2023-2024 / GEOL1045-1

Economic and societal issues in mining and recycling


15h Th, 30h Proj., 2d FW

Number of credits

 Master of Science (MSc) in Geological and Mining Engineering, professional focus in geometallurgy (EMERALD) (Erasmus mundus)5 crédits 
 Master in Chemical and Materials Science Engineering (Ir.), professional focus in Advanced Materials - Innovative Recycling (AMIR-EM)5 crédits 
 Master of Science (MSc) in Geological and Mining Engineering5 crédits 


Eric Pirard

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Industrial representatives from the mining and recycling sector will provide specialized seminars to introduce topics that are not traditionally covered by Academic Education. Here is an example of the subjects that have been covered in the previous years:

  • Bankable Feasibility study 
  • Corporate responsibility: social and environmental aspects 
  • Health and Safety in open pit mines and plants
  • Funding of Junior mining companies
  • Legislative aspects of mining exploitation
  • Mining codes and taxation issues

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

  • To be aware of the importance of the legal, social and environmental aspects of mine exploitation
  • To be able to detect unsafe behavior or potentially harmful situation in a processing plant environment or a quarry
  • To review and to criticize one company commitment and achievement regarding social and environmental aspects
  • To briefly analyze one country's political and legislative policy regarding mine exploitation and their impacts
  • To question the social and environmental impact of mining and recycling in different socio-economic environments
  • To reflect upon the role of low-tech in mining and recycling
  • To consider long term sustainability of resources engineering activities
This course contributes to the learning outcomes II.1, II.2, V.1, V.2, V.3, VI.2, VI.3, VII.1, VII.2, VII.3, VII.4, VII.5, VII.6 of the MSc in geological and mining engineering.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills


Planned learning activities and teaching methods

 Interactive seminars and workshops with professionals.
Open debate on questions such as environmental impact, law, ethics, etc.
Supervision of a joint progress report.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Attendance to the seminars is obligatory (any absence must be duly justified)

Recommended or required readings

Documents and reports from companies provided by the invited experts. 

Groups of students are formed to analyze a real case (mining or recycling) on the aspects covered by the seminars. The real case (ex. ore deposit) may be transferred to a hypothetical region of the world where social, technical and environmental constraints are extremely challenging.
Each student specifically focuses on one of the aspects but has to review those covered by the other members of the group. Key facts are orally defended by each student possibly questioned on any part of the joint report. Final marks are the result of the assessment of each student's contribution to the joint written report and (the oral presentation).

Students who failed the first examination have the opportunity to improve the chapter that he/she was responsible for in the joint report. He/she also writes a short report addressing the Bankable feasibility aspects of his or her mining project.  The final resit mark takes the new written report into account.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

Friday AM and/or PM


Rosalia Fiorentino emerald@uliege.be



Teaching & Research assistant

Sart Tilman B52

e-mail : mcabidoche@uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs