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CODE 66788
  • 6 cfu during the 2nd year of 9022 SCIENZE GEOLOGICHE (LM-74) - GENOVA
    LANGUAGE Italian
  • SEMESTER 1° Semester


    The course provides theoretical and practical knowledge for the training of the geologist in the field of ore deposits. The knowledge on ore-minerals, their distribution, commodities and reserves, on metallogenic processes that lead to the concentration of ore-minerals are deepened. The bases will be provided to develop analytical skills from the macro to the micro-scale that allow the student to acquire skills applicable to the mining activity.



    The teaching aims to provide knowledge on the main mineral deposits, on the "ore-minerals", on their worldwide distribution and on the importance of some strategic minerals. The understanding of metallogenic processes will allow the student to acquire both the basic knowledge to identify and recognize the main useful minerals and the ability to recognize and describe the processes of concentration of elements in metamorphic and sedimentary magmatic processes applying the acquired knowledge to real cases.


    The attendance and participation in the planned training activities (lectures and laboratory activities) will allow the student to acquire the theoretical and practical knowledge to develop the skills necessary to deal with studies in the field of mineral deposits.

    Specifically, the student will be able to:

    • know and describe the main ore-forming processes

    • know the mineral commodities and their global and national distribution

    • know the needs and critical mineral commodities for modern society

    • know the mineral beneficiation problems

    • know the mineralogical investigations applied  to mineral beneficiation and at any stage of life of a mineral deposit, from exploration to remediation

    Based on lectures, discussion of case studies and practical activities, the student will develop skills:

    • to distinguish the main useful minerals, their properties and the main ore-textures

    • describe the main types of magmatic, metamorphic, sedimentary and hydrothermal deposits

    • to correlate the main metallogenic processes to petrogenetic processes and geodynamic environments

    • to use ore-minerals as indicators of specific processes in different environments (magmatic, hydrothermal sedimentary and pedogenetic)

    • to use geological, mineralogical, petrographic and geochemical data for the knowledge of the metallogenic processes of various type and for theapplications to the mieral beneficiation


    The knowledge of geochemistry, geology, mineralogy and petrography is necessary to effectively address the teaching content.


    Teaching includes lectures, lab exercises, laboratory activities. As some activities are planned for the application of acquired knowledge, the attendance at lectures and laboratory activities are strongly recommended.

    Lectures in the classroom are delivered through multimedia presentations.

    The classroom exercises on the discussion of metallogenic maps represent an important self-assessment tool.

    Also the lab activities are aimed at the practical application of the theoretical knowledge acquired during the lectures and also constitute a self-assessment tool. The laboratory exercises provide reports and final discussion with the teacher. In particular, the lab activities include:

    • Macroscopic analysis exercises for the recognition of minerals and ore textures;

    • Stereomicroscope exercises for single students on granulates and separated heavy minerals,

    • Collective observation under a metallographic microscope using the ore-minerals DISTAV collections,

    • Collective exercises with scanning electron microscope for determining the composition of minerals, elemental-maps and textural features for mineral beneficiation.

    The laboratory exercises take place in classrooms equipped with 24 polarizing microscopes, 2 metallographic microscopes, 12 stereomicroscopes and in the laboratory of electron microscopy and microanalysis of the  DISTAV Department.


    The program includes the presentation and discussion of the following topics.

    Basic concepts. Ore, gangue, grade, cut-off, by-products. Classification of ore deposits. Overview of economic geology. Sedimentary deposits (mechanical accumulation, alteration, chemical precipitation): placers, residual deposits, evaporites, BIF deposits, phosphorites. Deposits associated with basic-ultrabasic magmatic rocks (Cr, Ni, Cu, PGE); diamonds in kimberlites and lamproites; deposits associated with intermediate to acidic rocks (pegmatites, skarn, porphyry -Cu -Sn -W -Mo); volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits; exhalative-sedimentary deposits; strata-bound deposits (MVT-type, roll-type (U,V); vein deposits and some hydrothermal deposits. Metallogenic processes and geodynamic environments. Recognition by metallographic microscope of minerals, ore structures and textures, mineralogy applied to mineral beneficiation. Examples of case studies, Excursions to open-pit and underground mining sites.


    All the slides used during the lessons and other teaching material will be available on AulaWeb at the end of each cycle of lessons/lab activity together with other bibliographic material in pdf format.

    The books are suggested as supplementary sources and are available, together with other books for further study, at the M.F.N. School library and at the teacher office.

    J.R. Craig, D.J Vaughan, B. Skinner (1996): Resources of the Earth. Prentice Hall.

    A. Evans (1993): Ore geology and Industrial Minerals: an introduction. Wiley-Blackwell

    J.R. Craig, D.J Vaughan (1994): Ore Microscopy and ore petrography. John Wiley & Sons.





    For lessons start and timetable go to the following link:

    Class schedule




    The assessment consist in an oral exam. It consists in the presentation of a topic chosen by the student and in the answer to questions on topics covered during the course.

    Two exam dates will be available in the winter session (January-February) and 5 exam dates in the summer session (June, July, September).


    Details on how to prepare for the exam and the degree of detail required for each topic will be provided at the beginning of the course and reiterated during lectures and exercises.


    The student should demonstrate both the knowledge of the topics covered in the lectures and the ability to describe the ore-deposits in relation to the geodynamic environments.

    The ability to correlate theoretical knowledge and skills acquired in laboratory activity should be demonstrated. The student must also demonstrate a good knowledge of technical terms and an appropriate language with the ability to talk about specific arguments.

    Exam schedule

    Date Time Location Type Notes


    Regular attendance at lectures and lab activity is strongly recommended.