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  3. Minerals, Materials and Recycling

Minerals, Materials and Recycling (CHEN90010)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeCHEN90010
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


The importance of the minerals industry to the Australian economy. Liberation, size reduction, size separation and concentration separations in minerals processing. Extractive metallurgy, including hydrometallurgy and pyrometallurgy. Aspects of physico-chemical principles of mineral separation processes to produce metals and ceramic products from ores as well as recycled materials and consumer products. The influence of interatomic bonding and material atomic structure on material behaviour. Phase diagrams and equilibria as well as material mechanical, electrical and magnetic properties will be covered. The process of developing material selection criteria and selecting materials for particular applications will be presented. The systems approach to recycling of products, process sustainability and environmental considerations.


Understand: why recycling makes sense; mineral processing separation concepts; processing-structure-property relationships; atomic bonding and atomic scale structure in materials; thermodynamic basis for phase equilibria; influence of material properties on recyclability; influence of recycling on material purity and properties.

Know how to design mineral separation processes; use phase diagrams; derive a number of material properties based upon atomic bonding and atomic scale structure.

Be familiar with: similarities and differences in mineral processing and recycling; equipment used in size reduction and separation and concentration separations; extractive metallurgy; typical minerals processing and metals production processes; typical properties of metals, polymers, ceramics and semiconductors; influence of materials on society; influence of microstructure on material properties; mechanical, electrical, magnetic, optical and thermal properties of materials; typical material processing; be able to select materials for particular applications.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject the student is expected to:

  • Understand the complex interaction of processes within the material cycle, starting with primary material production from minerals, materials production, consumer products and ending with recycled material, waste and environmental issues, including design of a recycling process
  • Predict material properties based on knowledge of composition and processing-structure-property relationships
  • Design equipment for mineral processing
  • Compare and select materials for particular engineering design applications

Generic skills

  • Capacity for independent thought
  • Awareness of advanced technologies in the discipline
  • Ability to apply knowledge of basic science and engineering fundamentals
  • Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution
  • Ability to utilise a systems approach to design and operational performance

Last updated: 8 June 2019