651-4034-00L  Resource Economics and Mineral Exploration

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersG. Beaudoin, C. Chelle-Michou
Periodicitytwo-yearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish
CommentRestricted participation with priority for MSc Earth Science students taking the Module 'Mineral Resources and Applied Mineralogy'.
Interested ETH students please register through myStudies by second semester week.


651-4034-00 PResource Economics and Mineral Exploration
Permission from lecturers required for all students.
Block course at ETH Zurich - D-ERDW from 9-18 January 2024.
48s hrs
09.01.08:15-17:00NO E 51.1 »
10.01.08:15-17:00NO E 51.1 »
11.01.08:15-17:00NO E 51.1 »
12.01.08:15-17:00NO E 51.1 »
15.01.08:15-17:00NO E 51.1 »
16.01.08:15-17:00NO E 51.1 »
17.01.08:15-17:00NO E 51.1 »
18.01.08:15-17:00NO E 51.1 »
G. Beaudoin, C. Chelle-Michou

Catalogue data

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 "Integrierte Erdsysteme", "Ore Deposit 1", 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. Chelle-Michou) and University of Geneva (Prof. R. Moritz)
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesfostered
Project Managementassessed
Social CompetenciesCommunicationassessed
Cooperation and Teamworkassessed
Leadership and Responsibilityfostered
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilityfostered
Creative Thinkingassessed
Critical Thinkingassessed
Integrity and Work Ethicsfostered
Self-direction and Self-management fostered

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersC. Chelle-Michou, G. Beaudoin
Typegraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition only possible after re-enrolling for the course unit.

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


GeneralPermission from lecturers required for all students

Offered in

Earth Sciences MasterMineral Resources: Courses of ChoiceWInformation