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Mineral resources of Poland> Rock raw materials and others> Quartz sands for production of cellular concrete and lime-sand brick
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Quartz sands for production of cellular concrete and lime-sand brick

Sands are widely used in the production of cellular concrete and bricks and sand lime blocks in the whole area of Poland. A raw material suitable for that production has to be sufficiently pure, fine-grained and well sorted. These requirements are met by Quaternary sands of a glacial and fluvioglacial origin and river and eolian sands. Sands most suitable for these 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 that establishes the limit values of the parameters that defines the deposit, exploitable quartz sand deposits require the minimum content of quartz grains (90%), the maximum content of silts (5%), the thickness not smaller than 2 meters and the ratio of cover to deposit series not higher than 0.5.

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.

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 2017 to 137.80 million m3 (248.04 million tonnes – recalculated according to the 1.8 factor). The resources decreased by 5.45 million m3 in comparison with the previous year due to the resources correction of Studzienice deposit (-5.24 million m3) according to the regular verification of deposits in the MIDAS System, the exploitation and losses.

Anticipated economic resources within deposits covered by a detailed exploration amounted to 49.58 million m3 and account for 35.98% of total anticipated economic resources. Anticipated economic resources within exploited deposits amounted to 24.73 million m3 (17.95% of total anticipated economic resources). Economic resources within exploited deposits amounted to 15.02 million m3 (60.74% of total anticipated economic resources of these deposits).

The output of quartz sands for the production of cellular concrete decreased in comparison with the previous year by 13.47 thousand m3 and totaled 385.91 thousand m3 (694.64 thousand tonnes). 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 1.94 million m3 and amounted to 266.13 million m3 (479.03 million tonnes). The drop was mainly the result of Jełowa deposit resources correction (-1.73 million m3) due to the regular verification of deposits in the MIDAS System, the exploitation and losses (-0.53 million m3). Other resources drops were connected with the approval of new documentations with recalculated resources (-0.21 million m3), including the crossing out the resources of Szczebra III deposit (Podlaskie Voivodeship) from “The balance…”. There were 2 new deposits of quartz sands for the production of lime-sand brick documented in 2017: Lesiów-Wincentów II (+0.37 million m3) located in Mazowieckie Voivodeship – documented within a new area; Czostków-1 (+0.06 million m3) located in Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, which was allocated from already documented Czostków deposit. The resources growth was also caused by the extension of Lesiów-Wincentów deposit borders (+0.10 million m3) due to the approval of a new documentation with recalculated resources for this deposit.

Anticipated economic resources within deposits covered by the detailed exploration are equal 138.47 million m3 and account for 52.0% of total anticipated economic resources. There are 47.56 million m3 of anticipated economic resources within exploited deposits that account for 17.9% of total anticipated economic resources. Economic resources increased by 5.76 million m3 and amounted to 22.96 million m3 (48.28% of total anticipated economic resources). The growth was the result of a new deposit development plan elaborated for Bystrzyca Oławska I deposit (Dolnośląskie Voivodeship).

In 2017, the output of quartz sands for the production of lime-sand brick decreased by 103 thousand m3 and amounted to 550 thousand m3. The exploitation from Grabowo-Kruki, Grabowo-Kruki II (Mazowieckie Voivodeship) and Zielonka-Trzciniec (Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship) was suspended. The exploitation of Pasym, Pisz (Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship) and Szczebra III (Podlaskie Voivodeship) deposits was abandoned and the concessions were extinguished. The exploitation from Czostków (Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship), Łęknica (Zachodniopomorskie Voivodeship) and Wieliszew (Mazowieckie Voivodeship) was still on hold, whereas from Bystrzyca Oławska I (Dolnośląskie Voivodeship) and Łękno JP (Wielkopolskie Voivodeship) started in 2017.

Total anticipated economic resources of quartz sands used in the industry for the production of cellular concrete and lime-sand brick amounted in 2017 to 403.93 million m3 (727.07 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.

Prepared by: Agnieszka Malon