General information and occurrence
The entrepreneurs in Poland have recently paid their attention to the use of glauconite-bearing sediments (sands and silts with glauconite) which co-occur with feldspar-quartzitic and quartzitic sands deposits. The glauconite-bearing sediment has not been documented as a mineral raw material so far and therefore is not included in the Regulation of the Minister of the Environment of the 1st of July 2015 (number of Polish act: Dz. U. 2015, Item 987) – the limit values of the parameters that define the deposit and its boundaries have not been defined. Thus – on the basis of the performed geological works – geologists documenting the glauconite-bearing sediment have initially determined the scope of the requirements for the glauconite-bearing sediment documentation. The criteria of the limit values accepted for the glauconite deposit in individual documentations varied slightly: - the maximum documentation depth – 30 m (excluding Górka Lubartowska-Niedźwiada deposit); - the minimum deposit thickness – 5 m (to Niedźwiada II deposit there was one borehole with the thickness of 2 m included); the minimum glauconite content – 10% (for Niedźwiada II deposit the average glauconite content >10% deposit was accepted).
The presence of iron oxides in glauconite makes him usable for the production of glass and vitreous shells of wide range of colors, the ceramic pigments, the colorful and vitreous ceramic or stone decorations. The mineral as a potential potassium source can also be used in agriculture as an slow acting fertilizer with a significant content of the magnesium, iron and organic trace elements. Moreover, due to its chemical features it can be used in the technologies of water and sewage treatment – to remove the heavy metals contaminations.
There have been 6 deposits of the glauconite-bearing sediments documented so far: Brzeźnica Leśna, Górka Lubartowska IX, Górka Lubartowska–Niedźwiada, Leszkowice 1, Niedźwiada II and Niedźwiada Kolonia I. All of these deposits are located in Lubuskie Voivodeship. The geological structure of the Górka Lubartowska area contains mainly the sands of the Quaternary age and lying below them the Tertiary silts and sands with glauconite of the Upper Eocene age (the so-called Parczew delta) in which the amber occurring was stated.
Resources and output
Table 1 shows the current state of exploration and development of glauconite-bearing sediments deposits.
The anticipated economic resources of the glauconite-bearing sediments as of the end of 2019 amounted to 9.13 million m3, including 1.31 million m3 of glauconite. The resources increased by 3.57 million m3 (it means by 64%), including the glauconite by 0.47 million m3, in comparison with 2018. The growth was due to the documentation of 2 new deposits: Brzeźnica Leśna and Górka Lubartowska IX. Moreover, the resources level was also the result of the Górka Lubartowska-Niedźwiada deposit exploitation, which started in 2019. In this deposit, the glauconite-bearing sediments are the accompanying raw material for feldspar-quartzitic sands. There is also the exploitation concession issued for Leszkowice 1 deposit, however only the main raw material – quartzitic sands – is of the concession subject. The economic resources of glauconite-bearing sediments amounted to 0.31 million m3, including 0.04 million m3 of glauconite.
The amount of resources documented within particular deposits of the glauconite-bearing sediments together with the deposits state of development are presented in Table 2. The output, from only one exploited Górka Lubartowska-Niedźwiada deposit, was equal 14.34 thousand m3 in 2019, including 1.72 thousand m3 of glauconite.
Prepared by: Agnieszka Malon