Magnesite (magnesium carbonate - MgCO3) originates from a decay of magnesium-rich igneous rocks under hydrothermal conditions and forms white accumulations.
Polish magnesite deposits are related to the Sobótka, Szklary, Grochowa-Braszowice massifs of Precambrian serpentinites and the Gogołów-Jordanów massif of ultramafic rocks in the Lower Silesian region (map). Up to the present, 6 magnesite deposits have been documented in this region. The deposits are of the vein type, with individual veins attaining up to 3 m in thickness and characterized by a complex geological structure and a high variability in the raw material quality. Magnesite is currently exploited in an open strip mine at Braszowice only. Prospective resources, within 3 serpentine massives: Gogołów-Jordanów, Szklary and Groszowa-Braszowice, are assessed to be equal 3.25 million tonnes*.
Magnesite is used mainly as a semi-manufactured material in the production of multi-component artificial fertilizers, in the purification of potable water and sewage treatment and as a mineral additive to animal feed.
Table 1 shows resources and the state of development and exploration of magnesite deposits in Poland.
Anticipated economic resources of magnesites as of the end of 2019 decreased in comparison with the previous year due to the exploitation by 0.08 million tonnes and amounted to 13.64 million tonnes.
In 2019, the domestic production of magnesites (from the only deposit under exploitation - Braszowice) was equal 91.49 thousand tonnes and dropped by 10.62 thousand tonnes since 2018. In the years 2013-2015, the exploitation remained at the quite stable level of 90 thousand tonnes, whereas in the 2016-2018 period it was slightly above 100 thousand tonnes.
The figure given below shows changes in resources and output of magnesites in Poland in the years 1989-2019.
Prepared by: Agnieszka Malon
* Sroga C., 2020 - Magnezyty (magnesite). W: Bilans perspektywicznych zasobów kopalin Polski wg stanu na 31.12.2018 r. (red. Szamałek K., Szuflicki M., Mizerski W.): 350-352. PIG-PIB, Warszawa.