A British geologist was asking me where did the Nowa Huta plant get its iron ore from. I learnt from browsing the internet (not much material) that there is no large source of iron ore in the vicinity of Krakow.
There is ore around Częstochowa and Kielce which are quite near.
Silesian coal field
Is near and well connected by rail.
Although Krakow is not directly between the two, in terms of rail transport it has very good connections with both. Places in between the two regions tend to be on high ground and there is a national park in the way which would be unsuitable for heavy industry..
This is quite remarkable in a world where steel mills have more or less all closed down in Britain
WTF??? The UK produces a lot of steel, almost as much now as in the 1970s - it's the 4th largest producer in the EU (Poland is 5th) and in 2009 produced 3 million tonnes more than Poland.