Ore Geology and Mineral Prospecting

A.Y. 2021/2022
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course is aimed to provide basic knowledge about the following topics: Providing basic knowledge on the following subjects: (a) genetic processes of ore minerals, correlated to their geological context; (b) geographical distribution of ore deposits, correlation with plate tectonics processes and effects on economic geology; (c) knowledge useful for planning mineral exploration in order to find new ore deposits or to better optimize exploitation; (d) knowledge useful for assessment and planning of mineral beneficiation processes.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the student will be able to recognize the essential geological, mineralogical, textural and ore elements that characterize the main types of ore deposits. These competences are the basics for the work as an ore geologist and mining geologist. Students will also acquire basic knowledge on economic geology and beneficiation processes.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second 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
The aim of the teaching is to introdcue general economic aspects of mining industry, cover a wide range of ore deposit typologies, to correlate them to geological processes at different scales and to deal with principles, technics and strategies for exploration and economic evaluation of ore deposits.
List of subjects:
General part - Definition of "ore deposit" typologies, geometries and textures; mineralogical associations and useful metals. Classification of ore deposits.
Mineral deposits:
Mineral deposits related to sedimentary processes
Iron deposits of Banded Iron Formation type
Sedimentary manganese deposits
Diamond placers

Residual deposits
Lateritic nickel
Bauxites (aluminum)

Magmatic mineral deposits
Layered intrusion type chromitites
Ophiolite chromitites
Magmatic magnetite
Sudbury type nickel deposits
Jinchuan type nickel deposits
Komatiitic nickel deposits
Kimberlitic diamonds
LCT pegmatites

Environmental concern related to active and abandoned mining areas
Factors affecting geoenvironmental behaviour of mineral deposits
Environmental risk analysis in mining areas
Italian environmental legislation and with reference with mining activity
Acid Mine Drainage processes
Kinetic tests
Environmental classification of mineral deposits
Prerequisites for admission
The course is strongly interdisciplinary and requires prerequisites related to several course of the first and second year. Specifically essential prerequisites comprise:
Basic knowledge of mineralogy and mineral classification
Basic knowledge of petrography, rock types, and discriminating parameters for rock classification, correlation with geodynamical environments
Basic knowledge of stratigraphy and sedimentology, main depositional environments and processes, different sedimentary rocks
Basic knowledge of Structural geology and tectonics, micr-, meso-, macro scale structures and Plate Tectonics basic principles.
Teaching methods
Frontal lesson with discussion
Simple excercises on industrial applications concerning georesources
Reading, elaboration, evaluation in group or altogether of technical and scientific documents
Reading of thematic maps
Teaching Resources
Lecture notes released by teachers, scientific articles and websites (e.g. USGS), metallogenic maps
Reference textbooks: Robb - Introduction To Ore-Forming Processes - Blackwell Science; Evans - Ore Geology and Industrial Minerals: An Introduction. Blackwell Science; Pirajno - Hydrothermal processes and Mineral Systems - Springer
Assessment methods and Criteria
Testing of learning consists of an oral exam with possible use of supporting material such as geographical, geological and metallogenic maps and technical and scientific documents related to the topics of the course.
Evaluation criteria comprise:
Use of correct terminology and specific language
Knowledge of contents provided during lessons and in the additional documentation provided or indicated
Ability to connect and argue on processes, models and interactions
Ability to describe and use additional material used during exams
Ability to build up and elaborate student's arguments
Lessons: 48 hours
Professor: Grieco Giovanni