Open Pit Exploitation

Academic year
Subject Area
Geological and Mining Engineering
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
2nd Cycle Studies - Mestrado

Recommended Prerequisites

 Basic knowledge of geoscience.

Teaching Methods

Classroom teaching with the following components:
Theatrical: using audiovisual means to facilitate the understanding of concepts, models and methodologies. Students will participate in lectures, through its intervention or, occasionally, by presenting subjects within the discipline syllabus.
Practices and Laboratory: Quarry Projects and other educational materials related to the discipline. Use of laboratory equipment and analysis of results. Tutorial support, problems resolution and preparing the report of the study visit and theme presentation.

Learning Outcomes

The course aims to:

A. Realize the importance of national legislation on operations in the extractive industry.

B. Understand the operations of national and international markets of mineral resources, and its importance to economic development.

C. Acquire knowledge of sustainable systems in quarries and mines, operating in open pit, taking into account technical constraints, environmental and health and safety at work.

Skills to developed:

Instrumental: competence in analysis and synthesis, skills to solve problems.

Personal: competence in critical thinking and competence in working in interdisciplinary teams.

Systemic: competence in applying theoretical knowledge in practice, competence in planning and managing, concern for quality, competence in autonomous learning.  

Work Placement(s)



1. Introduction to the exploitation of mineral resources in open pit. Mass and mineral deposits definitions. Legislation applied to the extractive industry.

2. Evaluation of geological resources: Prospecting, research, recognition, exploitation, beneficiation and marketing. Quarry Project, planning and development of a project in the extractive industry.

3. The implementation and control of a project. Planning methods and activities schedule. Applicable laws. Fundamental operations of exploitation of mineral resources: compressed air, drilling, drainage, explosives (blasting, rock blasting diagrams, vibrations, conservation and storage), loading and removal (dimension fleets of dumpers fleets / loaders, and conveyor belts). Comparison between different types of  loading and haulage equipment, cargo and transportation. Technical analysis and equipment cost analysis.

4. Environmental impact caused by mining, mitigating measures. Health and safety in the mining industry.

Head Lecturer(s)

João António Mendes Serra Pratas

Assessment Methods

Research work: 10.0%
Report of a seminar or field trip: 10.0%
Exam: 80.0%


Atlas Copco (1990) - Atlas Copco Manual. 4ª. edição, Madrid, Espanha.
Couto, R.T.S. (1984) - Lavra a céu aberto e equipamentos principais. Tese de doutoramento, Universidade do Porto.
Daniel, F. (1999) - Manual de utilização de explosivos a céu aberto. Ministério da Economia, Instituto Geológico e Mineiro, Lisboa.
Gentry, D. W. e Neil, T. J. (1984)- Mine Investment Analysis. Society of Mining Engineers, New York.
Esteves, J. M. (1978) - Control of vibrations caused by blasting. Memória n.º 498 L.N.E.C., Lisboa.
European Commission, Enterprise and Industry (2010) - Critical raw materials for the EU - Report of the Ad-hoc Working Group on defining critical raw materials.
Figueiredo, F. O (2014) Power Point slides presentations from de classroom lessons.

Hartman, H e Mutmansky, J.M (2002) – Introductory Mining Engineering. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Langefors, U. e Kihlström, B. (1963) - The modern technique of rock blasting. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Nova Iorque.Legislação Portuguesa, Decretos- Lei 90/90, 88/90, 340/07, 376/84 e 162/90, 168/90, 137/90, 324/95 e 544/90.