GEO4910 – Mineral resources

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

Course content

The course reviews the principal types of mineral resources, their distribution and genesis, with particular emphasis on deposits of metals. The first part of the course deals with the basic principles of ore deposits and methods for deciphering their genetic evolution. Following discussion of how deposits can be classified according to commodity and formation mechanisms, the most common types of deposits will be reviewed with respect to their main features and the geological environments in which they occur. The latter part of the course will focus on the underlying reasons for the distribution of ore deposits within a plate tectonic framework, and go on to discuss the economic principles of mining and the current character of the global metal mining industry and the sequence of events from the selection of areas for potential discovery of ore deposits, prospecting and development.

Learning outcome

You will learn about the geological processes that lead to the formation of mineral deposits in nature, and about which minerals and rocks represent important resources for society. At the end of the study period, you will be in a position to contribute to the exploitation of known mineral deposits, and to contribute to exploration for new deposits. You will also learn how exploitation of mineral deposits can take place with minimal negative consequences for the environment, and how harmful emissions from mines and mineral deposits can be stopped or limited.

Knowledge aims

  • To be able to classify different minerals and rocks relevant to resources
  • To be able to understand how and why different types of mineral deposits are formed
  • To gain an insight into how environmental problems applicable to mineral deposits and exploitation of natural resources can be minimalised and, if possible, avoided
  • Gain a deep knowledge within your own area of interest.

Skill level

  • To be able to identify certain minerals and rocks relevant to natural resources in hand specimens
  • To be able to explain how different types of mineral deposits can be found
  • To be able to evaluate different environmental measures applied to mineral deposits and exploitation of resources
  • To be able to work both independently and in collaboration with others.

Attitude goals

  • The course aims at fostering and developing scientific curiosity around the course theme and a critical reflection of representativeness, accuracy, reliability and importance of the data and results.


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Formal prerequisite knowledge

Recommended previous knowledge

A good understanding of mineralogy and petrology and the basic principles of geochemistry is recommended.


Two-week intensive course with 30 hours of lectures. Obligatory 4 evenings with 2 hours laboratory exercise each, and an obligatory field study course (2 whole and 2 half days).

Laboratory reports from each exercise as well as the field report must be approved before you can sit for the final exam.

Attendance at the first lecture is compulsory. Students who fail to meet, are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Studies administration, email address:

To attend the field trip/excursion it is required that the following course is passed:

You will need to provide documentation that you have passed HMS0504 when you attend the field trip/excursion.

General information about excursions at the Department of Geosciences.

As the teaching involves laboratory and/or field work, you should consider taking out a separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student.


Obligatory written exercises and laboratory exercises are graded and counts 10% together, the report from the field study course counts 10%. Final oral exam at end of course counts 80% of total mark.

General information about examinations at the faculty can be found at

Language of examination

In this course any written exam questions or assignment questions may be available in English only.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

This course was periodic evaluated in autumn 2009 and autumn 2010.

Facts about this course

Teaching language