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 the glass production comes from deposits of quartz sands and weakly cemented quartz sandstones with an appropriate granulation and a negligible content of coloring oxides.
In Poland, deposits of sands and sandstones suitable for the 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 the raw material for the 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 the less importance for the raw material base. These deposits mainly comprise sands of the Miocene or Quaternary age.
The 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 of glass raw materials increased by 26.36 million tonnes in comparison with the previous year and amounted to 649.94 million tonnes. The growth was the result of the documentation of 2 new quartz sands deposits for the glass production: Leszkowice 1 (+3.13 million tonnes) in Lubelskie Voivodeship and Stefanów Ruszkowski I (+25.51 million tonnes) in Łódzkie Voivodeship. Other resources changes were drops due to the exploitation and losses in exploited deposits (-2.29 million tonnes). There was not any single new documentation with recalculated resources accepted for glass raw materials deposits.
Anticipated economic resources of exploited deposits are equal 167.87 million tonnes, accounting for 26% of total anticipated economic resources.
In 2017, the glass sands output increased in comparison with the previous year by 190.90 thousand tonnes and was equal 2,452.87 thousand tonnes. The output grew in 4 out of 6 exploited deposits, the only drop was recorded for Biała Góra II – Wschód deposit. In 2017, the exploitation started also from Unewel Zachód-Las deposit. Still, despite the valid concession, the exploitation from Wyszków-Skuszew deposit has not been restarted and the exploitation from Biała Góra I – Wschód deposit was again suspended.
The figure given below shows changes in domestic resources and production of glass sands and sandstones in Poland in the years 1989-2017.
Prepared by: Agnieszka Malon