General information and occurrence
Sufficiently pure, fine-grained and well sorted sands of the Quaternary age are widely used for the production of cellular concrete and bricks and sand lime blocks in the whole area of Poland. These are river and eolian sands and sands of a glacial and fluvioglacial origin. Sands with the best quality and therefore the most suitable for the mentioned above purposes include mainly fluvioglacial and eolian sands characterized by a high silica content, a good grains segregation (the content of 0.05 – 0.5 mm grains should exceed 65%), a high degree of roundness of grains and a low content of the extraneous matter.
According to the Regulation of the Minister of the Environment of the 1st of July 2015 on the geological documentation of a raw material deposit, excluding a hydrocarbon field that establishes the limit values of the parameters that defines the deposit, the exploitable quartz sand deposit requires the thickness not smaller than 2 meters with the ratio of an overburden to deposit series not higher than 0.5, the maximum content of silts of 5% and the minimum content of quartz grains of 90%.
A clastic rock raw materials occurrence in Poland (including quartz sands for production of cellular concrete and lime-sand brick) is presented on the map.
Resources and output
Table 1 shows resources and the current state of exploration and development of quartz sands for the production of cellular concrete.
Anticipated economic resources of quartz sands for the production of cellular concrete amounted in 2019 to 137.15 million m3 (246.87 million tonnes – as recalculated according to the 1.8 factor). The resources decreased by 0.45 million m3 in comparison with the previous year due to the exploitation and losses. There were not new geological documentations or documentations with recalculated resources of quartz sands approved in 2019.
The anticipated economic resources of quartz sands for the production of cellular concrete covered by a detailed exploration amount to 49.20 million m3 accounting for 36% of total anticipated economic resources. The anticipated economic resources within exploited deposits are equal 22.31 million m3 (16% of total anticipated economic resources). The economic resources within exploited deposits amount to 12.65 million m3 (57% of total anticipated economic resources of these deposits). Przygody deposit, located in Mazowieckie Voivodeship was recognized as abandoned as the exploitation ended in 2014. Nevertheless, the economic resources of this deposit are still recorded as the exploitation concession is still valid.
The output of quartz sands for the production of cellular concrete from 9 deposits totaled 438.62 thousand m3 (789.52 thousand tonnes) in 2019 and decreased in comparison with the previous year by 15.97 thousand m3 (it means by about 3.5%). The exploitation dropped from 6 out of 9 exploited deposits.
Table 2 shows resources and the current state of exploration and development of quartz sands for production of lime-sand brick.
Anticipated economic resources of sands for the production of lime-sand brick decreased by 0.98 million m3 and amounted to 263.25 million m3 (473.85 million tonnes). The resources decline was mainly the result of the exploitation and losses and the approval of the new documentation with recalculated resources for Trąbki deposit in Zachodniopomorskie Voivodeship (-246.09 thousand m3). There were 2 deposits allocated from Trąbki deposit – feldspar-quartz Trąbki 1 deposit and quartz sands Trąbki 2 deposit. Moreover, there were Bystrzyca Oławska I deposit (Dolnośląskie Voivodeship) resources slightly corrected (-0.14 thousand m3) – due to the information on the output in 2018 sent by the concession holder. In 2019, there was also the name of Zielonka deposit corrected (the former name: Zielonka-Trzciniec) in Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship.
The anticipated economic resources covered by the detailed exploration are equal 135.59 million m3 accounting for 51% of total anticipated economic resources of quartz sands for production of lime-sand brick. There are 43.60 million m3 of anticipated economic resources within exploited deposits that account for 17% of total anticipated economic resources. For 4 deposits, there was the state of their development changed from “exploited deposits” (“E”) to “exploited temporarily” (“T”) – due to the exploitation hold in 2019, whereas in 1 deposit the exploitation was restarted (the change from “T” to “E”). The economic resources increased by 0.03 million m3, in spite of the ongoing exploitation, due to the new deposit development plans elaborated for Lesiów-Wincentów (+0.32 million m3) and Augustowo (+0.39 million m3) deposits. Both deposits are located in Mazowieckie Voivodeship.
In 2019, the output of quartz sands for the production of lime-sand brick was carried out from 15 deposits (3 less than in 2018) and amounted to 448.63 thousand m3 (807.53 thousand tonnes). It decreased in comparison with 2018 by more than 20%. The exploitation from Barcin-Piechcin-Pakość (Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship), Bełżec (Lubelskie Voivodeship), Teodory II (Łódzkie Voivodeship) and Iława II (Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship) was abandoned. On the other hand, the output from Lesiów-Wincentów deposit (Mazowieckie Voivodeship) was resumed.
The total anticipated economic resources of quartz sands used in the industry for the production of cellular concrete and lime-sand brick amount to 400.40 million m3 (720.72 million tonnes).
Figure 1 shows changes in resources and production of quartz sands for the manufacture of cellular concrete and Figure 2 – the same data for quartz sands for the manufacture of lime-sand brick.
The prognostic resources of quartz sands for production of cellular concrete and lime-sand products are assessed to be equal 82.64 million m3*. They are supposed to occur in Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Lubelskie, Łódzkie, Mazowieckie, Podlaskie, Śląskie, Świętokrzyskie and Zachodniopomorskie Voivodeships.
* Galos K., Miśkiewicz W., 2020 - Piaski kwarcowe do produkcji betonów komórkowych (quartz sand for cellular concrete manufacture), piaski kwarcowe do produkcji wyrobów wapienno-piaskowych (quartz sand for lime-sand products manufacture), piaski podsadzkowe (filling sand). In: Bilans perspektywicznych zasobów kopalin Polski wg stanu na 31.12.2018 r. (eds. Szamałek K., Szuflicki M., Mizerski W.): 309-313. PIG-PIB, Warszawa.