Exploration and Mining Geology 1 - The Geologic Baseline

Exploration and Mining Geology 1 - The Geologic Baseline

Areas of Study: Exploration and Geology

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The Geologic Baseline is a course for exploration and mining geologists. It presents the geological and engineering background and discusses the assumptions and measurements from which all subsequent work in exploration and mining geology is derived. This course is the first in a suite of five Exploration and Mining Geology courses.


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  • Audience Level:
  • Professional
  • Enrollment:
  • Required
  • Duration:
  • 30 hours

Course Summary


The Exploration and Mining Geology suite of courses uses the concepts and practices of applied geology as its central theme, here is a balanced and comprehensive treatment of the geological, geochemical, geophysical, and economic elements of exploration and mining. Offers an overview of the methods and aims in mineral exploration and production and gives coverage of the geologic principles of ore deposits and the geomorphic environment. Deals with "hard" minerals and the nonfluid sources of materials and energy in the continental masses and in ocean basins.

Exploration and Mining Geology 1 - The Geologic Baseline is the first in a suite of five courses; other courses in the suite are "The Economic Framework", "Surface Geologic Data", "Underground Geologic Data and Reserves Estimation", and "The Geologist's Role in Exploration and Mining". Topics covered in this course include Historical Perspective, Mineral Deposits in the Subsurface Environment, Mineral Deposits in the Zone of Weathering, Metallogenic Processes and Provinces, The Engineering Factors, and Approaches to Mining. The course includes numerous case histories, reference tables and author references and has been extensively integrated with the Dictionary of Mining, Mineral and Related Terms for terminology reference purposes.

For the geologist, this course provides a comprehensive overview of geology in the mining context as well as an extensive technical reference. For the engineer, this course provides an introduction to mining geology, the problems faced by the mining geologist, and how these impact on mining methods and operations.

Course Content

Exploration and Mining Geology 1 - The Geologic Baseline consists of 28 viewing sessions of 30 - 60 minutes each with supporting figures, tables and examples, plus extensive appendices and interactive course reviews. Course duration is equivalent to approximately 30 hours of viewing content.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss the mineralogy, morphology and structural deformation of mineral deposits.
  • Discuss weathering, erosion, leaching and associated near surface mineralogical changes.
  • Discuss geochemistry, classification systems and regional geology.
  • Discuss the influences of mineral and engineering geology on choice of mining method.
  • Apply the knowledge gained in the contexts of exploration and mining geology.

Recommended Background

  • A degree in geology, mining engineering, engineering geology or related discipline.

William C. Peters

Dr. William C. Peters is a geologist and Emeritus Professor of Geological Engineering, College of Mines, University of Arizona. During World War II, he served with the U.S. Army in Europe. In 1948 he received a M.S. Degree in Geology from the University of Colorado and joined the New Jersey Zinc Company as mining geologist at their Gilman, Colorado mine. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in 1957. He worked in exploration and mine development for the FMC Corporation. From 1960-64, he was Chief Geologist at Kennecott's Bingham Canyon Mine. In 1964 he joined the newly established Department of Mining and Geological Engineering at the University of Arizona, teaching courses in mining geology, mineral exploration, and mine evaluation until he retired in1982. He is the author of a popular, practical textbook and field manual Exploration and Mining Geology (1978, 1987).