Fall 2022 - EASC 202 D100

Introduction to Mineralogy (3)

Class Number: 1909

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu, Th 12:30 PM – 1:20 PM
    TASC2 7530, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 17, 2022
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    WMC 3253, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Kevin Cameron
    1 778 782-4703
    Office: TASC 2 - 7530.2
  • Prerequisites:

    EASC 101 and CHEM 121. All with a grade of C- or better.



Introduction to crystallography, crystal chemistry and chemical properties and chemical principles necessary for the study of minerals.


Minerals are the basic building blocks of earth materials - this course is designed to give the student a fundamental background in minerals, necessary to understand earth materials. Introduction to Mineralogy will examine the physical and chemical characteristics of the main rock-forming and economic minerals. Lectures will cover the principles of symmetry, mineral chemistry, and mineral-forming environments. Laboratory exercises will deal with basic mineral identification. Students must provide their own handlens and mineral identification kits.

Course Topics:
1. Basic crystallography; including elements of symmetry, crystal systems, and stereographic projection.
2. Physical and chemical properties of minerals; methods of mineral identification.
3. Characteristics of the main silicate and non-silicate mineral groups; mineral associations and paragenesis; basic phase equilibria.
4. Economic interest and scientific application of minerals.


Students successfully completing this course will be able to:

  • Describe the crystallography of minerals using symmetry, forms, stereographic projections, and Miller indices.
  • Understand how atoms interact to form minerals and how the structure and chemical composition determine their properties and occurrence.
  • Explain what controls ionic substitution and coordination number.
  • Apply the phase rule to a number of binary and ternary phase diagrams in order to interpret crystallisation processes of various mineral systems.
  • Identify common rock-forming minerals in hand specimen, know their chemical formula and assign them to a crystal system and class.
  • Understand the behaviour and role of the most important rock-forming minerals, and some “economic” minerals, in the geologic environment.


  • Laboratory Mid-terms (2 @ 10%each) 20%
  • Final Lab Test 20%
  • Lecture Mid-term 20%
  • Final Lecture Exam 40%



A 10X magnifying lens should be brought to labs.  Coloured pencils will be useful in labs.  Information on what should be included in a mineral identification kit will be discussed in the first few weeks of the course.



“ Introduction to Mineralogy” 3rd Edition; Nesse, William D; 2012; Oxford University Press
Note:  As this text is required / useful for other courses in the EASC program, it is recommended that students acquire an actual copy.  Numerous websites offer this text for purchase either as used or new versions.  Although the 3rd edition is the most recent, the 2nd edition can be used.
ISBN: 9780190618384


A mineral identification "handbook" and a Geological dictionary.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html