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Geo 381R - Regional Studies in Mineral Resources Geology

This site is designed to introduce a graduate course on Economic Geology to prospective students at the University of Texas at Austin and to provide information of interest to current students. GEO 386E is a survey course on the general geologic, engineering, and economic features that are important to the discovery, production, and reclamation of commercial concentrations of non-hydrocarbon mineral resources. As is the case for the mineral resources industries at present, the course will have a global perspective and will deal with mineral resources in many countries. Plans are being developed for a intrasemester field trip that will provide an opportunity to examine firsthand the geology, exploration, processing, and environmental issues related to minerals extraction.

Course Description: Geology 386E provides an introduction to the geologic and economic factors that result in the development of commercial concentrations of non-energy mineral resources. Course content varies depending on the interests and backgrounds of the students each semester (course may be repeated for credit). Emphasis will be placed on the descriptive geology and origin of economic mineral concentrations within the context of their overall geologic settings. The geologic and economic nature of metallic and industrial mineral commodities in both "hard rock" and "soft rock" geologic environments will be discussed. Related topics to be discussed include importance of mineral resources to the global economy, mineral exploration and evaluation, and mineral extraction and processing. Lab exercises typically involve representative sample suites from important ore deposits worldwide, with emphasis on features that affect their discovery, evaluation, development, and processing. An introduction to software used in exploration, evaluation, and mine planning will be provided. Two research papers are required: a brief commodity report and a longer report dealing with a geologic, engineering, or economic topic for a major ore deposit or type of mineral resource. These papers can be directed toward potential or existing graduate research projects.  Geology 386E also serves as a core course in the Energy and Mineral Resources Program of the Jackson School of Geosciences. An intrasemester field trip is anticipated to examine the geology, exploration, processing, and environmental issues related to minerals production.

Richard Kyle developed this course and has taught it since 1980.  If you have any questions or comments about the course, you may reach me at