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Sulphur in Poland

Keywords: native sulphur , sulphur deposits , Poland

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Abstract:

Poland belongs to one of the last countries with native sulphur mining. Its history begun in 15th century. Deposit area of Tarnobrzeg re-presents 80% of all known sulphur reserves in this country. All of explored deposits in this area were created by metasomatic alteration of sulphur bearing limestones with sulphur mineralised liquids, which arised from melt gypsum. The average content is 25 - 30% of sulphur in Tarnobrzeg area. Considerable parts of deposits are created by calcite and native sulphur. Gypstone, baryte and stroncianite have only minera-logic occurencies. The extensive native sulphur deposits account for 88% of the country′s sulphur production. There were five sulphur mines in operation: Jeziórko, Grêbów, Machów I, Machów II and Basznia, but operations in Basznia were ended in 1992 and Machów and Machów II were liquidated. The sixth mine Osiek is currently producing. Only the Machów I mine operated an open-pit extraction and refining process, the other four mines producing sulphur using a modified Frasch method that gives elemental sulphur of up to 99,9% purity. Sulphur is an important export commodity with foreign sales totalling around 1.5 - 2.5 Mt/y. Modern benefication methods, which allowing to achieve sulphur from hydrocarbons, are causing decrease of native sulphur prices in the world and bringing about reduction of mining activities for this raw material in Poland.

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