DOI: 10.5593/SGEM2014/B13/S3.054


B. R. Bak
Wednesday 1 October 2014 by Libadmin2014

References: 14th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2014, www.sgem.org, SGEM2014 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-09-4 / ISSN 1314-2704, June 19-25, 2014, Book 1, Vol. 3, 411-417 pp

The assurance of future raw materials supply seems to be one of the most important elements of mineral resources policy. The problem of increasing risk of supply of many raw materials in Europe has been recognized in recent years, mainly in the context of declining EU economy competitiveness when compared to dynamically developing countries like China, India etc. It become a driving force for developing a new mineral policy within the EU zone, that refers mainly to non-fuels. In recent years, the supply risk is particularly serious in case of the group of critical minerals. This group of a dozen minerals like: antimony, beryllium, cobalt, gallium, germanium, fluorite, graphite, indium, magnesite, niobium, tantalum, tungsten, REE, PGMs, and probably some more (potassium salts, phosphate) was considered as the most crucial for the development of modern, innovative UE economy. Therefore, certain activities have been taken to solve this problem, both on the EU and national levels. Poland is a country rather poor in critical minerals, and only a few of the latter occur in the known primary deposits. Additionally Polish potential in this area is weakly investigated. Critical minerals are almost not produced in Poland and, till now, the demand for them is met practically by import. The usage of secondary sources of these minerals, like, for example, electronic scrap and urban mining wastes, is insufficient yet. Thus, the discussed group of minerals was not perceived as really “critical” but rather as of limited importance. An expected dynamic growth in demand give rise to verify this opinion. Some activities should cover both –the geological prospection and search for new more effective recovery technologies of critical minerals from primary and secondary sources. Management of the new polymetalic Mo-Cu-W deposit and launching new mine should be a challenge for our decision-maker, authorities and the local society for the acceptance of mining. Presented paper shows the main problems of critical minerals management in Poland, pointing their sources and possible scenarios of development.

Keywords: critical minerals, new technologies, exploration