Belarus estimates basalt reserves for fiber production

Pinsk deposit, basalt fiber, basalt rocks, basaltic rocks
Crwdit: Thomas Wolter, Pixabay

The subsidiary of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Republic of Belarus “Research and Production Center for Geology” has completed preliminary exploration of basalt and tuff reserves of the Novodvorsky field (Pinsk district, Brest region).

On an area of 144.5 hectares, the basalt occurrence was reported in the amount of 83.2 million tons, of which 7.7 million tons are suitable for the production of basalt fiber.

The depth of the useful strata of tholeiitic unaltered basalts is in the range of 46.2–59.7 m, the thickness of the strata varies from 7.6 to 30 m.

Two independent laboratories analyzed the rock samples taken at the exploration site: Ukraine-located Basalt Fibers and Composite Materials; and Perm State Research University (PSRU).

The Ukrainian researchers drew a conclusion that the basalt rocks deposited in the Novodvorsky field are suitable for the production of:

  • CBF – continuous basalt fibers, CBF-based reinforcing materials and composite products;
  • STBF – super-thin basalt fibers, heat- and sound-insulation, heat-resistant materials based on STBF;
  • Basalt staple thin fibers for the manufacture of heat-insulating and fire-resistant materials based on inorganic binders;
  • mineral staple fibers for the production of thermal insulating materials.

The chemical composition analyze based on preliminary study is released on the website of the investment project which is proposed for implementation in order to conduct detailed exploration and industrial development of the deposit.

The chemical composition is related with three raw material types determined by the technological research.
T1 – tholeiitic unaltered basalt
T2 – altered basalt, intrusive breccia of dolerite fragments
T3 – saponite-containing tuff, tuffit.

In addition to manufacturing various types of fibers and products, Belarus sees prospects in the production of basalt stone casting (ceramic tiles, porcelain stoneware, ceramic clinker bricks), the production of which has not yet been established in the country. Having studied the samples, the specialists working in the PSNIU confirmed that they can be applied for the manufacture of glass-crystal products, says the press service of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus.

The basalt deposit located near the village of Novy Dvor in the Pinsk region was discovered in 2016-2017, the first studies of rocks and their promising application appeared in 2018. In 2020 the researchers completed the hydrogeology study and field work. Up to now, basalt raw material have been imported from Ukraine in volumes of over 80 thousand tons per year for the needs of the main consumers including Gomelstroymaterialy OJSC and BelMineralGroup LLC.

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