What are geotechnical studies? Geotechnical research is very important for investors – both private and companies interested in the extraction of deposits. This type of work is carried out by specialized companies whose domain is, among others, geological surveys, soil surveys, drilling, mine geology and prospecting. What are geotechnical studies? Who should invest in them? What is deposit research? What deposits in Poland are the object of geotechnical research?
Geotechnical research of the plot
Geotechnical research is often associated with the expertise of soil and groundwater, before the foundation of a building or the construction of a household sewage treatment plant. In such a situation, a geotechnical opinion is extremely useful, which will allow you to determine, among others, the size of the foundations, the method of their protection against moisture and the permeability of the soil at the site of the planned treatment plant. It is worth investing in such research, because it often allows for significant savings and avoids unpleasant surprises at the stage of project implementation.
Such surprises may be, for example, hitting the ground unsuitable for the foundation of the object or flooding the basements with groundwater. Sometimes it turns out that a good solution is to perform a geotechnical study of the plot before buying it. Such expertise gives answers to many questions in advance, such as what is the level of groundwater and whether it is possible to build a basement. In a situation where the technical parameters of the land turn out to be unfavorable, you can resign from purchasing the property in advance.
Geological studies of deposits
Specialized geological companies, in addition to geotechnical soil research, also offer geological work related to the exploration and testing of deposits, as well as their documentation. This applies to liquid, solid and gas deposits. The purpose of these activities is to discover the deposit, determine the size and quality of the raw material, the depth of deposit, the parameters and method of extraction, and the valuation of resources. For this purpose, geological companies use the most modern methods and technologies, such as geophysical, seismic, magnetometric, electrometric, radiometric, mining and drilling methods as well as laboratory tests.
Professional geotechnical equipment for use in the field, including probes, drilling rigs and dynamic slabs, is essential. After taking samples from the field, they are tested in state-of-the-art laboratories. Based on the accumulated knowledge, which results in detailed documentation of deposits, the investor can make the right decision regarding the involvement of funds and applying for a concession for the extraction of the raw material.
Only those deposits that are economically viable are mined. Small deposits of poor quality, located at great depths, are usually left unexploited. Geological exploration of the deposit ends with the development of a technical mining concept, taking into account the issues of profitability and safety. Thus, by deciding to carry out geotechnical research of deposits, the investor receives answers to many questions, as well as expert support at the stage of exploitation of the deposit.
What deposits in Poland are the subject of geotechnical research?
Companies that carry out exploration of deposits have a lot of scope for activity in Poland. Our country has rich deposits of natural resources and a centuries-old tradition of their extraction. At the same time, it is not only about the extraction of hard coal, but also about many other resources. Apart from hard coal, lignite is mined in large quantities in Poland. Very valuable deposits are copper ores, which – as it is estimated – should suffice for about 50 more years of exploitation.
Geological companies are also looking for deposits of zinc, iron and lead ores. They are a desirable raw material due to the multitude of applications in industry, relatively low mining costs and not very deep seams. Other metals are also very popular, such as titanium and rare earth metals, which are used e.g. in the production of smartphones. A few years ago, during geological research on shale gas, traces of such deposits were discovered in Masuria. Mineral resources sought after in Poland also include natural gas and crude oil.
At present, small amounts of these raw materials are extracted, despite the fact that exploration work for new deposits is ongoing, e.g. in the Baltic Sea. It turns out that Poland is a tycoon in the field of sulfur extraction and occupies the first place in the world here. However, what inflames emotions the most is the search for gold deposits. Since 2016, exploration work for gold deposits in the Sudety Mountains, near Mikołajowice, has been underway. Efforts are already being made to exploit the ore. Geological studies of these deposits to date indicate that this may be the first case in decades when gold mining will be profitable.
As you can see, there is a great potential for the exploration and research of natural deposits in Poland. Without detailed geotechnical studies, it is impossible to estimate the size of the resources, the depth of seams and whether the exploitation will be profitable.