Micaceous iron ore

Close-up of a dark-grey flickering, hand-sized specimen of micaceous iron ore
Photo: C. Reichl

Micaceous iron is a scarce industrial mineral. It is freely mineable and has been exploited in Waldenstein in the Lavant Valley since Roman times.  For more than 100 years the raw material has been extracted there in underground mining.

Due to its physical properties - in particular its platelet structure - micaceous iron ore provides the basis of high-quality anti-corrosion paint. Micaceous iron ore is also used in the ceramics industry and the cosmetics industry. For example, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Bosporus Bridge or oil rigs are treated with products based on micaceous iron ore.

With the mining site of Waldenstein, Austria has one of the biggest producers of this rare industrial mineral. More than 95 % of the amount extracted annually are exported to over 80 countries.

The current production data for Austria and the world can be found in the Austrian Montan-Handbuch and in the international statistics on raw materials, WORLD MINING DATA.