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Unit of study_

CHNG5004: Particles and Surfaces

Semester 1, 2022 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Particles and Surfaces: Mineral Processing. Aims and Objectives: Solid-solid and solid-liquid interactions are an important aspect in mineral processing. The aim of any mineral processing operation is the efficient extraction of the valuable metals or minerals (concentrate) from the waste materials in the ore (gangue). The goal of this course is to understand the various key steps and the corresponding principles required to achieve metal extraction from the ores. Syllabus summary: This course will elucidate the principles in size reduction or comminution of the ore in liberating the valuable minerals, examine the microscopic details of solid-liquid, solid-gas and solid-solid interactions in mineral processing and their roles in macroscopic phenomena such as adhesion, wetting, adsorption, and mineral reactions such as reduction roasting and leaching. The general understanding of these factors will allow manipulation and improvement of performance in mineral beneficiation, dewatering of mineral slurries and extractive metallurgy. By the end of this course students should develop a proficiency in characterisation of physical, surface and chemical properties of solids and metal aqueous streams; devising strategies to achieve extraction process objectives, within the constraints imposed by social, economic and physical environments, developing management strategies for treating liquid and solid effluents and becoming familiar with computer software packages in modelling aqueous and solid systems. This unit is an advanced Chemical Engineering elective.

Unit details and rules

Unit code CHNG5004
Academic unit Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge

Enrolment in this unit of study assumes that students have acquired knowledge equivalent to CHNG3801 AND CHNG3802 AND CHNG3803 AND CHNG3805 AND CHNG3806

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Marjorie Valix,
Lecturer(s) Marjorie Valix,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Take-home short release) Type D final exam hurdle task Exam
Exam Type D
30% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Skills-based evaluation hurdle task Oral Exam
Follow up oral exam by zoom
0% Formal exam period 5 min
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment group assignment Assignment
3 x Integrated tutorial/practicals
40% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Skills-based evaluation hurdle task Follow up oral exam on practicals
Zoom interview on any one of the practicals in this unit
0% Multiple weeks 15 min
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Tutorials
4 Tutorials
30% Multiple weeks n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
hurdle task = hurdle task ?
group assignment = group assignment ?
Type D final exam = Type D final exam ?

Assessment summary

  • Tutorials – to apply the principles of particles and surfaces, mass and energy balance and mass transfer in solving problem-based questions and design related to ore dressing and extractive metallurgy.
  • Practicals – to apply in-practice the principles of particles and surfaces, mass and energy balance and mass transfer with observation, research and data analyses pertaining to solving problems and design related to ore dressing and extractive metallurgy.
  • Quiz – to apply in an integrative manner the principles of particles and surfaces, mass and energy balance and mass transfer to solve problem and concept-based questions related to ore dressing and extractive metallurgy.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

The following penalty rule will apply to tutorials and practicals only. “The penalty will be calculated by first marking the work, and then subtracting 5% of the maximum awardable mark for each calendar day after the due date” (Assessment Procedures, 2011)

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Multiple weeks Design of settling tank Practical (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Design of multi-staged solvent extraction plant Practical (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Design of multi-staged leaching reactors Practical (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 01 Mineral Processing Explained, Particle Size Analysis Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 03 Liberation of minerals by size reduction- crushing, grinding, and comminution circuit; Crushing laws Lecture (2 hr) LO2
Crushing laws Tutorial (1 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 05 Separation/Concentration; Screening, Gravity separation Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO4
Gravity Separation Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Froth flotation Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 06 Froth flotation; Heavy medium separation Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 07 Dewatering - sedimentation; Dewatering - filtration Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Filtration Tutorial (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 08 Extractive Metallurgy: Hydrometallurgy Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 10 Refining - Solvent Extraction Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 12 Extractive Metallurgy: Pyrometallurgy Lecture (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 13 Review Lecture (1 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4

Attendance and class requirements

Students are required to attend their scheduled practicals and quiz. Please see the coordinator if you are unable to attend these activities.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed through the Library eReserve, available on Canvas.

  • ​B. A.Wills and T.J. Napier Munn, Mineral Processing Technology. Elsevier, 2007.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. devise strategies to achieve extraction process objectives, within the constraints imposed by social, economic and physical environments
  • LO2. apply principles of particle technology, mass and energy balance in solving chemical engineering problems and design processes associated with mineral processing
  • LO3. characterise physical and surface chemical properties of solids and metal aqueous streams
  • LO4. analyse unit operations involved in mineral processing and identify the appropriate collection of units appropriate for specific extraction.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

The tutorials and practicals have been updated

More information related to this unit will be provided in Canvas

Site visit guidelines

There are no site visits for this unit

Work, health and safety

Please see the WHS requirement under the practical instructions


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