The Mining Lifecycle Field Course – Cornwall

Module code: GL3113
Pre-requisites: GL2106

There is a fine balance between the exploitation of the Earth’s resources and the inevitable impacts that it has on the environment. In this module, you will examine the full “resource cycle”; from the formation of mineral resources through geological time via a multitude of processes; through the methods used to locate, evaluate and extract them; to the environmental impacts produced by working then abandoning the deposits; and ultimately to their remediation and re-utilisation as a new resource.

The south-west UK is an excellent location to study this resource cycle. Devon and Cornwall have a long history of mining (e.g. tin, copper, tungsten, china clay, and slate). Although the resources have been intensively worked, many active operations still exist, and there are excellent locations to view the geological evidence of the processes that formed the mineralisation. 

The module builds upon content in Mineral Resources for Net-Zero Carbon 1, providing an integrated synthesis of those courses, and introducing new skills and technical knowledge relevant when considering a career in professional geoscience and environmental science. 

Topics covered

  • Skills for the mining and exploration industry
  • Exploration for mineral resources, from desk study to field-based methods
  • Ore deposit geology
  • Environmental impacts of natural resource exploitation
  • Mitigation of contaminated land and water
  • Post-mining land use
  • Geology of Devon and Cornwall
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