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 46.4 % of anticipated economic resources of dimension and crushed stones (4,987.16 million tonnes), igneous rocks 40.0 % of the resources (4,296.74 million tonnes) and metamorphic rocks 13.6 % (1,455.24 million tonnes). The share of metamorphic rocks is systematically getting higer – increased by 1.19 % in comparison with the previous year mainly due to the growth of quartzitic sandstone resources (by 17.4 %). The resources of metamorphic rocks increased significantly – by 2.86 % (mainly resources of dolomitic marble – they rose by 26.8 %).

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 10,739.13 million tonnes and increased by 75.63 million tonnes (0.71 %) in comparison with the previous year. This growth was much smaller than in the year before. The number of deposits increased from 747 to 750 where 6 new deposits were documented and 3 deposits crossed out from “The balance…”. Since 2008 the deposit number increase has been slowing down – from +5.8 % in the years 2007 and 2008 to 0.4 % in 2014. Sedimentary rocks deposits amounted to 528 (which accounts for 70.4 % of total number of deposits), igneous rocks deposits to 188 (25.1 %) and metamorphic rocks deposits to 64 (8.5 %).

About 53.2 % of resources (5,711.71 million tonnes) are within 341 exploited deposits. There are also 199 non-exploited deposits covered by detailed exploration (A+B+C1 categories) with resources equal 2,609.59 million tonnes (24.3 % of total resources) and 47 non-exploited deposits covered by preliminary exploration (C2+D categories) with resources equal 1,792.75 million tonnes (16.7 % of total resources). Resources of 163 abandoned deposits account for 5.8 % of total resources and are equal 625.09 million tonnes.

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

Economic resources amounted to 3,644.57 million tonnes in 2014 and increased by 183.18 million tonnes (+5.29 %) in comparison with 2013.

Anticipated economic reasources of dimension and crushed stone increased in 2014 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 144.20 million tonnes): Ołdrzychowice-Romanowo (+47 million tonnes), Bukowa Góra (+34.56 million tonnes), Piskrzyn (+13.78 million tonnes), Radkowice-Podwole (+13.66 million tonnes), Wymysłów (+13.18 million tonnes), Nowa Wioska (+6.15 million tonnes), Radzięcin II (+4.43 million tonnes), Krzeniów (+3.72 million tonnes), Lubień (+2.67 million tonnes), Skawce (+2.11 million tonnes), Nowy Waliszów-soczewka C (+2.11 million tonnes), Gracze and Manasterz deposits (+0.83 million tonnes);
  • better exploration, reclassification and verification of resources (+13.44 million tonnes) – especially for dolomite deposit Imielin-Północ (+7.00 million tonnes), limestone deposit Lipowica II-1 (+2.45 million tonnes) and limestone deposit Celiny I (+2.02 million tonnes);

Resources decreased due to:

  • the output (-58.36 million tonnes);
  • crossing 14 deposits out from “The balance…” (-38.14 million tonnes): dolomite deposit Pustynia Błędowska IV (-15.20 million tonnes), limestone and dolomite deposit Łabędziów (-9.07 million tonnes), limestone deposit Radkowice-Podwole Północ (-8.90 million tonnes), syenite deposit Wądroże Wielkie (-1.79 million tonnes), basalt deposit Kostrza Góra (-1.25 million tonnes) and 9 other deposits (-1.92 million tonnes): Lądek-Orłowice, Mystków, Prusice Górne, Radomierzyce, Strzegom-Graniczna, Szydłówek-Skopek, Wałbrzych-Podgórze, Wojtek / Markocice, Zagórze;
  • updating and verification of resources and losses (-9.51 million tonnes);
  • changes of Nasławice deposit boundaries (-4.31 million tonnes);
  • reclassification of resources (-3.39 million tonnes);
  • updating of resources due to the better exploration for (-0.18 million tonnes): quartzitic sandstone deposit Dziewiątle, limestone deposit Raciszyn II, melaphyre deposit Tłumaczów-Gardzień and dolomite deposit Wszachów II.

According to data provided by operators of exploited deposits, production of dimension and crushed stones in 2014 amounted to 64.08 million tonnes and was by 5.72 million tonnes higher (9.8 %) than in the previous year. It was the level reached in 2010. The most significant increase was noted for sedimentary rocks (11.1 % - 3.35 million tonnes) then for igneous rocks (8.7 % - 2.09 million tonnes) and for metamorphic rocks (6.7 % - 0.28 million tonnes). Exploitation of travertine, menilitic schist and migmatite dropped in comparison with the previous year. Basalt, diabase, syenite, limestone and dolomitic marble production has not changed. The most significant growth was noted for opoka and dolomitic limestone (67 % and 49 % respectively). Production of granodiorite, melaphyre, porphyre, amphibolite, gneiss, serpentinite and dolomite increased by about 20-25 %.

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 44.0 % (within 264 deposits and 53.1 % of domestic resources) and 33.5 % (within 136 deposits and 22 % of domestic resources) respectively. Małopolskie voivodeship accounts for 11.4 % of domestic production (107 deposits and 11.8 % of domestic resources).

Dimension and crushed stones are exploited also during brown coal exploitation from non-documented deposits. In 2014 there were 1.86 thousand tonnes of erratic boulder, 77.79 thousand tonnes of limestone and 64.95 thousand tonnes of quartzite extracted from Bełchatów and Szczerców fields (KWB Bełchatów SA mine). In KWB Adamów mine there were 0.40 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 1989-2014.

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