GEOLOGY 3502 - Mineral and Energy Resources III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

This course covers generic processes and geological settings of mineral, energy and geothermal resources, and the exploration strategies employed by industry. Resource forming processes are seen in the framework of the tectonic, petrogenetic and geochemical evolution of the Earth's crust on local, regional and global geological scales. Thus, the course draws upon igneous and metamorphic petrology, geochemistry, sedimentary facies analysis, and the science of soils, weathering and diagenesis in the setting of evolving landscapes. Resource exploration will be examined in terms of the physical and chemical characteristics of deposits, and their geophysical and geochemical detection, with an emphasis on exploration strategies in regolith-covered environments. We will also discuss the tightly interrelated issues of economics of natural resources, environmental conservation and rehabilitation, and social impacts of the mining industry. Practical work includes microscopy, quantitative analytical methods, thermodynamic calculations, geophysical field methods, as well as an introduction to exploration software packages. The course will include at least five days of integrated geochemical and geophysical fieldwork, with industry visits to South Australian mineral deposits, PIRSA and mineral exploration companies in Adelaide. Details of field trips are communicated at start of the course.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEOLOGY 3502
    Course Mineral and Energy Resources III
    Coordinating Unit School of Earth and Environmental Sci(Inactive)
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up top 7 hours per week, plus 5 day field trip
    Incompatible GEOLOGY 3017 and GEOLOGY 3018
    Assessment Exam, field report, practical report
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Nigel Cook

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    A succesful student should be able to:
    1 demonstrate knowledge of the fundamentals of the processes leading to the formation of minerals and energy resources;
    2 demonstrate an understanding of the strategies and methods of exploration of minerals and energy resources;
    3 prepare a scientific report using data and information from diverse sources;
    4 demonstrate understanding of the developing scientific approaches being applied to exploration and production of mineral and energy resources;
    5 demonstrate understanding of the position of the minerals industry in the Australian economy;
    6 work as part of a group in a role playing activity;
    7 demonstrate knowledge of the geology of Australian minerals and energy deposits.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1,2,3,4,5,7
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 3
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2,3
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 6
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 3,4
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 5
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1,2,5,7
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will be delivered by the following means:
    • 2 x 1-hour lectures per week
    • 1 x 4-hour practical or tutorial per week
    • 1 x 3-day field excursion during the mid semester break


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
    Learning Activities Summary
    Lectures Practicals/Tutorial
    Week 1    Introduction to Mineral deposits
    Fluids in the Earth's Crust: Fluids in mineralising systems
    Introduction to reflected light microscopy: Ore Mineral Identification
    Week 2 Subduction Zones: Porphyry Copper
    IOCG: Olympic Dam, Prominent Hill and Ernest Henry
    Textural Relationships of ore minerals - Mineral paragenesis Cu sulphides
    Week 3 Gold Deposits: Orogenic and epithermal Gold Deposits
    Basins and Passive Continental Margins
    Textural Relationships of ore minerals : Prominent Hill
    Week 4 Uranium Deposits
    Magmatic deposits: Nickel, Chromium, PGE
    Textural Relationships of ore minerals : Challenger
    Week 5 Alteration 1: Alteration Systems and Mineral Deposits
    Alteration 2: Footprints and Fingerprints
    Ore paragenesis: Olympic Dam 
    Week 6 Geochemical Exploration: Sampling and Data treatment Ore paragenesis: Orogenic gold
    Week 7 Supergene deposits: Bauxite, Kaolinite, Nickel Informal tutorial sessions/self directed study
    Week 8 Coal deposits Interpreting Sedimentary sequences
    Week 9 Hydrocarbons and their Exploration I Geothermal Modelling
    Week  10 Hydrocarbons and their Exploration II Interpreting Seismic Data
    Week 11 Geothermal Energy: Geological processes eSim online role playing exercise
    Week 12   Geothermal Energy Exploration eSim online role playing exercise
    Specific Course Requirements
    A 3-day field excursion will take the students to mining operations and mineral deposit sites. This will provide an insight into the operation of mining and the role of geology in the economic extraction of resources.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Percentage of total assessment for grading purposes Hurdle
    being assessed/
     Due date
    Practical Assignments 
    Assignment 1
    Assignment 2
    Assignment 3
    Formative & Summative


    No 1,2,3 Due week 5
    Due week 10
    Due week 11
    On-line role playing exercise Formative & Summative 10% No 2,4,6 On MyUni
    Excursion Report Formative & Summative 20% No 2,3 Week 11 & 12
    In class
    Exam Summative 40% No 1,2,4,7
    Assessment Detail
    Practical Assignments (30%)
    Three practical reports will be given to address understanding of the lecture material. The first report given in week 2 of the course will be on basic principles of reflected light microscopy, identification of minerals and simple paragenetic settings. The second report will be on a more complex mineralogical assessment of samples provided. These first two assignments provide input into #2 Excursion Report. The third Practical Report is given after the break and will address fundamental understanding of interpretation of hydrocarbon resource deposits and their exploitation and will be run in conjunction with a major petroleum company. Practical reports are assessed within two weeks of submission to provide feedback to the students.

    On-line role playing exercise (10%)
    The eSim is an online learning exercise where students will work in groups of 3 or 4 to represent individual industry, government and environment roles. Students will investigate the technical, regulatory, native land and environment impact issues concerned with petroleum discoveries in the Cooper Basin
    The eSim will be assessment based on the quality and quantity of interactions during the role play (5%). Assessment will also include a technical report of the petroleum system in the Cooper Basin (5%).The eSim exercise is conducted in practical sessions.

    Excursion Report (20%)
    The aim of the Excursion Report is a combined report that integrates lab work done during practical sessions, background literature studies and field observations from the excursion. It will improve the students’ ability to combine information from different sources into a single document.

    Exam (40%)
    An exam is set at the end of the course to ensure summative knowledge of the course material.
    Late Submission
    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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