Dimension and crushed stones
The group of mineral raw minerals, assigned in “The balance…” to the dimension and crushed stones (other name: road and building stones) comprises 33 lithological varieties of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks displaying properties which make them useful in a domestic economy. The stones meeting the appropriate requirements are used for the production of crushed aggregates – a high-grade raw material for the building, road and railway construction and stone elements for the road construction (stone for paving roads, stone and stone plates for sidewalks, stone street curbing and curb ramps) and the building construction (stone blocks, decorative plates for elevation and facade, floor plates and slabs).
Deposits of the igneous and metamorphic rocks explored as dimension and crushed stones occur mainly in the southern part of Poland – in the area of the following Voivodeships: Dolnośląskie (basalts, granites, granodiorites, syenites, diabases, gabbros, melaphyres, porphyres, porphyric tuffs, amphibolites, serpentinites, greenstones, gneisses, migmatites, crystalline schists, marbles), Opolskie (basalts, granites, gneisses, marbles) and Małopolskie (diabases, melaphyres, porphyres and porphyric tuffs). Sedimentary rocks are much more common. Limestones and dolomites form numerous deposits located in the area of Dolnośląskie, Łódzkie, Małopolskie, Śląskie and Świętokrzyskie Voivodeships, sandstones in the area of Dolnośląskie, Łódzkie, Małopolskie, Podkarpackie, Śląskie and Świętokrzyskie Voivodeships, whereas limestones, opokas and marls in the area of south-eastern Poland Voivodeships (Lubelskie and Podkarpackie).
The prospective resources of dimension and crushed stone were assessed to be equal about 36,921 million tonnes, whereas the biggest resources are located in the area of Małopolskie Voivodeship (53.4% of the total resources), Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship (16.4% of the total resources), Śląskie Voivodeship (13.0% of the total resources) and Dolnośląskie Voivodeship (10.7% of the total resources)*. The assessed prognostic resources of dimension and crushed stones amount to about 33,208 million tonnes and their occurrence is concentrated in Dolnośląskie Voivodeship (82.3% of the total resources) and Śląskie Voivodeship (13.4% of the total resources). The prospective and prognostic resources are concentrated mainly within the area of 4 Vovivodeships: Dolnośląskie, Małopolskie, Śląskie and Świętokrzyskie, which is in line with the current mining centers of this raw material from documented deposits. With regard to lithology, the largest resources are formed by the sedimentary rocks (32,867 million tonnes of prospective resources and 5,845 million tonnes of prognostic resources – these are mainly sandstones, limestones and dolomites), then metamorphic rocks (765 million tonnes of prospective resources and 23,905 million tonnes of prognostic resources – mainly gneisses) and then – igneous rocks (3,289 million tonnes of prospective resources and 3,458 million tonnes of prognostic resources – mainly granodiorites and granites).
The anticipated economic resources of dimension and crushed stones as of the end of 2019 amounted to 11,543.25 million tonnes. They increased by 135.95 million tonnes, that is by 1.19% in comparison with the previous year. The number of deposits increased from 738 to 742, wherein 7 new deposits were newly documented and 3 deposits were crossed out from “The balance…” in 2019. The most numerous are the sedimentary rocks deposits represented – by 543 deposits (accounting for 69.8% of the total deposits number). The number of the igneous rocks deposits is equal 174 (accounting for 22.4% of the total deposits number), whereas the metamorphic rocks deposits amount to 61 (accounting for 7.8% of the total deposits number).
The location of dimension and crushed stones deposits is presented on two separeted maps - for South-Western Poland and for South-Eastern Poland.
The anticipated economic resources of sedimentary rocks represent 48.5% of the total resources (5,602.46 million tonnes), of igneous rocks 38.9% of the resources (4,486.60 million tonnes) and of metamorphic rocks 12.6% (1,454.19 million tonnes). The most significant resources growth was recorded for the igneous rocks i.e. by 72.84 million tonnes (1.65%) and sedimentary rocks i.e. by 70.77 million tonnes (1.28%), mainly due to the increases within gabbros, melaphyres, sandstones, limestones and dolomites resources. The resources of the metamorphic rocks decreased by 7.67 million tonnes (0.52%).
About 53.5% of the anticipated economic resources of the given group of raw materials i.e. 6,176.67 million tonnes include 316 exploited deposits (exploited continuously and temporarily). Within the group of non-exploited deposits there are 200 deposits covered by the detailed exploration with the resources equal 2,676.58 million tonnes (accounting for 23.2% of the total resources) and 47 deposits covered by the preliminary exploration with the resources equal 1,778.73 million tonnes (accounting for 15.4% of the total resources). The resources of 179 deposits in which the exploitation was abandoned amount to 911.27 million tonnes accounting for 7.9% of the total geological resources of the dimension and crushed stones.
Table 1 shows the current state of the exploration and development of the dimension and crushed stones.
The economic resources amounted to 3,573.27 million tonnes in 2019 decreasing by 57.80 million tonnes (1.6%) in comparison with 2018.
The anticipated economic resources of dimension and crushed stones growth was the result of the documentation of new deposits, the extending of existing deposits borders, the more detailed exploration of the deposits and the reclassification and verification of the resources.
The resources increase was the result of:
- the extension of the deposits areas or the deepening of their range and the updating of the resources amount (the total resources growth by 76.98 million tonnes): the Devonian limestones and dolomites deposit Jaźwica (32.26 million tonnes), the Cergow sandstones deposit Klęczany (28.98 million tonnes), the Oxfordian chalcedonites deposit Teofilów (6.77 million tonnes), the Devonian limestones deposit Kostomłoty (4.65 million tonnes), the Jurassic limestones deposit Gumienice II (2.12 million tonnes), the Krosno sandstones deposit Wysoczany II (1.30 million tonnes), the crystalline marble deposit Sławniowice (0.40 million tonnes), the Krosno sandstones deposit Skorodne (0.24 million tonnes), the Podmagurskie sandstones deposit Męcina (0.23 million tonnes) and the menilitic schist deposit Ulanica-Wólka (0.04 million tonnes);
- the including 7 newly documented deposits into “The balance…” with the total resources equal 148.73 million tonnes – the gabbro deposit Kunów (51.94 million tonnes), the melaphyre deposit Tłumaczów-Gajów (47.46 million tonnes), the Devonian dolomites and limestones deposit Komorniki 2 (19.61 million tonnes), the Triassic diploporitic dolomites deposit Mysłowice-Południe (13.07 million tonnes), the Oxfordian limestones (so-called “Kielce” marbles) deposit Wola Morawicka 1 (8.85 million tonnes), the Upper Cretaceous calcareous opokas deposit Jacków (7.62 million tonnes) and the Jurasic sandstones deposit Masłowice IX (0.18 million tonnes);
- the more detailed exploration, the resources reclassification and recalculation, the current verification and updating of resources at the level of 5.45 million tonnes.
The resources decreased due to:
- the output of the dimension and crushed stones equal 78.71 million tonnes;
- the crossing out from the domestic balance 3 deposits with the total resources equal 0.44 million tonnes: the menilitic schists deposit Lecka (the drop by 0.29 million tonnes), the Żarnów sandstones deposit Tresta Wesoła (the drop by 0.10 million tonnes) and the Lower Jurasic sandstones deposit Masłowice-pole B (the drop by 0.05 million tonnes);
- the changes of documentation borders together with the resources updating and the resources settlement due to the exploitation end (the total drop by 12.15 million tonnes) – the Oxfordian limestones deposit Wola Morawicka (the drop by 8.75 million tonnes), the Triassic diploporicitc dolomites deposit Imielin-Północ (the drop by 2.72 million tonnes), the Jurassic limestones deposit Gołuchów (the drop by 0.52 million tonnes), the calcerous dolomites deposit Sławniowice (the drop by 0.11 million tonnes) and the sandstones deposits Szydłówek-Laskowski, Szydłówek Saspol I, Szydłówek-Skopek I and Wola Komborska 1 (the total drop by 0.04 million tonnes);
- the updating and recalculation of resources, the better deposits exploration and the settlement of the exploitation losses – the total drop by 3.92 million tonnes.
According to the data provided by the concession holders of the exploited deposits, the output of dimension and crushed stones amounted in 2019 to 78.71 million tonnes and decreased in comparison with 2018 by 2.54 million tonnes (3.13%). In terms of the output volume, the most important are the sedimentary rocks: limestones and dolomites – accounting for 43.48% of the total domestic output, and sandstones – accounting for 11.14% of the total output. Among the igneous rocks the granites and basalts are being exploited in the greatest amounts – accounting for 12.86% of and 9.20% the total output, respectively. The metamorphic rocks are of the minor importance considering the output of solid rocks (the total share of the domestic output of 9.59%). In comparison with 2018, the output of sedimentary rocks increased by 1.28% (0.78 million tonnes), whereas that of metamorphic rocks by 1.73% (0.13 million tonnes). The output volume of igneous rocks decreased by 11.11% (3.45 million tonnes) and the drop covered almost all of the lithological types of these rocks (especially basalts, porphyres and gabbros).
The rock mining is concentrated within the area of 2 Voivodeships: Dolnośląskie which accounts for 41.7% of the domestic output of the dimension and crushed stones (260 deposits and 51.3% of the domestic resources) and Świętokrzyskie with the share in the total output of 33.3% (140 deposits and 22.2% of the domestic resources). Then comes Małopolskie Voivodeship accounting for 11.7% of the total output (103 deposits and 11.0% of the domestic resources) and the following Vivodeships: Śląskie (4.3% of the domestic output), Opolskie (4.1%), Podkarpackie (3.1%) and Łódzkie (1.7%). The shares of the remaining Voivodeships do not exceed 0.05%.
Dimension and crushed stones are also obtained during the brown coal exploitation. In 2019 there were 1.42 thousand tonnes of erratic boulders, 5.88 thousand tonnes of quartzites and 571.69 thousand tonnes of limestones exploited in KWB Bełchatów SA mine (the Szczerców field).
The figure given below shows changes in domestic resources and production of dimension and crushed stones in Poland in the years 1989-2019.
Table 2 shows the current state of exploration and development and production with breakdown of individual lithological types of rocks used in road and building construction.
The resources volumes, the state of deposits development and the output amounts divided into the lithological types of rocks documented as dimension and crushed stones are presented in Table 3.
Prepared by: Dariusz Brzeziński, Wojciech Miśkiewicz