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Mineral resources of Poland> Rock raw materials and others> Limestones and marls for cement and lime industries
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Limestones and marls for cement and lime industries

This section deals with deposits of limestones and marls exploited for use in the lime or cement industries. Compact varieties of limestone used in the production of Dimension and crushed stones are discussed in a separate section, similarly as lacustrine limestone (lacustrine chalk) and proper chalk used in industries other than the cement and lime ones.

Limestones used as a raw material in the lime industry are pure limestones with the high content of CaCO3 (>90%). Some types of limestones – meeting additional (mainly chemical) criteria – are also used in the chemical industry, the metallurgical industry (as a metallurgical flux), the sugar industry, for the production of lime powder, including sorbents for flue gas desulphurization. When used as a so-called “high raw material” (incomplete) in a manufacture of a cement clinker, they should be supplemented with an addition of clay raw materials. Marly limestones and marls are useful only in the cement industry. In this case, the CaCO3 content can be much lower (below 80%) but other chemical ingredients contents and their percentages ratio are quite important.

Cement and lime raw materials occur quite common in various geological formations, mainly in southern and central Poland. Almost 60% of documented resources are of Jurrasic age. Quite important are also Devonian, Triassic and Cretaceous limestones, whereas Precambrian, Cambrian, Carboniferous and Neogene are of a minor importance. The majority of resources occur within 4 regions: świętokrzyski, krakowsko-częstochowsko-wieluński, lubelski and opolski. In northern Poland Jurassic limestones have been documented within the Barcin-Piechcin area near Inowrocław (Kujawy area).

Anticipated economic resources of limestones and marls amounted in 2017 to 18,240.18 million tonnes including 12,754.40 million tonnes (69.9% of total anticipated economic resources) within 70 deposits documented for the cement industry and 5,485.78 million tonnes (30.1% of resources) within 119 deposits for the lime industry.

In 2017, the anticipated economic resources of limestones and marls for the cement industry decreased by 51.69 million tonnes in comparison with the previous year. The number of deposits has not changed since 2016. The negative balance was the result of:

    Increases – due to:

  • the current verification and recalculation of deposits resources and the exceeding of the current documentation borders by the exploitation (about 0.24 million tonnes).
  • Decreases – due to:

  • the exploitation carried out in 18 mines (25.19 million tonnes);
  • the current verification or resources adjustment, better exploration of deposits and the losses settlement (about 3.65 million tonnes);
  • the crossing out the limestones deposit Góra Siewierska from “The balance…” (23.10 million tonnes).

In 2017 the anticipated economic resources of limestones for the lime industry decreased by 40.87 million tonnes. The main factors affecting it were:

  • the output from 19 active mining plants (-18.09 million tonnes);
  • the crossing out the limestones deposits Łagów from “The balance…” due to the environmental and planning conflicts – total decrease equal 20.55 million tonnes;
  • the better exploration of deposits, reclassification and recalculation of resources and the losses settlement – the drop equal about 0.29 million tonnes;
  • the output settlement and the updating of resources for limestones deposit Sulejów as a result of the qualification of the parameters that define the deposit and its borders – the drop equal about 6.14 million tonnes;
  • the updating of Zakącie deposit resources due to the allocation of Zakącie 1 deposit - the drop equal 0.18 million tonnes;
  • the output settlement and the updating of resources for limestones deposit Czatkowice due to the deposit borders changes, the allocation of anticipated sub-economic resources and the resignation of petrified limestones (so-called hornfels) allocation – the growth equal about 3.95 million tonnes;
  • the documentation of a new marls deposit Zakącie 1 – the resources increase by 0.19 million tonnes;
  • the current verification and the resources recalculation, the exceeding of the current documentation borders by the exploitation and the better deposits exploration – the growth equal about 0.24 million tonnes.

Limestones and marls for the cement industry deposits are presented on the map.

The anticipated economic resources of exploited deposits (deposits of operating mines and deposits exploited temporarily) account for 33.5% of total resources documented for the cement industry and 32.2% of total resources for the lime industry.

The mining of discussed raw materials is concentrated in the area of 3 Voivodeships: - Świętokrzyskie which accounts for 47.7% of domestic output of limestones and marls for the cement and lime industries, Opolskie with the share of 17.9% and Kujawsko-Pomorskie (15.3%). The exploitation of both raw materials amounted in 2017 to 43.28 million tonnes and increased by 0.97 million tonnes in comparison with the previous year. It was mainly the result of the production growth for limestones for the lime industry (by 0.63 million tonnes), whereas the production of raw material for the cement industry increased by 0.34 million tonnes. The growth of limestones and marls for the lime industry production was recorded in Lubelskie (by 11%), Świętokrzyskie (by 5%), and Kujawsko-Pomorskie (by 2%) Voivodeships. In the areas of other voivodeships there were the exploitation drops (Dolnośląskie – by 55%, Opolskie – by 9%, Śląskie – by 6% and Łódzkie – by 1%). In the case of limestones and marls for the cement industry, the significant output growth was recorded in Opolskie (by 9%) and Świętokrzyskie (by 5%) Voivodeships – other voivodeships were characterized by the output decreases.

Table 1 shows resources and the current state of the exploration and development of limestone and marls deposits explored for the needs of the cement industry and Table 2 for the lime industry.

The figure given below shows changes in resources and production of limestones and marls for the cement and lime industries in Poland in the years 1989-2017.

In a couple of deposits: Bratkowszczyzna, Bukowa, Gliniany-Stróża, Górażdże, Kodrąb-Dmenin, Krasocin, Strzelce Opolskie I and Tarnów Opolski-Wschód) both types of raw material occur – limestones and marls for cement industry and limestones for lime industry.

Prepared by: Dariusz Brzeziński