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 "The 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 46.6% of anticipated economic resources of dimension and crushed stones (5,029.00 million tonnes), igneous rocks 39.7% of the resources (4,293.37 million tonnes) and metamorphic rocks 13.7% (1,478.61 million tonnes). The share of sedimentary rocks is systematically getting higher – increased by 0.84% in comparison with the previous year mainly due to the growth of limestones and dolomites resources (by 13.5%). The resources of metamorphic rocks increased significantly – by 1.61% (mainly resources of gneiss – they rose by 5.9%), whereas the resources of igneous rocks dropped by 0.08%.

Igneous and metamorphic rocks explored as dimension and crushed stones occur mainly in the Lower Silesian region where they are represented by i.a.: basalts, granites, granodiorites, gabbros, syenites, diabases, melaphyres, porphyres, amphibolites, gneisses, migmatites, serpentinites and marbles and form a few deposits in the Małopolskie 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 10,800.98 million tonnes and increased by 61.84 million tonnes (0.58%) in comparison with the previous year. This growth was smaller than in the year before. The number of deposits decreased from 750 to 746 where 10 new deposits were documented and 14 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 and -0.5% in 2015. Sedimentary rocks deposits amounted to 533 (which accounts for 68.6% of total number of deposits), igneous rocks deposits to 180 (23.2%) and metamorphic rocks deposits to 64 (8.2%).

About 51.2% of resources (5,526.97 million tonnes) are within 331 exploited deposits. There are also 199 non-exploited deposits covered by detailed exploration (A, B, C1 categories) with resources equal 2,619.18 million tonnes (24.2% of total resources) and 47 non-exploited deposits covered by preliminary exploration (C2, D categories) with resources equal 1,786.98 million tonnes (16.5% of total resources). Resources of 169 abandoned deposits account for 8.0% of total resources and are equal 867.85 million tonnes.

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

Economic resources amounted to 3,382.09 million tonnes in 2015 decreasing by 262.38 million tonnes (-7.2%) in comparison with 2014.

Anticipated economic resources of dimension and crushed stone grew in 2015 due to the documentation of 10 new deposits, broadening of existing deposits borders, more detailed exploration, reclassification and resources verification.

The resources increase was due to:

  • extension of selected deposits boundaries (resources increased by 203.18 million tonnes): limestones and dolomites deposits - Janczyce 1 (67.93 million tonnes) and Budy (33.77 million tonnes), gneiss deposit Pomianów (28.09 million tonnes), syenites deposit Kośmin (24.72 million tonnes), dolomite deposit Stare Gliny (21.09 million tonnes), granodiorite deposit Łażany II (10.64 million tonnes), granite deposit Graniczna II (4.56 million tonnes), sandstone deposit Braciszów (3.37 million tonnes), limestone deposit Raciszyn II (2.23 million tonnes), greystone deposit Dębowiec (2.10 million tonnes), dolomite deposit Wszachów II (2.09 million tonnes) and 5 other deposits with resources equal 2.59 million tonnes (Barcice I, Dąbrowa, Skała I, Tenczyn-Lubień, Trakt Kamioński);
  • documentation of 10 new deposits with total resources equal 24.29 million tonnes: sandstone deposits - Komańcza 1 (9.36 million tonnes), Bieganów II (1.03 million tonnes), Czaple IV (0.75 million tonnes), Skorzynice-Wioleta (0.52 million tonnes) and Wyżne-Podwiszówka (0.17 million tonnes); quartzite deposit Wojtkowa Góra II (2.01 million tonnes); dolomite deposits - Imielin (7.20 million tonnes) and Rozbark (1.45 million tonnes); limestone deposits - Karsy 1 I (1.42 million tonnes) and Trakt Kamioński II (0.38 million tonnes);
  • better exploration, reclassification and verification of resources (8.61 million tonnes).

Resources decreased due to:

  • the output (-64.18 million tonnes);
  • crossing 18 deposits out from “The balance…” (-26.84 million tonnes): granodiorite and hornfels deposit Łażany (-12.54 million tonnes), limestone and dolomite deposit Suków-Borki (-7.78 million tonnes), melaphire deposit Kamienna Góra (-1.52 million tonnes), porphyre deposit Lubawka (-1.30 million tonnes) and 14 other deposits with resources equal 3.70 million tonnes (Annopol, Barcice 3, Czarne, Futoma, Goworów, Gozdanin, Kłopotno, Lubiechowa I, Parszów I, Podgórze, Przeworno, Przeździedza, Uniegoszcz, Wola Kamborska-Działy);
  • updating and verification of resources and losses (-2.05 million tonnes);
  • changes of deposits boundaries (-73.86 million tonnes): limestone and dolomite deposit Janczyce (-69.69 million tonnes), limestone deposit Łagów-Zagościniec (-1.46 million tonnes), sandstone deposit Czaple (-1.30 million tonnes), basalt deposit Ligota Tułowicka (-1.25 million tonnes) and sandstone deposits Walowa Góra and Męcina (-0.16 million tonnes);
  • reclassification of resources (-7.29 million tonnes).

According to data provided by operators of exploited deposits, production of dimension and crushed stones in 2015 amounted to 64.18 million tonnes and slightly increased in comparison with 2014 – by 95 thousand tonnes (0.15%). It was the level reached in 2010.

The most important are sedimentary rocks – limestones, dolomites and sandstones. Speaking about igneous rocks, the highest output is recorded for granite, basalt and melaphyre. Metamorphic rocks are of the least importance, however they have become more substantial lately (especially by migmatite, amphibolite, gneiss and serpentinite). The exploitation of sedimentary rocks increased by 3.18% (1.07 million tonnes), metamorphic rocks by 2.92% (0.13 million tonnes). The most significant growth was recorded for sandstones (by 6%), limestones and dolomites (by 4%) and amphibolites and serpentinite (by 40% and 43% respectively). The quartz sandstones output decreased by 22%, migmatite and gneiss by 20% and 16% respectively. The exploitation of metamorphic rocks dropped by 4.20% (1.10 million tonnes).

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 42.2% (within 272 deposits and 53.1% of domestic resources) and 34.9% (within 137 deposits and 21.9% of domestic resources) respectively. Małopolskie Voivodeship accounts for 12.1% of domestic production (105 deposits and 11.8% of domestic resources).

Dimension and crushed stones are exploited also during brown coal exploitation. In 2015 there were 1.15 thousand tonnes of erratic boulder, 72.40 thousand tonnes of limestones and 37.21 thousand tonnes of quartzite 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 1989-2015.

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