Mineral Exploration Techniques

Program Title – Mineral Exploration Techniques

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Program Codes
Program codes are for September intakes except those that are indicated differently.
M049-CH Contact North – Distance Learning
M050-HL Haileybury Campus
M051-KL Kirkland Lake Campus
M052-PC Timmins Campus

Program Description
Designed for those interested in gaining entrance to and/or a competitive advantage in the mineral exploration job market. This program provides students with the entry-level knowledge and skills to function as a valuable member of a mineral exploration team on projects in grassroots exploration to mine-site exploration. The two-semester program incorporates both classroom teaching and valuable hands-on experience during a culminating two-week field school. The modular format and distance or in-class delivery of this program provides the flexibility for students to study while maintaining their employment and caters to students in remote northern communities. Graduates are ready to enter the job market with a college certificate after only one year of study.

Important Information
The Mineral Exploration Techniques program is a blended program combining on-site and distance learning. Students require the use of a personal computer to access course content, submit assignments, and complete online tests.

Pathways to Success
Certificate to Diploma: Graduates of the Mineral Exploration Techniques program may choose to continue their studies in the Haileybury School of Mines – Mining Engineering Technician Diploma program at Northern College, with advanced standing in three common courses. Certificate to Diploma to Degree: Once graduates of the Mineral Exploration Techniques certificate program have successfully completed their Mining Engineering Technician diploma program, they may be eligible to enroll in the Bachelor of Mining Engineering Technology degree (BTech) from Queen’s University (blended learning format) in two additional years plus a bridging semester.

Career Opportunities
Upon the completion of the Mineral Exploration Techniques program, graduates will have a broad understanding of the mineral exploration industry and how it relates to mining. Students will graduate with a comprehensive range of skills required to be immediately employable in the mineral exploration industry including sampling, geological surveys, fieldwork and GIS. They will be mindful of health and safety, ethical practices, environmental sustainability and societal conscientiousness. Graduates may find employment as: Geological Assistant/Technician, Core Technician, Lab Assistant, Field Assistant/Technician, Geophysical Assistant/Operator, and/or Sales Representative.

Contact Information
mining@northern.on.ca

Admission Requirements
Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
Grade 12 English (C, U)
Grade 12 Math (C, U) (MCT4C preferred; MAP4C is accepted with a minimum GPA of 60%)
Grade 12 Chemistry (C, U) recommended
Grade 12 Physics (C, U) recommended
Good computer skills and a familiarity with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint recommended
Or equivalent
Or mature student status (an applicant who does not have a high school diploma or equivalent, and will have reached the age of 19 years on or before the start of the program).

Semester 1
Introduction to Mineral Exploration
Introduction to Geology and Geomorphology
Sampling Methods and Protocols
CM1903A – Communications I Model A
Mineral Exploration Workplace Best Practices
MA1100 Mathematics I

Semester 2
Introduction to GIS Applications
Fieldwork, Mapping and Orienteering
Environmental Best Practices in Mineral Exploration
Geophysical Methods in Mineral Exploration
Geochemical Methods in Mineral Exploration
General Education Elective
*Field School I: Exploration and Geological Field Methods
*Field School II: Exploration and Geological Field Methods
The Mineral Exploration Techniques program requires a Field School component to be completed on-site at the Timmins Campus. The Field Schools are typically two weeks in length combined and take place in May.

Semester 1
Introduction to Mineral Exploration
This course introduces the student to the Mineral Exploration industry, the associated policies, legislation and acts that govern exploration on a global, national and provincial scale. It examines the Mining sequence in Ontario. Students will learn about the process and responsibilities of companies from consultation, exploration, advanced stage exploration, development, production to closure/reclamation. This course also provides an introduction Mineral Economics as it pertains to global markets down to local scale impacts. The course introduces the different types of economic mineral deposits.

Introduction to Geology and Geomorphology
This course introduces the student to the science of geology and mineralogy and the theories that govern our understanding of the Earth’s processes and geomorphological processes that form the landscapes we see every day. These topics will be examined in context with how different ore deposits have different inherent geological indicators and subsequent exploration methods employed governed by the landscapes in which they occur.

Sampling Methods and Protocols
This course introduces the student to the sampling methods and protocols used in the mineral exploration and mining industry. The students learn various methods and processes for extracting, processing, recording, shipping and storage of geological, soil, vegetation and water samples. The students learn the importance of QA/QC – Quality Assurance/ Quality Control, accuracy, contamination prevention, accountability and transparency in sampling methods. Data entry creating spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel as a database platform is practiced.

CM1903A – Communications I Model A
This course is a practical course designed to help strengthen both oral and written skills. Students will be exposed to a variety of learning methods and communication formats. Emphasis will be placed on the use of appropriate structure, writing conventions and style. Students will also develop discipline-specific documents as well as learn the basics of portfolio assembly and presentation.

Mineral Exploration Workplace Best Practices
This course introduces the student to the best practices and standards in the mineral exploration workplace including the field, lab and coreshack environment setting. Students learn the general safety protocols and standards employed in the field of mineral exploration including bush safety and survival. Students learn about the social and personal benefits of safe work practices and the methods to best prevent accidents or injuries. Students will review the role, rights and responsibilities of an individual in today’s health and safety conscious world.

MA1100 Mathematics I
This course covers basic algebra properties, graphing the straight line, basic geometry and trigonometry, and solving a system of equations algebraically. This course also covers vector addition by components and by the cosine and sine laws.

Semester 2
Introduction to GIS Applications
This course introduces the basic principles of geographic information systems. Emphasis will be placed on the theory, uses and applications of GIS in mineral exploration. Students will examine the relationships between sample data, databases and GIS in mineral exploration and digital map making.

Fieldwork, Mapping and Orienteering
This course introduces the student to the basics of how to complete fieldwork efficiently, safely and with regard for the environment. Students learn about the components of maps and field notes and how to interpret air photos, topographic and geological maps and cross-sections. The course teaches the students about orienteering, compass and GPS use and bush skills.

Environmental Best Practices in Mineral Exploration
This course introduces the student to concepts of environmental vulnerability and responsibility in mineral exploration industry. It outlines the responsibilities and best practices of all parties in regard to the Environmental Protection Act and the Mining Acts of Ontario. It examines the techniques used by the mineral exploration industry to mitigate the potential for environmental impacts during exploration activities.

Geophysical Methods in Mineral Exploration
This course introduces the student to the theory and application of geophysical surveys in mineral exploration. Students will examine the relationship of magnetic, electrical, electromagnetic and gravity properties and surveys to the various ore deposit type signatures.

Geochemical Methods in Mineral Exploration
This course introduces the student to the theory and application of geochemical surveys in mineral exploration. Students analyze the relationship of rock, soil and biogeochemical chemistry to various ore deposit type signatures. Students also examine the various analytical methods used in industry.

General Education Elective

Field School I: Exploration and Geological Field Methods
Students will gain direct hands-on experience in drill-core logging, drill-core-cutting and sampling of rock, soils, vegetation and water. Field work includes outcrop, grid and traverse mapping, line-cutting, digital map making, data entry, geophysical methods, geochemical methods, orienteering and bush craft, geology and geomorphology.

Field School II: Exploration and Geological Field Methods
Students will gain direct hands-on experience in drill-core logging, drill-core-cutting and sampling of rock, soils, vegetation and water. Field work includes outcrop, grid and traverse mapping, line-cutting, digital map making, data entry, geophysical methods, geochemical methods, orienteering and bush craft, geology and geomorphology.

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