Glass sands and sandstones
Quartz sand is the main raw material in a commercial glass production. The so-called "glass mass" is obtained by melting the raw materials mixture (the set) in a glass furnace. The resulting glass sand accounts for several dozen percent of raw material in "glass mass" (i.e. 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 sands production occur in 10 Voivodeships: Dolnośląskie (Bolesławiec area), Lubelskie, Lubuskie, Łódzkie (vicinities of Tomaszów Mazowiecki), Mazowieckie, Podkarpackie, Pomorskie, Świętokrzyskie, Wielkopolskie and Zachodniopomorskie. Resources of the Biała Góra series from the vicinities of Tomaszów Mazowiecki have the largest share in a domestic base of glass sands resources. In turn, sands from the vicinities of Bolesławiec best match quality requirements of raw material for glass production.
Miocene glass sands deposits from the area of Tarnobrzeg and sands occurring in the Lubelskie, Lubuskie (vicinities of Żary), Mazowieckie, Podkarpackie, Pomorskie, Wielkopolskie and Zachodniopomorskie Voivodeships are of less importance for the raw material base. These deposits mainly comprise sands of the Miocene or Quaternary age.
Clastic rock raw materials occurrence in Poland (including glass sands and sandstones) is presented on the map.
Table 1 given below shows resources and the current state of exploration and development of domestic sand glass deposits.
Anticipated economic resources decreased by 1.89 million tonnes in comparison with the previous year due to the exploitation and losses. There was not any single new geological documentation or new documentation with recalculated resources accepted for glass raw materials deposits.
Anticipated economic resources of exploited deposits are equal 140.42 million tonnes, accounting for 23% of total anticipated economic resources.
In 2016, glass sand production decreased in comparison with the previous year by 407.17 thousand tonnes and was equal 2,261.97 thousand tonnes. Still, despite the up-to-date concession, the exploitation from Wyszków-Skuszew deposit is on hold, whereas the exploitation from Biała Góra I – Wschód was restarted. In 2016, there was an exploitation concession issued for Unewel Zachód-Las deposit and therefore the economic resources for that deposit equal 19,428.70 thousand tonnnes were approved.
The figure given below shows changes in domestic resources and production of glass sands and sandstones in Poland in the years 1989-2016.
Prepared by: Agnieszka Malon