Module GL4419: Economic Geology
|Co-ordinator:||Dr Sean McClenaghan|
Theory examination (60%), in-course assessments (40%)
Contact hours & timing:
|Weeks 21-26; Seven hours per week|
Module Learning Aims
To gain a broad understanding of the occurrence of the most important types of metal ore deposits. The students will become familiar with the petrogenetic environments in which ore deposits form and will be introduced to the economics of mineral exploration.
The course introduces students to a wide range of base and precious-metal deposits with an emphasis placed on Porphyry Copper, Magmatic Nickel, VMS, SEDEX, and Irish-type Zn-Pb deposits. Thin sections, hand specimens and in some cases drill core are used to highlight specific features that define various mineral deposits. Students are trained in reflective light microscopy for the identification of ore minerals and their characteristic textures. Value assessment of mineralization based on the ore and gangue mineralogy, presence of known credit and penalty elements are addressed in laboratory practicals. Finally, the economics and strategies for mineral exploration and production are covered through the use of case studies.
On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
characterize mineralized samples and assess the value of a resource based on the ore petrography (ore/gangue ratio), metallurgical factors, and assay/lithogeochemical data provided. Furthermore, students are expected to analyze economic factors controlling the viability of a commodity and devise strategies for the exploration and production of the resource.