Silica sand

 Geologist’s hammer in front of stratified yellow sandstone
Photo: L. Weber

Having an SiO2 share of more than 80 %, silica sand is one of the mineral resources that are “free for mining” according to the Austrian Mineral Resources Act (“Mineralrohstoffgesetz”, MinroG).

In Austria, silica sands occur as deposits of high thickness in the tertiary basins south of the Bohemian Massif. They occur in the forms of “Linzer Sande” and “Melker Sande”. Many small- and medium-sized companies exploit these sands in open-cast mining. The main consumers of silica sands are the glass industry and the foundry industry as well as the chemical industry (water glass, silicon carbide), the refractory industry and various demands for silica flour (fillers, ceramics industry, email industry).

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.