Folded salt rock in pink-white-grey
Photo: M. Pupp

Salt is a federally owned mineral resource. In Austria, the rights of prospecting, extraction and appropriation lie with Salinen Austria AG. Currently about 4 million cubic metres of brine are extracted annually at the three operating sites of Salinen Austria AG (Bad Ischl, Hallstatt and Altaussee).

The major sales products are brine for commercial, industrial and thawing salt, for curing and healing purposes, table salt, animal salt, chemically pure salt for pharmaceutical purposes, special edible salts, tablet salts, and salt-lick stones.

Prehistoric finds prove that salt was prospected in today’s Austria as early as in the Neolithic period.  In Hallstatt salt has been produced continuously for 7000 years.  In the period from 800 to 400 B.C. Hallstatt was so important in terms of culture and history that an epoch was named after it (“Hallstatt period”).  As from the 12th century A.C., the mining of rock salt was gradually replaced by the leaching of brine from the rock salt of the “Haselgebirge”.  

The names of towns like Salzburg, Hall, Hallein, Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Bad Hall, Halle all remind us of the occurrence of salt.

The term “Nachwassern” relates to salt mining: It describes the search for potential water sources in mining which may have fatal consequences for salt mining due to the solubility of salt.

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.