Feldspar raw materials
General information and occurrence
Feldspar raw materials are the natural accumulations of various types of feldspar and feldspar-quartzitic rocks rich in alkali (Na2O + K2O equal at least 6.5%). The deposits of feldspar raw materials occur in Dolnośląskie and Małopolskie Voivodeships. These raw materials include leucogranites occurring in the various regions of the Lower Silesian area i.e. in the vicinities of Strzeblów and in Izera Mts. (Kopaniec vicinities). The feldspar raw materials are also represented by feldspars of porphyry varieties of the Karkonosze granites from the vicinities of Karpniki, Maciejowa and Góra Sośnia in the Jelenia Góra Basin (Sudety Mts.). Other raw materials of that type occurring in the Silesian-Cracow region are: potassium trachyte from Siedlec and Kwaczała arcose from Wygiełzowa.
The feldspar is one of the major raw materials in the ceramic industry. It is used in the form of powders and feldspar-quartz aggregates in the manufacture of the high-class porcelain and bone china, ceramic tiles, sanitary ceramics, enamel materials and in the glass industry. The feldspar raw materials are also recovered as by-products in the quarrying of granites rich in potassium feldspar.
Feldspar raw materials deposits are presented on the map.
Resources and output
Table 1 shows the current state of exploration and development of feldspar raw material deposits.
The anticipated economic resources of feldspar raw materials decreased by 0.02 million tonnes due to the exploitation and losses and in 2020 amounted to 139.08 million tonnes. There was only one active mine in 2020 – exploited Stary Łom deposit. In turn, Karpniki deposit was classified as abandoned due to the lack of exploitation since 2010 and in spite of the valid exploitation concession.
The anticipated economic resources of the exploited deposits account only for 4.18% of the total anticipated economic resources. The majority of anticipated economic resources are the resources within non-exploited deposits. The economic resources of the exploited deposits account for 45% of the anticipated economic resources of these deposits.
The output of the feldspar raw materials amounted to 29.44 thousand tonnes in 2020. It was the 2nd consecutive year with the significant output drop – in comparison with the previous year by 12.72 thousand tonnes (it means by 30%), and the 3rd consecutive one with the decrease after the 5 consecutive years of its growth. The output of the raw material from Stary Łom deposit decreased by 7.57 thousand tonnes in comparison with 2019, whereas the exploitation from Pagórki Wschodnie deposit was on hold.
The figure given below shows changes in resources and production of feldspar raw materials in Poland in the years 1989-2020.
The demand for feldspar raw materials remains high in Poland. The domestic production of feldspar is used mainly in the manufacture of ceramic tiles.
The prognostic resources of the feldspar raw materials are currently being assessed at 61.35 million tonnes, whereas the prospective resources at 37.27 million tonnes*.
Prepared by: Agnieszka Malon
* Sroga C., Lewicka E., 2020 - Kopaliny skaleniowe (feldspar, Na-feldspar, K-feldspar). In: Bilans perspektywicznych zasobów kopalin Polski wg stanu na 31.12.2018 r. (eds. Szamałek K., Szuflicki M., Mizerski W.): 329-334. PIG-PIB, Warszawa [in Polish].