Arsenic ore resources are related to occurrences of arsenic minerals like löellingite (FeAs2) and arsenopyrite (FeAsS), hosted in vein hydrothermal or metasomatic intrusive metal ore types.
Arsenic ores are not being exploited due to the limited demand and toxic properties of arsenic. In Poland, arsenic ores were documented in 1954 in the contact-metasomatic (skarn) Złoty Stok deposit located in the Sudety Mts. The anticipated economic resources documented in this deposit amounted to 714.4 thousand tonnes, yielding 25.5 thousand tonnes of metallic As. The exploitation from Złoty Stok deposit was abandoned in 1960. The remaining resources of this deposit are estimated to be equal 536.5 thousand tonnes of As ores yielding 19.6 thousand tonnes of arsenic and 1,500 kilograms of gold. The other abandoned arsenic deposit, documented in 1955, is Czarnów in the Sudety Mts. Anticipated economic resources are estimated at about 20.5 thousand tonnes of arsenopyrite ore with a mean content of arsenic equal about 10.15%. Sulphide ores are accompanied by gold with a content to a few grams per tonne.
Nowadays in the world, arsenic is obtained in the form of arsenic trioxide (As2O3) during the roasting process of sulphide ores of copper, lead and other metals. Arsenic trioxide is used for the wood preservatives production and the pest control.
Prepared by: Stanisław Z. Mikulski