Feldspar raw materials
Deposits of feldspar raw material represent natural accumulations of various kinds of feldspar and feldspar-quartz rocks rich in alkali (Na2O + K2O equal at least 6.5 %). The rocks include leucogranites occurring in the vicinities of Strzeblów (Pagórki Wschodnie deposit) and Izera Mts (Kopaniec deposit) and other parts of the Lower Silesian region. Other feldspar raw materials are 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) and potassium trachyte from Siedlec and Kwaczała arcose from Wygiełzowa in the Silesian-Cracow region.
Feldspar is one of the major raw material in the ceramic industry. It is used in the form of various powders and feldspar-quartz aggregates in the manufacture of high-class porcelain and bone china, ceramic tiles, sanitary ceramics and enamel materials and in glass industry. Feldspar raw materials are also recovered as by-products in quarrying granites rich in potassium feldspar.
Feldspar raw materials deposits are presented on the map.
Table 1 shows the current state of exploration and development of deposits of feldspar raw material.
In 2010, economic resources of developed deposits were estimated at 2.77 million tonnes. Production of feldspar raw materials decreased in 2010 in relation to that from the previous year and amounted to 45,000 tonnes.
The figure given below shows changes in resources and production of feldspar raw materials in Poland in the years 1989-2010.
The demand for feldspar raw materials remains high in Poland. The domestic production of feldspar is used mainly in the manufacture of ceramic tiles. Therefore, the imported feldspar material is characterized by parameters allowing its use in ceramic industry (pottery and sanitary ceramics) and electrotechnical and glass branches of industry. This material is rich in alkali whereas content of coloring oxides is low.
In 2010, import of feldspars increased by 26 % in comparison with the previous year and was equal 244.85 thousand tonnes of the value of PLN 41.22 million. Export of feldspar raw materials also increased - up to 2.77 thousand tonnes (table 2).
- B - for solid minerals - mine in building process, for fuels - prepared for exploitation or trial period of the exploitation
- E - exploited
- G - underground natural gas storage facilities
- M - deposit crossed out of the annual report of mineral resources during analized period
- P - deposit covered by preliminary exploration (in C2+D category, for fuels – in C category)
- R - deposit covered by detailed exploration (in A+B+C1 category, for fuels – in A+B category)
- Z - abandoned deposit
- T - deposit exploited temporarily
- K - change of the raw material in deposit
Prepared by: Agnieszka Malon