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Mineral resources of Poland> Rock raw materials and others> Building ceramics raw materials
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Building ceramics raw materials

Mineral raw materials used in the industry of building ceramics are varying in age and origin. Raw materials currently exploited for the needs of that industry in Poland come from deposits ranging in age from the Permian to Quaternary. The deposits are distributed practically throughout the whole country. However, they are more common and larger in the south also their differentiation appears higher than in other parts of the country.

The main building ceramic products are: ceramic bricks and breezeblocks, slates, clinker bricks, ceramic pavements.

Main raw materials used for building ceramics production are clay rocks. Their suitability depends on their plasticity after they are mixed with water. If the plasticity is too high, the mix is corrected by adding such ingredients as sand, crushed brick and fly ash and sawdust. Clay and non-clay raw materials very often occur together - in one deposit.

Raw materials for building ceramics production contain clayey minerals. In loess clayey minerals content is low (couple of %), but in clays it can be 100 %. Usually the content is between 40-60 %. Other components are quartz sand and dust, feldspars, calcite and dolomite, iron minerals, mica minerals and organic matter.

The most important raw materials of the Quaternary age include stagnant lake sediments such as muds and clays occurring mainly in northern and central Poland as well as loess, glacial tills, alluvial sediments and those of weathering covers and sands. The most important raw materials of the Tertiary age include clays of the so-called Poznań Series from south-western and central Poland and those of the Krakowiec Clays from the area of the Carpathian Foredeep in south-eastern Poland. The Triassic and Jurassic deposits are situated at the margin of the Holy Cross Mts and in the Czestochowa and Opole regions. Building ceramics raw materials deposits in Poland are presented on the map.

According to the Regulation of the Minister of the Environment of the 22nd of December 2011 (number of Polish act: Dz. U. Nr 291, poz. 1712.) the limit values of the parameters that defines the deposit are: - the maximum documentation depth – to the depth of possible exploitation; - the minimum thickness of the deposit – 2 m; - the maximum overburden/thickness ratio – 0.5; the maximum content of grains bigger than 2 mm – 1 %; - the maximum content of ceramic marl with grains diameter bigger than 0.5 mm – 0.4 %; - the shrinkage in drying minimum 6 %.

The table given below shows reserves and the state of development and exploration of clay raw material for the building ceramics industry.

Anticipated economic resources amounted to 2,022.35 million m3 in 2011 (about 4,044.70 million tonnes) and increased by 2.28 million m3 (about 4.56 million tonnes).

There were 23 new deposits documented: „Bełchatów-p.Szczerców” (ceramic clays are exploited from the overburden of the brown coal deposit), „Zelówek V” in łódzkie voivodeship, „Tropie Góry 2” in małopolskie voivodeship, „Kobyłka I” in mazowieckie voivodeship, „Brandwica - Śpiewak II”, „Chwałowice-Maj V”, „Chwałowice-Pasztaleniec”, „Chwałowice-Pasztaleniec I”, „Gorzyce-Grzegorzek II”, „Jaworski VIII”, „Pniów - Bera VIII”, „Przecław-Podlesie 1”, „Trzeboś”, „Trześń-Kułaga VII”, „Trześń-Kułaga VIII”, „Trześń-Sołtys IV”, „Wrzawy - Woźniak III” in podkarpackie vovivodeship, „Filipy I”, „Odonów 1”, „Wyszyna Fałkowska I”, „Wyszyna Machorowska II” in świętokrzyskie voivodeship, „Stożne X” in warmińsko-mazurskie voivodeship, „Przysieka Polska Creaton” in wielkopolskie voivodeship.

There were 13 deposits crossed out of the “Balance…”: „Prochowice” – dolnośląskie voivodeship, „Chociw”, „Kolonia Kociszew VI”, „Kolonia Łobudzice” – łódzkie voivodeship, „Kobyłka Osiedle Chór”, „Małopole I”, „Marki-Fabryczna-Szkolna” – mazowieckie voivodeship, „Czerwone Osiedle 1” – opolskie voivodeship, „Brandwica - Śpiewak I”, „Chwałowice - Bierut I”, „Chwałowice dz.604-610”, „Pniów - Bera VI”, „Zarzecze-Hawryły I” – podkarpackie voivodeship. That resulted in the drop in resources – by 1.38 million m3.

Out of the total anticipated economic resources 12.9 % are resources within exploited deposits, 71.9 % are resources within non-exploited deposits and 15.3 % are resources within abandoned deposits.

Out of 1,240 documented deposits of building ceramics clays, 21.2 % deposits are exploited (including 15.1 % deposits exploited continuously and 6.1 % - exploited from time to time) and 25.9 % deposits are non-exploited (including 19.9 % deposits covered by detailed exploration and 6.0 % - covered by preliminary exploration). The remaining 52.9 % of deposits were abandoned.

Economic resources within 157 deposits amounted to 161.41 million m3 (about 322.82 million tonnes) and decreased by 3.63 million m3 in comparison with the previous year.

In 2011, production of building ceramics clays was equal 2.31 million m3 (about 4.62 million tonnes). This means that it was only slightly higher (by 0.15 million m3) than in the previous year.

Output - thousand m3

Year
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
(+)growth (+)growth
(-)decline (-)decline
2011-2010 2010 r.=100%
Total
3,355
3,267
2,64
2,157
2,309
152
7%
Dolnośląskie voivodeship
748
443
257
261
209
-52
-20%
Kujawsko-pomorskie voivodeship
84
59
108
53
27
-26
-49%
Lubelskie voivodeship
88
87
64
71
101
30
42%
Lubuskie voivodeship
111
57
86
34
3
-31
-91%
Łódzkie voivodeship
84
77
61
52
114
62
119%
Małopolskie voivodeship
405
273
201
283
284
1
0%
Mazowieckie voivodeship
366
403
241
272
284
12
4%
Opolskie voivodeship
149
138
169
75
116
41
55%
Podkarpackie voivodeship
372
437
289
186
353
167
90%
Podlaskie voivodeship
48
61
36
32
43
11
34%
Pomorskie voivodeship
93
108
179
169
150
-19
-11%
Śląskie voivodeship
287
375
390
236
232
-4
-2%
Świętokrzyskie voivodeship
258
392
409
269
286
17
6%
Warmińsko-mazurskie voivodeship
125
135
80
72
31
-41
-57%
Wielkopolskie voivodeship
95
126
67
86
69
-17
-20%
Zachodniopomorskie voivodeship
42
95
0
5
10
5
100%

The production was the highest in podkarpackie (353 thousand m3), świętokrzyskie (286 thousand m3), mazowieckie (284 thousand m3), małopolskie (284 thousand m3) and śląskie (232 thousand m3) voivodeships.

The figure given below shows changes in domestic resources and production of clay raw material for building ceramics industry in Poland in the years 1989-2011.

Prepared by: Wojciech Szczygielski