651-4034-00L  Resource Economics and Mineral Exploration

SemesterAutumn Semester 2018
LecturersC. A. Heinrich
Periodicitytwo-yearly recurring course
CourseDoes not take place this semester.
Language of instructionEnglish

AbstractGlobal mineral economics and the strategies of mineral exploration -- including geological, geochemical and geophysical methods, but also non-geological factors such as organisational, political and environmental aspects. Changing external lecturers.
ObjectivePractical understanding of the procedure of exploring a mineral prospect, based on geological analysis, exploration by drilling, resource calculation of tonnage and grade as a basis for economic evaluation for reporting to investors.
ContentThis block course in will comprise 4 half-day lectures and a series of practical exercises from selection of a mineral property to discovery of mineral resources and their valuation. Teams are formed as Limited Partnership companies that have to select and bid for a mineral property offered during an auction. Each company has the same nominal budget. The highest bidder purchases the selected property, others need to purchase the remaining properties during an auction. Justification for selecting the property is justified in a report. The companies must interpret the geology of their mineral property to prepare a diamond drill program to discover and, eventually, delineate the mineral resources. This drill program is presented in a report prior to drilling. Drilling in the tri-dimensional matrix of the property is simulated using the software FOREUR, until budget lapse. The companies must select drill intervals for chemical analysis to document the extent and composition of the discovered mineralization. Portions of the mineral rights can be traded for capital between the companies. An estimate of the tonnage and grade of the discovered resource is prepared using geometric methods and GIS software (ex. Arc GIS). The ground value of the resource is estimated by a computation of the Net Smelter Return at current metal prices. The results of the exploration program are presented in a comprehensive report.
Lecture notesHandouts for background information and a computer simulation program for the case-study exercise will be provided. Participants must bring a Windows-based laptop computer.
Prerequisites / NoticePrerequisites: Knowledge of mineral deposit-type characteristics is useful (orogenic gold, Cu-Zn VMS, Ni-Cu-PGE); at least "Ressourcen der Erde", or adequate knowledge of mineral deposits acquired by preparatory reading. Basic knowledge of ArcGIS software is important to produce maps and sections required in reports. Training exercises and tutorials will be provided in advance to prepare for the course.Taught biennially in collaboration with University of Geneva.

This course is co-organised by ETH Zurich (Prof. C. Heinrich) and University of Geneva (Prof. L. Fontbote)