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49077-01 - Lecture with practical courses: Global Change Resources 3 CP

Semester fall semester 2019
Course frequency Every fall sem.
Lecturers Annette Affolter Kast (
Jannis Epting (, Assessor)
Peter Huggenberger (
Content During the course critical minerals which can be found in everyday products (cell phones, cars, etc.), non-renewable fossil raw materials and rare metals (e.g., gallium, lithium, etc.) are introduced by using examples.
The development of supply as well as the geological and technological progress over the past decades will be outlined. Thereby, one focus will be placed on the technological developments of extraction, related risks and interactions related to water consumption accompanying fossil raw material exploitation.
Ecological impacts of the extraction, production and disposal of critical raw materials as well as worldwide aspects will be addressed by means of case studies. Examples include: historical and current environmental impacts of raw material exploitation in Switzerland, Romania and Indonesia. Processes including CO2-production during cement production, and CO2-storage are illustrated by means of case studies from Switzerland.
We will high-light the recovery of critical raw materials (e.g., indium, neodymium, etc.) from waste products (for example electronic equipment) as well as processing steps in the recycling chain. Swiss pioneering industrial projects on recycling of mineral resources will be presented, including 'urban mining' (recovery of critical mineral resources).
An introduction to economic, social and regulatory aspects, geopolitical factors and life cycles will be given. Also legal aspects and the impact of existing regulations on the recycling and disposal of waste in Switzerland will be discussed (the new VVEA of Switzerland).
(Incl. a trip to the most modern recycling facilities in CH).
Learning objectives - Knowledge of the distribution and environmental relevance of critical mineral and non-renewable fossil raw materials;
- understanding the complexity of the steps from extraction to disposal of fossil raw materials, resource consumption such as water or additives in exploration and production as well as aspects of CO2-storage;
- acquisition of knowledge and understanding of critically discuss examples of raw material exploration and recycling;
- familiarity with the role of globalized resource consumption, exploitation and trade of raw materials and arising environmental consequences.
Bibliography Recommended texts:

Angerer, G. et al.: Rohstoffe für Zukunftstechnologien. Stuttgart, Deutschland:
Fraunhofer Verlag (2009).

Brown, T. J. et al.: World Mineral Production. Keyworth, Großbritannien: British
Geological Survey (2012).

Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe:

Graedel, T. E. et al.: Methodology of metal criticality determination. In: Environmental
Science and Technology, 46 (2012) 1063–1070.

Dieter Lohmann, Nadja Podbregar: Im Fokus: Bodenschätze.
Auf der Suche nach Rohstoffen, Berlin / Heidelberg 2012

Rhodia develops innovative process for the recycling of rare earths. Internet:

Schüler, D. et al.: Study on Rare Earths and Their Recycling. Öko-Institut e.V. (2011) Final Report for the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament, 1–140.

SCRREEN EU - Solutions for CRitical Raw materials - a European Expert Network

Terre des hommes: Glück auf? Die Auswirkungen des Bergbaus auf Kinder, Osnabrück September 2011.

Weltweiter Verteilungskampf um Ressourcen – Rohstoffe, Wasser, Energie, DBG Bildungswerk, DGB Bildungswerk BUND, Nord ¦ Süd-Netz, 2013
Comments Note: Special course inscription and entry requirements!

MSD 2017
MSD-Students who have chosen the focus area of social sciences or economics may attend the seminar on condition that they formerly have completed the module “Complementary Knowledge in Natural Sciences”. Credits may then be transferred to the "Focal Areas in Sustainability Research" module (learning agreement).

MSD 2017
Mandatory for students who have chosen the focus area of natural sciences. No credit transfer possible to any different module than published.
Students who have chosen the focus area of social sciences or economics may transfer the credit points to the 'FASR' module (learning agreement).

This lecture is offered by MSD, the lecturers J. Epting (lead), P. Huggenberger and A. Affolter will hold teaching assignments.


Admission requirements Special course inscription required for ALL (for details see 'course application' or 'Anmeldung'). Course inscriptions in a different way then explained ARE NOT taken into account.

Limited number of participants (25), Students of the MSD and those of the mentioned fields of study (see list of modules) have priority. If you study something different you must do a master's degree within the 'Faculty of Sciences' and may attend the seminar in case of vacancies and former inscription as explained.

MSD 2017
Students who have chosen the focus area of social sciences or economics must have completed the 'Complementary Knowledge in Natural Sciences' module.

Course application Mandatory application for ALL! Link open from 14.08.19y/noon - 04.09.19/midnight:

Login and application possible from 14.08.19/noon on. (Login button on top row right hand side of ADAM website)

NOTE: Be aware of special entry requirements. Course inscription via MOnA remains mandatory for all participants..

In case of vacancies the online application link remains open until 09.10.19.
Language of instruction English
Use of digital media No specific media used


Interval Block
Date 13.01.2020 – 17.01.2020
Time See details

Bloc course: 13.01. to 17.01.20; from 09.15 to 18h.

Date Time Room
Monday 13.01.2020 09.15-18.00 Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)
Tuesday 14.01.2020 09.15-18.00 Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)
Wednesday 15.01.2020 09.15-18.00 Vesalianum, Seminarraum (O2.02)
Thursday 16.01.2020 09.15-18.00 --, --
Friday 17.01.2020 09.15-13.00 Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 119
Modules Module: Core Competences in Natural Sciences (Master's Studies: Sustainable Development)
Module: Environmental Geosciences and Biogeochemistry (Master's Studies: Geosciences)
Assessment format proof of course participation
Assessment details Written examination on the last course day during the usual course time slot. Details tba in class (Seminarraum 02.02; Vesalgasse 1, Vesalianum).
Assessment registration/deregistration Reg./dereg.: course registr./cancel registr. via MOnA
Repeat examination one repetition, best attempt counts
Scale 1-6 0,1
Repeated registration as often as necessary
Responsible faculty University of Basel
Offered by Departement Umweltwissenschaften