What is geometallurgy ?

The future and sustainability of our societies is critically linked to the exploitation of primary raw materials. Despite the continuous efforts to tend to close the loop of metals, the growing demand and the material depreciation caused by most of the recycling process require that we keep on investing in the mining sector. Need for innovation in this sector is considerable as the new deposits will be more and more difficult to process due to their lower quality and the increasing regulations to minimize their impacts on the environment. Those innovations would be possible only if a deep understanding of the geology is integrated through the whole mine life, from the mining to the site rehabilitation. New mining projects should integrate a geometallurgical approach to lower the financial and environmental risks and to predict as accurately as possible the metallurgical behavior of an ore in the processing plant. 

Geometallurgy aims at integrating geological characteristics in new resource-efficiency based models. It requires :

1.         Understanding of the geological facts : mineral ressources and their availability in the earth crust.

2.         The ability to model both geologically related features and industrial mineral processes. 

3.         A deep understanding of advanced processing techniques that would maximize the recoveries of major and by-products.

4.         Knowledge of the state of the art monitoring tools that will tomorrow ensure a better quality control through the whole process.

5.         Awareness of the environmental, economic and societal issues in mining   


Europe has top level engineering schools with a long tradition in the field of geology, geo-modelling and mineral processing. Through a joint effort, ULg, UL-ENSG, LTU and TUBAF provide a unique network of excellence for teaching those traditionnal disciplines and draw up a solid program to educate a new generation of geometallurgists. 



This two-year Master Program integrates knowledge of mineral/metal resources and modern engineering technologies. It is delivered entirely in English and is designed to educate a new generation of young professionals. Students begin at the ULg where courses in Ore Geology, Geostatistics, Mineral Processing and Recycling are given to ensure all students have the required knowledge base. A levelling course in numerical methods is also available if needed.. Rock/mineral characterization tools and their uses are introduced in the Process Mineralogy course.  

Following their time at ULg the students move to Nancy where UL-ENSG provides further education in the fields of Orebody modeling and Ore reserve estimation. The students also have the opportunity to gain experience in the field of surface chemistry and to spend time in a pilot-scale processing plant. 

When the courses at UL-ENSG are complete the students move on to Luleå where LTU provides more in depth courses  in mining geology and mineral processing. During this time the students become acquainted with the modelling of unit operations and have unique opportunities for field trips and processing plant visits. 

For the last semester of the program EMerald students choose one of the four partner universities to study at. Here they complete a thesis-based project, typically in close collaboration with an industrial partner.