Bachelor of Science in Mining &  Exploration Geology

Bachelor of Science in  Mining & Exploration Geology

This is a five year programme available on full time. The programme has eight non-elective courses at fifth year of study. These include: Geostatistics, Geophysics, Management/Mine Economics, Petroleum Geology, Hydrogeology, Environmental Geology, Entrepreneurship and Geology of Zambia. In addition, two projects are compulsory, one on geological work and the other on independent geological field mapping.

Programme Details


  • Variables, Functions and Mapping
  • Sequences, Limits and Continuity
  • Differentiation of Functions
  • Integral Calculus
  • Differential Equations
Partial differential equations.
  • Matrices and Linear Algebra
  • Vector Calculus
  • Numerical Methods
  • Mechanics
  • Waves and Oscillations
  • Statistical Mechanics
  • Optics
  • Magnetism
  • Gravity
  • Atomic Structure
  • Multi-electron Atoms
  • Chemical Bonding and Molecular Structure:
  • Ionic Bonding
  • Chemical Thermodynamics
  • First Law of Thermodynamics
  • Thermochemistry
  • Second and Third Laws of Thermodynamics
  • Third Law of thermodynamics
  • Ionic Equilibria
Course content: (See course content for Chemical Engineering)


Course content: (See course content for Chemical Engineering)
Course content: (See course content for Chemical Engineering)
Course content: (See course content for Chemical Engineering)
  • Mining: History of metals and materials development. Life Cycle of mining projects. Mining terminology and technology.
  • Mine planning: Drilling and rock penetration, ground excavation support, surveying, safety and environmental management and selection of mining method.
  • Exploration and sampling: Procedures, grade and tonnage estimations, areas and volumes, planimeter uses and systems of ore reserve classifications.
  • Shaft sinking: types, shapes and other components of shafts. Surface and underground mining methods. Mining and society
  • Introduction to mineral processing: Efficiency of operations. Liberation. Concentration and metallurgical balances. Comminution and classification. Sampling. Sizing. Gravity concentration. Heavy medium Magnetic and electrostatic separation. Flow sheet design, examples and computer applications for process simulation.
  • Solar system and evolution of the Earth: Nebular hypothesis, collision theory, differentiation of planet Earth.
  • Introduction to the basic principles of geology, The geological timescale, Absolute and relative time methods of dating, superposition, radiometric dating and uniformitarianism.
  • Origins, composition, differentiation and structure of planet Earth, Introduction to internal and external planetary processes
  • Plate tectonics and continental drifts.
  • The rocks and rock cycle characteristics, classification of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks.
  • Interpretation of 3D geological data – maps and cross-sections. Identification, description and classification of igneous and sedimentary rocks.
  • Surface processes: Weathering, hydrologic cycle, erosion. Sedimentary rocks, environments and rock forming processes, role of biosphere
  • Principles of stratigraphy: Evolution, fossils and their significance, stratigraphic columns.
  • Elementary Crystallography: States of matter: crystalline state. Elementary ideas about the crystal structure. External characteristics of crystals: face, form, edge, solid angle, interfacial angle and its measurement, zone.
  • Crystal symmetry: planes, axes and center of symmetry. Crystallographic axes and axial angles, parameters, indices and rational indices. Classification of crystals into seven systems.
  • Study of the normal classes belonging to following systems: Isometric, Tetragonal, Hexagonal, Trigonal, Orthorhombic, Monoclinic and Triclinic. Crystal chemistry of rock-forming minerals and mineral properties. Classification of common rock forming minerals and ore minerals.
  • Earth resources: economic minerals, ore deposits, energy resources (fuels) and non metallic deposits. Introductory concepts on the geology of Zambia and its mineral resources.
  • Internal Earth processes: igneous rocks formation, plutonism, volcanism, metamorphism and metamorphic rocks, deformation of the Earth’s crust. Some elements of plate tectonics and structural geology, interpretation of geological maps


  • Mineral: Definition of Mineral and Mineraloid – Scope and aim of Mineralogy. Physical mineralogy-Physical properties of minerals-form, habit, cleavage, fracture, colour, luster, streak, hardness, specific gravity.
  • Chemical mineralogy: Chemical elements and Periodic Table – Bonding of atoms – Metallic, Co-valent,
Ionic and Van der Walls Bonding in Minerals, Solid solution, Exsolution, Isomorphism, Polymorphism and Pseudomorphism in minerals.
  • Optical mineralogy: Ordinary and polarized light, polarization of light, Refractive index, critical angle and total internal reflection. Polarization by reflection, absorption, refraction, double refraction, construction of Nicol prisms. Petrological microscope parts and functions. Optical accessories-mica plate, gypsum plate and quartz wedge. Birefringence, isotropic and anisotropic substances, uniaxial and biaxial minerals, optic sign, relief, Pleochroism, pleochroic haloes, alteration, zoning. Descriptive Mineralogy. a) Classification of minerals. b) Systematic study of the important non silicate minerals-Diamond, Graphite, Sulphur, Gold, Silver, Copper, Realger, Orpiment, Stibnite, Molybdenite, Cinnabar, Sphalerite, Galena, Chalcocite, Bornite, Chalcopyrite, Pyrite, Magnetite, Hematite, Marcassite, Barite, Gypsum, Halite, Flourite, Corundum, Cuprite, Spinel, Chromite, Rutile, Cassiterite, Ilmenite, Monazite, Psilomelane, Pyrolusite, Goethite, Limonite, Bauxite, Calcite, Dolomite Aragonite, Magnesite, Siderite, Malachite, Azurite. Structure and classification of silicate minerals with detailed physical, chemical
and optical properties of the following. Olivine family, Garnet family, Alumino silicate family, Epidote family, Pyroxene family, Amphibolites family. Beryl, Cordierite, Tourmaline, Clay minerals and Mica family. Feldspars, Feldspathoids, Quartz and Zeolite group.
  • Rocks: definition, their classification. Magma: definition, composition, origin, Bowen's Reaction Series, magmatic differentiation and assimilation. Mode of occurrences, Intrusive and Extrusive forms. Textures and structures. Classification based on grain size and mineral composition.
  • Metamorphism: definition, agents and types of metamorphism. Metamorphic minerals: stress and antistress minerals, textures and structures. Metamorphic facies and isograds, Relationship between
metamorphism and deformation. Rock cycle.
  • Definition and scope: A brief study of the guiding principles / laws of Stratigraphy (Principles of Uniformity of processes; principle of superposition; principle of cross-cutting relationships, principle of truncation; principle of included fragments, principle of original horizontality and principle of faunal succession). Concept of stratum and delineation of strata. Its general nomenclature. Concept of facies, lithofacies and biofacies, Local and regional successions. Type area and Type Sections.
  • Breaks in stratigraphic successions: Unconformities and Diastems, Overlap and Offlap Concept of geological column and Geological Time Scale, Lithostratigraphy and hierarchy of units, Biostratigraphy and hierarchy of units, dating of strata (relative and absolute dating). Chronostratigraphy and hierarchy of units, Principle of local, regional and inter-basinal correlative methods.
  • Origin of Sedimentary rocks: disintegration & decomposition of rocks, transportation, deposition, diagenesis. A broad classification of sedimentary rocks into residual mechanical, chemical and organic
groups. Sedimentary Textures and structures (clastic and non – clastic). Residual deposits – terra rossa, clay, laterite and bauxite and soils. Mechanical deposits- rudaceous, arenaceous and argillaceous groups. Heavy minerals in sand and sandstones. A descriptive study of Conglomerate, Breccia, Sandstones, Limestone and Shales.
  • Chemical deposits: Siliceous, carbonaceous, ferruginous and salt deposits. Organic deposits: calcareous, siliceous, phosphatic, ferruginous and carbonaceous deposits. A brief study of Flint, Chert, Gypsum, Rock Salt and Guano. Descriptive study of different types of calcareous and carbonaceous deposits.
  • Exploratory data analysis: numerical and graphical summaries, and transformations of univariate data; graphical evaluation and basic regression analysis of bi-variate data; probability calculations for normal distribution and checks for normality; design of experiments, different types of random sampling; central limit theorem; confidence intervals and hypothesis tests for single mean, two means and variances; checking assumptions; interference for more than two means: analysis of variance.
  • Any relevant EXCEL packages SPSS, MINTAB may be used to perform most of the statistical analysis covered in this unit.
  • Remote Sensing defined.
  • Types of platforms: Satellite Images, SLAR.
  • Aerial Photography: stereoscopy; measuring and plotting instruments in photogeology and their procedures. The principles of interpretation of aerial photos; the factors that affect results. The application of remote sensing in reconnaissance mapping, economic mineral prospecting and water resources investigation. Interpretation of Satellite images and aerial photographs in geological mapping.
  • Effects of topography on structural features; Topographic and structural maps; Importance of scale of the map. Importance of top-bottom criteria in structural geology.
  • Effects of topography on structural features; Topographic and structural maps; Importance of scale of the map. Importance of top-bottom criteria in structural geology.
  • Concept of rock deformation: Stress and Strain in rocks, 2-D stress and strain analysis; Strain ellipses of different types and their geological significance. Fold morphology; Geometric and genetic classification of folds;
  •  Mechanics and causes of folding: Buckling, Bending, Flexural slip and flow folding etc.
  • Description and origin of foliations: axial plane cleavage and its tectonic significance; theory of cleavage formation in deformed rocks.
  • Rheological properties of rocks.
  • Basic concepts: Introduction, definitions, different disciplines, types of surveys, principles, coordinates systems. Angular systems and different types of errors.
  • Distances: Tape and optical square, Optical distance measurements. EDMs Levelling: Concepts and applications; Types of leveling surveys; Types of instruments. Error sources, corrections, checking and adjustment; Field procedures.
  • Areas and volumes: Computations from plans, sections, measurements and coordinates; Intersection and gradients.
  • Compass surveying: Azimuths. Declination, compass traversing, local attraction, graphical adjustments.
  • Theodolites: concepts, Error sources. Checking temporary and permanent adjustments. Observation procedures. Booking and calculations.
  • Uses of angles: Single point determination, types and calculations. Multiple point determination, triangulation and trilateration, traversing (calculation and adjustments).
  • Tacheometry: Polar radiation, instrument types, free setup and geological mapping.
  • Modern Personal Computer: Specifications, RAM, CPU, Hard disk capacities, network card and data transfer rates, mother boards, and newer multimedia devices: mobile phones, external hard disk, zip drives, DVD drives. Laptop-Palm top.
  • Different operating systems: Windows: NT, XP and Vista – Linux, Office packages, Internet browsers. Wikipedia. Plagiarism – what constitutes it? E-governance initiatives of Governemnt of Zambia
  • Introduction to GPS: Basic idea of GPS. GPS satellites. Control centres. Types of GPS receivers. Uses of GPS. Worldwide digital network GPS. Types and nature of spatial data in geology and hydrogeology.
  • Introduction to GIS: History of the development of GIS. GIS related software, Map info-vertical maps. The structure of GIS. Data representation in GIS – points, lines, polygons.
  • Popular GIS initiatives: Google maps, Google earth. Data entry into GIS. GIS vector data. GIS raster data. GIS layers. Data extraction from GIS by simple querying. Basic map generation.
  • Introduction to GIS packages: Commercial GIS – Arc GIS. Case studies in ground water table, geological mapping, contour map either water level contour map, elemental distribution or surface contour map. Applications of GIS in water quality, land use and soil pollution etc .Creation of buffer.
  • Landscape evolution and the formation of laterites. Regolith mapping in outcrop and drill cuttings.
  • Identification of regolith products and gossans. Secondary ore minerals. Supergene modification of ore
deposits. Supergene mineral deposits, lateritic Ni-Co and Au. Regolith analysis and geochemistry in mineral exploration.
  • Introduction to climate and climate systems, Global climate pattern, Climate controlling factors. Global
energy budget, Plate tectonics and climate change, Milankovitch Cycles, Atmosphere and Ocean interaction and its effect on climate. An Overview of Palaeoclimatic reconstruction; Pleistocene Glacial- Interglacial cycles
  • Future Climate: Anthropogenic activity and its effect on Global climate.


  • Rock-definition, types, rock cycle, Plutonic, hypabyssal and volcanic igneous rocks.
  • Forms of igneous rocks: lava flows, pyroclastic deposits, volcanic ash, sill, laccoliths, lopolith, phacolith, dyke, cone sheets, batholiths, stocks, bosses, ring dykes and dyke swarms.
  • Structures of igneous rocks: Definition, vesicular, amygdaloidal, pillow structure, flow structure, sheeted joints, mural joining, columnar jointing, rift and grain.
  • Textures of igneous rocks: definition, crystal and glass, crystallites and minolites. Granularity and shapes of crystals, equigranular textures-allotriomorphic, hypidiomorphic, panidiomorphic. Inequigranular texturesporphyritic and poikilitic, intergrowth textures, directive textures, devitrification, perilitic fractures, spherulitic structures, reaction structure.
  • Cooling history of igneous rocks, melting and crystallization. Bowen’s Reaction Series.
  • Petrography and petrogenesis and association of: Granite, Pegmatite, aplite, syenite, diorite, gabbro, basalt, dolerite, dunite, peridotite.
  • Metamorphism: Definition, factors of metamorphism, types of metamorphism.
  • Petrography, origin and occurrence of the following rock types: slate, phyllite, schist, gneiss, amphibolite, marble, granulite, mylonite.
  • Approaches to mining
  • Underground and open pit geological mapping, open pit and underground mine surveying
  • Sampling and ore reserve estimation, World supply and demand of minerals
  • Mines of Zambia
  • Types of drilling and machinery used in drilling
  • Resource reserve definitions: mineral resources in industries
  • Principles of mineral exploration, Prospecting and exploration
  • Geochemical exploration
  • Principles of reserve estimation, density and bulk density, factors affecting reliability of reserve estimation, reserve estimation based on geometrical models (square, rectangular, triangular and polygon blocks), regular and irregular grid patterns, statistics and error estimation
  • Outline of the types of reconnaissance and detailed exploration of mineral deposits, geological, geophysical, geochemical and geobotanical exploration methods. Mode of occurrence and factors controlling ore deposition; concept of ore search.
  • Definition, scope and historical development of Economic Geology
  • Brief study of metallogenetic epochs and provinces.
  • Processes of formation of mineral deposits and related deposits
  • Mineral deposits of the Zambian Copperbelt.
  • Definition and classification of non-metallic minerals
  • Geology and exploration methods of construction materials
  • Reserve evaluation and quarrying methods.
  • Fossil fuels; surface and underground water hydrology.
  • Geochemical classification and distribution of the elements.
  • The Solar System, meteorites and Earth differentiation.
  • Chemistry of the solid Earth, geochemical variability of magma, melting of the mantle and growth of continental crust. Atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere.
  • Basic thermodynamics, equilibria, phase relationships and kinetics. Major and trace element fractionation and partitioning. Geochemical behavior of selected elements like Si, Al, K, Na Stable and radiogenic isotopes and their applications.
  • Introduction to properties of elements: The periodic table, chemical bonding, states of matter and atomic environment of elements, geochemical classification of elements, the composition of different Earth reservoirs and the nucleus and radioactivity. Conservation of mass, isotopic and elemental fractionation. Concept of radiogenic isotopes in geochronology and isotopic tracers: dating by radioactive nuclides, Carbon 14, Beryllium 10, K-Ar method, radiogenic tracers.
  • Element transport: advection, diffusion. Chromatography.
  • Aqueous geochemistry: basic concepts, speciation in solutions, elements of marine chemistry.
  • Mineral reactions: Diagenesis and hydrothermal reactions.
  • Distribution of elements within common rock units and minerals. Fluid-rock interaction. Review of Eh and pH natural systems. Chemical mobility during weathering. Sample collection, preparation, digestion and analysis.
  • Graphical and statistical methods of data interpretation. Database management. Survey techniques, including stream sediments, soil, rock and miscellaneous survey types. Organic geochemistry and the carbon cycle. Analytical methods and geochemical data presentation. Introduction to environmental geochemistry.
  • Geological considerations:
  • Computer application in rock mechanics.
  • Geology vs. Engineering
  • Elementary concepts of rock mechanics and rock engineering.
  • Soil mechanics. Site investigation, characterization and problems related to civil engineering projects
  • Geological hazards (landslides and earthquakes) their significance, causes and preventive/remedial measures. Recent trends in geotechnical engineering.
  • Background to tectonophysics including the physical nature and character of the Earth and related planetary systems sufficient to form the basis for an understanding of the Earth as a dynamic system and to introduce elements of the new global tectonics.
  • Detailed systematic examination of the geology of the major tectonic features and provinces. Examination of the evolution of the Earth through time. Neotectonics and its importance.
  • Detailed description and origin of lineation and relationship with the major structures. Geometric and genetic classification of fractures and faults.
  • Effects of faulting on the outcrops. Geologic/geomorphic criteria for recognition of faults. Geometric and genetic classification of joints.
  • Introduction to ductile shear zones: significance of mylonite, cataclastic, gouge.
  • Stereographic projections and their use in structural analysis: Theory/Concepts of Orogeny. Important Orogenic belts of the world.
  • Engineering properties of rocks: Formation and uses of soils, subsurface exploration; Maps and aerial photography, rocks as construction materials.
  • Engineering geology in Environmental control - rivers and flood control, lakes, shore line.


  • Using a combination of various aspects of geological knowledge, the student should be able to independently identify a geological project, design it, execute and produce a project report to the required standard
  • Ore value and concepts of ore body, cut-off grade, dilution, grade control and blending processes.
  • Grade tonnage relationships.
  • Sampling statistics: Normal distribution, student t test, probability plots and grade tonnage calculations.
  • Lognormal distribution: Sichel’s t estimate of the mean and confidence limits, Log probability plots with grade tonnage calculations. Relationships between geological and mineable reserves, volume-variance relationships, concepts of Selective Mining Units (SMU).
  • Orebody models and modelling.
  • Reserve estimation and classification.
  • Introduction to Geostatistics: Theory of Regionalised Variables, Semivariograms, assumptions and computation.
  • Kriging; Basic introduction, local vs global estimation, advantages and limitations.
Pre-requisite Courses:  GM 410 Learning Outcomes:
  • Independently, the student will be able to traverse an area, collect relevant geological data and produce a geological map to the required standard
  • Independently, the student will be able to interpret the geological map produced
  • The student will be able to describe the geology of the area involved and produce a geological report to accompany the geological map in the acceptable format
Pre-requisite Courses: GM 420
  • Fundamental interrelationship between geology and geophysics
  • General and Exploration geophysics
  • Geophysical field operations
  • Geophysical anomalies
  • Integrated geophysical methods
  • Study of the crustal and tectonic evolution of the Central and Southern Africa. Cambrian stratigraphy and principles of Central and Southern African Precambrian.
  • Precambrian of Zambia and adjacent terrains. The Zambian tectonic evolution of the Basement Complex, Katanga System, Karroo System, Tertiary and Quaternary Rocks.
  • Structure and stratigraphy of the Zambian sedimentary basin.
  • Mineral Deposits of Zambia.
  • Introduction to management structure and theory
  • Management techniques
  • Engineering economics
  • An overview of mining economics
  • Patterns of production, consumption, transportation, and marketing
  • Finance and economic analysis and interpretation
  • Concepts of Entrepreneurship
  • Procedures for starting small scale industry.
  • Business organizations and Company formation, administration and legal aspects. Financial Statement
  • Appreciation
  • History and scope of Hydrogeology. The Hydrologic cycle. Occurrence of ground water under different geologic conditions. Hydrologic processes, variable water budget. Elementary theory of ground water flow; Darcy’s law, salinity, conductivity, transmissivity of aquifers. Groundwater maps and flow nets.
  • Methods of groundwater exploration and development in different geological terrains. Water table and fluctuations, Aquifers Water well drilling techniques. Quality of water; radiochemistry and microbiological quality of ground water.
  • Presentation and interpretation of results of chemical analysis. Groundwater quality standards, pollution and ground water quality protection strategies.
  • Ground water in Zambia.
  • Petroleum Geology
  • Properties Oil and Natural Gas
  • Origin of Petroleum
  • Petroleum System
  • Oil field waters and their effect on Hydrocarbons.
  • Oil Field Exploration Processes
  • Drilling Processes
  • Well Testing Procedures
  • Calculation of Reserves, Types of Reserves.
  • New Exploration Trends
  • Petroleum Habitats
  • Floods
  • Earthquakes
  • Volcanoes
  • Environmental problems associated with human activities
  • Problems inflicted by base metals, uranium and industrial mineral mining. Coastal erosion - effects and remedial measures.
  • Pollution: surface water and subsurface-ground water pollution-strategies for reducing pollution. Impact of radioactive waste disposal on environment.
  • Effects of mining, urbanization, and impact of population explosion.
  • Landfill waste management.