Construction minerals

Smooth rock surface in a marble quarry
Photo: C. Reichl

Construction minerals comprise above all freehold minerals like sand, gravel and natural stone that are used in constructing roads, tracks, ways and channels, residential and office buildings or industrial facilities as well as clay, a mineral which is free for mining and mainly used for the production of bricks.

Though the demand for construction minerals is vast, it can almost entirely be satisfied from domestic production.

The vast majority of the construction minerals needed in Austria is provided from more than 1,000 Austrian operating sites. In most cases the raw materials are exploited above ground.

The deposits of construction minerals are limited by nature and unevenly distributed in terms of their quality and spread. In spite of sufficient deposits the supply risk is growing due to the diverging claims on the utilisation of the natural environment, for example of residential and protected areas. Ensuring supplies close to consumers as well as environmentally compatible exploitation are tasks of a sustainable raw materials policy.

After a rapid increase in consumption in the decades before 1980, consumption has remained at a constant level of 100 to 105 million tonnes annually in the past decade. Presently, the per capita consumption of construction minerals amounts to about 12 tonnes per year, or 33 kg per day, in Austria.

The current production data for Austria can be found in the Austrian Montan-Handbuch.