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.
Apart from the commonly known minerals, nature also provides certain very rare varieties discovered only relatively recently. Some, due to their unique physical characteristics, can be utilized in various industries, while others may be used as inspiration for developing new synthetic materials.
The presented article contains an analysis resulting from 10 years’ experience in the implementation of the POLVAL Code to mineral assets valuations carried out by Competent Valuators. It had been based on data of more than 100 performed valuations. First and foremost, challenges resulting from preferences given by various relevant regulations to the application of a market-based approach were identified. It was underlined that they prompt Valuators to compromise the quality of the database containing reference transactions. In the case of an income based approach, issues resulting from the adoption of estimates and subjective assumptions were discussed. It was indicated that this fact alone cannot create a valid argument to reject the results of such a valuation providing that they have been implemented in a coherent manner and uncertainty was reflected in the value of the applied discount rate. Separately recommended changes to the present version of the POLVAL Code were presented. In conclusion, a significant, positive role of the introduction of the POLVAL Code for the structuring processes of mineral asset valuation was indicated.
The article characterizes geological formations occurring in the Polish lignite deposits having the characteristics of raw materials, i.e. accompanying minerals, giving their location, quality characteristics, estimated resources and potential applications. Attention has also been paid to the economic suitability, e.g. in infrastructure works and for the reclamation of many geological formations found in the overburden, classified as so-called earth or rock mass. There are also raw materials of sorption properties representing a huge potential source of minerals valuable for the economy and environmental protection. This refers to e.g.: beidellite clays from Bełchatów, Poznań clays from the region of Konin and Adamów, lacustrine chalk from Bełchatów, as well as Mesozoic limestone from the lignite bedding in Bełchatów. The reasons for the unsatisfactory use of accompanying minerals have been given. The authors described the methods used in the mining operation and processing of associated minerals, also applicable in Poland, as the legal basis for the extraction of these minerals and the economic and financial conditions. They stressed the need to protect mined not associated minerals used by the construction of anthropogenic deposits. This activity primarily requires regulating the legal status of these deposits and the development and application of an economic and financial system that stimulates the economy of these minerals. In summary, the necessary actions were taken to increase the use of the accompanying minerals and their contribution to the balance of mineral resources in the country.
The functioning of European economies and societies requires a stable and sustainable supply of mineral resources. For 10 years now EU has been developing raw materials initiative to secure European minerals supply. In many cases, areas with known or hypothetic mineral resources, are not sufficiently valued by society and authorities, remain unprotected and face competing land uses with the risk of becoming sterilized. MINATURA 2020 project was born out of a need to develop a harmonised framework which allow a common way of identifying “mineral deposits of public importance” (MDoPI) and their safeguarding via land use planning. The project has left a useful set of guidelines and proposals how to advance on the creation of a European network of MDoPIs to avoid sterilization of “deposits worth safeguarding”. In Poland, the need for legal protection of mineral deposits has been discussed intensively in recent years. Various proposals aimed at better system of mineral deposits safeguarding, especially those which should be recognized as of public importance, have been proposed. However, until now only a few coal deposits were recognized as strategic. Currently, the Polish National Mineral Policy is under preparation. Its overriding objective is to provide access to the necessary minerals, also in the longterm perspective. It assumes among others activities aimed at protection of mineral deposits regarding land use planning system. Paper presents scope and general results of MINATURA2020 project, with details on MINATURA2020 methodology implementation in Poland, Project of the Polish National Mineral Policy with its objectives and key pillars, position of MDoPIs in this Project, and – finally – expected future steps related to MDoPI safeguarding in EU and in Poland.
“Mineral deposit model”, “deposit modelling” are the terms commonly used, although imprecise. This is often identified as the application of computerized methods to the elaboration and presentation of geological information, in particular for the mining design. Deposit modelling is the mode of presentation of deposit features, which in the meaning of the authors of such presentation, describes the deposit features between the points of observations as best as possible. Deposit modelling has a long history (XVI-XVII centuries), however such a term was not used. Varied methods of cartographic presentation of deposits and their features were proposed. The progress in the presentation of the deposit in space using isolines maps has led to the separation of methods of deposits geometrisation. Over time, a simple mathematical statistics method was used to describe the deposit parameters, followed by geostatistical methods. Some of them were however not commonly used as too troublesome. The computer based approach to the presentation of geological data has an unquestionable value but is accompanied by the possibility of inappropriate formalized and erroneous interpretations and a presentation as to whether the basic rules of geological knowledge were neglected. Deposits modeling is a conceptual task and cannot be fully automated.
The article provides the external indications (both international and domestic) showing how important creating an appropriate mineral policy of the country is, especially in the context of mineral security. The current mandatory legal regulations referring to mineral policy and mineral security of the country were presented and discussed against this background, starting with provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland, through the Strategy for Sustainable Development, Spatial Management Concept of the Country 2030 together with Action Plan, Strategy for Energy Security and Environment – 2020 perspective, Geological and Mining Law and other legal acts and implementing provisions, Action Plan “Raw Materials for the Industry” announced by the Minister of Development, the Concept for Mineral Policy presented by the Government Plenipotentiary for the Mineral Policy, and finally – project of the Urban and Building Code in the area of spatial development. In the case of documents being in the course of the proceedings, the current state of working on them is presented, also in the context of particular projected legal solutions for future regulations. The author indicates and justifies the need of accelerating the work and taking actions to prevent the currently appearing phenomena that may impede the execution of the raw materials policy and the protection of key raw materials in the future.
The article concerns issues related to need of the introduction of protection prognostic areas, prospective resources pursuant to the new regulations of integrated development and space management in Poland. The article discuss the issues of actual and crucial documents and it also contains some critic and detailed analysis of the documents such as: the Responsible Development Strategy (SOR), Integrated National Development Strategy (ZSRK), Poland Integrated Development Strategy (SZRP). Author also analyzes whether the level of the implementation with the provisions motioned above is compliant with work in the committees reviewing issues in accordance with the work of the inter-ministerial teams for the updating and monitoring the strategy of development, set up at the Coordination Committee for Development Policy. The article indicates, among others, the increase of the legislative risk for the geological-mining or energy industry, the commodity sector. The risk may affect the crucial matters for the industry (functional areas, ICPs, the basis of their recognition in planning documents – taken into consideration as an element in the integrated management system of development). After all the analysis of the current provision, the article contains the summary with the main conclusions.
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.
During the cruise of the research ship r/v Oceania owned by the Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Sopot a research on mineral suspension concentration and dispersion distributions was conducted. The research area included the western part of the Baltic Sea, the Danish Straits, the Norwegian Sea, the waters around Spitsbergen and the North Atlantic Ocean. Samples of water were collected from the surface layer. They were subjected to microscopic analysis. Measurements were done with a projection microscope (magnification lOOOx) and using the Burker's table. After counting the particles dispersion distribution was determined. The largest concentration of mineral suspension was noted offshore in the Norwegian Sea and around Spitsbergen and the smallest in the central Atlantic Ocean.
Mineral deposits are such type of assets, the valuation of which can be carried out in a very diverse manner. Methods and procedures for such a valuation are most often applied to mineral deposits with mineral reserves (according to the CRIRSCO classification), much less frequently and usually only using a comparative approach for undeveloped, initially recognized mineral deposits (with mineral resources). In Poland, a significant portion of mineral deposits, mainly of energy, metal and chemical minerals, are covered by the so-called mining property of the Treasury. At the moment, there is a lack of consistent and thoughtful management of these deposits. The appropriate methodology for valuing these deposits, which are at various stages of recognition (sometimes also of development), should be one of the key elements of such management. The State Treasury usually disposes of mining rights by “establishing” mining usufruct in the form of a contract, with the determination of remuneration for this establishment. The rules for determining remuneration for the establishment of mining usufruct are determined on the basis of an internal informal document of the Ministry of the Environment with very simplified rules for determining this remuneration, to a very limited extent related to the actual value of the deposit, which is also variable over time. This fee should be in close relation to the value of the mineral deposit valued at a given moment, taking the current conditions, including technological, environmental, formal and legal, and – in particular – market conditions into account. The valuation of mineral deposits covered by mining property, except for current needs in determining the basis for remuneration for mining usufruct establishing, should also be used to determine the value of these deposits annually as part of the State Treasury property and to present its results as part of the State Treasury Property Status Report. It is an open matter whether the methodology of valuation of the discussed mineral deposits should be based on accepted and widely used solutions for the valuation of mineral deposits for the purposes of business transactions or based on methodology of valuation of deposits as part of the planned system of Integrated Environmental and Economic National Account (up to date poorly developed). The paper presents the most important elements of both methodological approaches. It seems that the use of selected elements of each of these approaches would be advisable in this case.
A lot of interest has recently been put into the so-called ‘virtual cryptographic currencies’, commonly known as cryptocurrencies, along with its surrounding market. The blockchain technology that stands behind them is also becoming increasingly popular. From the perspective of maintaining energy security, an important issue is the process of mining individual cryptocurrencies, which is associated with very high energy consumption. This operation is usually related to the approval of new blocks in the blockchain network and attaching them to the chain. This process is carried out through performing complex mathematical operations by various devices, which in turn require high power and respectively consume a lot of energy. The impact of cryptocurrency miners on the power and energy demand level might gradually increase over time, therefore this issue shouldn’t be ignored. Comparing the above information in parallel with the growing need for providing demand side response (DSR) services in the Polish Power System, raises the question whether devices used for mining cryptocurrencies can be used for the purpose of balancing the power system. This paper presents an analysis of the possibility to provide the demand side response services by groups of cryptocurrency miners users. The analysis was carried out taking basic functional, technological and economical aspects of these devices’ operations into account.
The article discusses problems related to rules and regulations determining compensations for the mining usufruct of mineral deposits covered by the so called “state mining ownership”. Specific acts of law framing agreements on mining usufruct between government and mining enterprises were analyzed. Rules and algorithms applied to calculate an appropriate compensation are evaluated leading to several conclusions, including the one about lack of a direct legal grounding for them. Such a situation creates disputes and may be risky for all involved. It was also indicated that, in parallel, the State lets another class of mineral deposits, namely the ones owned as a result of real estate ownership and the related Civil Code regulations confirmed by the mining law. In such cases, a mining entrepreneur gets usufruct of a real estate, but only the one with mineral rights. Subsequently a comparison of the rules and algorithms established for determining compensation for mining usufruct and for usufruct of real-estates comprising rights for mineral assets was performed. Arguments for a far going harmonization between these two were put forward. This implies that a starting point for determining any compensation has to be a valuation of a relevant mineral deposit market value as opposed to any universal, however complicated, prescribed algebraic formula. Such a process is complicated and demands competences in geology, mining and finance. Consequently, regulations set in the Polish Mineral Asset Valuation Code shall be applied to both a running a valuation process and indicating competent persons. As a result, recommendations leading to correlate rules applied in both cases are put forward including the adoption of mineral asset valuation as a fundament to determine the level of compensation for the mining usufruct. The closing section contains recommendations regarding necessary changes in the legal framework.
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.
The basis for a mineral deposit delimitation is a qualitative and quantitative assessment of deposit parameters, qualifying a deposit as an economically valuable object. A conventional approach to the mineral deposit recognition and a deposit detailed parameters qualification in the initial stages of development work in the KGHM were presented in the paper. The goals of such recognition were defined, which through a gradual detailed expansion, resulting from the information inflow, allows for the construction of a more complete decision-making model. The description of the deposit parameters proposed in the article in the context of fuzzy logic, enables a presentation of imprecise statements and data, which may be a complement to a traditional description. Selected non-adjustable and adjustable s-norm and t-norm operators were demonstrated. Operators effects were tested for selected ore quality parameters (copper content and deposit thickness) by constructing adequate membership functions. In a practical application, the use of chosen fuzzy logic operators is proposed for the assessment of the qualitative parameters of copper-silver ore in the exploitation blocks for one of the mines belonging to KGHM Polish Copper S.A. The considerations have been extended by including the possibility of using compensation operators.
The article presents probable consequences for the protection of deposits and other mining needs, related to the entry into force of the Act of July 5, 2018 on the Facilitation of the Preparation and Implementation of Housing Investments and Accompanying Investments. This act introduces facilities for the preparation and implementation of housing as well as related projects, including the possibility of introducing investments incompatible with the existing local plans. In addition, it does so in a situation where land reserves for housing development, both in local plans and in studies of conditions and directions of spatial development, many times exceed the future needs of our country. The article presents the fundamental changes introduced by the Act to the existing planning and spatial planning system, as well as the risks associated with the mining industry. Among the latter, the following can be mentioned: lower stability of local law regulations, the possibility of resolving changes in spatial development at a very fast pace, without providing an effective way to inform subjects that may be threatened by these changes and increase the probability of the appearance of investments in the area of mining, the neighborhood of which may lead to limit or even liquidate these installations, due to even their disadvantages to housing. Some remedies have been proposed to mitigate some of the threats in the article. The Act in question was prepared and passed at an express pace, with a large opposition from many environments. At the same time, a number of legal solutions were applied in it, which were not applied in the Polish law. As a result, there are many doubts about the effects of its introduction.
The Act of July 5, 2018 on Facilitating of Preparation and Implementation of Housing and Accompanying Investments allows such investments irrespective of the existence of a local development plan or determination of use of land in the local development plan. In other words, the abovementioned investments may be implemented on land with a completely different designation according to the local development plan, as for example the mining of minerals. The location of the investment is decided by a resolution of the municipal council. If the planned location is to be situated within the boundaries of documented mineral deposits and the so-called „mining areas”, it needs, among others, to be agreed with the appropriate geological administration authority. Not taking a position within 21 days is considered as a consent. With reference to the deposits not covered by mining licenses, the Act does not indicate the premises that should be taken into consideration while providing such consent. There is a concern that this may lead to the development of the land in a way that will cause the subsequent extraction of the mineral impossible.
Eye fluids (aqueous humour and vitreous humour) may be helpful in estimating ante-mortem blood levels, since some parameters measured in these fluids have proved to be stable or to change in a predictable way after death. This would help in diagnosing the cause of death in some diseases or to evaluate ante-mortem blood levels in certain animals not easy to handle or with difficult access. In order to establish reference values of some parameters in blood and eye fluids (aqueous humour and vitreous humour), as well as the possible correlation among these three different fluids, various minerals and electrolytes (Ca, P, Mg, K, Na, Fe, Cr, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Se and Mo) were measured in 15 four to five year-old Lidia bulls, all dying after a period of significant stress and major exertion. Plasmatic values of Mg and P were much greater than reported in the literature. In general, mineral plasmatic values were greater than those found in ocular fluids (aqueous and vitreous), while Na, K and Cr were similar in the three fluids. We have verified the existence of correlations in P, Co and Mo among the three fluids measured, and between Se of plasma and vitreous humour. But the most marked correlations were observed in Mo (plasma -aqueous humour, r = 0.893, plasma-vitreous humour, r = 0.945, HA -HV, r = 0.849), in P (plasma-vitreous humour, r = 0.726) and in Co (plasma-vitreous humour, r = 879).
The Marhegda Bed is a carbonate-dominated Uthostratigraphic unit occurring locally at base of the Middle-Late Jurassic organic-rich sequence of the Agardhfjellet Formation in Spitsbergen, Svalbard. It has been interpreted to represent oolitic limestone facies deposited during an initial stage of Late Jurassic transgression. Petrographic, major element geochemical, and stable carbon and oxygen isotopic data presented in this paper indicate that this litho-stratigraphic unit is not a depositional limestone, but a diagenetic cementstone band originated in organic-rich sediment containing glauconite pellets and phosphatic ooids and grains. Two episodes of carbonate diagenesis, including early precipitation of siderite and burial precipitation of ankerite, have contributed to the development of this cementstone. Extensive siderite precipitation occurred at sedimentary temperatures in nearsurface suboxic environment in which microbial reduction of ferric iron was the dominant diagenetic process. Precipitation of ankerite occurred at temperatures of about 80-100°C in burial diagenetic environment overwhelmed by thermal decarboxylation processes. Formation of ankerite was associated with advanced alteration of glauconite, dissolution of apatite and precipitation of kaolinite.