Processing and Valorization of Mineral Resources



In this module, students should be endowed with advanced techniques in the characterization, processing and valorisation of mineral raw-materials, namely industrial minerals (metallic and non metallic), industrial rocks and ornamental stones. The students should be capable to integrate project teams that develop conception studies and implementation of processing headquarters for improvement and finishing of those raw materials. Among others, students will develop the following specific competences: - To recognize the importance of the several raw materials and mineral end products according both to economical and sustainable points of view.  - To use equipments and to execute essays for technician control of industrial minerals (metallic and non metallic), industrial rocks and ornamental stones and do data interpretation.  - Design the layout and select machinery for several stone raw-material processing (building stone, rock fill and armourstone) and display a material balance. Design and administration of laboratories for stones quality testing. -To recommend the appropriate use of varied types of industrial rocks and ornamental stones; to accomplish studies of characterization of the alteration of rocks and to suggest / to implement measures for prevention and conservation. 

General characterization





Responsible teacher

António Carlos Gil Augusto Galhano, Joaquim António dos Reis Silva Simão


Weekly - 6

Total - 110

Teaching language



Students must have completed the 1st cycle of the degree in geological engineering, or in related areas of geology.


 [1] Barry Wills, Mineral Processing Technology, Butterworth-Heinemann, 1997, ISBN: 0-7506-2838-3, 272 p.

[2] Gomes, Celso (1986) - Argilas, o que são e para que servem. Edição da Fundação Caloust Gulbenkian, 457 pp.
[3] Manning, D. (1995) - Introduction to Industrial Minerals. Chapman & Hall, London, 276pp.
[4] Moura, A.C. (2000) – Granitos e Rochas Similares de Portugal. Publ. do Instituto Geológico e Mineiro. Marca–Artes Gráficas, Porto.
[5] Velho, José Lopes (2005) - Mineralogia Industrial, Princípios e aplicações. Lidel-edições técnicas Limitada, 606 pp.

[6] Kelly, Errol & Spottiswood, David (1982) - Introduction to Mineral Processing. John Wiley and Sons, New York.

Teaching method

The teaching method will be theoretical and practical, based on laboratory work and visits to mining operations.

Evaluation method

The evaluation will be based on tests and reports with mandatory presentation.

Subject matter


Introduction to metallic and non metallic mineral resources. Mineralogical, petrographical and chemical characterization of industrial rocks and ornamental stones. Observation and description of hand samples and using polarizing microscopes, on transmitted and reflected light modes. Industrial minerals of economic interest - its importance, improvement, properties, pre-treatments and applications. Processing of rock-fill and armourstone. Selection and dimension of machinery for primary and secondary breaking and screening. Construction and interpretation of stone size curves. Processing of waste materials and treatment of residual waters. Introduction to ore minerals separation methods. Control and mitigation of environmental impacts and legislation. Processing of dimension stones. Techniques of finishing and indication of appropriate use and commercialized products. Technological characterization, physical and mechanical properties. Testing and functional requirements of stone for different uses. Reference Norms. Alteration experiments and alterability studies. Alteration of rocks: evaluation, control and restoration. The market of raw-materials and building stone in Portugal. Analysis of statistical data related to economic and strategically value, reserves, exploration, production and consumption. Quality systems and legislation.


Programs where the course is taught: