GEOG 444: Winter, 2015


The goal of this class project is to familiarize yourself (and the rest of the class, somewhat) with the complexities of a particular mineral resource - including the geology, mining, supply chain, use, and geopolitics. Should be fun. The particulars:

  1. Select a mineral resource. Fe, Cu, Al, Au, Ag, Ur, fossil fuels, and industrial minerals are not options for you - we'll talk about them in class.
  2. Build a concept map for your mineral resource. This part of the project borrowed from : In particular, take a look at the sample concept map.
  3. Describe how the ore deposits form (basically, explain the geology). If there are multiple types of ore deposits for the same resouce, talk about the two which generate the greatest tonnnage.
  4. Describe where the ore is mined. Maps are a good thing.
  5. Describe how the resource is used (the final product). Maybe the top 10 or so uses?
  6. Describe the full chain, from mining through processing, refining, manufacturing, and then where used.
  7. Describe any geopolitical implications - either global or local. This could range from the current REE metals situation to things like Chile being completely dependent on Cu prices, to......?

Due dates and products:

  1. 13 January - you must come up to me and choose your resource. First come, first serve. Should you not do this, I will randomly assign something.
  2. 30 January, 5PM in my mailbox - an outline of your final paper and a draft of your concept map. Outline format. Include any figures, etc that you might have. Be sure to properly reference text, images, etc - not doing so will result in lost points. 4+ pages
  3. 13 February, 5PM in my mailbox - a solid first draft of your final paper. 7+ pages. And your FINAL concept map.
  4. 2 March, 5PM in my mailbox. Your final paper. 12 point times new roman. 1" margins. 1.5 line spacing. Minimum length, 8 FULL pages; max length, 10 full pages. When you turn this in, include the marked up copy of the previous version.
  5. Presentations to the class. These will be held on 5, 10, and 12 March. 20 minutes of talking, 10 mins for questions. Time and date to be assigned randomly about halfway through the quarter. In each ppt, you will need to highlight (with a *) two facts that you want to be fair game for the final exam. These facts must not be on the same or consecutive slides. Note, sometime during the quarter, I will do one of these and post the ppt as a example (not something to be duplicated, but an example).


  • Outline: 2 points
  • Draft: 4 points. Another 3 for the concept map.
  • paper: 7 points. When you turn this in, include the marked up copy of the previous version.
  • presentation: 7 points
  • Total: 23 points.

note - all grading will include an evaluation of content, English, speaking skill, and lack of plagarism. I highly suggest getting the folks at the writing center to go over your work prior to handing in.


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