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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 crushed stones 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.

Limestones used as raw material in the lime industry are pure limestones with high content of CaCO3 (>90%). Some types of limestones – meeting additional (mainly chemical) criteria – are also used in chemical, iron and steel and sugar industries. When used in the manufacture of cement clinker, they should be supplemented with addition of clay raw materials. Marly limestones and marls are useful in the cement industry and the CaCO3 content can be lower than 80% but other chemical ingredients contents are quite important.

Limestones and marls raw materials for the cement and lime industries are quite common in various geological formations in southern and central Poland and some other regions. Almost 60% of documented resources are of Jurassic age. Quite important are also Devonian, Triassic and Cretaceous limestones. Most resources occur within four regions: świętokrzyski, krakowsko-częstochowsko-wieluński, lubelski and opolski. In northern Poland Jurassic limestones were documented within the Barcin-Piechcin area near Inowrocław.

Anticipated economic resources of limestones and marls amounted in 2015 to 18,397.70 million tonnes including 12,832.87 million tonnes (69.8%) within 70 deposits for cement industry and 5,564.83 million tonnes (30.2%) within 118 deposits for lime industry.

In 2015, the anticipated economic resources of limestones and marls for cement industry decreased by 0.60 million tonnes in comparison with the previous year. The number of deposits has not changed since 2014 but there were:

  • new boundaries and recalculated resources approved for Kowala (+24.31 million tonnes) deposit;
  • the resources updating for other deposits (+0.11 million tonnes);
  • exploitation carried out within 18 mines (-24.45 million tonnes);
  • verification of resources and losses (-0.57 million tonnes).

The anticipated economic resources of limestones for lime industry decreased by 26.00 million tonnes due to:

  • the output from 18 mines (-18.66 million tonnes);
  • crossing out Wojcieszów-Gruszka and Wojcieszów-Miłek deposits from “The balance…” (-8.68 million tonnes);
  • the recalculation of resources due to the better exploration (-0.88 million tonnes);
  • the documentation of two new deposits – Dobrut and Dobrut 1 (+1.75 million tonnes);
  • the verification of resources (+0.48 million tonnes).

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

The anticipated economic resources of exploited deposits (deposits of operating mines and deposits exploited temporarily) states for 33.8% of total resources for cement industry and 33.5% of total resources for lime industry.

Production of these raw materials is concentrated within three Voivodeships: Świętokrzyskie (accounts for 46.9% of domestic production), Opolskie (19.1%) and Kujawsko-Pomorskie (14.5%). Production of both raw materials amounted to 43.10 million tonnes in 2015 and increased by 1.74 million tonnes – due to the growth of the limestones for lime industry production (by 2.09 million tonnes). The production of the raw materials for cement industry dropped by 0.36 million tonnes.

The most significant growth of the limestones and marls for lime industry output was noted for Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship (by 19%), but the production increased also in Opolskie Voivodeship (by 3%). The production decreased in Dolnośląskie and Małopolskie Voivodeships (by 1-2%). Considering the output of the limestones and marls for cement industry, the significant drops were observed in Dolnośląskie (by 19%) and Opolskie (by 11%) Voivodeships, whereas the production increased only in Śląskie (by 11%) and Świętokrzyskie (by 8%) Voivodeships. Other voivodeships recorded only slight drops.

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 1989-2015.

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.

Prepared by: Dariusz Brzeziński