Metals and elements coexisting in ores and in other raw materials
This group of mineral raw materials mainly comprises metals, which occur as co-occurring elements mainly in sulfides ore deposits. This is the case of Polish copper and zinc-lead deposits with fairly long records of various co-occurring elements. The elements, often of high market value, are already recovered or may be recoverable in the course of processing of these ores. Accumulations of some of these elements were covered by prospecting and exploration which resulted often in evaluations of their indicated/inferred resources. Sometimes their resources are documented.
Rare earth elements and those named as dispersed elements were also found to occur in beach sands (zirconium – 2 thousand tonnes; titanium – 12 thousand tonnes), sands of Ławica-Odrzana deposit (zirconium – 25.28 thousand tonnes, resources documented in 2014), potassium-magnesium salts (boron – 6 thousand tonnes; bromine – 7.2 thousand tonnes) and saline waters and brines (32.16 million m3). The data on boron, bromine, zirconium and titanium (except for Ławica Odrzana area) come from the evaluations made in 1960s and any new calculations has not been made since then.
Table 1 shows a summary of estimations of resources of major co-occurring elements (thousand tonnes).
In 2014 there was new zinc and lead ores deposit – Zawiercie 3 – documented and the resources of co-occurring elements were assessed. The calculations were made for: arsenic, gallium, germanium, cadmium, sulphur, silver and thallium (table 2).
Prepared by: Stanisław Z. Mikulski