Spatial and Quantitative Analysis of Waste from Rock Raw Minerals Mining: A Case Study of Lower Silesia Region in Poland
Mining of minerals is associated with waste that needs to be dealt with, e.g., safely deposited or, if possible, reused. From 2010 to 2016, 6,182,277 Mg of waste was deposited during mining of rock raw materials in the Lower Silesia region in Southwest Poland. Extraction activities were responsible for 46.95% of that waste, while mineral processing was responsible for 53.05% of that waste. This study analyzed the spatial and temporal distribution of waste resulting from mining rock raw minerals
... g rock raw minerals in Poland's Lower Silesia region. In the study, an inventory of waste deposited during rock raw mineral mining and processing was prepared. Then, a geographic information systems (GIS) database that included information on the quantity and quality of waste generated during rock raw mineral mining and processing during the 2010–2016 study period was created. It was used for assessment of the variation of waste distribution and density in time and space with GIS kernel density estimation (KDE) functions. Spatial context of mining waste production and distribution over a period of 7 years in Lower Silesia were analyzed and presented graphically. The study revealed increasing accumulation of mining waste and helped to identify spatial clusters of its deposition in the region. Based on a literature study and the identified main waste types, the potential of selected types of this waste for re-use was analyzed and prospective uses were proposed. The methodology of quantitative and spatial analysis used in this research can be applied to studies in other regions coping with the problem of a large amount of mining waste.