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Mineral resources of Poland> Rock raw materials and others> Flintstones
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Flintstones

Flintstones are silica concretion balls of spherical, oval or irregular shape, clearly elicited from the ambient rocks. They usually occur as banks among carbonate rocks (chalk, limestones, marls) mainly of the Jurassic (Zakrzówek, Julianka and Siedlec querries) and Cretaceous (Janików, Karsy, Mielnik and Kornica querries) ages. Sometimes they are concentrated in the form of bars (Karsy query near Inowłodz and hornfels in the Carpathians, e.g.: Leszczawa Górna and Hyżne). The main component of flintstones concretions is chalcedony. Very similar to flintstones are cherts, nevertheless they are not clearly elicited from the ambient rocks. In view of their weathering resilience, flintstones often occur in secondary accumulations as a component of loose clastic sediments. The Quarternary flintstones occur in the form of boulder fields in the vicinities of Krzeszowice or Jastrzębie near Radom. Bigger flintstones accumulations were identified in some boiler karsts, e.g. in Kuźle near Złoty Potok and in Wolica near Kielce.

Ground flintstones are used in the glass, ceramic and enameller industries. They are also used for the production of facings, millstones for rolling mills and flint abrasives. Ground flintstones are also used in the abrasive materials industry, for the production of loose abrasives and abrasive papers.

Striped flintstones are used to make some jewellery and stone fancy products. The most famous accumulation is Krzemionki Opatowskie, located near Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski, where flintstones were extracted already in the Neolithic period (3,500-1,600 BC) from the Upper Oxfordian limestones. Equally important for the archeology are so-called “chocolate” flintstones of which the biggest accumulations are located in the area of Gliniany, Iłża, Tomaszów and Wierzbica. In Orońsko near Radom, there was one of the oldest sites of Paleolithic mining and “chocolate” flintstones processing in Europe discovered. It is dated about 12,800 years old.

There are two documented deposits of flintstones in Holy Cross Mts. (Bocheniec and Tokarnia). In Bocheniec redeposited flintstones originate from the Kimmeridgian limestones and decorative versions of flintstones account for 30% at the average. In Tokarnia only striped flintstones occur. Nowadays, none of these deposits is being exploited.

Anticipated economic resource have not changed in comparison with the previous year and amounted to 27.70 thousand tonnes (Table 1).

Prepared by: Dariusz Brzeziński