The article discusses the problem of the supply of a by-product, which is synthetic gypsum produced as a result of flue gas desulphurization in conventional power plants. The state of production and forecast for the future are presented. Currently, synthetic gypsum is almost entirely used as a raw material in the gypsum products plant located in the immediate vicinity of the power plant. Since the mid-1990s, in Poland, an increase in the production of synthetic gypsum associated with the construction of a flue gas desulphurization installation in Polish conventional power plants has been observed. In the near future, the upward trend will continue in connection with the construction of new coal units in power plants. Significant surpluses of this raw material will appear on the market, which will not be used on an ongoing basis in the production of gypsum components. However, due to the EU’s restrictive policy towards energy based on coal and lignite, within the next few decades, the share of conventional power plants in energy production will be gradually reduced. As a consequence, the supply of synthetic gypsum will also gradually decrease. Therefore, it is advisable to properly store the surplus of this raw material so that it can be used in the future. Taking this into account, it is already necessary to prepare methods for storing the expected surpluses of synthetic gypsum. For this purpose, post-mining open pits are particularly suitable, especially in mines of rock raw materials. The article proposes a legal path enabling the post-mining open pits to be transformed into a anthropogenic gypsum deposit.
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.
The mineral resources security is the most current and important problem. In the age of minerals, each deposit can be a source of an impulse for the development of innovative technologies. For this aim we should look for the rational and optimal management of resources. However, this is not a simple task, as indicated by subsequent years without the national mineral policy. The difficulty in securing deposits lies mainly in the complexity of this topic. It requires developing a vision, taking a direction, building appropriate tools and implementing them consistently. The article presents the current problems in the field of securing deposits against the announced national mineral policy. The authors reach for the analyses which were made in recent years regarding the country’s raw material management and indicate the scope of activities that should be taken to secure the deposits. What are the tasks in the draft of mineral policy and what is the scope of activities to secure the deposits that should be taken. The securing of deposits is primarily understanding the possibility of development deposits by their extraction. Therefore, it is misleading and inadequate to apply the term „resources pro-tection”. According to the authors it builds an unnecessary conflict between the mining industry and natural scientists who want to preserve the environmental resources untouched. The article also points out the main areas of action needed to effectively secure the resources, and also gives outline the solutions. Valorization works, preceded by verification of the quality of the geological documentations are of great importance for the creation of effective tools to protect resources. The result of these activities should be the long-awaited ranking list of deposits. Subsequently, the authors of the article suggest legislative changes in the field of spa-tial planning and environmental procedures.
The aim of the article is to show the dependence of what is our/mine and Other/Alien in thinking about conflicts around investment projects. Investments related to the development of space and resources of the Earth, especially if they cause any (real or potential) changes, generate negative emotions which often become the embers of conflict. Paradoxically, participation in such conflict may benefit the parties involved. Positive outcomes include: meeting needs (attention and significance), fulfilling (new) social roles, learning about other points of view, finding themselves in new social groups or embedded in local communities. Living in the social theater of life, each person plays different roles, which can lead to tension and a sense of ambivalence. In this situation, the individual has a sense of identity dispersion, being able to be simultaneously in several groups opposing each other. The conflict surrounding the Orzesze mining project can serve as an example here. This and other examples show that what is mine and the Other/Alien, with all its separateness, is, however, more or less intertwined with each other. So, the phenomenon of mutual dependence between the Other/Alien and conflict can provide an interesting perspective when looking at conflicts in managing the space and resources of the Earth. Conflicts, in particular mining-related ones, are an extremely complex phenomenon with great potential – both negative and positive. The appreciation of the benefits mentioned in the article, which result from the mutual dependence of the parties involved in the conflict along with their readiness to go outside their comfort zones, provide an opportunity for mutual understanding and reaching agreement which could lead to a positive change consistent with the idea of sustainable development. In this complex situation, the incorporation of not only sociological but also psychological aspects becomes an important element of the states’ and companies’ resources policy and cannot be neglected any more.
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.
Mineral fillers are mainly utilized in the production of printing and writing papers (P&W) to improve their optical features and their vulnerability to printing. With the high cost of pulp, the aim of their introduction has been to increase mineral loading in paper and reduce the overall cost of production. For many years the only method of paper formation was acid technology, while the only raw material of choice for filling and coating paper and cardboard was kaolin (in the beginning of the 1970s it was 80% of fillers and 94% of coating grades used in Western Europe, while in the USA – 92% and 96%, respectively). The onset on new methods of acid-free (alkaline) paper forming caused a drastic reduction in the kaolin demand for cost-competitive calcium carbonate: GCC – Ground Calcium Carbonate) and PCC – Precipitated Calcium Carbonate. This also resulted from the progressive self-destruction of machine-made acid papers. In 2013, the share of calcium carbonate in the total production of fillers was 83%, while kaolin accounted for 10%, and talc – 7%. The article presents the parameters of principal mineral fillers for the paper industry and the main reasons why they are suitable for particular kinds of paper. Kaolin, due to the platy nature of its main mineral constituent – kaolinite, is preferred in multiple coating papers. The choice of GCC is beneficial because of its low price and properties (especially whiteness). PCC , due to the possibility of shape and particle size modification serves as filler in uncoated woodfree papers, the key features of which are expected to be lightness and opacity. Size distribution is the main difference between PCC and GCC . The article also presents tendencies observed over the last several years in the paper market in Poland, i.e. in a significant growth in coated paper and board for packaging, as well as the decreasing demand for newspaper, which is a consequence of progressive digitalization.
The extraction of mineral deposits is usually charged with additional taxes or royalty fees that go beyond the general income tax. As a rule, countries prefer stable sources of fiscal revenues based on the volume of raw material extraction, and investors prefer models based on profit tax, i.e. taking operating costs and risks lower than the expected profitability of the project into account. As a rule, too high a burden for the mining sector affects investors’ decisions regarding the introduction of new investments. There are a number of examples where excessive fiscal burdens force investors to move to countries with more favorable tax systems. An analysis of various forms of taxation of mining enterprises around the world has been presented and compared with the system implemented in Poland. Usually, the countries that apply the royalty fee in the mining sector at the same time introduce a number of adaptation mechanisms. This is crucial for new investments due to the fact that they may to some extent compensate for the high costs of transition from the investment to the operational phase. In most cases, several incentive mechanisms are used at the same time, e.g. the accelerated settlement of investment expenditures and the unlimited settlement of losses. The copper and silver mining tax introduced in Poland increased the discounted effective tax rate (ETR) from 38.5% to 89% for the entire investment period, which resulted in a 11-year return on investment, as well as a drop in the internal rate of return (IRR).There are currently no mechanisms in Poland which would balance the burden of this tax for a new investor. In order to balance the extraction tax for certain minerals in terms of the IRR and ETR key indicators, the introduction of several adaptation mechanisms has been proposed. For new investments the most essential mechanism is the preferential settlement of capital expenditures incurred in the pre-production phase of an investment. The others include accelerated amortization, the ability to deduct certain expenses for the exploration phase from the tax base, along with an extended tax loss settlement period, or a mechanism for deducting a certain percentage of investment expenses directly from the tax.
The subject of the paper is the analysis of factors determining the value of multi-entity organizations in the energy sector and their ranking according to the degree of impact on this value. For this purpose, statistical methods were used, which are best suited to determine the order of diagnostic features according to a specific criterion. The survey covered companies from the Polish energy sector, while the process itself is based on aggregated data, which represents the financial data of capital groups currently operating in the Polish energy sector. The first part of the article presents a short description of the Polish energy sector, paying particular attention to the organizational structure of the sector, i.e. companies operating on the domestic energy market. The nature of a multi-entity enterprise as a typical economic unit in the sector is described. The second part of the article describes the assumptions of multidimensional comparative analysis (MCA) as a tool for comparing multifunctional units. The MCA makes it possible to find the most important parameters or indicators having the greatest impact on the value of a multi-entity organization, i.e. a capital group. The survey covered four companies from the Polish energy sector: TAURON Polska Energia SA, ENEA SA, ENERGA SA and PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA. The study with the use of MCA was conducted in three stages: - in the first stage, on the basis of information contained in the financial statements, a matrix of diagnostic features was created, describing the financial condition of the examined entity, - in the second stage, the values of diagnostic variables were normalized/unified; two methods of normalization were applied: the method of standardization and zero unitization, - in the third stage, the diagnostic variables were grouped using two methods: the model measure of Hellwig’s development and the non-standard measure of development. The results of the analysis are illustrated by tables and figures.
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 paper presents brown coal as one of the two basic domestic energy raw materials apart from hard coal. Historically, the use of brown coal in Poland is primarily fuel for the power plants. It was used for the production of lignite briquettes in small quantities and as fuel for local boiler houses and as an addition to the production of fertilizers (Konin and Sieniawa). At present, after changes in the case of the quality of fuels used in local boiler plants, brown coal remains as a fuel for the power plants in almost 100%. Currently, the brown coal industry produces about 35% of the cheapest electricity. The cost of electricity production is more than 30% lower than the second basic fuel – hard coal. The existing fuel and energy complexes using brown coal, with the Bełchatów complex at the forefront, are now an important guarantor of Poland’s energy security. In contrast to the other fuels such as: oil, natural gas or hard coal, the cost of electricity production from brown coal is predictable in the long term and almost insensitive to fluctuations in global commodity and currency markets. Its exploitation is carried out using the high technological solutions and respecting all environmental protection requirements, both in the area of coal extraction and electricity generation. Importantly, the fuel and energy complexes using brown coal showed a positive profitability so far and generated surpluses enabling the financing of maintenance and development investments, also in other energy segments. In particular, the sector did not require and has yet not benefited from public aid in the form of, for example, subsidies or tax concessions. Polish brown coal mining has all the attributes necessary for long-term development to ensure the country’s energy security. The document which is a road map for the brown coal industry is the Program for the Brown Coal Mining Sector in Poland adopted by the Council of Ministers on May 30, 2018. The Program covers the years 2018–2030 with a perspective up to 2050 and presents the development directions of the brown coal mining sector in Poland together with the objectives and actions necessary to achieve them. The Program presents a strategy for the development of brown coal mining in Poland in the first half of the 21st century. Possible scenarios have developed in active mining and energy basins as well as in new regions with significant resources of this mineral. This is to enable the most efficient use of deposits in the Złoczew and Konin regions as well as the Gubin and Legnica brown coal basins, and then deposits located in the Rawicz region (Oczkowice) as well as other prospective areas that may eventually replace the existing active mining and energy areas. This will allow power plants to continue to produce inexpensive and clean electricity, using the latest global solutions in the field of clean coal technologies.
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.
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.
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.
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 demand for REE was the background to include them to those consisting of the property of the State Treasury in Poland, enumerated in the Geological and Mining Law (Article 10). The PLN 500/kg REE payment for exploitation of REE (exploitation tax) was introduced. Both proposals will restrain the REE recovery from exploited domestic mineral commodities. The term REE is imprecise. Their deposits are rare and may be classified as “REE ore deposits”. The REE are often the accompanying constituents in varied mineral commodities and are recoverable during their processing, outside the mine. The application of an exploitation tax in such a case is inapplicable. The established value of the exploitation tax is incomparably high in respect to the value of the REE contained in mined mineral commodities. The analysis of introduced changes of mining and geological law allow to suggest the reevaluation of ownership based subdivision of mineral commodities: name the mineral commodities belonging to the land property owners and leave the list of mineral commodities consisting property of the State Treasury open. The more careful approach is also necessary in the formulation of Geological and Mining Law. It should be preliminary formulated by persons competent in geology and mining and subsequently adjusted to juridical exigencies.
The operational mineral deposit reconnaissance tends to evaluate its parameters to conduct safe and profitable production. Particular deposit parameters, important from the point of mineral deposit management, are estimated on the basis of observations carried out by mining geological surveys. These observations usually involve sampling, drilling, laboratory analyses and others. The use of fuzzy description to assess the parameters of the mineral deposit was proposed in the paper. In the fuzzy characteristics, an imprecise descriptive description appeared in place of a particular numerical quantity. This approach was used to description of the ore deposit features (metal content, volume, and metal yield) by assigning them specific characteristic functions, whose distributions were based on basic statistical quantities. Characteristic functions can be used to prepare operational strategies for any configuration of required deposit parameters resulting from the production management needs. For this purpose, selected logical operators of fuzzy sets were used. In the next approach to fuzzy modeling, an opportunity to characterize the deposit in a subjective approach was indicated, where the assessment of the deposit parameters is based on rough, in some way, discretionary observation and evaluation. Such model construction enabled the overall assessment of the deposit from the point of view of any parameters. Through the implementation of appropriate inference rules, adequate fuzzy control planes were obtained, which may also be useful in the context of operational mine strategy planning.
The “Sulmierzyce-Odolanów” study area analyzed in the present paper constitutes an example of the presence of deep Zechstein metallic mineralization in the Fore-Sudetic Monocline. Unlike the shallow deposits which are being mined nowadays, these types of areas were not previously considered in terms of their possible extraction. However, in recent years, due to the development of modern mining technologies, this situation has changed and these areas have become prospective for the future documenting of mineral deposits. The threshold parameters delimiting an ore deposit, recommended for use when preparing geological documentation and not compulsory, have been established by the regulation of the Minister of Environment. In the case of stratabound Zechstein deposits they take the equivalent percentage and productivity of only two metals, i.e. copper, as the main useful component, and silver into account. This leads to the underestimation of the resources of ore which also contains other metals, including zinc and lead, which is particularly disadvantageous in the case of deep deposits, which from an economic standpoint, it is advisable to focus on their richest parts and to document, and in the future to extract all the useful metals. Also, the regulation of the Minister of Environment does not take into account the fluctuations of the market prices of metals over time, the impact of which on the equivalent content and productivity of these elements in the deposit is considerable. This paper presents the authors’ own formulas intended to calculate polymetallic equivalent content and productivity taking the share of four elements in the ore into account: copper, silver, zinc and lead. They also enable determining these values for arbitrarily selected time intervals and tracing their changes over time. Apart from the quality parameters it is also possible to calculate the value of mineral resources in the deposit expressed in American dollars per one square meter of its area for each selected time interval. The calculations used the results of chemical analyses of historical drill cores originating from the studied area. A total of 135 historical holes located within its boundaries were analyzed. Based on the obtained figures, the time-varying resources of the polymetallic equivalent (Cu-Ag-Zn-Pb) were estimated along with their market value expressed in American dollars for each year in the time interval of 2012–2016.
The Jurassic kaolinite-illite clays in Rozwady (Opoczno region) were exploited for the needs of the chamotte fireclay refractories plant in Opoczno built in the years 1926–1928. Until the World War II, these clays were a major component of ceramic sets used for manufacturing quartz-chamotte refractories applicable to steel-making ladles in the Upper Silesian steel works. In the year 1990, due to a drastically low demand for chamotte refractories in Poland, both the plant in Opoczno and the Mroczków-Rozwady clay underground mine were shut down. However, recent years have brought about a renewed interest in exploiting the Opoczno clays for the domestic ceramic industry. Clay mining was initiated in 2014 in the new open pit in Borkowice and has also continued as of 2017 exploiting the Rozwady I deposit. In the clay raw material of Rozwady, kaolinite clearly predominates over illite, among the non-clay minerals quartz occurs in variable quantities, whereas the organic matter is a permanent but minor component. The quantity of the organic matter varies within the deposit and forms the basis to distinguish light and dark colored clays. Considering the petrographical reasons, the raw material of Rozwady represents rocks intermediate between claystones and mudstones. The Rozwady clays have been used by many plants producing tiles within the Opoczno region and it is predicted that their use will increase, as the prices of the clay raw materials imported from Ukraine is constantly growing and the cost of their transport is substantial.