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Minerals 2018, 8(10), 453;

Dimension and Crushed Stones Extraction as a Source of Social and Environmental Conflicts in Poland

Faculty of Geoengineering, Mining and Geology, Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, 50-370 Wrocław, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 July 2018 / Revised: 1 October 2018 / Accepted: 11 October 2018 / Published: 15 October 2018
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Crushed and dimension stones, which include 33 lithological varieties among igneous rocks, metamorphic rocks and sedimentary rocks, are mainly located in the southern and south-western part of Poland. Demand for this group of minerals is continuously high, which results from conducted and planned infrastructural investments. Mining activity is associated with interference in the natural environment. Negative consequences of exploitation include, among others: Land surface deformations, and the pollution of the soil, air, and water. In many cases, the extraction of minerals also leads to the liquidation of housing and transportation infrastructure located in the mining area, as well as to reducing the value of real estate in the immediate vicinity of the deposit or to increase in the level of stress among local residents, who are exposed to noise, which causes growing social conflicts in areas designated for exploitation. Thus, the awareness of negative effects of undertaking open-cast mining leads to the conflicts between various groups of stakeholders (residents, environmental organizations, mining entrepreneurs). Through the use of multi-criteria evaluation, this article identifies the places of potential social and environmental conflicts resulting from the planned mining activity in three areas of the densest occurrence of the analysed deposits (Lower Silesia Province, Lesser Poland Province and Świętokrzyskie Province). The assessment of lands over the deposits recognized initially and in detail was proposed, determining the degree of their accessibility. Due to the proposed method, it’s possible to obtain results of the classification of each fragment of the analysed deposit, as well as the surroundings of such deposit at any distance from it, within the boundaries of analysed area. Information may be made available to users of the deposits, mining enterprises interested in exploitation of the deposits or administration responsible for issuing decisions regarding concessions for exploitations of the deposits, so that they have knowledge about conflict areas in the region, resulting from the impact of planned mining activity on life and health of the people and on the environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: rock raw materials; environmental protection; multi-criteria evaluation rock raw materials; environmental protection; multi-criteria evaluation

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Górniak-Zimroz, J.; Pactwa, K. Dimension and Crushed Stones Extraction as a Source of Social and Environmental Conflicts in Poland. Minerals 2018, 8, 453.

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