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Ore Geology

The course focuses on the formation of hydrothermal ore deposits.

Welcome to Ore Geology!

The course will be run in period 2 of the autumn term (please check the course website for exact start date). The course will comprise a series of lectures and practical classes and a 5-day field trip in the Bergslagen region of Sweden.
After an introduction to ore deposits and the transport of metals in hydrothermal fluids, the course will focus on 1) the ore deposits of the Bergslagen ore district in Sweden and 2) orogenic gold hydrothermal ore deposits.  Lectures will be combined with lab classes that focus on identification of ore and alteration minerals and interpretation of geochemical data in ore forming processes. The course includes a field trip to the Bergslagen ore district in Sweden to investigate ore forming processes and when possible visit active mines.

Course period Autumn 2021: September 30–October 29 (incorrect study period in the right column).

The course is given every other year (Autumn 21, Autumn 23, etc).

Fieldtrip information under Course structure

GG8117 course description (30 Kb)

Autumn term 21 |The course will be given on campus. But this information could be updated before the start of the course depending on the situation at that time.
  • Course structure


    The Bergslagen ore district forms part of the Svecokarelian orogen within the Fennoscandian shield and contains over 6000 mineral deposits and prospects and has been an important producer of metals for more than 1000 years. The district has a wide variety of ore types dominated by sulfide and Fe-oxide ores and has 3 currently active mines including the world class Zinkgruvan and Garpenberg Zn-Pb-Ag deposits. Many of the oxide and sulphide bearing deposits show enrichments in so called “critical materials”, metals and minerals required for development of modern technologies such as Co, Bi, In, Ga, Ge, W and the REEs and there is currently a major effort to quantify and to understand CM mineralisation in the district. The field trip focuses on understanding the geology of the district and the processes that have contributed to the formation of the deposits. We investigate the volcanic and sedimentary stratigraphy, the abundant hydrothermally altered volcanic rocks and the ore deposits themselves. The exact itinerary depends on whether and when we are allowed to visit the active mines and we will most likely be changing accommodation each evening as we tour through the district. As the field trip is in october the weather can be variable. It is essential that you are properly equipped for long field days in cold and wet conditions.


    The course will be split into a series of modules which will be assessed separately. These modules may vary from year to year depending on the schedule of the course but may include the following:

    1. Ore mineral identification in hand specimen and using reflected light microscopy. This module will involve learning to identify a list of sulfide and oxide minerals both in hand specimen and using microscopy, learning some common ore mineral textures and to describe a paragenetic sequence based on textural relationships. This module is assessed with a practical exam.
    2. IoGAS modules – These modules introduce the program IoGAS which is an excellent tool for investigating geochemical data and is commonly used by mining and exploration companies worldwide. We use the program to identify rock types and investigate aspects of the geochemistry in ore forming systems. These modules are assessed via short reports.
    3. Field trip. We will aim for a 5-day field trip to Bergslagen. The main tasks for the students are to take field notes and to present a scientific article relevant to the geology of Bergslagen in the field to the other students. Both your field notebooks and a review of your assigned article will be assessed.
    4. Essay. Depending on the schedule and other aspects of the course, the final assessment may be an essay on an aspect of ore formation in Bergslagen.
  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    The course book is Robb “Introduction to Ore Forming Processes” and published articles that will be handed out in class will complement Robb.

    Introduction to ore forming processes
    Robb, L., Blackwell Publishing 2005
    ISBN: 0632063785, 9780632063789

  • Course reports

    Course evaluations allow the possibility to affect and take responsibility for your own learning and gives important information for our work with pedagogical development.

    It's important that all students complete the course evaluations after each course, it gives the Department the opportunity to improve the courses' quality.

    The course evaluation is composed of a number of questions and specific questions for each course. If you, as a student, want to contribute with more course specific questions you may send them to

    If you haven't received the course evaluation for your finished course, or if you have other questions regarding course evaluations at IGV please contact

    Course evaluation = student's review of the course
    Course report = course leader's reflections about the review

  • Contact

    Iain PitcairnSenior lecturer, docent, Ore geology
    Iain Pitcairn
    +46 (0)8 674 78 38 | Room: R431