GEOL242-19S1 (C) Semester One 2019

Rocks, Minerals and Ores

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 18 February 2019
End Date: Sunday, 23 June 2019
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 1 March 2019
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 10 May 2019


An introduction to mineralogy, igneous and metamorphic petrology, and related ore deposits, and their use in interpretation of geological environments. Students will be introduced to geologic processes sensitive to pressure, temperature and volatile availability, including magma crystallisation and gold mineralisation.

The course will provide an introduction to mineralogy, igneous and metamorphic petrology, and related ore deposits.  Basic principles of mineralogy and microscopy will be built upon to describe and interpret igneous, metamorphic, and economically important rocks and minerals. The practical work involves naming and describing hand samples of common minerals, rocks and ores. Each student will be allocated a microscope for the laboratory work, and selected samples will be also be examined and described in thin section and/or polished mounts using transmitted light microscopy.

The lectures provide a theoretical background to some of the practical work (such as optical mineralogy and rock classification), but also provide an introduction to important mineralogical rock- and ore-forming processes. Students will be introduced to geological processes sensitive to pressure, temperature and volatile availability, including magma crystallisation and gold mineralisation. The course will show clearly how rocks and minerals can used to interpret various geological environments.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learning Outcomes
    Students successfully completing this course will:
  • Identify and describe common rock-forming and economically significant minerals, as well as igneous and metamorphic rocks, using both the microscope and hand specimens.
  • Apply mineralogical properties and concepts, such as crystal structure and solid solution, to explain the composition and texture of rocks and mineral deposits in different crustal contexts.
  • Apply the relevant concepts of chemistry and physics to explain mineral, igneous, metamorphic and ore-forming processes using examples from New Zealand and the rest of the world.
  • Be enthusiastic about field and laboratory-based mineralogy and petrology.
  • Appreciate that skills practiced in mineralogy, petrology and ore geology will be useful in any future career (geological or otherwise).

    Summary of the Course Content
    The topics coved by this course are:
  • Optical mineralogy and mineral identification
  • Igneous, metamorphic and ore forming environments
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


(1) GEOL111, and (2) GEOL113 or GEOL115

Timetable Note

Week #  -  Lectures (3 per week)  -  Lecturer  -  Laboratory (Two streams)

1  -  Intro to Mineralogy, Geochemistry, and Microscopes  -  BK  -  Intro to Microscopes
2  -  Melting of the Mantle- Olivine, Pyroxenes, Oxides, & Plagioclase  -  BK  -  Solid Solutions and Mineral ID Techniques
3  -  Granites-Mica, Chlorite, Quartz, K-Feldspar & Hornblende  -  BK  -  Phase Diagrams and Mineral ID Techniques
4  -  Crystal Nucleation & Growth-Amphiboles, Glass & Bubbles  -  BK  -  Mineral and Rock Textures
5  -  Rock Identification & Magma Differentiation  -  BK  -  Volcanic rocks
6  -  Volcano Types and Banks Peninsula  -  BK  -  Practice Igneous Rocks and Thin Sections Lab exam
7  -  Metamorphic Intro and Classification  -  AN  -  Igneous Rocks and Thin Sections Lab Exam
8  -  Metamorphic Textures  -  AN  -  Metamorphic Minerals and Foliated Metamorphic Rocks
9  -  Metamorphic Processes  -  AN  -  Non-foliated Metamorphic Rocks and Metamorphic Reactions
10  -  Interpreting Metamorphic History  -  AN  -  Metamorphic Textures and Facies
11  -  Metamorphic Rocks in NZ  -  AN  -  Dynamic Metamorphic Rocks and Textures (Practice Lab Exam)
12  -  Ores and Igneous and Metamorphic Ore-Forming Processes  -  AN  -  Metamorphic Rocks and Thin Sections Lab Exam

Course Coordinator

Ben Kennedy


Alex Nichols


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
In-class assignments 10% In-class assignments (laboratory completions)
Mid-semester test 25% Week 14 Igneous Lab Exam
Lab Exam 25% Week 22 Metamorphic Lab Exam
Final examination 40% Final examination

Final Theory Examination
Exam TBA within mid-year exam period

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Robb, L. J; Introduction to ore-forming processes ; Blackwell Pub, 2005.

Shelley, David; Manual of optical mineralogy ; Elsevier Scientific Publishing Co., 1975.

Winter, John D; Principles of igneous and metamorphic petrology ; 2nd ed; Prentice Hall, 2010.

Optical Mineralogy by David Shelley (to be purchased from Geological Sciences)

Course links

Library portal


The required Prerequisites for GEOL242 are GEOL111 "Planet Earth" and GEOL112 "Understanding Earth History", or, with HOD permission and a B+ average GEOL111 "Planet Earth" and GEOL113 "Environmental Geohazards".

Relationship to other courses
GEOL242 is highly recommended preparation for the 200 level field trip course GEOL241, 300 level field trip courses GEOL351 and 352, and is required for entry into GEOL336, GEOL337 and GEOL338.

Goal of the Course
Prepare students for higher level igneous, metamorphic, and volcanological studies; advanced courses in economic and mining geology; and field geology classes.

Additional Course Outline Information

Academic integrity


Marks and Grades
The Department of Geological Sciences uses the following scale to convert marks into grades:
100 – 90 A+ 75 – 79 B+ 60 – 64 C+
89 – 85 A 70 – 74 B 55 – 59 C
84 – 80 A- 65 – 69 B- 50 – 54 C-
Below 50 D/E

The Department of Geological Sciences reserves the right to adjust this mark/grade conversion, when deemed necessary.

Late Work
It is the policy for this course that late work is not accepted. Or, late work should be accompanied with a detailed explanation of why the work is late.  The work will be marked and marks will be subtracted for each day the work is late.  Days late include week-end and holidays.  

Academic Liaison
Alex Nichols (room 321,, phone (03) 364 2987 ext 94410) is in charge of liaison with students in geology courses.  Each year level will appoint a student representative(s) to the liaison committee at the start of the semester.  Please feel free to talk to the Academic Liaison or the student rep about any problems or concerns that you might have.

Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities should speak with someone at Disability Resource Service. Their office is on Level 2 of the Puaka-James Hight Building (Central Library). Phone: +64 3 369 3334 or ext 93334, email:

Policy on Dishonest Practice
Plagiarism, collusion, copying and ghost writing are unacceptable and dishonest practices.
• Plagiarism is the presentation of any material (text, data, figures or drawings, on any medium including computer files) from any other source without clear and adequate acknowledgement of the source.
• Collusion is the presentation of work performed in conjunction with another person or persons, but submitted as if it has been completed only by the names author(s).  
• Copying is the use of material (in any medium, including computer files) produced by another person(s) with or without their knowledge and approval.
• Ghost writing is the use of another person(s) (with or without payment) to prepare all or part of an item submitted for assessment.  

In cases where dishonest practice is involved in tests or other work submitted for credit, the student will be referred to the University Proctor.  The instructor may choose to not mark the work.  

Reconsideration of Grades
Students should, in the first instance, speak to the course co-ordinator about their marks.  If they cannot reach an agreeable solution, students should then speak to the Head of the Geological Sciences Department. Students can appeal any decision made on their final grade.  You can apply at the Registry to appeal the final grade within 4 weeks of the end of the semester.  Be aware that there are time limits for each step of the appeals process.  

Special Considerations Applications
If you feel that illness, injury, bereavement or other critical circumstances has prevented you from completing an item of assessment or affected your performance, you should complete a Special Considerations application form, available from the Registry or the Student Health and Counselling Service.  This should be within five days of the due date for the required work or the date of the examination.  In the case of illness or injury, medical consultation should normally have taken place shortly before or within 24 hours after the due date for the required work, or the date of the test or examination.  For further details on Special Consideration applications, please refer to the Enrolment Handbook or visit  You have the right to appeal any decision made, including Special Considerations decisions.  

Missing of Tests
In rare cases a student will not be able to sit a test.  In such cases, the student should consult with the course co-ordinator to the Head of the Department of Geological Sciences to arrange alternative procedures.   This must be done well in advance of the set date for the test.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $883.00

International fee $4,000.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

Minimum enrolments

This course will not be offered if fewer than 30 people apply to enrol.

For further information see School of Earth and Environment .

All GEOL242 Occurrences

  • GEOL242-19S1 (C) Semester One 2019