Commune: Tarnowskie Góry (pow. tarnogórski, woj. śląskie)

Framework element or context represented:
Hydrothermal Pb-Zn ore deposit in the Permian-Mesozoic cover of the Upper Silesian basin.

Primary geological/geomorphological interest:
Historical mine of Pb-Zn ore deposits.

Comparative assessment justification:
Historical mine in Tarnowskie Góry is one of the oldest and largest mining center in Poland and the only outcrop of the Polish MV type deposits, which will be accessible after completing of exploitation (however it is not typical for these kind of deposits).

Protection status and accessibility:
Monument of historical industry, partly accessible for public (show mine),

Character of site: Mine

Area: 1000 ha

Altitude: 260-340 m a.s.l.

Lithology: conglomerates, breccias, dolostones

Discipline: Petrography, Mineralogy, Geology of mineral deposits

Process Age: *all periods

Bedrock Age: Neogene, Paleogene, Triassic, *all periods

Description of primary interest:
Ore deposit of Tarnowskie Góry is situated in the Muschelkalk carbonates of the Tarnowice trought – Variscian tectonic element renewed during Laramian movements. Two types of deposits were mined here: 1) sheet-like bodies (blankets and lenses) formed of sulfide minerals, usually less than 1 m thick and situated in the lowermost section of the secondary Ore-bearing Dolomites; 2) irregular bodies of galmei (ores of weathering zone). The main mineral of the sulfide ore was silver-bearing galenite with rare sphalerite and iron sulfides. Galmei represents mixture of zinc oxides and silicates, dolomite and iron oxides. Subsequent karst forms, often connected with galmei and limonite bodies superimposed the primary ore deposits. The Tarnowskie Góry deposit belong to formation of the Mississippi Valley type ores of the Kraków-Silesian Region, although this site does not represent typical example of this formation. In other localities the formation is represented by lenticular or irregular bodies (several to several tens meters thick and several tens to several hundreds meters long), which are built of galenite-sphalerite-dolomite-pyrite (markasite) breccia, developed due to hydrothermal metasomatic mineralization and several cycles of hydrothermal karstification, mineralization and breakdown. The ores are located mainly in the Ore-bearing Dolomites but spread also in other units of the Triassic carbonates, reaching even the Devonian and Jurassic carbonates. Tarnowskie Góry deposit was mined since the Middle Ages till the beginning of 20th century. Numerous remnants of historical mining occur in the area (the system of mine galleries is ca. 300 km long). Secondary calcite speleothems have developed in the mine galleries.


GRZECHNIK Z. 1978–History of previous exploitation (Polish only). Prace Inst. Geol. 83: 23-42.     KERBER B. 1977–Charakterystyka złóż w rejonie tarnogórskim (Polish only). In: Pawłowska J. (ed.) Charakterystyka rud cynku i ołowiu na obszarze śląsko-krakowskim. Prace Inst. Geol.: 119-136.     KŁYS G., RAHMONOW O. 2001–Conservation vision of the largest Polish underground gallery system in Tarnowskie Góry (English sum.). Przegl. Przyr. 12, 3-4: 149-156.      LAMPARSKA-WIELAND M. 2003–Atlas of the selected changes of landscape elements in the mining and postmining areas in Tarnowice Platteau (Polish only). Pr. Wydz. Nauk o Ziemi, Uniw. Śląski, 27.     MOLENDA D. 1963–Minning of lead and silver in the Silesia-Cracow region up to the middle of the 16th century (English sum.). Studia i Mater. z Hist. Kult. Mater. 15 , 425 pp.      MOLENDA D. 1972–Lead ore mines in 16th-18th century (technical progress in exploitation of the Silesian-Cracow deposits) (English sum.). Ossolineum, Wrocław, 424 pp.     SASS-GUSTKIEWICZ M., DŻUŁYŃSKI S. 1998–On the origin of strata-bound Zn-Pb ores in the Upper Silesia, Poland. Ann. Soc. Geol. Pol. 68, 4: 267-278.     ŻABIŃSKI W. 1978–Mineralogical characteristics of the oxide ores (Polish only). Prace Inst. Geol. 83: 223-227.     ŻEGLICKI J. 1996–O budowie geologicznej, rudach i minerałach rejonu Tarnowskich Gór (in Polish only). Stow. Miłośn. Ziemi Tarnog., Tarnowskie Góry, 82 pp.