Where are the largest hard coal deposits in Poland?

Where are the largest hard coal deposits in Poland? Hard coal is called black gold. Despite the fact that the extraction of this raw material has been systematically decreasing in recent years, Poland is still one of the European and world leaders in terms of the scale of production. It is certainly influenced by substantial hard coal deposits in Poland and a long mining tradition. The search for hard coal deposits has been carried out in Poland for many centuries, thanks to which the documentation of deposits , especially those located in Upper Silesia, is rich.

Hard coal is a strategic fuel, and more than 70% of energy is obtained from coal combustion. Is it known where the largest hard coal deposits are located in Poland? It seems to be despite the tendency to replace coal with wind and solar energyhard coal deposit research will continue.

Characteristics of hard coal

Hard coal is a sedimentary rock of organic origin that was formed millions of years ago during the Carboniferous period from plant debris that turned into rock due to the cut off of the oxygen supply. Hard coal has been used as a fuel for centuries due to the high content of the pure carbon element (75% -97%). The raw material has a high calorific value, hence its calorific value is higher than in the case of another type – brown coal. A characteristic feature of hard coal is its black, matte color.

Outline of the history of hard coal mining in Poland

Many centuries ago, geological field research was carried out in Poland , the purpose of which was to search for hard coal deposits, precisely determine their location, depth of deposits below the ground, and estimate the size of resources. The geology of minerals has a rich history, as does the history of hard coal mining in Poland. Hard coal has been mined in Upper Silesia since the 17th century. The first mine was a plant located in Murcky, where the raw material was initially mined using the opencast method.It was not until a later period that deep mines began to emerge. The mining industry flourished at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. Also in the People’s Republic of Poland, hard coal mining experienced a period of prosperity and was a key industry. More mining plants have been shutting down in recent decades.

The main reason – apart from the tendency to develop renewable, low-emission energy sources – is the unprofitability of mining, as shallow coal seams are becoming more and more depleted. Most of the deposits in Upper Silesia are located more than 1000 meters below the surface. Despite the mechanization and robotization of the mining industry, the extraction of raw materials from such deep deposits is not very profitable and is associated with a high risk for the miners working there. Companies whose domain is mining geology they are still searching for mineral resource deposits , the purpose of which is a more detailed identification of hard coal deposits, in terms of their location and profitability of extraction.

Hard coal deposits in Poland

Polish hard coal deposits are among the largest resources of this raw material in Europe. The most extensive seams are in the southern part of the country. This applies especially to the areas of Upper Silesia, Lesser Poland, Lower Silesia and the Lublin region. As the deposit documentation indicates , Silesiathe resources are by far the largest, i.e. in the Upper Silesian Industrial District, Rybnik Coal District and Zagłębie Dąbrowski in total, there may be as much as 80-90% of the total hard coal in Poland. There are over 20 mines in this area. As for coal mining in Małopolska, this applies to deposits located on the border of the Śląskie Voivodeship, in the vicinity of Brzeszcze and Libiąż. On the other hand, estimates show that only 1% of domestic hard coal resources are located in the Lower Silesian Coal Basin. Exploitation of the raw material in the vicinity of Wałbrzych and Nowa Ruda was completed about two decades ago, due to the difficult mining conditions and unfavorable tectonic structure of the deposits, which was associated with high costs of mining works. The least recognized are the deposits in the Lublin Coal Basin.Hard coal is mined there near Łuków and Radzyń Podlaski.

Lublin deposits – research and classification is a challenge faced by companies whose domain is mine geology. It is estimated that the coal deposits in the Lublin region are quite rich, located relatively shallow, and the raw material there is of high quality. However, this requires more precise expertise and documentation. Therefore, it seems that the eastern parts of the country may be prospective from the point of view of obtaining heating coal. The more that the future of Silesian mining is becoming clearer and clearer. After 2030, only half of the currently active mines may be operational. Unprofitable plants, where coal seams are difficult to access, will be liquidated. That is why such an important task is faced by companies dealing with mining geology. Only about 40% of the domestic hard coal deposits are explored so far. It cannot be ruled out that also in other areas of Poland there are deposits of this raw material, the extraction of which will be more profitable than in Silesia. Of course, this requires not only in-depth research, but also the construction of infrastructure allowing for the exploitation of the resource.

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