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Unit information: Mineral Resources in 2020/21

Unit name Mineral Resources
Unit code EASC30075
Credit points 10
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2C (weeks 13 - 18)
Unit director Dr. Cooper
Open unit status Not open

EASC10001 Geology 1

In addition, Geophysics and Environmental Geoscience students should discuss with the unit director before choosing this unit as an option.



School/department School of Earth Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science


This unit will introduce fundamental concepts in economic geology and the formation of ore deposits, including magmatic and magmatic-hydrothermal systems, supergene enrichment in near surface deposits, sedimentary ore forming processes, kimberlites and diamond exploration, global tectonic controls on ore formation, and the relationship between crustal evolution and metallogenesis.

This broad subject will build upon material covered EASC10001 Geology 1 and in a number of second year units, particularly Independent Development of Geology Skills, Structural Geology, Geochemistry 1 and Mineralogy and Petrology. Practicals will include observations and descriptions of samples from some typical ore deposits, phase diagram analysis, ore deposit cross-section interpretation, and mineral deposit economic assessment projects.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, you should:

  • Appreciate the wide variety of ore forming processes and their relationships to local geologic setting and global crustal evolution
  • Be able to critically analyse different models of ore body genesis and the factors that lead to ore body formation
  • Be familiar with some of the recent research literature covering the geological controls on economic resources
  • Be able to identify the key ore forming minerals in hand specimen and thin section
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how a mineral deposit is economically assessed
  • Be able to construct a simple ore body geological cross-section on the basis of drill-core reports and surface geology

Teaching details

The unit will be taught through a combination of

  • asynchronous online materials and, if subsequently possible, synchronous face-to-face lectures
  • synchronous office hours
  • asynchronous directed individual formative activities and exercises
  • guided, structured reading
  • practical work in the laboratory

Students who either begin or continue their studies in an online mode may be required to complete laboratory work, or alternative activities, in person, either during the academic year 2020/21 or subsequently, in order to meet the intended learning outcomes for the unit, prepare them for subsequent units or to satisfy accreditation requirements.

Assessment Details

End-of-unit timed open-book examination (100%)

Reading and References


  • Robb (2005), Introduction to Ore-Forming Processes, Blackwell, 373pp.


  • Pohl, 2005, Economic Geology: Principles and Practice, 663pp. Ridley, 2013, Ore Deposit Geology, 398pp.

Further reading:

  • Dill, H.G., 2010. The “chessboard” classification scheme of mineral deposits: mineralogy and geology from aluminum to zirconium. Earth-Science Reviews, 100 (1-4), pp.1-420.