The Polkowice-Sieroszowice mine is located to the west of the town of Polkowice, in Lower Silesia.The mine conducts mining works in area of four deposits: “Polkowice”, “Radwanice Wschodnie”, “Sieroszowice” and in part of “Głogów Głęboki-Przemysłowy” deposit.
Industrial resources of all deposits operated by „Polkowice-Sieroszowice” mine (according to state on 31.12.2015) amounts to 409 million Mg of copper ore. Average copper grade of copper is nearly 2,3% and silver 62 g/Mg. In “Sieroszowice” deposit, rich beds of salt deposit lays above copper orebody.
In deposits operated by ZG „Polkowice-Sieroszowice” mine, in addition to copper mineralization, there are high grades of silver, amounts to 48 g/Mg in Polkowice deposit and 62 g/Mg in Sieroszowice deposit.
Dominant lithological rock type in orebody in Polkowice and Sieroszowice deposits are carbonates rocks – over 50% of total ore. In Sieroszowice deposit contribution of shale ore is very significant – such orebody structure require usage of selective exploitation systems. Copper-bearing shale ore is very rich in copper and silver grades (even several dozen % of Cu and few thousand gram of Ag in one ton of ore); it has one main disadvantage – its thickness is marginal - average thickness is less than 0,5 m. Extraction of barren rock surrounding orebody, in such case, causes significant dilution of ore.
The mine arose in 1996 as a result of the merger of the existing Polkowice and Sieroszowice mines. Construction of the Polkowice mine began in 1962, and from the very beginning it posed significant challenges due to the fact that the access to the copper bearing ore was impeded by highly watered sand and gravel layers. Therefore, innovative rock mass freezing technology was used to build the shafts. The Polkowice mine commenced extraction in 1968. Four years later, it reached production capacity of 4.5 million tonnes, and a year later it increased to 7.5. million tonnes of ore a year. Construction of the Sieroszowice mine started in 1977 and mining in 1980. Further development of the Polkowice-Sieroszowice mine is aimed at ensuring access to the deep ore deposit in the adjacent Deep Głogów area. The mining of this deposit represents the largest deep deposit mining project in Europe. In 2013, the first ventilation shaft was commissioned. It was named in honor of Tadeusz Zastawnik, a legendary founding father of KGHM. Construction work will be completed in 2015 and its targeted depth will be 1216 m.
Mining is performed using blasting technology with various room-pillar systems with roof settlement, depending on the parameters of individual mining areas and fields. The machinery infrastructure was adapted to the parameters of the deposit - drilling , bolting and blasting rigs, loaders, and ore haulage vehicles with a height of 1.3 to 1.85 m. At present, testing and site trials are in progress on the mechanical mining of the deposit using an ACT mining complex. The current production capacity of the Polkowice-Sieroszowice mine is 12 million tonnes of ore annually. It produced over 201 K tonnes of copper, almost 234 K tonnes of salt and more than 390 K kg of silver in 2015.