Faculty of Science

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Science
Organisational UnitSchool of Geosciences
OfferedClayton Second semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Andrew Tomkins


This subject is an introduction to classification, distribution and characteristics of metalliferous ore deposits. An understanding of ore deposit genesis is developed via an Earth Systems approach. The tectonic settings of ore deposits are considered within the context of the plate tectonic paradigm, and global metallogenic events throughout Earth's history. This includes a brief introduction to the minerals industry, including mining and exploration practices. Practical classes will examine sample sets from around the world and focus on developing and understanding of ore deposit genesis, and on developing skills suitable for the minerals industry. Fieldwork consists of an excursion to examine the ore deposits of Victoria.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Recognise and describe different styles of mineralisation and associated alteration in rock specimens and thin sections;

  1. Describe the characteristic mineralogical, structural and host-rock features of a range of important mineral deposit types;

  1. Explain the current hypotheses for genesis of a range of mineral deposit types;

  1. Combine scientific data to form a hypothesis that can be used in mineral exploration for a range of ore deposit types;

  1. Combine scientific data to design and evaluate strategies to efficiently and economically extract ores from known mineral deposits;

  1. Work as a geologist in the minerals industry.


Examination (3 hours): 50%
Practical Examination: 10%
Laboratory work/assignments/field excursions: 40%

Students must pass the theory examination to achieve an overall pass grade. Students who do not pass the theory examination will receive a mark of 45%, unless their aggregate mark is lower in which case that mark will be recorded.

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

Two 1-hour lectures and one 3-hour practical per week, and one 1-day field excursion