ARTYKUŁY I KOMUNIKATY NAUKOWE Wstępna ocena możliwości pozyskiwania pierwiastków wartościowych z wód kopalnianych oraz wód termalnych i leczniczych w Polsce

Lidia Razowska-Jaworek, Marcin Pasternak, Marcin Karpiński, Zbigniew Będkowski, Zbigniew Kaczorowski, Irena Wysocka, Przemysław Drzewicz


Preliminary assessment of possibility of recovering valuable minerals from mine, thermal and therapeutic waters in Poland.
A b s t r a c t. Chemical components in groundwater from mine drainage or used in geothermal installations are a potential source of valuable minerals. At the Polish Geological Institute – National Research Institute, a study was carried out to identify the content of elements in mine waters, wells exploiting natural gas and oil as well as geothermal and therapeutic waters in Poland. The aim of the research was to recognize the concentration of potentially useful minerals in groundwater and the possibility of their recovery. It was the first project that focused on the recovery of elements from groundwater on a national scale in Poland. For this purpose, 67 sites were selected, in which 75 water samples were taken and the content of 65 chemical components was determined. Then, the amount of minerals that could be recovered from mine waters and geothermal brines was calculated based on the amount of water pumped in each facility. The calculations involved the approximate efficiency and working time of the recovery installation. As a result of this research, it was found that the mine waters and geothermal brines in Poland contain resources of valuable elements in very different amounts. In more than half of the examined sites, the estimated resources of minerals are present in amounts that are not prospective. However, in 29 sites, mine waters and geothermal brines contain elevated concentrations of several elements, including – B, Br, I, K, Li, Mg and Mn. If they were successfully recovered, they could represent a potential additional income for the mining and geothermal industries. Dębieńsko Desalination Plant of mine waters in Upper Silesia is the most promising potential source of recovery of minerals from mine waters, where the total resources of minerals to be recovered from concentrated brine have been estimated as the highest. Rudna Copper Mine in Lower Silesia is in second place, with one of the highest resources and the largest amount of minerals to be recovered from groundwater. Other sites are: the SOLINO Salt Mine, “Olza” mine water collector, mine waters pumped from abandoned coal mines in the Upper Silesia (in Zabrze, Siemianowice Śląskie, Czeladź, Gliwice), and plants producing geothermal energy in Stargard, Pyrzyce and Bańska. Total amount of mineral resources that can be recovered from waters pumped from the most promising sites is over 72 000 tonnes annually. Taking into account both the ecological aspect and the potential economic benefits of recovering minerals from mine waters and geothermal brines, it is necessary to continue the studies on the recovery of minerals from highly mineralized waters in Poland.

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