GEOL338-19S2 (C) Semester Two 2019

Engineering and Mining Geology

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 15 July 2019
End Date: Sunday, 10 November 2019
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 26 July 2019
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 27 September 2019


Principles and practices of geology associated with engineering and mining activities.

This course is a final year course aimed at synthesizing geological knowledge and skills for applications to civil and mining engineering. Engineering Geology is a discipline concerned with site and foundation conditions, geological and geotechnical hazards affecting a particular development, and availability of construction materials. Civil site investigation practice involves evaluation using invasive techniques (drilling; trenching; etc) and requires careful consideration of the landscape, geological history and geological materials present. Mining Geology is concerned with all aspects of the mine life cycle, with geological input into exploration and resource estimation, mine design, processing, waste and decommissioning. All of these aspects are highly depended on the ore type, geological setting and geological materials present.

GEOL338 develops the basics of site investigation practice, and extends into developing engineering geology models for surface and underground projects in civil and mining engineering applications. It then focuses on interpretation of geological data for applications to mine life stages through the development of geological models. Students completing the course will develop skills and knowledge of principles and practices in both engineering and mining geology. Students will also develop professional communication skills through group work and technical writing.

Learning Outcomes

Goal of the Course
The overall goal of the course is for students to develop some of the fundamentals skills required for working in two applied streams of geology: engineering geology and mining geology. The first half of the course will focus on the application of geological techniques to engineering projects. The second half of the course will focus on mining life cycle from investigation and model building and how they affect the mine design, to ore processing, waste and mine decommissioning.

Learning Outcomes
Students successfully completing this course will be able to:
1. Describe the engineering properties of rocks and soils using geological mapping and description, and engineering geology site investigation techniques.
2. Work effectively in a team to build an engineering geology model in rock and soil to inform engineering project decisions.
3. Communicate the engineering and societal impacts of changes in the engineering geology characteristics of an engineering project over its design life.
4. Analyse exploration geology data to assess ore reserves.
5. Select appropriate mine design, ore processing, mine waste and decommissioning solutions given different ore types and reserves.

Summary of the Course Content
The topics coved by this course are:
- Effective group work and technical writing
- Engineering geology description, properties and behaviour of earth materials
- Site investigation philosophy and techniques for civil and mining engineering projects
- Development of engineering models using field and laboratory data
- Surface and underground design and construction considerations through case studies
- Mine life cycle and the application of geological assessment techniques to each stage
- Mine design principles and related geotechnical/environmental issues
- Ore processing, waste management and mine decommissioning

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.

Engaged with the community

Students will have observed and understood a culture within a community by reflecting on their own performance and experiences within that community.

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.


Timetable Note

This course has two lectures and one lab per week. There will be three local ½ day field trips during the lab session; two in term 3 and a fourth in term 4.

Course Coordinator

David Bell


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Field & laboratory exercise 20% Field & laboratory exercise on site investigation and engineering geology models
Field & laboratory exercise 20% Field & laboratory exercise on changing properties and behaviour of geomaterials
Field & laboratory exercise 20% Field & laboratory exercise on mine design
Final examination 40% Final examination

Field & laboratory exercise on site investigation and engineering geology models  -  20%
Field & laboratory exercise on changing properties and behaviour of geomaterials  -  20%
Field & laboratory exercise on mine design  -  20%
Final examination (2 hour)  -  40%

Prerequisites: GEOL242 and GEOL246
Recommended preparation: GEOL337

Textbooks / Resources

Recommended Reading

Goodman, Richard E; Engineering geology : rock in engineering construction ; J. Wiley, 1993.

Hartley, John S; Drilling :tools and programme management ; Balkema, 1994.

Hencher, Steve; Practical engineering geology ; Spon Press, 2012.

Johnson, Robert Britten,1924- , DeGraff, Jerome V; Principles of engineering geology ; Wiley, 1988.

Moon, Charles J. , Whateley, M. K. G., Evans, Anthony M; Introduction to mineral exploration ; 2nd ed; Blackwell Pub., 2006.

Moore, T. A; Metal contaminants in New Zealand :sources, treatments, and effects on ecology and human health ; Resolutionz Press, 2005.

Smith, M. R. , Geological Society of London; Stone :building stone, rock fill and armourstone in construction ; Geological Society, 1999.

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.

For further information see School of Earth and Environment .

All GEOL338 Occurrences

  • GEOL338-19S2 (C) Semester Two 2019