Title: Mining, production and development of small fractions of gravel and sand aggregates in north-western Poland


The gradual deterioration in the quality of raw material base of natural aggregates combined with the simultaneous increase in the demand of the construction industry for the best quality coarse fractions with grain sizes of 5-8 mm, 8-11 mm, etc., has a major impact on the growing volume of hard to sell and non-transferable (waste) fractions of aggregates produced in Poland. This applies especially to gravel and sand aggregates since in their resources the share of very fine fractions (below 2 mm) is systematically increasing, while the demand for such fractions in construction is limited and they are often treated as useless (waste) material. Problems with selling fine (waste) sands can be observed, among others, in the north-western region of the country. Since it is practically unknown what the volume of mining, production and consumption of these aggregates is, an attempt was made to assess the quantity of extracted and produced sand fractions of aggregates on a national and regional scale (provinces, regional zones). What constitutes a measurable indicator of the deterioration in the quality of resources is the tendency towards change in the average sand point (the percentage content of fine fraction of 0-2 mm) in the documented resources. For example in 2018, the average sand point in the balance resources was 67.8% and it increased by 5% over the period of 12 years (2007-2018). In the economic resources in Poland in 2018, the average SP was higher in comparison with the balance resources, namely 70.6%, and – what is characteristic – it increased by as much as 11.5% during the period of 12 years, i.e. the average annual growth of SP in industrial resources is ca. 1%. The highest growth was recorded in the southern region (by 16.4%); thus, the region with the best deposits in terms of quality (grain size) experiences the fastest deterioration. Estimated calculations show that in 2016, it was actually possible to obtain approximately 51.8 million Mg of gravel aggregates and 84.6 million Mg of sand assortments (0-2 mm); thus, the estimated total production of gravel and sand aggregates probably amounted to approx. 136.4 million Mg, i.e. about 78.7% of the annual production of gravel and sand according to PGI. The remaining part (21.3%) represents losses (useless fractions). The zone division of extraction and production of gravel and sands shows that the positive balance of sand production occurs mainly in the northern region (+19.4 million Mg), while the southern region (+3.2 million Mg) is in balance with the deficit in the central region (-3.0 million Mg). Relatively large positive balance of sand production is recorded in two provinces: Pomeranian (+5.3 million Mg) and West Pomeranian (+3.0 million Mg). The lack of periodic demand for such sands should be the basis for their classification as a by-product and their storage in separate storage sites. The analysis and calculations should contribute to the development of more accurate market forecasts of demand for and production of natural aggregates, especially of gravel and sand, both in Poland and in individual regions.

Place of publishing:



Politechnika Koszalińska







Is part of:

Rocznik Ochrona Środowiska. Vol. 22, s. 242-255


Biblioteka Politechniki Koszalińskiej

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