Magnesite (magnesium carbonate - MgCO3) originates from 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, six 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 complex geological structure and high variability in quality of the raw material. Magnesite is currently exploited in an open strip mine at Braszowice only. Prospective resources are assessed to be equal 3.25 million tonnes*.
Magnesite is used mainly as semi-manufactured material in production of multi-component artificial fertilizers, in purification of potable water and sewage treatment and as mineral additive to animal feed.
Table 1 shows resources and the state of development and exploration of magnesite deposits in Poland.
Anticipated economic resources as of the end of 2015 were estimated at 14.00 million tonnes and decreased due to the exploitation by 0.11 million tonnes in comparison with the previous year.
In 2015, domestic production of magnesite – from the only Polish deposit under exploitation – was equal 96 thousand tonnes, slightly decreasing in comparison with 2014 (table 2). It was the third successive year with the output remaining on the similar level of about 90 thousand tonnes.
Prepared by: Agnieszka Malon
*Sroga C., 2011 - Magnezyty. In: Bilans perspektywicznych zasobów kopalin Polski wg stanu na 31 XII 2009 r. (ed. S. Wołkowicz, T. Smakowski, S. Speczik): 228-231. PIG-PIB, Warszawa.