Using Virtual Reality to Enhance Mineral Processing Education


  • Seher Ata School of Mining Engineering, UNSW Sydney, NSW, 2052
  • James Tibbett School of Mining Engineering, UNSW Sydney, NSW, 2052



virtual reality, mineral processing education, mineral processing plant


Virtual Reality (VR) is playing an increasingly important role in education. It provides the opportunity to enhance the learning experience by representing complex systems in a 3D visualisation and freeing up cognitive capacity for learning. A 3D VR simulation of a base metal concentrator has recently been developed at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney, Australia. The module provides an interactive processing plant environment where the user can walk through and explore the entire processing flowsheet and simulations in the virtual world. This paper explores the potential benefits of VR for mineral processing teaching and learning by reporting results from a study comparing traditional and virtual reality mineral processing teaching environments. The main focus is on the understanding of the mineral processing system (equipment function, layout, flowsheet) by undergraduate and postgraduate students exposed to the two styles of education.