Lithuania boasts deposits of glauconite, a valuable mineral2014-11-10
The Lithuanian Geological Survey, which reports to the Ministry of Environment (LGT), has identified areas for finding deposits of glauconite, a valuable mineral. According to LGT director Jonas Satkūnas, this mineral belongs to the underground resources which Lithuania has not been using yet.
As one of its primary applications, glauconite can be used as a long-acting organic fertiliser because the potassium, iron, phosphorus and trace elements it contains pass to the soil gradually, improving its qualities. It can also be applied as an environmental technology to decontaminate atmosphere contaminants and organic liquids.
Geologists have singled out two promising areas for the exploration of glauconite deposits. These are Šilutė, Šilalė, Tauragė and Klaipėda districts in Western Lithuania and Kaunas, Šakiai and Marijampolė districts in the south-western part. The country’s total amount of glauconite resources is estimated at 1.8 million tons.
On the surface, glauconite rock is found in the form of clods in the valleys of rivers Nemunas (Alytus districts), Neris (Ukmergė district), Šventoji (Jonava district), Merkys (Varėna district) and Juodė (Vilnius district).
This mineral forms in seas of normal salinity at a depth between 20m and 300m. It comes in the form of fine grains in various shades of green. Because rock with higher levels of glauconite is found at very high depth (more than 50m), it is best retrieved using the hydrological method, i.e. eluting the mineral resources using wells. Experience from other countries shows that such extraction is twice as cheap compared to quarrying.
According to Jonas Satkūnas, LGT has not issued permits for the production of glauconite yet.
Public information division
10 November 2014