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 national power industry is based primarily on its own energy mineral resources such as hard and brown coal. Approximately 80% of electrical energy production from these minerals gives us complete energy independence and the cost of its production from coal is the lowest in comparison to other sources. Poland has, for many decades had vast resources of these minerals, the experience of their extraction and processing, the scientific-design facilities and technical factories manufacturing machines and equipment for own needs, as well as for export. Nowadays coal is and should be an important source of electrical energy and heat for the next 25–50 years, because it is one of the most reliable and price acceptable energy sources. This policy may be disturbed over the coming decades due to the depletion of active resources of hard and brown coal. The conditions for new mines development as well as for all coal mining sector development in Poland are very complicated in terms of legislation, environment, economy and image. The authors propose a set of strategic changes in the formal conditions for acquiring mining licenses. The article gives a signal to institutions responsible for national security that without proposed changes implementation in the legal and formal process it, will probably not be possible to build next brown coal, hard coal, zinc and lead ore or other minerals new mines.
According to International Energy Agency (IEA) energy security is the continuous supply of energy at acceptable prices. National energy is based primarily on its own energy resources such as hard coal and brown coal. The 88% of electric energy production from these minerals gives us full energy independence. Additionally, the energy production costs from these raw materials are the lowest compared to other technologies. Of these two, the energy produced from brown coal is characterized by the lowest unit technical generating cost. Poland has the resources of these minerals for decades to come, the experience related to mining and processing them, scientific and design facilities and technical facilities and factories producing machines and equipment for their own needs, as well as for export. Coal is and should remain an important source of electricity and heat supply in Poland for the next 25–50 years. It is one of the most reliable and profitable energy sources. This policy may be difficult in the next decades due to the exhaustion of the available resources of hard and brown coal. The conditions for the construction of new mines, and thus for the development of coal mining in Poland, are very interdisciplinary in legal, environmental, economic and reputational terms. Germany has similar problems. Despite the fact that it is an image of a country investing in renewable energy sources, which are pioneers of energy production from RES, in reality hard and brown coal are still the primary sources utilized to produce electric energy.
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.
The problem of deposit protection and the process of liquidation of mining plants does not find effective solutions in the national law. Nevertheless, this is a very up-to-date issue. This situation prompted the authors of the article to once again analyze these issues. The number of abandoned exploitation sites which were published in the Polish Geological Institute reports should affect the entire licensing system and the state’s raw material policy. As a good host of raw materials, which we have been given by Earth Mother, we cannot allow that the mining licensing system, the liquidation procedures of mining plants without due diligence, result in the lack of protection of these deposits. The rational raw material economy and the ability to exploit it for the future generations, while failing to effectively enforce the site liquidation process makes it necessary to take actions leading to not blocking the mineral deposits in this way. The analysis shows what appropriate actions should be taken. The authors have thoroughly investigated the legal regulations over the past century, compiling them with the current legislation, and pointing out the weaknesses of the system in the field of deposits protection, particularly in the part of the unexploited deposits. Criticism covered both the statutory regulations – Geological and mining law as well as executive acts in the field of deposit protection. A separate analysis was subjected to the procedure of liquidation of the mining plants in the aspect of deposits protection, for mining plants operating on the basis of the Province Marshal’s licenses. The process presented in the flowchart layout clearly shows the weak points of the currently operating system.