Raw materials for everyday life
No products without mineral raw materials, no day without mineral raw materials. Without mineral raw materials, there would be no house, no train, no road, no newspaper and also no computers or mobile phones. Austria's mining sector extracts high-quality raw materials that are processed further into sought-after products for the whole world. Just one example: micaceous iron ore from Austria is used worldwide in anti-corrosion paints, from the Bosporus Bridge in Turkey to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Although it is a comparatively small sector in Austria, the production volumes for individual raw materials are considerable in a global comparison. Austria ranks 5th worldwide in the production of magnesite, 7th for tungsten ore and 11th for talc.
The industry extracts and processes mineral raw materials such as ores (iron ore, tungsten, micaceous iron ore) and industry minerals (magnesite, salt, talc and leucophyllite, graphite, kaolin, etc.) according to customer-specific specifications and in part also offers customer-specific services at the end of the product lifecycle.
The Austrian mining sector extracts mineral raw materials in more than 1,200 quarries above ground (opencast mining, quarries, "gravel quarries") and 40 mines below ground. The highly specialised Austrian companies include global market and technology leaders. These products are sought after worldwide because of their special characteristics.
The example of the refractory industry
The Austrian refractory industry is also making people sit up and notice with special services: fireproof products for "Clean Steel", 3D print, simulation programs for the entire production lines in the customer industries (flow simulation); these are technological services of globally recognised quality. But the Austrian industry also has a special position in energy efficiency and innovations in the area of recycling.
The example of talc
An Austrian company in talc mining has developed a special procedure with which very finely ground talc powder with outstanding properties is produced for the plastics manufacturers. It is supplied to global customers in compacted form. The company provides top technical performances in jet grinding and in finding logistics solutions for these innovative raw material products.
Austrian raw material companies set trends in the handling of natural resources. Legal requirements for industrial companies, certifications and group and company-internal guidelines interact and ensure sustainability in the handling of raw materials in mining.
Where possible, the aim is the full removal of the deposit when extracting the raw materials. A recultivation and/or renaturation of the open-cast mines contributes to environmental protection. If possible, recycling is used to conserve primary raw materials. Environment policy aspects are also taken into account in the use of other resources such as energy and means of production. And not to forget: mineral raw materials are also the basis for the energy efficiency and environmental friendliness for the products created from them.
In Austria, there are several training options for experts with the goal of employment in the mining sector:
- Leoben technical college (HTL)
- Leoben Mining University
- Specialist training at the master craftsman training school for the mineral raw materials industry in Leoben
- "On-the-job" training in mining companies after in-depth apprenticeship training