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 a domestic economy. The stones 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).

Sedimentary rocks represent 47.1% of anticipated economic resources of dimension and crushed stones (5,258.73 million tonnes), igneous rocks 39.6% of the resources (4,420.57 million tonnes) and metamorphic rocks 13.3% (1,484.54 million tonnes). The share of sedimentary rocks has increased the most significantly – by 192.17 million tonnes (3.79%) in comparison with the previous year mainly due to the growth of limestones, dolomites and sandstones deposits resources (by 123.32 million tonnes). The resources of igneous rocks increased by 44.17 million tonnes (1.01%). The resources of metamorphic rocks slightly grew (by 0.49%), mainly due to the extension of the serpentinites Nasławice deposit borders (the resources increased by 12.64 million tonnes).

Igneous and metamorphic rocks explored as dimension and crushed stones occur mainly in southern Poland – in the area of Dolnośląskie Voivodeship (basalts, granites, granodiorites, syenites, diabases, gabbros, melaphyres, porphyres, porphyric tuffs, amphibolites, serpentinites, greenstones, gneisses, migmatites, crystalline schists and marbles) and 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 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).

The 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 of dimension and crushed stones amounted to 11,163.84 million tonnes and increased by 243.66 million tonnes (2.23%) in comparison with the previous year. The number of deposits increased from 731 to 736, wherein 12 new deposits were documented and 6 deposits crossed out from “The balance…” in 2016. It was the first year since 2008 with the reversing the slowing down tendency of the deposit number increase. Sedimentary rocks deposits amounted to 536 (which accounts for 69.7% of total number of deposits), igneous rocks deposits to 172 (22.4%) and metamorphic rocks deposits to 61 (7.9%).

About 52.4% of anticipated economic resources (5,851.54 million tonnes) are within 327 exploited deposits (exploited and exploited temporarily). There are also 205 non-exploited deposits covered by a detailed exploration (A, B, C1 categories) with resources equal 2,675.12 million tonnes (24.0% of total resources) and 47 non-exploited deposits covered by a preliminary exploration (C2, D categories) with resources equal 1,778.73 million tonnes (15.9% of total resources). Resources of 157 abandoned deposits account for 7.7% of total anticipated economic resources and are equal 858.45 million tonnes.

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

Economic resources amounted to 3,513.84 million tonnes in 2017 increasing by 62.55 million tonnes (1.8%) in comparison with 2016.

Anticipated economic resources of dimension and crushed stones grew in 2017 due to the documentation of new deposits, the extending of existing deposits borders, the more detailed exploration, the reclassification and the resources verification.

The resources increase was due to:

  • the extension of selected deposits borders (resources increased by 216.55 million tonnes): limestone deposit – Szymiszów (49.16 million tonnes), dolomite deposit – Podleśna (36.65 million tonnes), granite deposit – Gniewków I (36.02 million tonnes), granite deposit – Siedlimowice I (32.90 million tonnes), quartzitic sandstone deposit – Wiśniówka (15.30 million tonnes), serpentinite deposit – Nasławice (12.64 million tonnes), dolomitic limestone deposit – Imielin-Rek (10.11 million tonnes), melaphyre deposit – Grzędy (6.18 million tonnes), limestone deposit – Łagów II (5.41 million tonnes), syenite deposit – Kośmin (4.50 million tonnes), limestone deposits – Łagów V (4.44 million tonnes), limestone deposit – Sławno (1.39 million tonnes), limestone and dolomite deposit – Imielin (1.32 million tonnes) and 5 deposits with total resources growth equal 0.52 million tonnes (Parszów, Skrzydlna, Skrzydlna 1, Szydłowiec, Żyglin-4);
  • the documentation of 11 new deposits with total resources equal 204.68 million tonnes – limestone deposits: Morawica III-1 (101.66 million tonnes), Stawiany (0.28 million tonnes); sandstone deposits: Szufnarowa (30.45 million tonnes), Iwla-1 (7.38 million tonnes), Filip 2 (6.88 million tonnes), Masłowice VIII (0.08 million tonnes), Trzemoszna (0.05 million tonnes); dolomite deposit Nowy Staw I (22.81 million tonnes), Wszachów III (22.27 million tonnes); granite deposit Pokutnik 1 (10.85 million tonnes) and dolomite and marble deposit Góra Apla (1.96 million tonnes);
  • the better exploration, reclassification and verification of resources, the current verification and updating of resources at the level of 2.61 million tonnes.

The resources decreased due to:

  • the changes of deposits borders with resources updating (total 76.74 million tonnes) – limestone deposit Morawica III (drop by 48.94 million tonnes), granite deposit Pokutnik (drop by 12.33 million tonnes), dolomite deposit Wszachów (drop by 8.25 million tonnes), basalt deposit Księgniki-Północ (drop by 5.55 million tonnes), granite deposit Czernica-Wieś (drop by 1.17 million tonnes), limestone deposit Górki Szczukowskie (drop by 0.42 million tonnes) and sandstone deposit Szydłówek (drop by 0.10 million tonnes);
  • the output equal 70.79 million tonnes of dimension and crushed stones;
  • the crossing 3 deposits out from “The balance…” (with total resources equal 27.92 million tonnes): limestone deposit Czatkowice (drop by 27.87 million tonnes of dimension and crushed limestones; in the deposit there are limestones for lime industry left), dolomite deposit Lipie (drop by 0.15 million tonnes) and sandstone deposit Pilichowice IV (drop by 0.04 million tonnes);
  • the updating and verification of resources and losses – the total drop equal 4.72 million tonnes.

According to data provided by the operators of exploited deposits, the output of dimension and crushed stones amounted in 2017 to 70.79 million tonnes and increased in comparison with 2016 by 11.25 million tonnes (18.88%). The most important, in terms of the output volume, are sedimentary rocks – limestones and dolomites (accounting for 42.32% of the total output) and sandstones (10.74%). Among the igneous rocks, the highest output is recorded for granite and basalt (24.97% of the total output). Metamorphic rocks have always been of the least importance (7.54% in 2017), however they have become more substantial lately. The output of sedimentary rocks increased by 18.35% (5.87 million tonnes) and igneous rocks by 19.89% (5.58 milllion tonnes). The exploitation of metamorphic rocks grew by 17.57% (0.80 million tonnes), mainly due to the increased output of migmatite and amphibolite. From all types of dimension and crushed stones, the most significant output growth was recorded for limestone (by 2.12 million tonnes), dolomite (by 1.67 million tonnes), melaphyre (by 1.46 million tonnes) and basalt (by 1.34 million tonnes).

The rock mining is concentrated within the area of two Voivodeships: Dolnośląskie and Świętokrzyskie with the share in Polish output of dimension and crushed stones of 43.5% (within 257 deposits and 52.6% of domestic resources) and 34.1% (within 138 deposits and 22.4% of domestic resources), respectively. Małopolskie Voivodeship accounts for 10.4% of the domestic production (104 deposits and 11.1% of the domestic resources).

Dimension and crushed stones are obtained also during the brown coal exploitation. In 2017 there were 1.93 thousand tonnes of erratic boulders, 12.12 thousand tonnes of quartzites and 4.96 thousand tonnes of limestones 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 1989-2017.

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