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The majority of the world's energy comes from fossil fuels. In New Zealand, Australasia and Asia, oil and gas are derived ultimately from coal and coal-bearing strata. Therefore, any exploration of oil and gas must be well founded in a basic understanding of coal geology. The use of coal and other carbon-based energy sources presents many challenges, not only in exploration but also in the downstream environmental effects. Today's geologists need to understand those consequences and risks.
Environmental geology is a wide field which applies geological principles to environmental management. Geochemistry studies the chemical composition of the earth. These fields are increasingly important and interrelated, particularly in understanding and managing anthropogenic effects on the environment. This course explores these fields largely in the context of mineral extraction activities.Even in the age of climate change awareness, the majority of the world's energy still comes from fossil fuels. Oil and gas are derived ultimately from coal and coal-bearing strata. Therefore, any exploration of oil and gas must be well founded in a basic understanding of coal geology. The use of coal and other carbon-based energy sources presents many challenges, not only in exploration but also in the downstream environmental effects. Today's geologists need to understand those consequences and risks.Although coal mining is winding down in New Zealand and elsewhere, mining for precious metals will continue or even increase. Electric vehicles require 3.6 times more copper than internal combustion engine cars. Other metals in demand include zinc, lithium, nickel and aluminium, among others. The downstream environmental effects of mining for these metals should be considered as well.
The Environmental Geochemistry and Mining course will include information on coal quality analysis procedures and the interpretation and implications of this data in relation to New Zealand coals. Seminars include material on a selection of current coal related research topics or resource developments that recently occurred in New Zealand or are currently occurring internationally. In the second half we will focus on environmental issues related to mining (both coal and precious metals) and current research within New Zealand to mitigate the impact of mining on drainages.
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.
Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.
Subject to approval of the Head of Department.
One two-hour seminar per week
Prerequisites: Basic University ChemistryRecommended preparation: Basic Geology
Domestic fee $1,125.00
International Postgraduate fees
* 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