Graduate Certificate in Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy
The mining industry is continuously tested by new challenges – both naturally occurring and technological – that require innovative solutions. Currently, one of the greatest concerns in mineral extraction and processing is the impact of these methods on the surrounding ecosystem. Balancing the economic prosperity supported by the mining industry and the responsible use of renewable and non-renewable resources is of the utmost importance, which makes engineers with the knowledge to use (and even create) new, low-waste methods of mineral processing more valuable than ever.
Mineral extraction is a nuanced branch of mining and geological engineering that demands a specialized, practical skill-set. These new, emerging techniques will only become more relevant as the world strives to address ecological and economic concerns in mineral extraction.
The online Graduate Certificate in Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy can help you employ the industry’s most current methods of ore and mineral processing to efficiently harvest the metals and materials on which civilization depends. The program’s curriculum, built and led by influential figures in the mining industry alongside UA’s accomplished faculty, presents both a scientific and financial examination of mineral extraction and refinement to offer students a complete perspective on the challenges of geological processing.
As a student of the program, you can also explore hydrometallurgy, leaching, and water chemistry, building on your expertise to master aqueous extraction. While the program also explores several other methods of mineral processing, acquiring this particular skill can help you use one of the most newly developed methods in the field.
The program requires 15 units to complete, consisting of 12 required credits and 3 elective credits. All of the units of credit completed through the certificate can be counted towards the Master of Engineering in Mining and Geological Engineering should you decide to pursue it after graduation.
Required Courses (12 units):
MNE 511 Mineral Processing (3)
Physical and chemical unit operations used to separate and recover the economic minerals and metals from their ores. The modern scientific and engineering background for the operations are presented as well as economic aspects. Includes field trips to major mining operations in Tucson area. Graduate-level requirements include an advanced research project. Course Requisites: Knowledge of chemistry or consent of instructor.
MNE 539 Surface Chemistry of Flotation (3)
The course is to deliver the fundamentals of surface chemistry of flotation in mineral processing. It covers the concepts and principles of the thermodynamics (wetting and adsorption) at the interface, the definition and measurement of surface force in flotation, the DLVO theory and colloid stability, the methods and techniques for surface analysis, and finally the chemistry and mechanism of the chemicals (collector, frother and modifier) applied in flotation. Graduate-level requirements include deriving and defining some fundamentals and principles; review applications of chemicals and surface chemistry in flotation; propose possible methods and solve practical problems.
MNE 550 Elements of Solution Mining (3)
This course will provide a basic understanding of fundamental and practical aspects of solution mining. Graduate-level requirements include more rigorous and analytical homework.
MNE 565 Hydrometallurgy (3)
This course will provide the student with a basic understanding of fundamental and practical aspects of hydrometallurgy processes used to extract and recover mineral and metal values. Unit processes where aqueous solutions play a major role will be examined in detail. The course will focus on the basic processes of leaching, solution concentration and purification, and metal recovery. Graduate-level requirements include a separate exam that will require more rigor & analysis. In addition, all students will be assigned a semester project & oral presentation covering a thematic area of hydrometallurgy of current interest.
Elective Courses (3 units):
CHEE 500R Water Chemistry for Engineers (3)
The course provides an introduction to primarily aqueous-phase equilibria governing water quality characteristics of interest in portable water supply, wastewater treatment and natural waters. Specific topics covered include acid-base and metal-ligand equilibria, oxidation-reduction reactions and chemical reaction thermodynamics. There is some emphasis on equilibria governing inter-phase (gas-liquid, solid-liquid) chemical distribution. Mathematical approaches to prediction of equilibrium chemical speciation are stressed. Graduate-level requirements include the application of canned computer algorithms to solve equilibrium chemistry problems.
CHEM 529 Methods of Surface and Materials Analysis (3)
Fundamentals of electron, atomic and molecular spectroscopies for surface and materials analysis. This course is suitable for enrollment by advanced undergraduates. Students enrolled for 3 units are required to complete an additional research project with paper and oral presentation.
Course substitutions or changes in electives are allowed with the approval of the program advisor.
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