Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


This unit covers methods of surface mining and their development; how to understand some basic mine planning concepts including cut-off grades, pit optimisation and scheduling; how to understand methods of blasting and how blasts are designed; and how to efficiently express technical information verbally and orally. Mine design software is used during practical classes and assignments where possible.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) choose references and sources of information relevant to the unit activities and use them to find relevant case studies/projects; (2) identify understand surface mining methods appropriate to specific types of deposits; (3) assess surface mining methods with respect to productivity, safety, efficiency, risks and sustainability; (4) understand major surface mining methods with respect to their related equipment, supporting infrastructure, performance drivers, and constraints; (5) apply different optimisation algorithms to define the size, the scale, the sequence of the surface mining operations; (6) understand, assess, and implement the major technological trends in surface mining methods and equipment; (7) apply mathematical methods to managerial decision making in surface mining operations; and (8) communicate effectively according to the conventions of the mining discipline.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) individual portfolio; (2) group mini project; and (3) a final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Mehmet Cigla
Unit rules
enrolment in
the Master of Professional Engineering (MPE) (Mining Engineering specialisation)
Advisable prior study
ENSC3011 Fundamentals of Mining Engineering (formerly Resource Extraction Technologies)
Contact hours
Lectures: 3 hours per week
Practicals: 3 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.