Sands with heavy minerals
Quratz sands with heavy minerals were documented within the Polish economic zone of the Baltic Sea – in the Bay of Pomerania – in the north-eastern part of the Odra Bank. The documentation was the result of the longstanding and multistage geological studies, carried out in order to explore the geological structure of the Bay of Pomerania and to search useful minerals.
The contribution of heavy minerals in sands varies. Within the layer between the surface and the depth of 0.5 m the contribution is between 1.4% and 21.7% (the mean 4.4-4.5%), whereas within the sand deposit layer between 0.5 m and 1.0 m below the sea bottom it is between 2% and 4.2% (the mean 2.5-3.3%). The limit value is the 2% isoline of the heavy minerals contribution in the sands. The main useful components in Ławica Odrzana deposit are heavy minerals such as: ilmenite (FeTiO3), rutile (TiO2), zircon (ZrSiO4) and garnets (Fe, Ca, Mg, Mn)3(Al, Fe, Cr)2(SiO4)3. The percentage contribution of particular minerals in the total amount of heavy minerals in the deposit is: garnets – 32%, ilmenite – 31%; zircon – 5%; leucoxene – 4%; rutile – 4%. In the zircon concentrate from Ławica Odrzana sands, the rare earth elements content is as follows: Ce – 3.9 g/kg, La – 1.9 g/kg, Nd – 1.7 g/kg, Pd, Y, Gd, Sa within the range of 0.5-0.2 g/kg; whereas in the zircon concentrate from Ławica Słupska sands the following contents were indicated: Ce – 3.9 g/kg; La – 1.9 g/kg; Nd – 0.96 g/kg.
The useful components from Ławica Odrzana deposit, after the exploitation and separation, could be used for the colorants and coat production, for the production of high resistance steel, in the biomedical engineering, in the ceramic and glass industries, in nuclear power and for the production of abrasives and fibers. Quartz sands remaining after a heavy minerals separation might be used in the glass industry, for the production of moulding sands and in the building industry.
Prepared by: Krzysztof Szamałek