Mineral Resources in Africa

Fall 2010

Dr. Abbas M. Sharaky

Dept. of Natural Resources,

Institute of African Research and Studies

Cairo University

Course content - Learning outcomes - Knowledge aims - Skill level - Attitude goals

Prerequisites - Requirements and textbooks - Grading - Lecture syllabus and topics  


Course content

The course reviews the principal types of mineral resources, their distribution and genesis, with particular emphasis on deposits of metals. The first part of the course deals with the basic principles of ore deposits and methods for deciphering their genetic evolution. Following discussion of how deposits can be classified according to commodity and formation mechanisms, the most common types of deposits will be reviewed with respect to their main features and the geological environments in which they occur. The latter part of the course will focus on the underlying reasons for the distribution of ore deposits within a plate tectonic framework, and go on to discuss the economic principles of mining and the current character of the global metal mining industry and the sequence of events from the selection of areas for potential discovery of ore deposits, prospecting and development.

Learning outcomes

You will learn about the geological processes that lead to the formation of mineral deposits in nature, and about which minerals and rocks represent important resources for society. At the end of the study period, you will be in a position to contribute to the exploitation of known mineral deposits, and to contribute to exploration for new deposits. You will also learn how exploitation of mineral deposits can take place with minimal negative consequences for the environment, and how harmful emissions from mines and mineral deposits can be stopped or limited.

This course is intended to serve a useful information resource for professional geologists and non-geologists. It should also provide students with a critical understanding of selected mineral deposits: how are they formed and distributed in space and time?, what are the main characteristics of the mineral deposits?, how can we discover new deposits?, distribution of mineral deposits in Africa, production and reserves of mineral resources in Africa.

Also, you will know the mineral distribution in Africa. You may think about the colonization history in Africa and its relation to mineral resources. Several conflicts and civil wars are mostly related to mineral resources such as in DR Congo, South Africa, Angola, Southern Sudan, Darfur, ..etc.

Knowledge aims

Skill level

Attitude goals


Recommended prior knowledge

A good understanding of mineralogy, geology of Africa and the basic principles of geochemistry is preferable but do not worry if you have never studied geology.


Two lectures/week with 30 hours of lectures.

Requirements and textbooks:

This course of mineral deposits requires a general background in geology. All of you had at least one course in geology. We will use several textbooks and lecture notes. They will be reserved in the library of Institute of African Research and Studies to use. There is no check out for these materials. 



Two Exams . ........   10%

Research Paper (Due Dec. 22).....   10%

Attendance    5%

Final exam ....   75%


Lecture topics:

        Lecture Notes in pdf:


   Nov.  30  FIRST EXAM