Mineral Resources: Geology, Exploration, Economics and Environment


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This course may be looked as a first level course on Mineral Resources of the Earth that has the following broad components:

Conceptualization of ore formation as intimately linked to fundamental earth processes operating at different scales; parallelism between evolution of the crust and different deposit types through geologic ages; fundamental processes (magmatism, sedimentation, weathering/erosion, fluid activities) and morphology of resultant deposits

Use of basic knowledge of ore geology in mineral exploration, case studies of discovery of some world class deposits; appraisal of mineral resources.

Economics of exploitation of mineral resources – international trade, price and policies

Environmental impact of resource exploitation


Week 1: Introduction; Space - time distribution of mineral deposits; Spatial distribution of mineral deposits in the context of present day global tectonics.

Week 2: Magmatic processes, Characteristics and Morphology of Deposits resulting from magmatism

Week 3: Sedimentary processes – characteristics and morphology of resultant deposits

Week 4: Hydrothermal processes - characteristics of hydrothermal ore fluids, sources, solubility of metals and mechanism of transport and deposition from fluids, characteristics of hydrothermal deposits

Week 5: Hydrothermal processes associated with felsic magmatism, sedimentary basins, metamorphism, volcanism on the sea floor and volcanic islande – resultant deposits and their morphology

Week 6: Introduction to Mineral Exploration – the four stage architecture (reconnaissance, detailed survey, target identification, exploratory drilling), Mineral deposits and mineral resource potentials of India

Week 7: Geological, geochemical and geophysical methods of mineral exploration, Application of remote sensing in mineral exploration

Week 8: Case studies of discoveries of important deposits across the world.(Gold, Diamond, porphyry copper, VMS, Uranium)

Week 9: Economic classification of Mineral Resources; Elements of Mineral Economics; demand-supply relationships and changing global scenario, international trade, policies and cartels,

Week 10:National Mineral Policy and Law of the Sea, Mineral resources in National Economy.

Week 11:Mineral deposit project evaluation; estimation of ore reserve (conventional and geostatistical methods),

Week 12: Environmental Impact of Mineral Resource Exploitation – exploration, mining, processing and post-processing scenarios.