What is Mineral Engineering?
Can you imagine a world without steel, concrete and glass to construct buildings; without electricity, plumbing and modern appliances such as computers and phones; without planes, trains and automobiles; and without the many products we use daily, such as canned goods, cooking utensils, toothpaste and soap? That is a world without Mineral Engineering.
The roles enjoyed by Mineral Engineers are many and varied: from initial planning of mines and quarries, through the engineering management of extraction operations that range from small and simple to huge and exceptionally complex; to the design and operation of ore and industrial mineral processing plants.
As every aspect of Mineral Engineering requires substantial financial backing, another — equally important — branch of the discipline involves the financing of operations and the trading of products. Mineral Engineers are employed by consultants, mining companies, financial institutions and government agencies, and find themselves working in major cities, small towns and isolated areas in every country of the world. Without doubt, Mineral Engineering is a hugely varied, challenging and exciting discipline, with a niche for every engineering interest.
Like all engineering disciplines, Mineral Engineering is underpinned by mathematics, physics, and chemistry. Its uniqueness stems from the tight integration of these fields with geology and various environmental sciences. Altogether, this knowledge allows professional Mineral Engineers to extract and process the tremendously wide range of minerals used in modern society in an economic, safe and environmentally sensitive fashion.
Toronto is one of the world’s principal centres for mining and mining finance, and the Lassonde Mineral Engineering Program at the University of Toronto gives a world class education in all aspects of Mineral Engineering. First year courses provide a solid foundation of engineering fundamentals, with subsequent years concentrating on specific areas such as geology and geophysics, surface and underground mining, mineral processing, geotechnical engineering, explosives and fragmentation, hydrogeology and contamination, and mineral economics.
Along the way, students are exposed to the practice of mineral engineering through a number of field excursions and camps, are encouraged and helped to undertake summer placements, and have the opportunity to take a Professional Experience Year. The program culminates with students undertaking a thorough and complete feasibility study, in relation with our industrial partners, for a full-scale mining operation.
Graduates of the program are highly sought after by the minerals industry, and are also well equipped for entry to graduate studies such as is provided at the Lassonde Institute at the University of Toronto.