Forum for Industrial Minerals: the economic geology meetings

May 7, 2020 | 2020, EFGeoBlog

The present-day trilateral economic geologists’ meeting named “Forum for Industrial Minerals” (Forum pro nerudy) was established in 1977. Its establishment was the initiative of prof. Miloš Kužvart (*1928 †2012) and his colleagues from the Charles University in Prague (Department of Economic Geology). Their intention was to keep Czech economic geologists well informed about news in their profession and to help them continue with their professional development – especially in non-metallic raw materials, mining and treatment. The name of the meeting was derived from the Forum on Geology of Industrial Minerals, which was established in 1964 in the USA, Ohio State University, Columbus by prof. Robert L. Bates, one of the founders of the industrial minerals branch of economic geology.

Fieldtrip 2017, Southern Bohemia, Plešovice quarry (granulite). Czech Republic.

Lectures, field trips on the Czechoslovakia territory and monographies focusing on industrial minerals were prepared in the framework of the Forum for Industrial Minerals. From 1977 to 1982 the meeting was held even four times a year. In 1979 and 1980, colleagues from the USA (prof. Haydn H. Murray, prof. Warren D. Huff, both later geological legends, joined the Forum for Industrial Minerals. The number of participants varied between 20 and 105 (in 1984) and reached more than 3000 participants in total. There were 13 economic geology monographies published in the framework of the Forum for Industrial Minerals between 1981 and 1993, almost all under prof. Kužvart’s initiative and editing.

The intention is to help Czech economic geologists with their professional development

The themes of the Forum for Industrial Minerals were:

  • Unconventional industrial minerals (1981, 1986): ceramic, construction, energy-saving, decorative, for fillers and fibre production, industrial minerals ore province
  • Reserves estimation (1984): mathematical methods and modelling;
  • Work of Czechoslovak geologists on foreign industrial minerals deposits (1985):
  • Economics of industrial minerals (1985): economic definition of industrial minerals ore, export-import etc.
  • History of industrial minerals usage (1986): from prehistoric times to the present day, use of limestones, kaolins, clays, etc.
  • Protection of industrial minerals deposits (1987): laws, environmental protection, etc.
  • Use of exact methods (1987): energy dispersion analysis, methylene blue sorption, the study of fluid inclusions, thermobarometry, use of computers;
  • Usability research (industrial minerals technology) (1989);
  • New materials (1989): for electrical engineering, electronics, optoelectronics, etc.
  • Hydrogeology and engineering geology in mineral exploration and extraction (1990);
  • Recovery and disposal of waste (1993): rock debris, fly ash, cinder etc.

Fieldtrip 2009, Wieliczka Salt Mine, UNESCO World Heritage site. Poland.

The Forum was reestablished in 2000 thanks to Jiří Rambousek’s and Miroslav Raus’ initiative.

The short gap (1994–1999) in the Forum activities was caused by the political changes and the economic transformation of the state. The Forum was reestablished in 2000 thanks to Jiří Rambousek’s (Geofond) and Miroslav Raus’ (Geovision Ltd.) initiative. Since then it is organised by the Czech Association of Economic Geologists (CAEG). The Forum became bilateral in 2003, when our colleagues from Slovakia from the Slovak Association for Economic Geology and the State Geological Institute of Dionýz Štúr joined, and later (2009) trilateral thanks to the economic geologists from Poland from the Polish Academy of Sciences, Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute. Field trips and fieldtrip guides are prepared annually and focus not only on the industrial minerals, mining and treatment but also on ore, coal, oil and gas deposits. We are used to visiting cultural sites like castles, historical towns centres, monasteries, etc. during these field trips.

Fieldtrip 2016, gravel-conditioning plant Kocovce. Slovakia.

The 2020 edition of the Forum is cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. It is rescheduled and will be held in the Northwestern Bohemia area next year. The plan is to visit the industrial minerals and rocks open pits (pyrope, kaolin, bentonite, crushed stone) and the closed ore underground mine (Stříbro – silver deposit area). The main information concerning this Forum will be available on the CAEG website.

Photos: Archive of the CAEG.

Contributors: Zdeňka Petáková, Ivo Sitenský and Miroslav Raus

Czech Association of Economic Geologists (CAEG)

Disclaimer: This article expresses the personal opinions of the author. These opinions may not reflect the official position of the European Federation of Geologists (EFG).