natural resources for local community woodcraft projects, such as school benches.
We are working with Asity Madagascar and Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG) to support the management of two sites (about 6,000 hectares) outside the mining lease as offsets.
We have also established several partnerships with Asity (a Malagasy NGO), Birdlife International, International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG) to support the implementation of our Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP).
In 2003, we established an independent committee of biodiversity experts to provide external perspectives and advice on implementing our biodiversity programme, including monitoring, establishing the biodiversity monograph and assisting with other technical issues including ecological restoration. The committee concluded its work in 2015.
To build on this model, we signed an agreement with IUCN to serve as our facilitator and coordinator of the renewed Biodiversity and Natural Resources Management Committee (BNRMC) which met for the first time in early 2018. Committee members include experts in biodiversity, community management of natural resources and stakeholder engagement.
For further information on this Committee, its members and recommendations, visit IUCN’s website.
Maintaining access to wetland resources
At QMM, wetlands play a vital role as a habitat for birds, fish and plants and in the culture and way of life for the Antanosy people living in Anosy. The wetlands are a source of material for their day-to-day life, including Mahampy reeds that are used for mats and basket weaving and the Ravinala tree which is used for building houses.
Restoring the wetlands after mining is therefore an important part of QMM’s approach to operating the business, and we are working with communities to improve natural resource management and contribute to the conservation of sensitive ecosystems. For example, we work with communities to ensure that restored reed beds are harvested sustainably so that the new wetlands remain intact and help protect the community against flooding from cyclones.
Restoring wetlands is no easy feat. They need a consistent water source, which in turn requires the right topography. Crocodiles in the region also present safety considerations for the QMM team as well as the local community. Overcoming these challenges calls for an innovative and collaborative approach. For example, the team designed rafts made of bamboo to populate the centre of the water body with wetlands species typical of the region. Doing so eliminates the need to use a boat, making the practice safer.
At QMM, partnership with the local community is important to us, and we aim to work in ways that deliver sustained value for both our business and our host communities.
For example, QMM provides funding for equipment and marketing as well as business development training to a local honey co-operative. This support helps producers to harvest and sell more than 4,800 litres of honey from 500 beehives in the remote region of Ampasy Nahampoana.
QMM also works with the Centre d’Affaires Régional Anosy (CARA). Established in 2012 to support local businesses, CARA is a partnership between QMM, the Integrated Pole of Growth project, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Fort Dauphin and the Association for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship. Its work includes providing finance, marketing and training to micro, small and medium-sized businesses and has, since inception, trained more than 4,500 people and supported around 200 businesses.
We work with the Malagasy people and with archaeologists to survey and map sites and artefacts of cultural significance. Malagasy culture assigns special status to sites including:
- Kibory - Tombs which Malagasy people consider the place where ancestors live
- Orimbato - Stone slabs near the paths beside a tomb
- Fisorogna - Places of sacrifice
- Doany - Places of worship
QMM was the first mining company in Madagascar to recognise the land rights of traditional land users. In 2016, we signed an agreement with the government of Madagascar and the Mandena communities on which the mining concession sits, which set up a framework to provide a legal basis for the joint rights of each party within the mining concession.
As part of its mining license agreement, QMM committed to a biodiversity conservation programme that included the identification and management of protected areas and offset areas. These areas are designed to ensure gains in natural forest cover, preserve priority species and ensure that the loss of biodiversity in mining areas is compensated for.
QMM works in partnership with organisations to manage these sites, for example with Asity, a Malagasy NGO, Birdlife International and Missouri Botanical Garden (MBG), who have a long history of conservation work in Madagascar.
Supporting communities in Madagascar
Turning a building into a treatment centre.
At QMM, our operation in the Anosy region of Madagascar, we have upgraded a building, turning it into a dedicated treatment centre that can receive up to 108 patients, and treat 60 people – including up to 32 needing intensive care. We have also donated an ambulance and two 4x4 vehicles, so that medical teams can more easily reach people where and when they need them, especially in more remote areas.
Supporting the sustainable development of the local economy through partnering with local businesses is a key part of the procurement approach at QMM. The procurement procedures ensure local suppliers are considered at every stage of the process. This approach is outlined in the RTP Africa Preferential Procurement Policy document.
Latest QMM releases
Rio Tinto QMM Launches the Construction of Its Renewable Energy Project
FORT DAUPHIN, Madagascar--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- In accordance with the commitments made last July, Rio Tinto QIT Madagascar Minerals (QMM) and its partner Crossboundary Energy (CBE) today laid the foundation stone for the solar and wind power plant project that will supply the QMM ilmenite mine operations in Fort Dauphin, in southern Madagascar. The ceremony took place in the Ehoala Park area, in
Access to drinking water in Fort Dauphin: signing of a partnership protocol between Rio Tinto QMM and the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
FORT DAUPHIN, Madagascar -- Rio Tinto QMM and the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene have signed a partnership protocol to improve access to drinking water for rural communities in Fort Dauphin. This program is part of QMM's programme of contributions to the Emerging South Plan (Plan Emergence Sud), resulting from the historic symposium of June 2021. At the heart of the priorities identifie
Rio Tinto QMM’s intermediary study indicates water around mine safe
Fort Dauphin, Madagascar – Rio Tinto QMM has received the second round out of four rounds of analysis from an independent study of radiation and water quality around its ilmenite mine in Fort Dauphin, Southern Madagascar. These intermediary results, from the study by leading brownfield consultancy and water remediation experts, JBS&G Australia Pty Ltd (JBS&G), indicate that for now concen
Lot 35, 5e étage
Immeuble "Ivandry Business Center"
BP 4003, 101 Antananarivo
T: + 261 20 22 425 59
BP 225, 614 Fort-Dauphin
T: +261 20 92 210 26