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, mrbles) 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).
Anticipated economic resources of dimension and crushed stones as of the end of 2018 amounted to 11,407.30 million tonnes. They increased by 243.46 million tonnes (2.18%) in comparison with the previous year. The number of deposits increased from 736 to 738, wherein 5 new deposits were newly documented and 3 deposits were crossed out from “The balance…” in 2017. The most numerous are the sedimentary rocks deposits represented – by 540 deposits (accounting for 69.9% of the total deposits number). The number of the igneous rocks deposits is equal 172 (accounting for 22.3% of the total deposits number), whereas the metamorphic rocks deposits amount to 61 (accounting for 7.9% 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 (5,531.68 million tonnes), of igneous rocks 38.7% of the resources (4,413.76 million tonnes) and of metamorphic rocks 12.8% (1,461.86 million tonnes). The most significant resources growth was recorded for the sedimentary rocks i.e. by 272.96 million tonnes (5.19%), mainly due to the increases within limestones, dolomites and sandstones deposits. The resources of the metamorphic and igneous rocks increased by 22.68 million tonnes (1.53%) and 6.82 million tonnes (6.82%), respectively.
About 52.4% of anticipated economic resources of the given group of raw materials i.e. 6,184.18 million tonnes include 326 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 2,564.01 million tonnes (accounting for 22.5% of the total resources) and 47 deposits covered by the preliminary exploration with the resources equal 1,778.73 million tonnes (accounting for 15.6% of the total resources). The resources of 165 deposits in which the exploitation was abandoned amount to 880.39 million tonnes accounting for 7.7% 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.
Economic resources amounted to 3,631.07 million tonnes in 2018 increasing by 117.23 million tonnes (3.3%) in comparison with 2017.
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 borders or the deepening of their range (the total resources growth by 314.83 million tonnes): the limestone deposit Szymiszów (109.08 million tonnes), the sandstone deposit Lipowica II-1 (95.27 million tonnes), the dolomite deposit Żelatowa (17.34 million tonnes), the sandstone deposit Braciszów (14.42 million tonnes), the dolomite Laskowa Góra (14.18 million tonnes), the granite deposit Żółkiewka IV (12.82 million tonnes), the dolomite deposit Wszachów I (9.58 million tonnes), the limestone deposit Łagów V (7.78 million tonnes), the gabbros deposit Słupiec-Dębówka (7.63 million tonnes), the limestone and dolomite deposit Nowy Staw (4.89 million tonnes), the dolomite deposit Skała I (3.78 million tonnes), the sandstone deposit Skorodne (2.87 million tonnes), the sandstone deposit Górka-Mucharz (2.68 million tonnes), the quartzitic sandstone deposit Dziewiątle (1.71 million tonnes), the sandstone deposit Barcice 2 (1.17 million tonnes), the sandstone deposit Porąbka (0.83 million tonnes), the diabase deposit Niedźwiedzia Góra (0.74 million tonnes), the basalt deposit Góra Trupień (0.43 million tonnes), the limestone deposit Bolechowice (0.32 million tonnes) and the sandstone deposit Śmiłów 5 (0.07 million tonnes);
- the including 5 newly documented deposits into “The balance…” with the total resources equal 36.79 million tonnes – the limestones deposits: Wola Morawicka Południe (34.20 million tonnes), Sławno I (0.50 million tonnes), Trakt Kamioński III (0.39 million tonnes), the sandstone deposit Poznachowice Górne (1.29 million tonnes) and the menilitic schist deposit Siedliska-Grzebyk 2 (0.40 million tonnes);
- the more detailed exploration, the resources reclassification and recalculation, the current verification and updating of resources at the level of 11.24 million tonnes.
The resources decreased due to:
- the output of the dimension and crushed stones equal 81.25 million tonnes;
- the crossing out from the domestic balance 3 deposits with the total resources equal 19.83 million tonnes: the dolomite deposit Radkowice-Podwole (the resources drop by 19.80 million tonnes), the sandstone deposit Sielec IV (the drop by 0.02 million tones) and the opokas deposit Klimusin (the drop by 0.01 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 13.79 million tonnes) – the gneiss deposit Ogorzelec (the drop by 7.17 million tonnes), the sandstone deposit Barcice (the drop by 4.90 million tonnes), the sandstone deposit Klęczany (the drop by 0.48 million tonnes), the granite deposit Gołaszyce (the drop by 0.44 million tonnes), the amphibolite deposit Ogorzelec (the drop by 0.29 million tonnes), the amphibolite deposit Ogorzelec I (the drop by 0.24 million tonnes), the granite and gneiss deposit Kamienna Góra (the drop by 0.21 million tonnes) and the limestone deposit Skrzelczyce 1 (the drop by 0.08 million tonnes);
- the updating and recalculation of resources, the better deposits exploration and the settlement of the exploitation losses – the total drop by 4.52 million tonnes.
According to the data provided by the concession holders of the exploited deposits, the output of dimension and crushed stones amounted in 2018 to 81.25 million tonnes and increased in comparison with 2017 by 10.46 million tonnes (14.78%). In terms of the output volume, the most important are the sedimentary rocks: limestones and dolomites – accounting for 41.68% of the total domestic output, and sandstones – accounting for 10.42% of the total output. Among the igneous rocks the granites and basalts are being exploited in the greatest amounts – accounting for 24.45% of the total output. The metamorphic rocks are of the minor importance considering the output of solid rocks (the total share of the domestic output of 9.13%). Nevertheless, the metamorphic rocks exploitation has been increasing progressively for the last couple of years. In comparison with 2017 the sedimentary rocks output increased by 12.97% (4.91 million tonnes), whereas for the igneous rocks by 12.58% (3.47 million tonnes). For the metamorphic rocks the volume grew significantly by 39.00% (2.08 million tonnes) mainly due to the growing output of migmatites, amphibolites and gneisses. Among all of the dimension and crushed stones, the most visible output increases were recorded for the limestone (by 2.21 million tonnes), the dolomite (by 1.98 million tonnes), the basalt (by 1.43 million tonnes), the migmatite (by 0.88 million tonnes), the melaphire (by 0.86 million tonnes), the granite (by 0.75 million tonnes), the amphibolite (by 0.66 million tonnes) and the sandstone (by 0.64 million tonnes). The significant output drop was noted for the syenite (by 0.14 million tonnes) and the granodiorite (by 0.13 million tonnes).
The rock mining is concentrated within the area of two Voivodeships: Dolnośląskie which accounts for 44.0% of the domestic output of the dimension and crushed stones (258 deposits and 51.3% of the domestic resources) and Świętokrzyskie with the share in the total output of 32.7% (139 deposits and 22.1% of the domestic resources). Then comes Małopolskie Voivodeship accounting for 10.4% of the total output (103 deposits and 10.9% of the resources) and the following Vivodeships: Śląskie (4.2% of the domestic output), Opolskie (4.0%), Podkarpackie (3.0%), Łódzkie (1.6%). The shares of the remaining Voivodeships do not exceed 0.1%.
Dimension and crushed stones are also obtained during the brown coal exploitation. In 2018 there were 2.97 thousand tonnes of erratic boulders, 5.33 thousand tonnes of quartzites and 113.65 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 1989-2018.
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