A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims at providing a basic knowledge of the most common mineral commodities (georesources), their availability in nature, the most common mining methods, and the Italian mining law. Some case studies about the use of raw materials to produce ceramic materials will be introduced, along with the principal transformation processes. The petroleum geology module aims at providing an understanding of the genesys of hydrocarbons, their migration and accumulation in the subsurface and familiarize students with the current methods and technologies used for their exploration and evaluation.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and understanding : Students should demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the subject matters and, with the support of advanced textbooks, reach a level of proficiency ncluding leading edge aspects of this field. By the end of this course, students are expected to master the essentials of: 1) the genesys and morphology of ore and raw materials deposits, including petroleum; 2) the main commodities and hydrocarbon types, their use and the relevant industrial transformation processing; 3) the most common exploration, mining and production methods; 4) mine planning; 5) the principal analytical techniques presently in use (SEM-EDS, XRF, XRD, gas-chromatography).
Making judgements: Students should develop the ability to gather and interpret data to make independent judgements, being also aware of the relevant economic, social, scientific or ethical consequences;
Communication skills: Students are expected to learn how to communicate information, ideas, raise problems and propose solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences;
Learning skills: Students should develop the necessary learning skills for them to undertake further studies with a high degree of autonomy.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
The first part of this course is devoted to mineral georesources (i.e., solid georesources) and spans through the following subjects: Concept and definition of "georesource". Classification of energy and mineral resources and their use. Raw materials' world demand and consumption. Italy's raw materials demand and consumption. Concept of "reserve" and "resource". Definition of mineral deposits and occurrences. Exploration and mining of mineral resources: objectives, strategies, prospecting, timing, costs and risk evaluation. Mining and processing methods, environmental impact. Italian mineral legislation and the relevant distinction between "mine" and "quarry".
Clays and clay minerals: classification, crystal-chemistry, availability and industrial uses. Raw materials for Portland cement production. "Expanded clays". Traditional ceramic products: definition, classifications, properties and production processes. World ceramic districts. Italy's ceramics industry and the role of geologists in the production workflow. Solid-state mineral analysis: X-ray powder diffraction, X-ray fluorescence, scanning electron microscopy.

The second part of this course deals with petroleum geology and illustrates the subject as follows: Hydrocarbon classification and use. Source rocks and the genesis of oil and gas. Classification and properties of reservoir rocks. Cap rocks. Subsurface investigation and exploration tools. Subsurface mapping. Structural, stratigraphic and mixed traps. Hydrocarbon primary and secondary migration. Petroleum systems, plays and prospects. Characteristic features of oil and gas fields. Subsurface pressure regimes. Volumetric estimate of hydrocarbon resources and reserves. Essentials of exploration risking.
Prerequisites for admission
The Coursework Rule ("Manifesto degli Studi") establishes a set of teachings to be attended in the first biennium in preparation for this course. A consolidated knowledge of disciplines such as chemistry, physics, mineralogy, petrology, sedimentology and structural geology is mandatory to fully understand and properly acquire the relevant syllabus.
Teaching methods
The main part of the course is delivered as traditional lessons in Italian and is backed by plentiful supporting materials such as graphs, tables, sketches, photographs, geological sections, seismic lines and instrumental logs.
The course also features hands-on sessions at department labs dedicated to mineralogical and chemical characterization of rocks and minerals, practicals, and seminars held by industry experts and managers (subject to availability).
Students' questions and interaction are welcome and encouraged.
Teaching Resources
All text and picture slides presented at classes are available in digital format (.pdf).

The following textbooks are recommended for reference and further reading:
· Stephen E. Kesler & Adam C. Simon (2015): Mineral Resources, Economics and the Environment (2nd Edition). Cambridge University Press, ISBN-10: 1107074916
· Tanelli, G. (2009): Georisorse e Ambiente. Aracne editrice, ISBN-10: 8854826154
· Enciclopedia Treccani del petrolio e del gas (available on line)
· Jahn, F. Cook, M. e Graham, M.: Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production 2nd edition. Elsevier
· Selley, R. e Sonnenberg, S.: Petroleum Geology 3rd edition. Elsevier AP
Assessment methods and Criteria
Assessments cover the entire program and are usually carried out by means of an oral exam lasting about one hour. Assessment sessions with 12 candidates or more, shall be dealt with by means of a written test, lasting two hours and based a set of open questions and exercises similar to those discussed during classes.
Scores are in thirties.
Exams aim at assessing not only the candidate's learning and retention of concepts and essential notions but also, and more importantly, his/her ability to summarize and correlate complex subjects, in the broader frame of the above-mentioned propaedeutic disciplines
Practicals: 36 hours
Lessons: 48 hours
Tue, Wed and Thu: 2.30-6.30 p.m. (please, contact me via email too)
Via Botticelli 23 (first floor)