Discipline Geo-Resources

As the world population continues to grow, so does our demand for Critical Raw Materials (CRM). We need CRM for every-day life: for our cellphones, electric cars, and for windmills and solar panels to generate green energy.

  • How do we mine materials in a responsible and sustainable way?
  • How can we move to (zero) waste extraction and mitigate associated adverse impacts on the environment?
  • How can we characterize the existing mine waste and extract valuable materials?

This discipline includes the environmental and societal aspects to enable the development of innovative management of geo-resources with the objective of (zero) waste extraction and mitigating associated adverse impacts. Focus areas will include Critical Raw Materials (CRM) with particular emphasis in the EU region and minerals containing energy transition minerals.

What you will learn

➨ Acquiring relevant data in order to model, assess and analyse occurrences of primary and secondary solid raw materials.
➨ Developing novel engineering solutions for the responsible and sustainable use of Earth's natural resources
➨ Applying innovative methodological approaches for multi-level characterization of raw materials using sensor technologies coupled with data analytics 

I chose this discipline due to my combined interest in geology and the desire to do something important for society. The mining industry is the cause of a lot of societal problems. I wanted to study something to help alleviate these problems and turn mining into a more environmentally friendly industry.

― Gabriel Mainieri Franco, student Applied Earth Sciences

Discipline Curriculum

In Q3, you start the Geo-Resources Discipline Core Module [6 ECS] simultaneously with the A-module Extraction Processes and Consequences of Materials [9 ECS]. The Discipline Core is comprised of three units, of which one is shared with the Discipline Geo-Energy. The A-module is also three units and allows you to go deeper into the field of Geo-Resources. In Q4 you follow B-Modules, gaining hands on experience in the lab and out in the field.

Field Work

In Q4 you will travel with fellow students and professors to southern Spain to learn and observe all the steps in the mining chain, starting with exploring possible mine locations to rehabilitating the local environment once a mine has closed and left the area. You will do this by visiting mining sites and companies, collecting samples, and analysing geological structures in the area of Huelva.

Want to know more about the field work component? We asked Master student Gabriel Mainieri Franco a few questions about what he learned and did while in Spain. Read his experience here.

Lab work

The laboratory work is centred around various aspects of mineral exploration, resource modelling, and geostatistical analysis to gain insights into the spatial distribution of resources. Moreover, it investigates the application of sensor technologies, encompassing ground-based techniques and remote sensing methods, to characterize mine waste materials.