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Graduate Studies

Course Samples

Project Decision-making in Extractive Metallurgy

The goal of this course is to provide an opportunity for students to use information from their undergraduate courses to make decisions on projects of the type that they may face in their future careers. The course will analyze actual project case histories in mining and process metallurgy and evaluate them from technical, economic, and risk perspectives. The objective of each case will be to confront the student and/or group with a decision point similar to that faced in the actual situation. The students will work individually and/or in small groups in an interactive tutorial setting to develop each case for class presentation. There will also be opportunities for interaction with invited experts from industry. The course will show students how to use the key evaluation tools for objective project and process decision-making in mining and process metallurgy.


Advanced Metals Extraction

In this course advanced technologies for metals extraction are discussed and evaluated. Metals of interest include: magnesium, titanium, zirconium and uranium. Both pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical aspects of the extraction processes are described. Emerging technologies such as plasma processing and microwave processing are reviewed. The course material can be tailored to the interests of the students. Each student performs a literature review and writes a report on a suitable topic in metals extraction.


Mining Robotics

Mining equipment suppliers now offer robotic tramming systems for surface and underground vehicles, real-time equipment and personnel tracking systems, as well as telerobotic options for loading, haulage, rock breaking, and other heavy equipment. This course offers an introduction to control and estimation engineering as applied to heavy equipment in mining. The class material attempts to provide students with a sufficient foundation to pursue advanced research in this area. Topics include: a review of commonly used sensor technologies; an introduction to vehicle kinematics/dynamics; trajectory and path tracking control; an introduction to vehicle navigation; robotic mapping/surveying; mining machine case studies and examples.


Flotation Science and Technology

Roles and applications of flotation in the mining industry, tailings management, recycling and environmental clean-up are discussed. The topics include both interfacial aspects such as wettability, electrical double layer theories, dispersioncoagulation/flocculation, reagent interactions, as well as the engineering aspects such as sampling/mass balancing, kinetics and circuit design. Primary examples of technologies related to processing of sulphide ores, non-sulphide ores, salts, coals and tar sands are covered. 


Ore Estimation, Grade Control and Mine Planning

The impact of ore estimation uncertainty on the mine planning process is examined. Deposits, including precious and base metals are discussed. Strategic mine planning will be studied including: the impacts of regulatory, financial and other constraints on mine optimization; methodologies for determining planning inputs; the role of traditional and emerging algorithms for pit limit analysis and mine scheduling; and, techniques for planning under uncertainty. Students will develop a strategic mine plan for a mineral deposit. The focus will be on surface mining activities, however, the principles are applicable to underground mining.


Topics in Drilling and Blasting

Rock failure in blasting. Topics include fragmentation, influence of joints and rock structure, theory of fracturing and crack propagation, cratering, blasting-induced vibrations and damage, wall control techniques, numerical methods. 


Rock Mechanics

Theories and application of rock mechanics principles in underground and open pit mine design are discussed. General areas of concentration include assessment of elastic for rock; the determination and influence of in-situ stress on excavation stability; evaluation of ground movement, subsidence and convergence; review of rock slope stability factors and mitigation techniques for stabilization; and assessment of contemporary and innovative measures for ground support provision in underground mines.


Advanced Explosives Technology

Detonation theory and its applications. Topics include: Detonation theory, equations of state, experimental techniques for measuring explosive properties, initiation and sensitivity, shaped charges, metal working with explosives, commercial explosives, metal loaded explosives, dust explosions, pressure desensitization, numerical methods.