Organic matter from Zechstein copper deposits (Kupferschiefer) in Poland

  • Z. Sawlowicz
  • A. P. Gize
  • M. Rospondek


The Kupferschiefer is both one of the world’s most extensive and historic Cu—Fe—S—(Ag) deposits, with mineable concentrations located within the present borders of Germany and Poland. The grades in the Lubin (Poland) and Mansfeld-Sangerhausen (Germany) districts are both in excess of 2% Cu, and approximately 150 g/t and 30–80 g/t Ag, respectively (Kirkham, 1989). It is also a mining region well established historically. The Kupferschiefer has been mined in the eastern part of the North Sudetic Trough since the fifteenth century (Speczik et al., 1997). Agricola (1556) provided a detailed description of the Mansfeld cupriferous slates, or the Kupferschiefer. Following is a description of the overlying strata, ‘last of all, lies the cupriferous stratum, black coloured and schistose, in which there sometimes glitter scales of gold-coloured pyrites in the very thin sheets, which ... often take the forms of various living things.’ Agricola (1556) further described the smelting of the bitumenous shales, by seven repeated smeltings, which finally provided a slag containing both copper and silver.


Copper Deposit Bacterial Sulphate Reduction Iron Porphyrin Copper Sulphide Vanadyl Porphyrin 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Z. Sawlowicz
  • A. P. Gize
  • M. Rospondek

There are no affiliations available

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