Mineral resources of Poland> Rock raw materials and others> Dimension and crushed stones
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Dimension and crushed stones

The group of mineral raw minerals, assigned in this "Balance..." 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, 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 46.2 % of anticipated economic resources of dimension and crushed stones and igneous rocks 40.5 % 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 documented in the Carpathian region and Holy Cross Mts and Lower Silesia. In turn, deposits of limestones, opokas and marls were documented 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 10,663.5 million tonnes and increased by 154.35 million tonnes (1.47 %) in comparison with the previous year. It was the first growth since 2009 when resources increased by 6.31 %. The number of deposits increased from 742 to 747 where 12 new deposits were documented and 7 deposits crossed out from “The balance…”.

Almost 52 % of resources (5,530.67 million tonnes) are within 332 exploited deposits. There are also 207 non-exploited deposits covered by detailed exploration (A+B+C1 categories) with resources amounted to 2,675.13 million tonnes (25.1 % of total resources) and 48 non-exploited deposits covered by preliminary exploration (C2+D categories) with resources amounted to 1,792.79 million tonnes (16.8 % of total resources). Resources of 160 abandoned deposits account for 6.2 % of total resources and are equal 664.91 million tonnes.

Table 1 shows the current state of exploration and development of the dimension and crushed stones.

Economic resources amounted to 3,461.39 million tonnes in 2013 and increased by 69.06 million tonnes in comparison with 2012 – mainly due to:

  • documentation of 12 new deposits with total resources equal 48.17 million tonnes – Lubnów, Ligota Tułowicka, Chomentów 1, Trakt Kamioński, Węgierka, Dąbie IV, Długopole Górne N, Grabowie I, Jabłonica Ruska-Łaski, Kopiec 2, Skawinki and Zagórze III;
  • extension of selected deposits boundaries (resources increased by 167.46 million tonnes);
  • better exploration (resources increased by 51.69 million tonnes);
  • reclassification and verification of resources (resources increased by 2.47 million tonnes)

Resources decreased due to the output (58.36 million tonnes), allocation new deposits from existing ones (decreased by 31.6 million tonnes), crossing out 3 deposits (decreased by 15.59 million tonnes), changes of deposits boundaries (decreased by 4.54 million tonnes), better exploration (decreased by 2.78 million tonnes), verification of resources (decreased by 0.83 million tonnes) and reclassification of resources (decreased by 0.6 million tonnes).

According to data provided by operators of exploited deposits, production of dimension and crushed stones in 2013 amounted to 58.36 million tonnes and was by 5.64 million tonnes lower (8.82 %) than in the previous year. The most significant decrease was noted for sedimentary rocks (10.4 %) then for metamorphic rocks (7.9 %) and for igneous rocks (7.0 %). Exploitation of serpentinite and opoka decreased by 40 % whereas basalt, gabbro, gneiss and marble production dropped by 18-20 %. There was syenite and dolomitic limestone production increase (by 37-39 %), granodiorite by 18 % and melaphyre and amphibolite by 8 %.

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 44.7 % (within 262 deposits) and 33 % (within 136 deposits) respectively.

Dimension and crushed stones are exploited also during brown coal exploitation from non-documented deposits. In 2013 there were 2.53 thousand tonnes of erratic boulder, 14.38 thousand tonnes of limestone and 29.03 thousand tonnes of sandstone extracted from Bełchatów and Szczerców deposits (KWB Bełchatów SA mine). In KWB Adamów mine there were 0.57 thousand tonnes of erratic boulder exploited.

The figure given below shows changes in domestic resources and production of dimension and crushed stones in Poland in the years 1989-2013.

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, Wojciech Miśkiewicz