Glass sands and sandstones
Quartz sand is the main raw material in commercial glass production. In that process, raw materials pass through preparation and mixing in the glass batch to be transported to the furnace and melted. The resulting glass contains about 70 to 74 % silica by weight (72 % in the case of the float glass). Sand for glass production comes from deposits of quartz sands and weakly cemented quartz sandstones with appropriate granulation and negligible content of coloring oxides.
In Poland, deposits of sands and sandstones suitable for glass production occur in 10 Voivodeships: Dolnośląskie (Bolesławiec area), Lubelskie, Lubuskie, Łódzkie (vicinities of Tomaszowa Mazowiecki), Mazowieckie, Podkarpackie, Pomorskie, Świętokrzyskie, Wielkopolskie and Zachodniopomorskie. Resources of the Biała Góra deposit from the vicinities of Tomaszów Mazowiecki have the largest share in domestic base of glass sand resources. In turn, sands from the vicinities of Bolesławiec best match quality requirements of raw material for glass production.
Miocene glass sand deposits from the area of Tarnobrzeg and sands occurring in the Lubelskie, Lubuskie (vicinities of Żary), Mazowieckie, Podkarpackie, Pomorskie, Wielkopolskie and Zachodniopomorskie Voivodeships are less important for the raw material base. The deposits mainly comprise raw material of the Miocene or Quaternary age which is suitable for production of a low-quality glass only (class 3-6).
Clastic rock raw materials occurrence in Poland (inlcuding glass sands and sandstones) is presented on the map.
The table given below shows resources and the current state of exploration and development of domestic sand glass deposits.
Anticipated economic resources increased by 29,57 million tonnes in comparison with the previous year and amounted to 656.05 million tonnes in 2014. There were two deposits documented in 2014 – Unewel Zachód-Las and Mirosław AG. The latter was allocated from Ujście Noteckie II deposit.
Anticipated economic resources of exploited deposits are equal 204.76 million tonnes, accounting for 31 % of total anticipated economic resources.
In 2014, glass sand production decreased and was equal 2,070.76 thousand tonnes. There were three deposits – Biała Góra I – Wschód, Biała Góra II - Wesoła and Wyszków-Skuszew – where exploitation was suspended in 2013.
Prepared by: Agnieszka Malon