Georesources and Sustainability

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The main goals of the course are to transfer to the students the following knowledge and competences:
· Ability to classify georesources and discriminate different typologies based on their specific features
· basic knowledge on the main processes affecting spatial and temporal distribution of georesources
· evaluate the role of different georesources in the frame of sustainability and circular economy
· understanding the main processes that can lead to environmental hazard related to the exploitation, transformation and discard disposal of georesources
· have a general view of the main actions that can help to prevent, reduce or remediate environmental pollution related to the georesurces
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course participants will be able to classify the different typologies of georesources, to critically discuss their global distribution and the factors driving their exploitation. Participants will recognize and will be able to discuss the main processes affecting the environmental impact of the mining activities and the main geological features limiting/influencing the availability of georesources in the space (global distribution) and time (future availability).
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
In case of emergency teaching, online syncronous lectures will be performed, according to the planned timetable, using the MS Teams platform. In case of temporary unavailability to perform syncronous lectures, asyncronous lectures will be available at the Ariel webpage of the course (Power Point documents with audio comment of the teacher). Modes and criteria to attend class lectures, which require the use of a specific app, will be published in advance on the Ariel webpages of the course , as well as all the materials of the course and the news concerning any update related to the regulations imposed by the Covid-19.
The program and the reference material will be not modified.
Mode of exams will be not modified: the oral evaluation will be performed online using the MS Teams platform.
Course syllabus
Georesources and mineral deposits
· Introduction and definitions: natural resource, georesource, mineral deposit, mineralization
· Classification of georesources: metallic and industrial minerals
· The flow chain of georesources
o Exploration
o Evaluation
o Mining
o Beneficiation
· Economy of georesources with examples: cutoff, evaluation, resources and reserves. The examples of copper and lithium
· Environmental impact of mining
o Speciation and bioavailability
o Acid Mine Drainage
o Remediation and reclamation
o Case studies
· Types and relevance of georesources
o Metallic minerals
o Industrial Minerals
o Energetic georesources
o Case studies
Sustanibility of georesources
· Sustainability in raw material supply
· Georesources and circular economy
· Critical raw materials
· Conflict metals
· Environmental Sustainability
· Environmental risk
· Secondary recovery from wastes and tailings
Implementation of society awareness
· Geoheritage and georesources
· Divulgation and education
· The Big History approach
Prerequisites for admission
The course is designed to be attended by students with different academic background and, therefore, there are no specific prerequisites, except for basic notions of chemistry. Basic notions of Earth Science would be beneficial, but not strictly necessary.
Teaching methods
Will be adopted: lectures, discussion of case studies, exercises (especially at the end of the course using online tools as PollEverywher followed by collegial discussions), two daily excursions at active or dismissed mining areas.
Teaching Resources
Material provided by teachers
Assessment methods and Criteria
Oral interview.
Evaluation criteria: ability to organize in the spoken laguage the acquired knowledge, ability of critical thinking in front of a problem or a case study, competence and accuracy of the adopted lexis, consistency and accuracy of the acquired knowledge.
Lessons: 48 hours
Educational website(s)
send an e-mail for appointments