The amber ascertained in Poland occurs in the Tertiary (in situ accumulations) and Quaternary formations (secondary accumulations). The amber occurrences within the beach zone of the Baltic Sea (especially the eastern part) are the subject of collectible and “professional” gathering. Aside from these occurrences, the amber deposits are also located in Pomorskie and Lubelskie Voivodeships areas.
The in situ amber accumulations in the Tertiary sediments are connected with the northern marginal zone of the Eocene Sea. In the northern zone (the so-called chłapowsko-sambijska delta) the Chłapowo vicinities are of the best exploration status – the amber-bearing sediments (the so-called “blue earth”) occur on the depth between 60 m and 130 m. In the southern zone of the Eocene Sea (the so-called Parczew delta) in the vicinities of Parczew the Tertiary amber-bearing sediments occur shallower – on the depth to 20 m - 30 m. Górka Lubartowska deposit (the Parczew delta) is formed by silty-sandy deltaic sediments of Upper Eocene in age, containing amber. The amber-bearing layer occur below a building sands deposit of about 12 m of the average thickness. The third amber occurrence in the Tertiary sediments is Możdżanowo region near Ustka – the amber-bearing sediments are represented by sands and gravel of Upper Eocene in age. They form the glacial ice float within the Quaternary sediments. The amber-bearing series is characterized by the average thickness of 1.98 m and is located at the depth of about 11 m
The Quaternary amber-bearing accumulations can be detected in the sediments relocated by the glacier and post-glacier rivers from degraded Tertiary deposits, mainly the chłapowsko-sambijska delta sediments. The amber concentrations are also encountered on the Baltic beaches from Kołobrzeg to the eastern border of Poland on the Vistula Spit where amber occur in beach fossil sediments and on recent beaches.
Anticipated economic resources as of 31.12.2018 increased by 166.30 tonnes (14.3%) in comparison with 2017 and amount to 1,326.41 tonnes of amber. The resources growth is the result of the documentation of two deposits: Kąty Rybackie (6.90 tonnes) and Rybakówka (1.03 tonnes). Kąty Rybackie deposit was documented in the relation to the building of the water road connecting the Vistula Laggon with the Gulf of Gdańsk, and amber occur in the form of nests or elongated lens within the Holocene, shallow-water, marine silty-sandy sediments at the depth of about 8-37 m. Rybakówka deposit was documented on the Sobieszewo Island within the Gdańsk city limits. It is a quite small nest-lenticular deposit of a coastal and maritime type with amber occurring in sandy beach or abysmal sediments containing the plant detritus. The deposit is characterized by the average thickness of 30 cm and is located at the depth of about 7-8 m. Moreover, the new amber resources were documented as an accompanying raw material with greensands and glauconitic silts in three deposits in Lubartowski county: Górka Lubartowska VIII (7.54 tonnes), Górka Lubartowska-Leszkowice (31.83 tonnes), Niedźwiada Kolonia I (139.64 tonnes). These deposits are neighboring or partially covering the area of already documented Górka Lubartowska deposit. In all of these deposits the crumbs of amber occur accessorily in the Eocene glauconite series (the so-called Siemień formation) formed as corbeu, fine-grained quartzitic-glauconitic sands with silty-clayey layers. The glauconite-bearing horizon is about 4-12 m thick and occur at the depth of about 8-21 m.
In 2018, the output based on the concession was possible only from Górka Lubartowska-Niedźwiada deposit, however the exploitation carried out on the deposit covered only the main raw material – natural aggregates (sand). In Leszkowice 1 deposit the subject of the concession will be limited only to glass sands.
According to the information collected by PGI-NRI from Marshals of Lubelskie, Pomorskie, Warmińsko-Mazurskie and Zachodniopomorskie Voivodeships in 2018 there were the following amounts of amber exploited during geological works under the approved geological works projects: 424.49 kilograms in the area of Pomorskie Voivodeship, 239.52 kilograms in the area of Lubelskie Voivodeship and 18.0 kilograms in the area of Zachodniopomorskie Voivodeship.
Moreover, the collected information show that there were 4 geological works projects approved in Lubelskie Voivodeship (in the vicinities of Górka Lubartowska and Niedźwiada), whereas 5 projects were still valid (in the vicinities of Brzeźnica Książęca, Działyń, Górka Lubartowska, Juliopol, Leszkowice, Niedźwiada and Zabiele). In Zachodniopomorskie Voivodeship there were 3 new geological works projects approved (all of them in the vicinities of Budzieszowice) and 6 projects kept their validity (the vicinities of Babigoszcz, Budzieszewice, Rarwino, Stawno, Szumiąca). There were 4 new geological works projects for the searching and exploration of amber deposits accepted in Pomorskie Voivodeship.
At the same time, according to the information gained from the Customs Department of the Ministry of Finance, 1,236 kilograms of amber were in 2018 confiscate by the Customs and Tax Service on the Polish external borders (road, marina and aerial border crossings). The total amount of confiscated amber sold during the auctions organized by the Chamber of Tax Administration amounted to 808 kilograms in 2018.
The amount of amber collected on the Baltic beaches is estimated at 5-6 tonnes per year.
Table 1 shows the current state of identification and management of resources of amber in Poland.
Prepared by: Dariusz Brzeziński, Krzysztof Szamałek