GEOL342-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024

Special Topic

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 February 2024
End Date: Sunday, 23 June 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 3 March 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 12 May 2024


Students may only enrol in this Special Topic course on the advice of the Department of Geological Sciences.

Natural resources, both metalliferous and non-metallic, are essential components of modern society for our new green economy. In fact, these basic resources have been utilised for thousands of years, with steel assuming an increasingly important role in modern architecture. This course considers both the historical context of material usage, as well as the origin and technical requirements for specific materials in common modern usage.  However, extraction of our resources, both modern and historical, can result in environmental impacts.  Contaminated land and its remediation, water pollution and water treatment, environmental geochemistry, landfill operations and environmental impacts will all be addressed in the 2nd half of this course. The course is relevant to future employment in the minerals industry, either in exploration for or environmental management of the extractive industries.

Learning Outcomes

  • The topics covered by this course are:
  • Geologic natural resources including metallic, materials for a green economy, energy
  • Secondary resources from waste recovery
  • Environmental footprint of our mineral use
    Students successfully completing this course will:
  • Have developed an understanding of natural resources occurring at the surface of the Earth.
  • Be able to identify mineral resources used in green technology  
  • Be able to use geologic principles to evaluate
    • 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.


Subject to approval of the Head of Department

Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 13:00 - 14:00 Ernest Rutherford 460
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 12:00 - 13:00 Jack Erskine 315
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
Lab A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 11:30 - 14:00 Ernest Rutherford 220 Geog/Geol Teaching Lab
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun
02 Thursday 14:30 - 17:00 Ernest Rutherford 220 Geog/Geol Teaching Lab
19 Feb - 31 Mar
22 Apr - 2 Jun

Timetable Note

Lectures:  2 lectures per week
Laboratories:  1 lab (2.5 hour) per week in ER220

Course Coordinators

Kari Bassett and David Bell


David Bell and James Pope

Guest Lecturers

Prof. Devin Sapsford (Cardiff University) and Dr. Chris Oze


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Lab exercises and student presentations Term 1 (JP) 25%
Lab exercises and student presentations Term 2 (DS) 25%
Final examination 50% 3 hours, date to be advised

Textbooks / Resources

Individual readings will be presented in lectures and labs


Prerequisites: GEOL101 and GEOL101 plus 30 pts from any 200 level GEOL paper or equivalents

Additional Course Outline Information

Weekly Topics

Term 1 – Everyday Minerals & Non-Metallic Deposits

Lecture 1 – Resource Geology – An Introductory Overview
Lecture 2 – Aggregates & Armourstone – Essential Materials
Lecture 3 – Armourstone in Marlborough – the NIMBY Syndrome
Lecture 4 – Roading Aggregates & Pavement Construction
Lecture 5 – Portland Cement & Concrete Manufacture/Testing
Lecture 6 – Quicklime & Hydrated Lime Applications
Lecture 7 – Clays, Ceramics & Brick/Tile Manufacture
Lecture 8 – Brines, Solar Salt & Chemical Applications
Lecture 9 – Non-Renewable Energy Resources & Uses
Lecture 10 – Renewable Energy Resources: the Future?
Lecture 11 – Extractive Industries & Quarrying Principles
Lecture 12 – Environmental Management & Key Issues

Term 2 – Metalliferous Ore Deposits & Exploration

Lecture 13 – Overview of Metalliferous Ore-Forming Processes
Lecture 14 – Ore Fluid Sources & Hydrothermal Systems
Lecture 15 – Ore Fluid Migration & Metallic Mineral Deposition
Lecture 16 – Porphyry Copper Systems & Ore Deposition
Lecture 17 – Mesothermal & Epithermal Gold-Silver Systems
Lecture 18 – Metamorphic Hydrothermal Systems & Deposits
Lecture 19 – Weathering & Supergene Enrichment of Ores
Lecture 20 – Geochemical and Geophysical Exploration Techniques
Lecture 21 – Geochemical Data Analysis & Presentation
Lecture 22 – Grade Estimation & Ore Resource Definition
Lecture 23 – Mining Methods & Ore Recovery Techniques
Lecture 24 – Environmental Issues & Mine Site Rehabilitation

Term 1 – Laboratories (Non-Metallics)

Week 1 – Description of Common Aggregate Materials
Week 2 – Local Quarry Visit (Isaac or Fulton Hogan)
Week 3 – Aggregate Compaction Laboratory Exercise
Week 4 – Hydraulic Conductivity Laboratory Exercise
Week 5 – Testing of Cement Stabilised Sand
Week 6 – Testing of Lime Stabilised Loess

Term 2 – Laboratories (Ore Minerals)

Week 7 – Introduction to Ore Microscopy & Ore Minerals
Week 8 – Tui Mine Exercise & Report (1)
Week 9 – Tui Mine Exercise & Report (2)
Week 10 – Exploration Geochemistry Data Analysis
Week 11 – Exploration Target Exercise (1)
Week 12 – Exploration Target Exercise (2)

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $978.00

International fee $4,988.00

* 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 GEOL342 Occurrences

  • GEOL342-24S1 (C) Semester One 2024