Iron, titanium and vanadium ores
General information and occurrence
Resources of the iron ores were crossed out from the registry of Polish mineral raw material deposits by the decision of the Minister of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry already in 1994 as not meeting the criteria for economic ores.
The igneous deposits of the Fe-Ti-V formation – vanadium-bearing magnetite-ilmenite ores occur in anorthosite complexes of the Proterozoic Suwałki mafic massif (north-eastern Poland - map). The deposits became known thanks to an intense drilling exploration and an appraisal drilling program launched in the 1970s. These deposits were documented at the depth from 850 m to 2,300 m. In order to classify the resources, in 1996 the new balancing criteria were worked out and accepted. On the basis of these parameters the resources of Krzemianka and Udryń deposits were at that time classified as sub-economic on the account of low contents of metals, especially vanadium (0.26-0.31% V2O5 at the average) and a large depth of the occurrence.
Resources and output
At present, the magnetite-ilmenite ores appear to be of an interest mainly as a vanadium raw material. According to M. Nieć (2003)* the cut-off grade equivalent of V2O5 in an anticipated economic ore should be equal 0.73% - with such assumption the resources of Suwałki region would constitute only 1% of the resources previously documented. Large resources of shallow-seated or even exposed deposits of that type recently discovered and proved in several places throughout the world, especially in the Republic of South Africa, indicate that the potential developing of the Suwałki area ore deposits cannot be expected in the foreseeable future. According to the quoted author, the classification of the ores “even as sub-economic seems to be too optimistic under the present conditions. The potential exploitation is assessed to be extremely conflictual. The ores should be treated as an interesting geological object, without any practical value”. If this is the case, it may be stated that Poland does not have any iron ore deposits which could be the source of raw material for a steel industry.
The documented bog iron ore deposit Dębe Małe with resources estimated at 8 thousand tonnes is intended to other industrial uses than the steel industry, especially as an adsorbent of H2S, CO2 and organic compounds of sulfur and other environmental activities.
Prepared by: Stanisław Z. Mikulski
* Nieć M., 2003 – Ocena geologiczno-gospodarcza złóż wanadonośnych rud tytanomagnetytowych masywu suwalskiego. Gosp. Sur. Min., 19, 2: 5–28. Wyd. IGSMiE PAN, Kraków.