Magnesite industry in the Slovak Republicby Adriana Csikósoya, Katarina Ćulkoya, Maria Antośoya

Gospodarka Surowcami Mineralnymi - Mineral Resources Management

About

Year
2013
DOI
10.2478/gospo-2013-0028
Subject
Economic Geology

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GOSPODARKA SUROWCAMI MINERALNYMI

Tom 29 2013 Zeszyt 3

DOI 10.2478/gospo-2013-0028

ADRIANA CSIKÓSOVÁ*, KATARÍNA ÈULKOVÁ**, MÁRIA ANTOŠOVÁ***

Magnesite industry in the Slovak Republic

Introduction

Global production of magnesite clinker, caustic magnesite, and fused magnesite totals up to 8 million tonnes per year (Kendall 1996).

During the last 5 years world production has decreased aproximately 20%. This was caused mainly by a decrease in the specific needs for refractory products in the main areas of consumption, the steel and cement industry. Despite the increase in total world steel production, the reduced demand for refractorymaterials has led to their lower production.

Magnesite producers ultimately realize the exploitation of magnesite raw material through its firing in rotary and shaft kilns and final processing into magnesite building material. This production process, however, leads to pollution of the natural environment.

Over the course of more than 30 years, emissions from these production companies have become a severe ecological detriment. Moreover, the state of the environment in individual territories is differentiated (Škvareková, Kozáková 2012).

The basic emmision is magnesite dust (approximately 1 mm) with MgO content of 65–85%, where MgO is in oxide form or carbonate form. Such environmentally loaded segments have been found at various distances from the source mainly in two settings, agricultural areas and forests. Examinations were conducted according to their weight and according to air conditions. * Prof., ** Assoc. Prof., ***Assoc. Prof., Technical University of Košice, Faculty of Mining, Ecology,

Process Control and Geotechnology, Slovac Republic; e-mail: adriana.csikosova@tuke.sk, katarina.culkova@tuke.sk, maria.antosova@tuke.sk

Magnesite emissions result in chemical and mineralogical changes through input into the soil. As the content of magnesite in the soil increases, agrochemical and pedological characteristics of contaminated soil change as well.

Contaminated soil is alkalized; the content of carbon is increasing in addition to the value of pH from 7–9 based on the change in contamination. Contamination of magnesite compounds is highest in the arable level of soil, but with increasing depth it is decreasing. In more polluted areas, there is creating magnesite material as last level of contamination. Soil in more hilly terrain suffers under greater levels of water erosion. 1. History of the Slovak magnesite industry and its position on world markets

The beginnings of the industrial extraction of magnesite in Slovakia date back to 1900 with the construction of two plants in Haèava and Jelšava-Teplá Voda. In 1909, the first rotary kiln was installed for magnesite clinkering with an output of 20,000 tonnes. The magnesite bed with a carboniferous layer was initially opened as an open-cast quarry.

The Haèava plant was supplied with magnesite from deposits at Burda and in Sušiany.

Magnesite meeting the needs of the old plant in Jelšava was exploited in various parts of

Dúbrava hill. The lower magnesite plant in Hnúša was constructed directly at the site of the

Mútnik deposit, and since 1910 it also owned mining rights to the Ruiná deposit.

The Lubeník Chyná Voda plant started construction in 1906. It consisted of 6 double stool shaft kilns heated with generator gas. For further enrichment of the clinker burnt in shaft kilns, an electromagnetic dressing was installed. In this way, the complex technological chain for magnesite clinker production originated (Gulyás et al. 1986).

In 1923 construction began on a plant at Lovinobaòa. The plant at Lovinobaòa was the only plant in Slovakia with a closed production cycle. Production of burnt magnesite in 1939 totalled 28,800 tonnes. Rising demand for magnesite products led to new investments.

In 1942 construction was started on the ninth shaft kiln (Markoviè, Balog 1993).

Due to national decree No 100/1945 and the Ministry of Industry’s nationalization of individual entrepreneurial companies, the Slovak Magnesite Works (SMZ) was established, a national enterprise centered in Bratislava. Activity of the SMZ enterprise was defined by the Ministry of Industry as follows: “mining, processing, production, distribution of magnesite, dolomite, other materials, products, and semi products where the principal raw material is magnesite, and also performance of other enterprises where connected with the national enterprise.”

The national enterprise SMZ had at the time of its origin the following plants and production capacities: the production unit in Lovinobaòa with plants Lovinobaòa, Ruiná,

Kalinovo (with mines Jelaèiè and Poltár); the production unit in Haèava with plants Haèava,

Ploské, Sirk, Hnúša, Ratkovská Suchá; the production unit in Košice with the Košice plant and Košice mine; and the production unit in Jelšava with plants Teplá Voda, Dúbrava,

Lubeník, and Ochtiná. 22

By establishing the national enterprise SMZ, all magnesite plants came under joint management. The strength of this economic unit was magnified by the fact that it also included plants producing refractories.

In 1946, SMZ started the preparation of investments for a new plant that would produce building materials in Banská Belá.

According to law No 114/1948 regarding the nationalization of several other enterprises, 14 objects were added to the SMZ. The deposit of magnesite in Košice, belonging to the

Veitscher Magnesitwerke A.G. in Vienna, was nationalized in 1955, together with another deposit in the area of Podreèany in 1956. The majority of objects remained in SMZ, but some of them were separated; for example the plant Hnúša was added to the enterprise Rudné

Bane Banská Bystrica (Gulyas et al. 1986; Markoviè, Balog 1993).

In the period from 1949–1970, owing to extensive investments in the construction of the national enterprise SMZ, new plants were built and existing plants were reconstructed. This was a period of extensive development, since mining was recognized as one of the most asset intensive areas of economic activity (Franik 2012). The years 1971–1975 represented a period of intensive development. Investments were made to modernize production and for innovation, with an emphasis on production quality as well as conserving fuel, metal, and energy.