Mineral resources of Poland> Metallic raw materials> Iron, titanium and vanadium ores
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Iron, titanium and vanadium ores

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 criteria for economic ores.

Deposits of vanadium-bearing magnetite-ilmenite ores occur in anorthosite complexes of the Proterozoic Suwałki mafic massif (north-eastern Poland) at the depth from 850 m to 2,300 m. The deposits became known thanks to an intense drilling exploration and an appraisal drilling program launched in the 1970s. In order to classify the resources of the ores, special economic criteria were elaborated and accepted in 1996. On the basis of these new criteria the ore resources of Krzemianka and Udryń deposits were classified as sub-economic on account of low contents of metals, especially vanadium (0.26-0.31% V2O5 at the average) and large depth of occurrence.

At present the magnetite-ilmenite ores appear to be of interest mainly as a raw material of vanadium. According to M. Nieć evaluation the cut-off grade equivalent of V2O5 in economic ore should reach 0.73% what constitutes only for 1% of totally documented resources*. However, large resources of shallow-seated or even exposed deposits of that type were recently discovered and proved in the Republic of South Africa and several other places throughout the world. This makes any attempt to develop the ore deposits of the Suwałki area difficult to expect in the foreseeable future and their classification as sub-economic deposits too optimistic under the present conditions. It should be added that any decision to start development of the Suwałki ore deposits would bring a very high risk of social and environmental conflicts. Therefore, the ores should be treated as an interesting geological object, without any practical value of larger economical importance. 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 the steel industry.

A bog iron ore deposit of the Dębe Małe area is relatively small, with resources estimated at 8,000 tonnes. Its resources appear to be not useful as a raw material for the steel industry but easily find other industrial uses, especially as adsorbent of H2S, CO2 and organic compounds of sulfur in cleaning combustion flue gases and in 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.