Courses » Mineral Resources: Geology, Exploration, Economics and Environment

Mineral Resources: Geology, Exploration, Economics and Environment

This course may be looked as a first level course on Mineral Resources of the Earth that has the following broad components:

Conceptualization of ore formation as intimately linked to fundamental earth processes operating at different scales; parallelism between evolution of the crust and different deposit types through geologic ages; fundamental processes (magmatism, sedimentation, weathering/erosion, fluid activities) and morphology of resultant deposits

Use of basic knowledge of ore geology in mineral exploration, case studies of discovery of some world class deposits; appraisal of mineral resources.

Economics of exploitation of mineral resources – international trade, price and policies

Environmental impact of resource exploitation

  • Students from Universities at the level of B. Sc. in Geology as Major
  • Introductory Geology (Physical Geology) Course



  • Mining and Exploration Companies


M. K. Panigrahi is a faculty in the Department of Geology &Geophysics at IIT Kharagpur. He is well known in the Indian earth science circle as an expert in Economic Geology and has contributed significantly to mineralization of copper, tin and gold in India. He has been teaching various courses in Economic Geology for the last 22 years. He has published many peer-reviewed journal papers and conference papers, guided 13 doctoral students, and 36 masters students. He is the recipient of the Young Scientist Project Award in 1993 from Department of Science & Technology, Government of India. He was awarded with Prof. N. N. Chatterjee Medal by the Asiatic Society in 1993 for his conspicuously important contribution to Economic Geology. He is an awardee of Indian Society of Applied Geochemists Medal in 2012. Besides all these, Prof Panigrahi is one of the active persons in the field of Environmental Geology, also an enthusiast in Mineral Exploration and attempts to do mineral potential mapping using satellite digital image data and integration of various types of data on GIS. He instructs a course on Mineral Resources with Lab to the 3rd Year students of Applied Geology and Exploration Geophysics that he thoughts would be good to disseminate to a larger population of students.

Week 1: Introduction; Space - time distribution of mineral deposits; Spatial distribution of mineral deposits in the context of present day global tectonics.

Week 2: Magmatic processes, Characteristics and Morphology of Deposits resulting from magmatism
Week 3: Sedimentary processes – characteristics and morphology of resultant deposits

Week 4: Hydrothermal processes - characteristics of hydrothermal ore fluids, sources, solubility of metals and mechanism of transport and deposition from fluids, characteristics of hydrothermal deposits

Week 5: Hydrothermal processes associated with felsic magmatism, sedimentary basins, metamorphism, volcanism on the sea floor and volcanic islande – resultant deposits and their morphology

Week 6: Introduction to Mineral Exploration – the four stage architecture (reconnaissance, detailed survey, target identification, exploratory drilling), Mineral deposits and mineral resource potentials of India

Week 7: Geological, geochemical and geophysical methods of mineral exploration, Application of remote sensing in mineral exploration

Week 8: Case studies of discoveries of important deposits across the world.(Gold, Diamond, porphyry copper, VMS, Uranium)

Week 9: Economic classification of Mineral Resources; Elements of Mineral Economics; demand-supply relationships and changing global scenario, international trade, policies and cartels,

Week 10:National Mineral Policy and Law of the Sea, Mineral resources in National Economy.

Week 11:Mineral deposit project evaluation; estimation of ore reserve (conventional and geostatistical methods),

Week 12: Environmental Impact of Mineral Resource Exploitation – exploration, mining, processing and post-processing scenarios.


1. Ore Geology and Industrial Minerals by Antony Evans; Economic Mineral Deposits by M L Jensen and Alan M Bateman; Introduction to Ore Forming Processes by Laurence Robb (any other relevant UG level Text Book may be referred)

  • The exam is optional for a fee. · 
  • Date and Time of Exams: April 28 (Saturday) and April 29 (Sunday) :
    Afternoon session: 2pm to 5pm.
  • Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.  
  • The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. 

  • Final score will be calculated as : 25% assignment score + 75% final exam score  
  • 25% assignment score is calculated as 25% of average of 12 weeks course: Best 8 out of 12 assignments  
  • Final score will be calculated as : 25% assignment score + 75% final exam score  
  • 25% assignment score is calculated as 25% of average of 12 weeks course: Best 8 out of 12 assignments  
  • Final score will be calculated as : 25% assignment score + 75% final exam score  
  • 25% assignment score is calculated as 25% of average of 12 weeks course: Best 8 out of 12 assignments  
  • E-Certificate will be given to those who register and write the exam and score greater than or equal to 40% final score. Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup. It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Kharagpur. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc