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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 lime and cement industries. Hard varieties of limestone used in production of dimension and broken stone are discussed in a separate section, similarly as lacustrine limestone (lacustrine chalk) and proper chalk raw material used in industries other than the cement and lime ones. Marly limestones and marls are used in the cement industry only.

Limestones used as raw material in the lime industry are pure limestones with high content of CaCO3. Such rocks also find use in the chemical and food industries and metallurgy. When used in the manufacture of cement clinker, they should be supplemented with addition of clay raw materials. Some soft limestone varieties and waste rock from quarrying are used in production of powdered calcium carbonate for reducing soil acidity in agriculture.

Limestone and marl raw materials for the cement and lime industries are quite common in various geological formations in southern and central Poland and some other regions. Limestone and marl deposits are explored down to the depth capabilities governed by the equipment and method limitations for open cast mining. According to economic criteria established for this group of deposits, overburden may be up to 15 m thick at the most and maximum proportion of overburden to deposit thickness should not exceed 0.3. An additional requirement introduced limestone deposits operating for the needs of the lime industry refers to the mean content of CaCO3 over 90 % in the whole vertical section of a given deposit.

Anticipated economic resources of limestones and marls amounted to 18,344.12 million tonnes - 12,693.83 million tonnes (69 %) within 73 deposits for cement industry and 5,650.29 million tonnes (31 %) within 115 deposits for lime industry.

Anticipated economic resources of limestones and marls for cement industry increased by 92.78 million tonnes in comparison with 2009. Anticipated economic resources of limestones for lime industry decreased and amounted to 14.02 million tonnes.

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

Anticipated economic resources of exploited deposits states for 33.3 % of total resources for cement industry and 33.1 % of total resources for lime industry.

Production of both raw materials amounted to 40.02 million tonnes in 2010 (increased by 4.86 million tonnes). The biggest production was noted in Świętokrzyskie voivodeship.

Table 1 shows resources and the current state of exploration and development of limestone and marl deposits explored for the needs of cement industry and Table 2 for 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 1989-2010.

The amount of waste rocks and waste from technological processes deposited in waste heaps and disposal sites of limestone and marl quarries increased in 2010 by 829.34 thousand tonnes.

The volume of mining water pumped for dewatering 10 limestone and marl quarries totaled 68.98 million m3. This volume included potable and technical water. The reported discharge to rivers and streams of drainage basins of the Vistula and Odra Rivers totaled 63.16 million m3.

In 2010, import of clinker, cement and building lime totaled 0.79 million tonnes and was higher than in the previous year (increased by 20 %). Export of these commodities decreased by 8 % to reach 0.76 million tonnes. Table 3 shows quantities and values and directions of import and export of these commodities.

In a couple of deposits (Kodrąb-Dmenin, Górażdże, Strzelce Opolskie I, Tarnów Opolski-Wschód, Bukowa and Gliniany-Stróża) both types of raw material occur.

Accepted abbreviations:

  • 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: Elżbieta Tołkanowicz