Sapphire alluvials, Antsahalapata Valley, Ampasindava Peninsula, Ambanja District, Diana Region (Northern Region), Antsiranana Province, Madagascar
Antsahalapata, Saikanosin' Ampasindava, Distrikan' i Ambanja, Faritra Diana, Faritany Antsiranana, Madagascar
Photo: Wolfgang Hampel
A new occurrence of alluvial sapphires found on 20 August 2011 by local farmers. It is situated in the Antsahalapata Valley (Antsahalapata meaning in Malagasy language "valley of lapata snakes"), a small tributary to the Ankelimahavoky River. The next village is Antsirabe (not to be confused with the Antsirabe south of Antananarivo) some 1km further to the north-east.
At present (site visited 4 September 2011) some 80-100 local diggers follow a narrow 20 to 25cm thick layer of sapphire bearing gravel. This first layer is surface near, not deeper than 2 m, and holds only small sapphires. A second gravel layer is found below -6m and holds better and bigger sapphires.
There are obviously two different primary sources as one part of the sapphires is strongly rounded (waterworn), whereas the other part shows distinct crystals. The host rocks are probably dykes of alkaline basalts which occur in the wider area.
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3 entries listed. 1 valid mineral.
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