Location: Federation University (Mount Helen campus, near Ballarat)

Venue: Room H125 (H building)

Classes are scheduled for 9am to 4 pm

This unit covers the identification of target minerals, its exploration, sampling methods, methods of estimating tonnage and grades and reporting of resources and reserves. This unit also covers the financial evaluation of mining projects.

This unit is designed to enable students to: Knowledge:

  • understand and be able to identify the target mineral for exploration;
  • understand and be able to describe the principles and applications of geophysical and geochemical exploration techniques;
  • know the appropriate ways to sample various types of mineral deposits;
  • understand the methods of estimating the tonnage and grade of any mineral deposit;
  • understand and be able to evaluate a mining project Skills:
  • be able to identify the target minerals for exploration;
  • be able to carry out an estimation of the grade and tonnage of a mineral deposit using classical and geostatistical methods;
  • be able to use appropriate statistical and geostatistical tools;
  • be able to carry out a simple reconciliation of period production at an operating mine; 
  • be able to carry out a financial evaluation of a mining project. Values/Attitudes:
  • Appreciate the legal and ethical requirements for reporting statements of mineral resources and reserves;
  • Appreciate the importance of sampling techniques in an mining project;
  • Experience of the necessity of team work in carrying out an ore reserve/resource information.

Key Questions:

  • Why explore for certain minerals?
  • How is the potential value of exploiting a mineral deposit determined?
  • How are the tonnages and grades of mineral deposits estimated?
  • What statistical techniques are used to quantify such estimates?
  • What are the legal and ethical requirements for reporting resources and reserves?


  • Identification of target minerals for exploration.
  • Exploration techniques.
  • Sampling of mineral deposits.
  • Methods of estimating and quantifying tonnage and grade.
  • Grade control and reconciliation of mine production.
  • Reporting of mineral resources and reserves.
  • Financial evaluation of mining projects.

For further information please see: https://handbook.unimelb.edu.au/subjects/geol90031