Mining and Minerals Engineering

CSMM135 - Economics, Processing & Environment (2019)

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MODULE TITLEEconomics, Processing & Environment CREDIT VALUE15
MODULE CODECSMM135 MODULE CONVENERMr Paul Wheeler (Coordinator)
DURATION: TERM 1 2 3
DURATION: WEEKS 11 0 0
Number of Students Taking Module (anticipated) 70
DESCRIPTION - summary of the module content

The module provides the opportunity for graduates from a range of disciplines to study important aspects of the mining cycle. These include mineral economics, processing of mineral ores to produce concentrates or metal and environmental impacts and remediation techniques. When linked to other specific modules, it forms part of the specialist training for the MSc in Mining Engineering, Mining Geology and Exploration Geology.

AIMS - intentions of the module

This module aims to provide you with a broad understanding of both the macro-economic and the industry specific economic environment in which mines and projects operate and are evaluated. It introduces you to financial analysis and explores how technical and operational parameters influence the revenue stream and cost structure at mines.

This module has been designed to develop a systematic understanding of the unit processes used in mineral processing and an appreciation of how these unit processes are combined to produce an overall treatment system for a range of minerals and metals.

This module familiarises the student with the legal and regulatory environmental framework within which companies explore, exploit and manage mineral resources. It highlights the key environmental impacts and issues arising from mineral exploration and exploitation and introduces concepts of Social Licence To Operate and Corporate Social Responsibility.

INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES (ILOs) (see assessment section below for how ILOs will be assessed)

On successful completion of this module, you should be able to:

Module Specific Skills and Knowledge:

1 Understand the basic principles of mineral economics and perform simple financial techniques in the appraisal of mining operations;

2 Articulate how mineral processing and hydrometallurgical techniques can be used to produce saleable mineral and metal products;

3 Analyse the effect of mining on the environment, the planning of extractive operations to minimise impact, and the legislation associated with the environmental impact of mining. Knowledge of how to deal with environmental damage and disasters associated with mining;

Discipline Specific Skills and Knowledge:

4 Communicate knowledgeably with others on economic, processing and environmental issues associated with mining;

Personal and Key Transferable/ Employment Skills and Knowledge:

5 Utilise a full range of computer-based learning resources;

6 Professionally present written information;

7 Plan and manage self-study time and tasks; accessing additional resources to provide sufficient independent study in support of the syllabus.

SYLLABUS PLAN - summary of the structure and academic content of the module

Economic Topics:

1 Mineral Economics. Industry fundamentals and macro-economic environment. The effects of supply and demand in perfect markets and the real world, key price drivers that effect mineral commodity prices. Development of price forecasts and metal market studies. Introduction to capital expenditure, operating costs and unit/cash cost curves;

2 Financial Analysis. Role of cash flow modelling & financial analysis/valuation of mining projects and operations. Coverage of the main components of such an analysis. General coverage of risk/sensitivity analysis, the main technical and engineering factors considered and the most common sources of business risk in the mining industry.

Processing Topics:

1 Mineralogy and Geometallurgy: Introduction to the link between mineralogy of an ore and the selection of a mineral processing circuit. Importance of early identification (during exploration phases) of suitability of mineralisation for cost effective processing;

2 Metallurgical efficiency and metallurgical balances; 2 product formula, NSR, unaccounted losses and gains;

3 Comminution: types and application of various crushers, grinding mills (rod, ball and autogenous, stirred media);

4 Screening & Classification: Types of screen, classification fundamentals and review of equipment including hydrocyclones;

5 Dense Medium Separation (DMS): Types of medium for plant and laboratory use, Dynamic and gravitational vessels, DMS circuits, evaluation of DMS performance;

6 Gravity concentration: sluices, cone concentrators, spiral concentrators, jigs, shaking tables and centrifugal separators (Knelson, Falcon and Mozley MGS);

7 Sensor-based ore sorting. Selection of sensors and application in the minerals industry;

8 Magnetic and electrostatic separation. Classification and examples of low and high intensity magnetic separators. Superconducting magnetic separation. Example of treatment of beach sand concentrates;

9 Froth Flotation. Classification of reagents, mechanical and pneumatic flotation cells, flotation circuits. Examples of collectors, activators and depressants for a range of mineral ores. Hydrometallurgy. Leaching methods (in-situ, heap, agitation, BIOX), solvent extraction, ion exchange, use of activated carbon. Electrowinning and electro-refining, using copper and aluminium as examples;

10 Laboratory exercise. Grinding, froth flotation and data analysis.

Environmental Topics:

1 Issues associated with the environmental impact of mining, both opencast and underground. Visual impact, noise, dust, effects on watercourses and groundwater, effects of chemicals used in processing, acid mine drainage;

2 Methods for amelioration of impacts;

3 Environmental legislation and global legislative and socio-economic environments in context of the extractive industries;

4 Environmental Case studies – research and discussion based investigations.

LEARNING AND TEACHING
LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS (given in hours of study time)
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities 40.00 Guided Independent Study 110.00 Placement / Study Abroad 0.00
DETAILS OF LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS
Category Hours of study time Description
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities 40 Lectures
Guided Independent Study 110 Private Study

 

ASSESSMENT
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT - for feedback and development purposes; does not count towards module grade
Form of Assessment Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Analysis of a mineral separation experiment (froth flotation) 3 hrs 2, 5 Feedback during the Laboratory practical

 

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT (% of credit)
Coursework 25 Written Exams 75 Practical Exams 0
DETAILS OF SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT
Form of Assessment % of Credit Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Assignment 1a
SWOT/PESTLE Analysis of a Mine’s/Project’s Environmental Scenario
10 4-6 sides of A4 text, plus supporting tables and diagrams etc. in a short report format 3, 4, 5-7 Written
Assignment 1b
POSTER Group presentation of the key aspects of a Mine’s/Project’s Environmental Scenario
15 POSTER (AO) prepared as pdf file by group exercise 3, 4, 5-7 Written
Examination 75 2 hours 1-3 Personal Tutor
 

 

DETAILS OF RE-ASSESSMENT (where required by referral or deferral)
Original Form of Assessment Form of Re-assessment ILOs Re-assessed Time Scale for Re-assessment
Coursework New Assignment 1a 3, 4, 6-7 May
Examination New Examination 1-3 May

 

RE-ASSESSMENT NOTES
RESOURCES
INDICATIVE LEARNING RESOURCES - The following list is offered as an indication of the type & level of
information that you are expected to consult. Further guidance will be provided by the Module Convener

Basic Reading:

ELE: http://vle.exeter.ac.uk/

Reading list for this module:

Type Author Title Edition Publisher Year ISBN Search
Set Wills, B.A. and Napier-Munn, T.J. Mineral Processing Technology Dawson (electronic book) Butterworth-Heinemann 2006 978-0080479477 [Library]
Set Rudenno, V. Mining Valuation Handbook - Mining and Energy Valuation for Investors and Management 3rd Edition John Wiley & Sons 2009 [Library]
CREDIT VALUE 15 ECTS VALUE 7.5
PRE-REQUISITE MODULES None
CO-REQUISITE MODULES None
NQF LEVEL (FHEQ) 7 AVAILABLE AS DISTANCE LEARNING No
ORIGIN DATE Wednesday 11 January 2017 LAST REVISION DATE Tuesday 06 August 2019
KEY WORDS SEARCH Economics; Processing; Environment