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To Mine or Not to Mine?

Should a contentious mine site be allowed to proceed?

Students must investigate a controversial current or proposed mining project. Students must assess the geology of the area to determine how the minerals would have formed and the likelihood and method of extracting them.


They must assess the site against a range of criteria (such as expected mineral output and the economic and environmental impact of the mine), and from the lens of different stakeholders, to ultimately make a recommendation to the Australian Government on whether the mine should proceed or be shut down 


Key tasks


  • Mineral extraction modelling. Students must analyse how the mineral which is to be mined is normally extracted. They must then conduct an experiment in class to simulate this extraction technique and determine its effectiveness and likelihood of success 

  • Stakeholder negotiation. Each student must represent a different stakeholder (mining company, local councillor, indigenous elder, environmentalist). They must explore the impact of their mine from their perspective and create a recommendation based on the point of view of the stakeholder they are representing. Then, they must come together and negotiate to try and reach an agreement that is acceptable to all parties 

Key facts:

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Curriculum information

Science - Earth & Space Sciences – The rock cycle, rock types, and mining/minerals

ACSSU153 | VCSSU102 | SC4-12ES



15 - 20 lessons

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