General information and occurrence
Industrial dolomites are widely used for smelting iron and steel (as a flux), in the glass industry (the so-called "dolomite flours"), the ceramic industry, the refractory industry (the roast dolomite) and in the agriculture sector. The dolomite deposits which are used in the construction industry and in the road construction (as the building and crushed stones) are discussed separately in the section Dimension and crushed stones.
The industrial dolomites deposits occur in southern Poland, mainly in Śląskie Voivodeship, there is only one deposit documented in Dolnośląskie Voivodeship. The raw material deposits of the best quality, matching the limit criteria for smelters, occur in the area of Silesia-Cracow region. The deposits are of a stratified type and Devonian and Triassic in age. The second type of the dolomite deposits forms lenses within metamorphic schists in Sudety Mts. Such dolomites are used in the ceramic industry, the construction industry and the road construction. The best known of them is the Rędziny deposit. However, the biggest deposit of this type (Ołdrzychowice-Romanowo), located in the area of the Kłodzko Basin, is placed in the chapter Dimension and crushed stones as the raw material from the deposit is the basic compound for the production of building grits.
The dolomite deposits occurrence is presented on the map.
Resources and output
The Table 1 shows resources and the state of development and exploration of the dolomite deposits.
The anticipated economic resources of dolomites amounted to 493.36 million tonnes in 2021 and decreased by 2.79 million tonnes (it means by 0.56%) in comparison with the previous year. That was the result of the exploitation and losses.
The anticipated economic resources of exploited deposits amounted to 199.26 million tonnes in 2021 and accounted for 40.39% of the total anticipated economic resources. The resources covered by the detailed exploration (categories A+B, C1) were equal 335.35 million tonnes (67.97% of the total anticipated economic resources). Such explored resources within exploited deposits accounted for 98.10% of the anticipated economic resources (195.48 million tonnes).
The economic resources of dolomites in 2021 decreased due to the exploitation and losses by 2.78 million tonnes (2.22%) and were equal 122.69 million tonnes. These resources accounted only for 24.87% of the total anticipated economic resources.
The output of dolomites amounted to 2,554.10 thousand tonnes in 2021, decreasing by 142.83 thousand tonnes (5.30%) in relation to the previous year. It resulted from the significant drops of the output from the Ząbkowice Będzinskie I deposit – by 132.64 thousand tonnes (24.21%) and from the Chruszczobród 2 deposit – by 23.88 thousand tonnes (4.68%). In the case of two other exploited deposits, there were output growths recorded: for the Brudzowice deposit by 9.91 thousand tonnes (0.71%), and for the Rędziny deposit by 3.78 thousand tonnes (1.58%).
The figure given below shows changes in domestic resources and production of dolomite in Poland in the years 1989-2021.
In the latest edition of The balance of prospective mineral resources of Poland*, the assessment of resources prospective for dolomites in Poland was updated. The main criteria adopted for establishing the industrial dolomite deposits were: the overburden thickness (maximum of 15 m), the overburden thickness to the deposit thickness ratio (maximum 0.3) and the MgO content (minimum of 16%). Moreover, there were the quality requirements for the raw material taken into account in terms of the Fe2O3, Al2O3, CaO and SiO2 contents – it defines the raw material suitability for the particular industrial application. As the result of such attitude, the prognostic resources of dolomites were assessed to be equal 504.20 million tonnes within 12 areas – 8 of them in Dolnośląskie Voivodeship, 3 in Śląskie Voivodeship and 1 in Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship.
Prepared by: Marcin Tymiński
* Galos K., Smakowski T., 2020 - "Dolomity przemysłowe (industrial dolomite), dolomity ceramiczne i szklarskie (dolomite for ceramics and glass), dolomity dla hutnictwa i materiałów ogniotrwałych (smelter and refractory dolomite), marmury dolomitowe (dolomitic marble)". In: "Bilans perspektywicznych zasobów kopalin Polski wg stanu na 31.12.2018 r." (eds. Szamałek K., Szuflicki M., Mizerski W.): 345-349. PIG-PIB, Warszawa [in Polish].