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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 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 extraneous matter.

According to the Regulation of the Minister of the Environment of the 1st of July 2015, exploitable quartz sand deposits require the minimum content of quartz grains (90%), the maximum content of silts (5%), the thickness not smaller than 2 m 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 production of cellular concrete.

Anticipated economic resources of quartz sands for the production of cellular concrete in 2016 amounted to 143.25 million m3 (257.85 million tonnes – recalculated according to 1.8 factor) and slightly decreased (by 0.02 million m3) in comparison with previous year. The reason for this drop was the exploitation and the losses in exploited deposits and the enlargement of resources in Puławy deposit in a new documentation with recalculated resources approved for this deposit.

Anticipated economic resources within deposits covered by the detailed exploration amounted to 54.08 million m3 and account for 37.75% of total anticipated economic resources. Resources within exploited deposits amounted to 30.17 million m3 (21.06% of total anticipated economic resources). Economic resources within exploited deposits amounted to 18.55 million m3 (61.48% of total anticipated economic resources of these deposits).

The output of quartz sands for the production of cellular concrete increased in comparison with the previous year by 37.95 thousand m3 and totaled 399.38 thousand m3 (718.88 thousand tonnes).

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 production of lime-sand brick decreased by 2.19 million m3 and amounted to 268.07 million m3 (482.53 million tonnes). The drop was caused mainly by the approval of new documentations with recalculated resources for deposits: Iława II (-1.5 million m3), Szczypiec (-1.5 million m3), Bibianów (-0.4 million m3), Smolniki (-0.4 million m3), Żytkowice (-0.2 million m3) and Pasym (-0.1 million m3) – from these deposits there were new feldspathic-quartzitic deposits allocated (described in the chapter "Sand and gravel"). Szczypiec deposit was entirely reclassified as a feldspathic-quartzitic deposit. Moreover, the resources decline was a result of the exploitation and losses. There were two deposits of quartz sands for the production of lime-sand brick documented in 2016: Iława II/1 and Trąbki 2, which were allocated from Iława II and Trąbki deposits.

Anticipated economic resources within deposits covered by the detailed exploration are equal 139.83 million m3 and account for 52.2% of total anticipated economic resources. There are 39.63 million m3 within exploited deposits that account for 14.8% of total anticipated economic resources. Economic resources within exploited deposits amounted to 13.17 million m3 (33.23% of total anticipated economic resources).

In 2016, the output of quartz sands for the production of lime-sand brick increased by 31 thousand m3 and amounted to 653 thousand m3. The exploitation from Czostków (Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship), Łęknica (Zachodniopomorskie Voivodeship), Pisz (Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship) and Wieliszew (Mazowieckie Voivodeship) is still on hold. The output from Słupsk II (Pomorskie Voivodeship) deposit was stopped in 2016.

Total anticipated economic resources of quartz sands for the production of cellular concrete and lime-sand brick amounted in 2016 to 411.32 million m3 (740.38 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