The Mining and Mineral Process Engineering option focuses on the aspects of geological, civil, mechanical, electrical, and industrial engineering, together with business and management skills, that are integrated in the challenge of extracting minerals from the Earth. Mining engineers are involved in all stages of the process: from exploring for new mineral deposits and deciding if they can be mined economically, through designing and constructing mines at and below the ground, to managing and operating mines, to preparing raw mineral products for manufacturing or energy industries.
In order to prepare students for this profession, course work and research opportunities specific to mining engineering include: computer applications, environmental control, geomechanics and rock mechanics, health and safety, innovative mining systems, materials handling, mine equipment maintenance, mine management, mine planning and reclamation, monitoring and control, operations research, surface mining, underground mining, and ventilation. Interests cover coal, metal, and nonmetal mining.
Mineral Process Engineering is concerned with the extraction and purification of valuable commodities from the earth. The raw materials produced by mining are highly impure and must be upgraded before they are of use to society. The refining of mineral commodities involves a broad variety of problems, mostly associated with the production, handling and separation of solid particles. Particle systems are also critical to many of the processes and products of modern industry: materials, chemicals and electronics as well as minerals. Mineral processing engineers are at the forefront of the development of the science and technology of particle systems and many of the techniques and procedures used in mineral processing find direct application in other areas.