Applied sciences

Gospodarka Surowcami Mineralnymi - Mineral Resources Management

Content

Gospodarka Surowcami Mineralnymi - Mineral Resources Management | 2021 | vol. 37 | No 2 |

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Abstract

The article analyzes trends in steam coal flows (exports and imports) linked to production and consumption volumes. The analysis carried out in the article took the years from 2000 to 2019 into consideration. Coal is the second most important energy carrier. Its share in the structure of global consumption amounts to 27% and its production has an upward trend despite its decreasing share. The overall global upward trend of steam coal flows was disrupted twice over the period 2000–2019: by the effects of the 2007–2009 global financial crisis and the ongoing uncertainty of the global economy, as well as by the significant slowdown in the economic growth of developing countries (2014–2016). The European Union has seen large decreases in coal consumption over recent years, reflecting an accelerating decarbonization policy. The main area of coal trade is the Asia-Pacific basin. The Atlantic market currently accounts for about 20% of global steam coal trade, with seaborne trade covering about 95%. The volume of world trade (exports, imports) in steam coal is approximately one billion (bn) tons per year. The analysis carried out showed the following trend: decreasing coal exports to economically developed countries (mainly concentrated in Europe) and increasing exports to economies of developing countries, concentrated in the Asian part of the world. International Energy Agency (IE A) projections show that by 2040 the global coal production will fall from 5.6bn tons of coal equivalent (3.9bn tons of oil equivalent in 2019) to 5bn tce (3.5bn toe) at an average annual rate of –1.1%. Steam coal production is expected to decline by 10% to 4bn tce (2.8bn toe). Due to the fact that China is the largest producer, user and importer of steam coal in the world, all economic and political decisions taken by its government have strongly influenced international coal trade for years. For the Asia-Pacific basin alone, the IE A’s long-term forecasts predict an increase in coal-fired power generation over 2019. Forecasts regarding the coal’s share in global demand are not optimistic for many regions of the world (Europe, Africa, the Americas), predicting a significant decline in its demand. Yet, new markets for coal are emerging, especially in Asia and the Mediterranean basin, which may contribute to maintaining at least the current level of coal trade.
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Authors and Affiliations

Katarzyna Stala-Szlugaj
1
ORCID: ORCID
Zbigniew Grudziński
1
ORCID: ORCID

  1. Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, Poland
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Abstract

In Poland, the mineral sector generates 110–130 million tons of wastes annually (in the last 20 years), and metal ore mining alone was responsible for 31.2 million tons of wastes in 2017. The slags deposited at the Polkowice were investigated. This waste may be a potential source of many valuable metals (Zn, Pb, Cu, Sb, Sn, Se). The tailings dump in Polkowice contains approximately 80,000 tons of slag. The material contains primary phases formed by pyrometallurgical processes and secondary phases, which are the result of transformation of primary components. The primary phases are represented by sulfides: sphalerite [ZnS]; wurtzite [(Zn,Fe)S]; pyrite [FeS2]; sulfates: beaverite-(Zn) [Pb(Fe3+ 2Zn)(SO4)2(OH)6]; palmierite [(K,Na)2Pb(SO4)2]; oxides and hydroxides: goethite [Fe3+O(OH)]; wüestite [FeO]; hematite [Fe2O3]; magnetite [Fe2+Fe3+ 2O4]; chromian spinel [Fe2+Cr3+ 2O4]; silicates: petedunnite [Ca(Zn,Mn2+,Mg,Fe2+)Si2O6]; quartz [SiO2]; and microcline [KAlSi3O8]. Additionally, SEM -BSE observations revealed that oxidized native metals (Cu, Pb, As) and metal alloys and semi-metals appear. The slag consists mainly of SiO2 (13.70–20.60 wt%), Fe2O3 (24.90–39.62 wt%) and subordinately of CaO (2.71–6.94 wt%) and MgO (1.34–4.68 wt%). High contents are formed by Zn (9.42–17.38 wt%), Pb (5.13–13.74 wt%) and Cu (1.29–2.88 wt%). The slag contains trace elements Mo (487.4–980.1 ppm), Ni (245.3–530.7 ppm), Sn (2380.0–4441.5 ppm), Sb (2462.8–4446.0 ppm), Se (168.0–293.0 ppm). High concentrations are formed by toxic elements, such as e.g. As (13 100–22 600 ppm) and Cd (190.5–893.1 ppm). It is estimated that the tailings dump has accumulated about 80,000 t of slag, which may contain about 10,000 t of Zn, about 6,700 t of Pb, and 1,500 t of Cu.
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Authors and Affiliations

Karol Zglinicki
1
ORCID: ORCID
Krzysztof Szamałek
2
ORCID: ORCID
Anna Czarnecka-Skwarek
2
ORCID: ORCID
Katarzyna Żyłka
2 1

  1. Polish Geological Institute – Polish Research Institute, Warszawa, Poland
  2. University of Warsaw, Warszawa, Poland
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Abstract

Generation of coal-based electricity is always associated with the origination of large amount of combustion waste. The presented article is a review concerning the possibilities of innovative directions of management for one of the by-products of coal combustion: fly ash. The storage of these waste products is associated with their negative impact on the environment. This is why research has been undertaken worldwide on the implementation of the concept of a circular economy. This article includes the examination of basic physical, chemical, and mineralogical properties of the most valuable components of fly ash (microspheres, magnetic fraction, and glass). It contains the examination of methods of separating these components and indicates the prospective directions of their use, e.g. as light fillers for polymers, sorbents, catalysts, composite materials, light ceramics, lightweight concretes, thermal insulation materials, biomaterials, raw material for the synthesis of zeolites or geopolymers. The paper also presents the components of fly ash, which can be treated as an alternative source of valuable elements, including critical elements. Moreover, it points to the necessity of capturing flammable substances from combustion by-products in order to obtain raw material characterised by a high degree of purity. It has been demonstrated that this way of ash management can lead to high recycling rates and bring valuable materials back to the economy. Such actions fit perfectly into global efforts for sustainable development and the circular economy.
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Authors and Affiliations

Ewa Strzałkowska
1
ORCID: ORCID

  1. Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice, Poland
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Abstract

The paper presented intends to fill up a gap in surveying the Hotelling Rule by taking a company based, microeconomic approach based on analyses of annual reports. Using selected data three fundamental hyphothesis are tested:
1) growth rate of margins (“net margins” including a capital charge) per unit realized by mining companies must exceed a rate equal to their cost of capital,
2) output shall follow deviations from the Hotelling growth line,
3) margins shall follow a path set by individually defined expected rate of return.
The analysis was based on 5 leading gold producers, responsible for ca 15–20% of global primary production, all of them public and listed on a stock exchange for the entire period of 2004–2019/2020. As margin shall grow at a rate compensating individual risk of a company in consideration, they shall not be homogenous. At 1st step industry WACC was adopted to calculate a normalized capital charge. The calculations revealed no support for Hotelling Rule. There is no evidence that over a period of above 15 years margins follow any path determined by a growing expotential function, following a compound rate. Subsequently it was checked whether output volume is corrected due to development of actual versus expected (resulting from the Hotelling Rule) margin values. Selected companies were near indifferent to this parameter while taking decisions in area of volumes supplied. Neither there is no evidence of relation between changes in output and margins. Finally, it was checked whether differences between expected and actual margins’ growth paths could be described by a linear function, resulting from consequent adoption of a risk rate component. Here neither any evidence was found. In conclusion no support for the Hotelling rule was identified.
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Authors and Affiliations

Robert Uberman
1
ORCID: ORCID

  1. Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Krakow University, Kraków, Poland
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Abstract

This paper presents the results of research on the admixture of other rock fragments in the granodiorite aggregate (two types of hornfels) produced in Łażany II quarry. It discusses the impact of these components on the selected chemical and mechanical properties important for the use of the aggregate in road construction. Analysed granodiorite grit is a high-class construction material suitable for bituminous mixtures. Its quality is verified in accordance with the PN-EN 13043 standard. The admixture of hornfels in aggregate composition is a consequence of the natural occuring this rock in the Łażany II granodiorite deposit in the Strzegom-Sobótka massif. As there is not selective exploitation of the deposit an extracted raw material is not separated during processing As a result, the aggregate, composed predominantly of granodiorite, comprises variable admixture of hornfels. Tests of properties, such as water absorption, resistance to freezing, resistance to fragmentation, crushing strength, carried out on grain populations of various petrographic types separated from the general samples, exhibit that the presence of hornfels in the aggregate has a beneficial effect, particularly on the mechanical parameters of the produced aggregate. Moreover, two varieties of hornfels differ in terms of some chemical properties (affinity with bitumen, presence of sulphides). These features may affect the durability of the aggregate in the wearing course which is directly influenced by the exterior conditions typical for road pavements.
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Authors and Affiliations

Bartłomiej Grzesik
1
ORCID: ORCID

  1. Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice, Poland
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Abstract

Thermal waters have been recognized as a source of health and energy since ancient times, and today there is still interest in balneotherapy as a method of treating various diseases, rehabilitation and prevention. In Poland, as many as 12 spa towns use healing thermal waters in their activities. They include: Busko-Zdrój, Ciechocinek, Jelenia Góra-Cieplice, Gołdap, Inowrocław, Iwonicz-Zdrój, Konstancin-Jeziorna, Lądek-Zdrój, Rabka-Zdrój, Uniejów, Ustka and Ustroń. Healing thermal waters are not only used there for medical treatments, because they also supply the brine graduation towers, are the base for the production of cosmetics and are also used in drinking treatments. Uniejów spa is a part of the cascade system, so the healing waters of higher temperature are also used for heating apartments. Depending on the mineral composition of the waters, they can be used in the treatment of, among others: diseases of the musculoskeletal system, rheumatology, osteoporosis, skin diseases, diseases of the upper and lower respiratory tract, cardiological diseases, diseases of the digestive system, hypertension, obesity, diabetes. All treatments are non-invasive, because the vast majority of them are carried out in the form of bathing, irrigation, inhalation or drinking treatments. The paper also shows the most promising towns in terms of the development of balneotherapy, including Stargard, Pyrzyce, Toruń, Konin and Grudziądz. Balneotherapy in Poland is currently at a difficult time, which is related to the inability to function of many facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is a possibility that when the pandemic and its effects are eliminated, balneotherapy and spa treatment will experience a renaissance.
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Authors and Affiliations

Maciej Czubernat
1
ORCID: ORCID
Barbara Tomaszewska
2
ORCID: ORCID

  1. Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, Poland
  2. AGH University of Science and Technology, Kraków, Poland
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Abstract

The choice of financing sources made by coal mining companies reflects a number of macro- and microeconomic factors. The paper attempts to present only those that play the most important role in mining companies’ market activities. The structure of sources of financing mining companies’ operations is presented by computing the share of equity in liabilities and shareholders’ equity, the golden balance sheet rule showing the degree of financing of non-current assets through shareholders’ equity and the silver balance sheet rule which shows the ratio of long-term capital to non-current assets. Only a few mining companies can satisfy those two rules as they finance their economic activity through equity and short-term liabilities. Mining companies are not indebted. Their caution in incurring long- -term debt results from the implementation of high volatility of financial results, which are prone to the effects of the economic situation. The basic determinants of the choice of financing sources include the structure of assets, the rate of return on assets and companies’ ability to service debt. The high capital intensity of the mining sector is reflected in the large share of non-current assets in total assets, which in some mining companies exceeds 80% of total assets. The rates of return on assets vary widely and are influenced by fluctuations in coal prices at different phases of the market situation. They also have a significant impact on companies’ ability to service debt. Empirical research conducted by the author revealed that the structure of financing sources in Polish coal mining companies is like that of global mining corporations, as are the economic relations shaping this structure.
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Authors and Affiliations

Marta Sierpińska
1
ORCID: ORCID

  1. University of Economics and Human Sciences in Warsaw, Poland
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Abstract

The Green Deal and the New Industrial Strategy for Europe recognize the access to raw materials and the security of supply from secondary and primary sources as essential for Europe’s transition to sustainability. It can be expected that with the development of the circular economy approach, the extraction of primary resources would be diminished, but it is emphasized that a circular economy may need a wider range of metals and other raw materials critical to the new environmentally friendly technology, especially in renewable energy and mobility. Therefore, the latest global initiatives and EU policies focus on ensuring resource efficiency in a holistic manner, from the extraction of raw materials to the re-use of the end products, which requires data transparency not only on material and waste flows, but also on financial and economic burdens including incentives and subsidies. In addition, for sectors with significant environmental impacts, the transparency of information on payments to central governments and local authorities can increase social acceptance and accountability and allow for further development. The paper analyzes regulations and initiatives supporting the disclosure of wider data than required in financial and corporate social responsibility reporting related to the implementation of a circular economy. As circular economy indicators take upstream resource flows into account, the transparency of environmental and economic data in the value chain is required, for example for the calculation of the environmental footprint. Moreover, transparency is important for mining companies’ stakeholders to increase social acceptance of mining activities and facilitate the transition to a circular economy.
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Authors and Affiliations

Agnieszka Nowaczek
1
ORCID: ORCID
Joanna Kulczycka
1
ORCID: ORCID
Ewa Dziobek
1
ORCID: ORCID
Daina Kalnina
2
ORCID: ORCID

  1. Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, Poland
  2. Riga Technical University, Ryga, Latvia
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Abstract

Sixteen samples were designed for analysis (hard coal, aggregate – barren rock, hard coal sludge). The total mercury content and the amount of mercury leaching were determined. The percentage of leachable form in the total content was calculated. The studies were carried out under various pH medium. The leachability under conditions close to neutral was determined in accordance with the PN EN 12457/1-4 standard. The leachability under acidic medium (pH of the solution – approx. 3) was determined in accordance with principles of the TCLP method. The mercury content was determined by means of the AAS method. For hard coal the total mercury content was 0.0384–0.1049 mg/kg. The level of leaching on mean was 2.6%. At the acidic medium the amount of leaching increases to an mean 4.1%. The extractive waste of aggregate type features a higher total mercury content in the finest fraction < 6 mm (up to 0.4564 mg/kg) and a lower content in the fraction 80–120 mm (up to 0.1006 mg/kg). The aggregate shows the percentage of the leachable form on mean from 1.4 to 2.2%. With pH decreasing to approx. 3, the amount of leaching grows up to mean values of 1.7–3.2%. Coal sludge features the total mercury content of 0.1368–0.2178 mg/kg. The percentage of mercury leachable form is approx. 1.8%. With pH decreasing the value increases to mean value of 3.0%. In general, the leachability of mercury from hard coals and extractive waste is low, and the leachability in an acidic medium grows approx. twice. Such factors as the type and origin of samples, their grain composition, and the pH conditions, have basic importance for the process. The time of waste seasoning and its weathering processes have the greatest impact on increasing the leaching of mercury from the extractive waste.
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Authors and Affiliations

Beata Klojzy-Karczmarczyk
1
ORCID: ORCID
Janusz Mazurek
1
ORCID: ORCID

  1. Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, Poland
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Abstract

The purpose of the study was determining of degree of contamination of soil cover as a result of disposing of different industrial wastes and comparison of the soil quality with quality of soils and the grounds described in standards in relation to the reclamation works carried out on the dump. Analysed waste dump belongs to the sparse objects of this type in the Upper Silesian Coal Basin, where both coal mining wastes as well as flying ashes occur.
During investigations there was done a collection of 9 soil samples around the dump using Egner`s cane from the depth of 30 cm. The content of heavy metals was determined (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn) using method of emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) and phase composition studies using the X-ray diffraction method (XRD ).
Obtained results enabled determination of impact of disposed wastes on the degradation of pedosphere of studied area, which represents III group of fallow lands. The contents of heavy metals in soil samples vary in wide spectrum, but do not exceed permissible content of metals and metalloids for the aforementioned soil group. The highest concentrations reaches iron (average content 0,6%), while concentrations of other elements do not exceed 0.02%. In the mineral composition of soil samples the dominant components are typical for soils in the area of post-mining dumps, i.e. quartz, feldspars, clay minerals, represented by kaolinite and illite. The presence of muscovite with a share of < 5% was also found. Minerals from the carbonate group – calcite (< 3.5%) and dolomite (< 0.3%) occur rarely. In the investigated samples there was identified presence of mullite, component typical for wastes coming from energy sector.
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Authors and Affiliations

Marek Marcisz
1
ORCID: ORCID
Zdzisław Adamczyk
1
ORCID: ORCID
Łukasz Gawor
1
ORCID: ORCID
Katarzyna Nowińska
1
ORCID: ORCID

  1. Silesian University of Technology, Gliwice, Poland

Additional info

The subject matter of the articles published in Mineral Resources Management covers issues related to minerals and raw materials, as well as mineral deposits, with particular emphasis on:

  • The scientific basis for mineral resources management,
  • The strategy and methodology of prospecting and exploration of mineral deposits,
  • Methods of rational management and use of deposits,
  • The rational exploitation of deposits and the reduction in the loss of raw materials,
  • Mineral resources management in processing technologies,
  • Environmental protection in the mining industry,
  • Optimization of mineral deposits and mineral resources management,
  • The rational use of mineral resources,
  • The economics of mineral resources,
  • The raw materials market,
  • Raw materials policy,
  • The use of accompanying minerals,
  • The use of secondary raw materials and waste,
  • Raw material recycling,
  • The management of waste from the mining industry.

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