Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Welsh Mineral Resources: Origins, Exploitation and Planning
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 11 x 3 Hour Lectures
Field Trip 1 x 10 Hour Field Trip


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Written assignment 1: Mineral resource mapping in Wales: its uses and limitations (3000 words)  25%
Semester Assessment Written assignment 2: Quantifying uncertainty (2000 words)  15%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   2 hour written exam (to include 2 sections, one essay to be answered from each)  To be scheduled in first fortnight of exams  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit failed (<40%) written assignments. Marks for passed components to be carried forward in recalculation of the resat module mark.  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Resit failed written exam.  50%
Semester Assessment Group presentations  10%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Describe the geological history and natural resources of Wales.

Evaluate the link between geological processes and events and mineral resources.

Use and interpret mineral resource maps to evaluate mineral wealth of a region.

Critically evaluate the uncertainties linked to mineral resources maps and their interpretation.

Brief description

This module will be taught in four parallel parts: lectures, practicals, assessed oral presentations by students and a 1 day local area field excursion. For details see the next section.


The lecture programme will span the 2nd semester and be structured as follows:

Lecture 1. Welsh mineral resources: origins, exploitation and planning; course introduction; the geological history of Wales and history of geological and mineral resources mapping
Lecture 2. Plate tectonic events and the ancient foundations of Wales: the geological context for the Welsh slate industry
Lecture 3. Mineral resource maps: fact or fiction - the concept and impact of uncertainty and how it can be quantified
Lecture 4. Metal mining in Wales: the role of vulcanism and orogeny
Lecture 5. Mineral workings: their classification and representation on geological maps
Lecture 6. High specification hard rock resources in Wales: industrial minerals and aggregates
Lecture 7. Mineral safeguarding: why is it needed?
Lecture 8. The coalfields of Wales: the geological context for the Welsh coal and steel industries
Lecture 9. The Quaternary context of the sand and gravel aggregate industry in Wales
Lecture 10. Future trends and the need for effective mineral planning

In parallel with the lecture series will be a series of map-based practicals that focus on mineral resource designation, aspects of uncertainty and planning issues. Students will also be required to undertake two written assignments and to give an assessed oral presentation:

Written assignment 1: Mineral resource mapping in Wales: its uses and limitations

This assignment is designed to develop the student's ability to access and interpret data on mineral resources in Wales, to develop their awareness of the concepts, process and limitations of mineral resource mapping. For this assignment students will be asked to access copyright-free online resources located on the Blackboard and external sites. These resources will include selected geological and derivative landuse and mineral planning maps; also technical datasets assessing mineral deposits and their properties.

Written assignment 2: Assess the geological context of coal and natural gas exploitation in Wales focussing on new technologies, planning limitations and environmental impacts

This assignment will seek to develop the student's awareness of the geological processes that have contributed to coal and natural gas formation and how these are reflected in the location of prospects under consideration for future exploitation in Wales. It will require them to investigate new technologies being developed to exploit coal and gas resources and to research the concepts of sustainability and how this is reflected in Welsh mineral planning policies and guidance including the impact of mineral safeguarding.

Assessed group presentations: 2 or 3 x 1 hour sessions (depending on the module uptake) will be taken up by team presentations followed by whole group discussions. Teams will comprise 3 - 5 students. Presentations will be on topics such as the geological context for mineral exploitation in designated parts of Wales, the history and methods of mineral extraction and processing, mineral resource mapping and mineral planning issues including future trends. The topics for the presentations will be allocated on lottery basis and will be formally assessed.

This assignment will seek to develop the student's team work and oral skills and their ability to access resources, undertake research and to compile and deliver an effective PowerPoint presentation tailored to time and audience.

Field excursion: 1 x 1 day (Saturday or Sunday) field excursion, mid-Semester. Students will be introduced to local bedrock units and the evidence for tectonic and sedimentary processes they provide, which link to evolution of the Welsh Basin and formation of mineral deposits in the Central Wales Orefield.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Tasks set in practicals; written assessments (compiling and interpreting mineral planning and safeguarding maps; quantifying uncertainty)
Communication Written assignments, oral presentations and exam
Improving own Learning and Performance Generally developed throughout course
Information Technology Used to access and interpret data from online sources; used to quantify uncertainly
Personal Development and Career planning Not developed specifically in this module, although knowledge of mineral planning etc relevant to careers in environmental sector
Problem solving Written assignments
Research skills Tasks set in practicals; written assignments; oral presentations
Subject Specific Skills Mineral resource map reading; mineral planning policy and research
Team work Group presentations; group investigations during field excursion


This module is at CQFW Level 6