Experts from Camborne School of Mines have launched a free online course hoping to educate people about sustainable mining.

World-leading researchers from the school, which is part of the University of Exeter and is based at Tremough, will deliver the Technology Metals for a Green Future course beginning this week.

The four-week programme is the latest in the university’s series of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) and is available to anyone interested in learning about the role sustainable mining plays in the growing green sector.

The Technology Metals for a Green Future course looks at the specialist ‘technology metals’ needed to do this including rare earths, tantalum, niobium, tin, tungsten, lithium and platinum; whichalso play a role in digital technologies such as smart phones, data centres and medical equipment.

 Over its duration, experts will examine definitions and specialist terms in week one, geology in week two, mining and mineral processing in week three and responsible sourcing and circular economy in week four.

Many of the examples are from the EU Horizons 2020 HiTech AlkCarb project that has put the course together.

Professor Frances Wall from Camborne School of Mines, lead academic for the course, said: “Most people rarely make the connection between hi-tech equipment like smartphones, cars or wind turbines and that fact that all of them started life as minerals in the earth. Mining is as fundamental as farming.

“This course introduces where our technologies really come from and how geology, mining and materials researchers are working to provide our metals in the most environmentally-friendly ways.”