What Polish mining owes to Polish hydrogeology?

Andrzej Kowalczyk, Andrzej Witkowski, Andrzej Różkowski, Andrzej Szczepański, Marek Rogoż, Jan Przybyłek, Stanisław Staśko


A b s t r a c t. Poland is endowed with the wealth of mineral resources, especially resources of coal and lignite, metal ores and mineral rawmaterials for chemical industry. Exploitation of these resources as a rule leads to inflow of water to mine workings and thus to various technical problems which have to be solved. Such problems arise at all the stages of management of mineral deposits, from reconnaissance and prospecting and exploration to preparing of a deposit for exploitation and exploitation and closing of mines. The water can have significant negative influence on prospecting and exploration and preparation of deposits to exploitation and creates a risk for mining operations and miners.Water inflow also results in environmental changes and increases extraction costs. The arising problems are technical and economic in character and the key for their solution is hydrogeology or, more precisely speaking, one of its more specialized branches – that is mining hydrogeology. The aim of this paper is to show the role and significance of hydrogeological works in management of mineral resources. A special attention is paid to the major achievements of Polish hydrology, which contributed to the developments in mining in our country and the world. Moreover, significance of contribution of hydrogeology at all the stages of mineral resources management, from reconnaissance and prospecting to exploitation of mineral deposits and closing of mines, is discussed. The presentation is of the review type and comprises examples of contributions of hydrogeology to exploration and documentation of individual mineral deposits, including assessments of mine water inflow and risks, environmental impact of mining operations and water management issues. It is worth to note that achievements of the mining hydrogeology from the last twenty years were mainly connected with working out methods for forecasting and assessments of environmental impact of closing the mines. In short, it may be stated that the actual contribution of Polish hydrogeology to the developments of mining sector is well

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