4 teaching units (3 ECTS each) are dedicated to mineral resources and sustainable development:
WP2: Mineral resources and sustainable development – 3 ECST teaching units (for mining specialists)
Covers subjects that concern students specializing in mining: stratified copper deposits; introduction to GIS special analysis; application of GIS special analysis in mining; practical lab activities; acid mine drainage and contaminants; mines, contamination and remediation; bioleaching; rock mechanics lab; separation of ores; use of mining residuals for construction materials; hazards in mines; geostatistics for resource evaluation and Leapfrog software; microscopy techniques in copper ore studies; geological stereo microscope view of sands and minerals.
This new teaching unit will introduce the students to the new opportunities for mining exploration in Europe. In the current environment of high-metal demand and exhaustion of historically important metal resources, different sources of metals and technologies to extract metal will have to be found: mining deeper primary mineral resources, using new type of ore, or returning to recover extractable minerals from abandoned mines. The idea of this unit is to train students to identify such sustainable opportunities using complex sets of geological, historical, geographical, and economical data.
Innovation in data visualization and integration will be of prior importance. We will develop a new pedagogic approach based on an educational crowd-sourcing contest. The students will work cooperatively on an unstructured problem, without a pre-ordained “right” answer, where they will hone both their university-acquired or self-taught skillsets into application that the minerals exploration industry requires.
The students are provided the opportunity to work with their peers on problems and data provided by industry (e.g. KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. copper mines) and then gain personal exposure to industry during the judging cycle. Representatives from industry, academia and government will be invited to attend and participate in the discussion. KGHM Cuprum will provide its expertise and access to its network to facilitate the organization of this challenge. In addition, KGHM Cuprum will prepare sets of mining data that will be used during model-ing and prospection targeting activities.
By embedding these experts within the university curriculum is important as is having strong outside links to the commercial world in order to build a sustainable supply of skilled geoscientists that can steer the industry going forward.
WP3: Raw material energy nexus – 3 ECTS teaching units (for all students)
Teacher in charge: Olivier Vidal (CNRS, France), 6 lecture hours on site followed by learning by doing activities. Interaction between mineral resources, energy and economy. Mineral resources-energy nexus in connection with the transition toward a low-carbon society. Dynamic modelling of reserve-production-recycling-demand-cost-price at the global scale on the long term.
The Paris Agreements (COP21) plan to achieve global carbon neutrality by 2050. New infrastructures of energy production, storage, transport and use will have to be built, which consume large amounts of base and rarer mineral commodities. These raw materials require in turn large quantities of energy to be produced. Raw materials and energy issues are therefore inseparable issues that need to be addressed in a common framework. The evolution towards low-carbon energies will have to take place in a context of increasing demand due to the rapid emergence of developing countries, increasing urbanization and the development of high technologies. The consumption of most metals and cement has doubled since the beginning of the 21st century and if the rise in consumption observed during the last 100 years continue (+3 to 5 %/year), more metals will have to be produced by 2050 than since the onset of humanity. In this anticipated tense context, two visions of the future raw materials supply have been proposed: some anticipate shortages resulting from the exhaustion of natural reserves in the course of the century, while others claim that technological change and exploitation of deeper or offshore resources as well as recycling will contribute to maintain the necessary increase in production at the level observed over a century.
This teaching unit aims at better understanding the coupling between reserves-primary production and recycling – price and cost of production, and energy. It is based on seminars given by experts in the field and on practical activities.
The students will be introduced to dynamic modeling linking geological and economic constrains. We will show how these models can be used to define the conditions of sus-tainable raw material supply and to evaluate the impact of different renewable technologies and energy mix evolutions. Through practical activities, using state of the art Life Cycle Inventories (LCI), and prey/predator-like dynamic model constrained by historical data of production, the students will propose their own scenarios for future evolution of metal (a given metal will be selected) production. They will identify various paths of primary reserves, recycling, price and costs of production for various evolutions of demand and price. They will compare the raw materials intensities of different energy scenarios at the global scale.
WP4: New communication strategies for mining business – 3 ECTS teaching units (for all students)
Teachers in charge: Susanne Berthier-Foglar and Christophe Roncato-Tounsi, 6 lecture hours on site followed by an on-line seminar moderated by the teaching staff. Additional lectures by Pr. Lorenc focusing on European—mainly Spanish—examples of the use of mining related objects for teaching or tourism, by Paula Morais, on bioleaching, and by Tomasz Selerowicz, on hazards in mines.
In the on-line seminar (Berthier/Roncato), students work in international and transdisciplinary groups of approximately 4 students and each group submits a case study on a mine or mining area. Work-in-progress will be checked regularly. A final paper of approximately 10 pages in the form of a publishable article will be handed in by each group. The best papers will be published in an online forum moderated by Christophe Roncato-Tounsi et al.
This teaching unit will be centered on renewed communication strategies with a deep understanding of semiotics, including visual elements as well as written discourse. The purpose of curricular will be to make participant better analysts of the geographic and cultural environment to get people, whether inhabitants of a mining region or visitors, to see mines in a different light. How can the vision of mines be rewritten? We believe it has to be done in the context of sustainable resource exploitation as well as the inherent acceptation that the Western culture is based on the exploitation and use of resources and raw materials.
The selected examples of mines in Europe and the United States, whether in operation or not, will teach field trip participants to judge the level of acceptation of the mines. The local discourse – written, verbal, visual – will be analyzed to show how mines can participate in the creation of a positive image, and how this discourse comes to be accepted by local populations. We plan to work with the participants of the seminar on a series of cases ranging from Ghost Towns,
to full-scale mining operations in a touristic context. We include every possible variant from mining operations that have recently been stopped, and are presently in the cleanup stage, to those which could have erased their mining past, but did not.
We do not claim that dealing with a mine is easy for the region’s inhabitants. However, by providing sensitive examples from uranium, gold, lead and zinc mines, we aim to help MSc students understand the underlying message by which such operations reach a level of acceptability that does not deter local population or tourists from living in or visiting the area. For a stronger impact, the organizers favor the in situ format and a hands-on approach to the subject with an inverted pedagogy.
WP5: Field trip-The Iberian Pyrite Belt and its mining history – 3 ECTS teaching units (for all students)
The 2019 field trip took place in the Iberian Pyrite Belt with classes at the FC T Lisbon University. The trips took place from October 21 to November 1; October 20 was a travel day. For students who do not specialize in mining, the field trip ended on October 28; October 29 being a travel day. Students learnt about the complex mining history and economy of the Iberian Pyrite Belt, about ore prospecting in the field, about the specifics of sand mine exploitation.
The Iberian Pyrite Belt (IPB) constitutes a remarkable metallogenic province with about 250 km long and 25-70 km wide, located in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula. Vulcanogenic massive sulphide ore deposits (VMSD) with high polymetallic content in Cu, Zn, Pb, Sn, and other metals and semimetals, like Ag and Au, are of major interest regarding mining exploration and exploitation. Mining activity has taken place in several areas of the IPB since pre-Roman period mainly for for Au and Ag exploitation with consequent depletion of almost all the superficial gossan type deposits. Some very relevant ore deposits have been exploited in this province during the past century with pyrite exploitation for sulphuric acid production and, latter, for base metals exploitation, mainly copper and tin. Currently, there are two active mines in the Portuguese IPB side (Neves-Corvo and Aljustrel). The potential ore reserves of Neves-Corvo are of world relevance and it is included on the first 10% major copper VMSD ore giant’s producers. In Spain, Las Cruces mine is one of the most recent worldwide projects that opened this century. The geology of the Portuguese IPB territory has a remarkable chronostratigraphic set that provides a vast lithologic diversity. In mine areas, especially the oldest, like São Domingos, Rio Tinto, Ajustrel and Lousal, very acidic pyritic environments conciliated with the semi-arid Mediterranean climate of Alentejo region provides unique landscapes with, in some cases, a significant geological and industrial archaeology heritage. Presently a relevant number of
exploration enterprises are present in the field. The general idea is to introduce the students to the environmental history of mining in IPB: exploitation, closure and recreation. The national and transnational commercialization of these ores will also be dealt with.
The field trip is tailored to include two faculty members for each leg of the trip, and approximately 20 students. Should the number of students be higher, it is advisable to have 3 faculty members. A oneweek field trip in the IPB may be developed under the following main objectives:
– Mining Exploration from surface – visit ongoing exploration field works and its related activities including mine geophysical and drilling works, log interpretation, in situ and laboratory analysis, drill core handling, sampling and storage.
– São Domingos, Ajustrel and Lousal – visit old mine structures, open pits and galleries (including old sites recovered for visiting purposes) and recent environmental remediation works; visit different type of mining archaeological sites and museums, like a Mine Science museum at Lousal, a Mine Social and Archeological Museum at Aljustrel and a Social Museum at São Domingos. A day of immersion in the environment. How did the town survive the Pb/Zn colapse? How did it become a world class outdoor destination?
– Las Cruces Mine (Spain), Aljustrel Mine (Portugal) or Neves Corvo Mine (Portugal) – visit a mine in activity, becoming aware and taking contact with Mine Extraction and Exploitation Life Cycle, Mine Processing Technologies and main areas of mine expertise services (applied geology, rock mechanics, environmental control and monitoring, and, mine project and planning). Mine waste water spill and its effect on tourism
– Lousal, Aljustrel, Castro Verde, Almodôvar, Pomarão – Achada do Gamo – São Domingos – visit several sites of ludic and industrial archaeology heritage interest. To understand the relevance of geological and mining heritage and its relevance in mine closure projects. Discussion of the visible remnants of its sylver mining past. Lifestyles of mining communities at Castro Verde. Reflexion on the type of discourse of the museum. How is mining pictured? Lecture” by C. Roncato Tounsi and group discussion.
– Understand and establish the positive and the negative impacts in mine neighboring villages that results from mine activity, taking into consideration the advantages and inconveniences of this economic activity (to witness an economy of mining and tourism). How do mining and tourism coexist? (visual elements, touristic discourse, analysis of the built environment)
– Global debriefing: the potential of environmental history in bridging the gap between the discourse of tourism and the discourse of ecologists. The field trip involves hiking, walking, and may also include running and high-altitude cardio-training.
Students choosing to participate in the sports option will be outfitted with a Fibit® type of equipment to monitor their activity level. The students’ training plan will take place over one semester, before, after and during the field trip, and will be validated by faculty of the Sports department.
Note that WUST and UGA Univ. can also propose an alternative field trip in case of emergency or for the last year of this proposal. KGHM Cuprum Ltd R&D Centre can offer access to the following facilities: a trip to the KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. Polkowice-Sieroszowice underground mine salt mine, a trip to the Ore Enrichment Plant Division and the Głogów Copper Smelter, a trip to Europe’s largest Tailings Pond “Żelazny Most”, and a visite of the historic Wieliczka Salt Mine. UGA can also propose a field trip in South West of France (Montagne Noire), where many different type of mines, both in activities and abondoned, occur.