Nickel first identified in Madagascar by the Syndicat Minier de Madagascar.


Existence of a nickel deposit at Ambatovy and Analamay (see map) discovered by the Malagasy Geological Service.


The Syndicat Moramanga – 85% Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM) and 15% the UGINE company – determines the site has up to 80 million tonnes of 1.2 – 1.3% nickel.

Prospection continues throughout the 1960s.


A new syndicate consisting of UGINE Kuhlmann, Pechiney, SLN, ACC, COFIMER, Omnimines, and BRGM undertakes further evaluation studies.


Additional studies carried out by the Groupement d’Etude de Nickel de Moramanga – GENIM, a consortium of UGINE Kuhlmann (31%), Société Le Nickel (31%), Anglo-American (21%), BRGM (9%), COFIMER (4%), and Omnimines (4%).

Mine reserves estimated at this point to be 40 million tonnes.


GENIM’s permit expires.


North Korean operation mines 2,000 tonnes of ore, which is exported to North Korea.


Creation of Phelps Dodge Madagascar, SARL (PDM).

PDM begins initial feasibility study and environmental and social impact assessment, which are finalized in 1997.


PDM acquires the rights to the Ambatovy deposits and four exploration permits. Exploratory work begins.


Exploratory work by PDM ends. Work included:

  • Seven pits dug: four at Ambatovy and three at Analamay. Pits dug by hand, some to a depth of 30 meters, with a diameter of two meters.

  • 400 holes drilled, yielding 18,000 meters of core samples.

Mine reserves estimated to be 83 million tonnes.


Project put on hold by PDM.


New mining code promulgated by the Government of Madagascar, covering all aspects of mining.


Large Mining Investment Act – Loi sur les Grands Investissements Miniers (LGIM) – comes into force providing legal stability and investment incentives.


Multiple Ambatovy exploration permits condensed into a single permit “Number 459″ (23 blocks measuring 14,375 ha).

PDM-Dynatec Corporation joint venture signed.

Creation of Dynatec Madagascar, SARL (DMSA).

DMSA conducts exploratory drilling and develops a thorough feasibility study and detailed environmental and social impact assessment. These are completed in 2006.


Dynatec receives 53% interest in Ambatovy.


Dynatec acquires remaining 47% interest in Ambatovy from Phelps Dodge.

Sumitomo Corporation of Japan takes up a 25% stake in the Project which leaves Dynatec as a 75% stakeholder.


Forty-year mining permit granted.

Dynatec is named Project Operator and retains 45% ownership – later reduced to 40% when SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. (SLI) takes up 5%.

Korea Resources Corporation (KORES) joins the Project, becoming a 27.5% shareholder along with Sumitomo Corporation, 27.5%.

SLI awarded engineering, procurement, and construction management contract for development of Ambatovy.

Madagascar’s Office National pour l’Environnement (ONE) issues environmental permit.


Ambatovy Project certified by the Government of Madagascar under LGIM.

Earthworks begin.

Sherritt International Corporation acquires Dynatec. Value of transaction is approximately US$1.7 billion. Sherritt assumes Dynatec’s ownership position in Ambatovy and is named Project Operator.

Construction ground-breaking ceremony held at the Plant Site on November 7.


Ambatovy receives construction permits for work at the Port and Plant Site .

Closing of US$2.1 billion project financing from a group of 14 lenders. (Ambatovy named “Europe, Middle East and Africa Mining Deal of the Year” for 2007 by Project Finance International).


Mine Site construction camp is ready for occupation at the end of March.

By the end of the year, construction of Ambatovy is more than 60% complete.

Employment in excess of 12,000 workers.


Mining of material for stockpiling begins.

Inauguration of Ambatovy Training Center.

Port expansion completed.

Commissioning testing begins.


End of construction


End of Commissioning testing

Operating permit delivered

First shipment of nickel to the international market


January: commercial production achieved

April: ISO 9001:2008 certification acquired for Refining, Analysis, and Shipping


March: 90/90 Production test achieved

September: Financial Completion attained

October: Partner SNC-Lavalin sells its participation in Ambatovy’s capital to Sumitomo Corporation

November: Ambatovy’s products are listed on the London Metal Exchange


May: Sherritt reduces its share in Ambatovy’s capital but remains the project operator