The extraction of natural resources is critical to the Australian economy and to modern technologies but involves complex economic, environmental and societal issues. This unit introduces the multidisciplinary concept of ore deposits, which are the product of complex interactions between rocks, fluids and deformation including, fluid-assisted earthquakes in subduction zones, partial melting of the mantle, magma mixing and the transfer of heat energy and metals into seafloor black smokers where sulphides bodies form. The social license needed for the exploration and mining of these systems demands that economic interests are balanced with environment sustainability and long-term wellbeing of local communities. Using the Geology of Australia as a natural laboratory, this unit of study presents the geology of ore deposits within a social, environmental and global economic context. The unit will employ the mineral system approach combining plate tectonic reconstructions, satellite data, virtual core libraries, geochemical data, field observations and microscopic observations. Organized in multi-disciplinary teams, students will compare known regions of mineralization with potential new mining districts as they address the social and environmental impact of exploration and mining.
Weeks 1- 7: lecture 2 hrs/week ; practical 3 hours/week Weeks 8-13: mentoring sessions 2 hrs/week; shared practical space available 3 hours/week
Practicals (10% individual), Final Exam (40% individual), Research Brief (10% individual - project component), Project Report (25% group), Group Presentation and teamwork (15% group)
GEOS2X14 and GEOS2X24Prohibitions
GEOS3102 or GEOS3802 or GEOS3003 or GEOS3004 or GEOS3904 or GEOS3006 or GEOS3906 or GEOS3017 or GEOS3917 or GEOS3903