The first Mineral Policy in Poland was prepared in 1938. In that time The Mineral Policy was primarily dedicated to preparing Poland for a defensive war. The Central Geology Authority (CGA) was created in 1991. The main task of this Authority was preparation plans (annual and multiannual) of geological-exploration. The CGA’s activities were focused on enhancing the resource base of mineral deposits. As of 1985 the coordination of geological tasks is the main duty of the Chief Geologist of the country. In 1996 the Council of Ministers adopted a document called State policy in the field of mineral resources, prepared at the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry as well as the Ministry of Industry and Trade. In 2015 a wide public discussion about the need to develop a mineral raw materials policy, initiated by the publication of three analytical documents prepared by the Demos Foundation, Professor J. Hausner and the Ministry of the Environment took place. Milestones in the development of a national mineral raw materials policy was the establishment of the special government’s plenipotentiary as well as the inter-ministerial team for mineral raw materials policy. In 2018, The Mineral Raw Materials Policy was transferred for public consultation. This document is the first document that is so comprehensive and holistic from the point of view of national mineral security interests. The Mineral Raw Materials Policy is based on 9 substantial pillars among them: economical and legal basis of mineral sector activities, investment risk, geological prospection and exploration, utilization of mineral wastes.
As of the spring of 2017, the HAŁDY Database is available on the Polish Geological Institute – NRI website. The geodatabase contains information and data on waste mineral raw materials collected on old heaps, industrial waste stock-piles and in post-mining settlers, from the Polish part of the Sudety Mountains. The article presents the types of data and information contained in the geodatabase and the methodology for their collection. As a result of four-year research works, field reconnaissance, archives and geological basic research, 445 objects of former mining and mineral processing were inventoried. There are 403 mine heaps, 16 industrial settlers, 23 stock-piles and 3 external dumps. These are mainly objects after coal mining and metal ores, including post-uranium. The greatest opportunities for the economic use of waste are associated with coal sludge accumulated in settlers of the liquidated Lower Silesian Coal Basin. The material from stone heaps after polymetallic, iron and fluorite ore mining is also easy to use. The issue of the economic use of post-flotation copper ore waste or the recovery of metals (including gold) from dumps of arsenic mining remains open. The limitation here is the efficiency of metal recovery technologies and environmental restrictions. Some of the objects are located in protected areas, which excludes the possibility of waste management. Some stock-piles and heaps should be carefully reclaimed and covered by environmental monitoring, due to their harmful impact on environmental components.
The Legnica deposit is one of the most prospective in the context of future lignite mining. Its extraction will be inseparable from the removal of the rocks of the overburden, the volume of which is very large. Due to the raw material properties, some of the rocks can be classified as accompanying minerals. The raw material identification of overburden sediments in the Legnica lignite deposit is insufficient. So far, they haven’t been the subject of detailed and comprehensive research to prove their usefulness. The article was a summary of the knowledge on this subject. The following should be included in the accompanying minerals: Quaternary sands and gravels, tertiary sands and clays (Poznan clays). They are present in two colour variants in the Legnica deposit - and fiery. The mineral composition of greenish-blue clays allows them to be included in illite-kaolinite- smectite varieties, in turn fiery clays as kaolinite-illite-smectite varieties. The tertiary clays are a very useful raw material for the production of building materials. In addition, they are potential mineral sorbents due to the nature of the association of clay minerals (occurrence of montmorillonite). They also show suitability for building waterproofing barriers. Quaternary gravels and sands, developed in the overburden Legnica deposit are differentiated raw materials. Some of them are raw materials for the construction industry. The glacial tills can be used as a component of ceramic mixtures. Tertiary sands can be used as a proppant material. The information on the raw material properties of these sediments will be one of the essential criteria for their treatment as accompanying minerals. Minerals accompanying those developed in the Legnica deposit should be exploited and deposited selectively. The creation of anthropogenic deposits accumulating these minerals will provide the possibility of their use for decades after the termination of operation.
The Tertiary lignite formations in the Bełchatów deposit, along with coal, are built of plastic, weakly compact and loose rocks. Their physical and mechanical parameters, don’t pose operational problems. However, varieties of a different lithological character and physical-mechanical properties rocks, causing difficulties when mining the overburden rocks, appear within them. These include: Mesozoic limestones, Tertiary sandstones and conglomerates, as well as Quaternary iron feldspar rocks. The article features a lithological characterization as well as values of basic physico-mechanical parameters. They form the basis of the geological engineering classification and decide about their difficult workability. The possibilities of their raw material utilization were also discussed.