Arsenic ore resources are related to occurrences of arsenic minerals like löellingite (FeAs2) and arsenopyrite (FeAsS), hosted in the vein hydrothermal or metasomatic intrusive metal ore types.
Arsenic ores are not being exploited due to the limited demand for arsenic and because of the 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 of ore, yielding 25.5 thousand tonnes of As. The exploitation from the Złoty Stok deposit was abandoned in 1960. The remaining resources of this deposit are estimated to be equal 536.5 thousand tonnes of ore yielding 19.6 thousand tonnes of As and 1,500 kilograms of Au. The other abandoned arsenic deposit, with the minor resources of arsenic ores documented in 1955, is the Czarnów deposit in the Sudety Mts. The anticipated economic resources estimated in a C2 category amount to about 20.5 thousand tonnes of arsenopyrite ore with a mean content of As 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.
Table 1 shows the current state of the exploration and development of the arsenic and tin deposits.
Prepared by: Stanisław Z. Mikulski