Dimension and crushed stones
The group of mineral raw minerals, assigned in this Report to the Dimension and Crushed Stones comprises 33 lithological varieties of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks displaying properties which make them useful in domestic economy. The stones are used to produce crushed aggregates – a high-grade raw material for building and road and railway construction and stone elements for Road construction (stone for paving roads, stone and stone plates for sidewalks, stone street curbing and curb ramps) and building construction (stone blocks, decorative plates for elevation and facade, floor plates and slabs).
Sedimentary rocks represent about 45 % of proven resources of dimension and crushed stones and igneous rocks - 41 % of the resources. The share of metamorphic rocks is much smaller, not exceeding 14 % of the resources.
Igneous and metamorphic rocks explored as dimension and crushed stones occur mainly in the Lower Silesian region where they are represented by basalts, granites, gabbros, syenites, melaphyres, porphyres, amphibolites, gneisses, migmatites, serpentinites and marbles) and form a few deposits in the Małopolska Voivodeship (diabases, melaphyres, porphyres and porphyric tuffs). Sedimentary rocks matching requirements for that use are much more common. Limestones and dolomites form numerous deposits in the Holy Cross Mts and the Silesian-Cracow region and sandstone deposits were proven in the Carpathian region and Holy Cross Mts and Lower Silesia. In turn, deposits of limestones, opokas and marls were proven in the Lublin Upland.
Location of dimension and crushed stones deposits is presented on two separeted maps - for South-Western Poland and for South-Eastern Poland.
Anticipated economic resources amounted to 10,509.15 million tonnes and increased by 84.18 million tonnes in comparison with the previous year.
About 51 % of resources (5,394.91 million tonnes) are within 321 exploited deposits. There are also 210 non-exploited deposits covered by detailed exploration (A+B+C categories) with resources amounted to 2,705.85 million tonnes and 49 non-exploited deposits covered by preliminary exploration with resources amounted to 1,777.13 million tonnes. Resources of abandoned deposits account for 6 % of total resources and are equal 631.27 million tonnes.
Table 1 shows the current state of exploration and development of the dimension and crushed stones.
Economic resources amounted to 3,392.33 million tonnes in 2012 and increased by 20.08 million tonnes in comparison with 2011 – mainly due to documentation of 17 new deposits, extension of selected deposits boundaries, better exploration, reclassification and verification of resources.
According to data provided by operators of exploited deposits, production of dimension and crushed stones in 2012 amounted to 64.01 million tonnes and was 20.57 million tonnes lower than in the previous year. The most significant decrease was noted for metamorphic rocks (38 %) then for igneous rocks (25 %) and sedimentary rocks (22 %). Production of menilitic shists decreased by 84 %, syenite by 60 %, gneiss by 50 % and diabase by 44 %. There was only chalcedony and dolomitic limestone production increase in 2012 (by 34 % and 15 % respectively).
The production is concentrated within the area of two voivodeships: Dolnośląskie and Świętokrzyskie with the share in Polish output of dimension and crushed stones of 44 % (within 262 deposits) and 34 % (within 136 deposits) respectively.
Dimension and crushed stones are exploited also during brown coal exploitation from non-documented deposits. In 2012 there were 1.07 thousand tonnes of erratic boulder, 118.21 thousand tonnes of limestone and 59.62 thousand tonnes of sandstone extracted from Bełchatów and Szczerców fields (KWB Bełchatów SA mine).
The figure given below shows changes in domestic resources and production of dimension and crushed stones in Poland in the years 1989-2012.
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.
Prepared by: Dariusz Brzeziński