Copper is, next to coal, one of the most significant natural resources mined and processed in Poland. However, it is not the only important raw material creating the metal mining market in Poland.
Deposits and mining of metals in Poland
In 2016, Poland was in 5th place on the list of countries with the largest balance copper resources globally, with an estimated 36 million tons of this raw material. This country also has silver deposits, the balance of which in 2016 was 107 thousand tons. There are also gold resources in Poland, estimated at over 419 tons, which is around USD 24 billion.
Other ores occurring in Poland are zinc, lead (in 2019, their extraction amounted to 40 thousand tons of zinc and 20 thousand tons of lead), nickel, arsenic, tin, and vanadium. There is also uranium, the estimated resources of which are about 100 thousand tons, and so far identified is 7 thousand tons. In Poland, titanium accounts for 50 million tons of off-balance deposits. There are also rare earth metals. In addition, there are iron ore resources, but due to their small quantities and low quality, they have not been exploited since the end of the 20th century and were considered off-balance.
Balance deposits of raw materials include those in which exploitation is technically possible and profitable for industry. On the other hand, off-balance deposits do not meet such conditions, for example, due to their location or low quality. The number of estimated deposits in Poland may change, and it does so over time. It is due to continuous geological surveys and drillings that allow the identification of unexploited resources.
The largest metal mines in Poland
KGHM Polska Miedź is the largest copper producer in Poland. KGHM owns, among others, the Rudna mine – the largest copper mine in Europe and one of the largest in the world. The monthly production of this raw material by KGHM amounts to approximately 66 thousand tons. In 2019, the company produced over 565 thousand tons of copper.
In 2021, the KGHM group also took first place in the World Silver Survey, which includes the largest silver mines in the world. In 2020, it produced 1,352 tons of silver. Silver is mined at the Lubin mine, using the Lubin-Małomice copper and silver deposits.
New metal deposits in Poland
The metal mining market in Poland is influenced not only by the already discovered and exploited deposits but also by new deposits of natural resources.
In 2020, Zielona Góra Copper, owned by the Canadian company Miedzi Copper Corp, announced that it had obtained appropriate geological documentation for the first new and completely discovered deposit in Poland in 40 years. These are the deposits of copper and silver in the Nowa Sól region. However, these may be copper resources that were already documented in the 1960s. Zielona Góra Copper reports that the estimated resources of this deposit are 848 million tons of copper and silver, 11 million tons of copper and 36 thousand tons of silver. The value is estimated at USD 60 million.
Research into new areas rich in raw materials is continued in Poland. In 2021, KGHM Polska Miedź obtained an exploration license for the Bytom Odrzański and Kulów-Luboszyce areas, potentially yielding up to 20 million tons of copper.
Author: Luiza Rach
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Copper Reserves in Poland, Emma Rimmer.
KGHM już eksploatuje złoże, którego sukces odkrycia obwieścił Miedzi Copper (KGHM is already exploiting the deposit, the success of which was announced by Miedzi Copper), Cleaner Energy.
KGHM pozyskało koncesję na złoże miedzi. „Może dać nawet 20 mln ton” (KGHM has obtained a license for a copper deposit. „It can give up to 20 million tons”), Money.pl.
Nowe złoża srebra i miedzi w Polsce. Największe odkrycie od 40 lat (New deposits of silver and copper in Poland. The biggest discovery in 40 years), Business Insider.
Podstawowe informacje o miedzi (Basic information about copper), Państwowy Instytut Geologiczny – Państwowa Służba Geologiczna (Polish Geological Institute – National Geological Service).
Polska nie samym węglem i miedzą stoi. Co ciekawego skrywa polska ziemia? (Poland is not just about coal and copper. What’s interesting in Polish soil?), Paweł Bednarz, Business Insider.
Największa kopalnia srebra na świecie jest w Polsce. Produkuje ponad tysiąc ton rocznie (The largest silver mine in the world is in Poland. It produces over a thousand tons per year), Damian Słomski, Money.pl.