AUSTRIA (Österreich), the Republic of Austria (Republik Österreich), is the country in the Central Europe. It is bordered by the West Germany and Czechoslovakia to the north, by the Hungary to the east, by Yugoslavia and Italy to the south, by the Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. The area is 84.0 thousand kilometres. The population is over 7,695 million (1982). Vienna is the capital city. Austria comprises 8 lands (provinces) and the Vienna capital city, which has been equated to them administratively. German is the official language. The currency is the Austrian schilling. Austria is the member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA, 1960).
The general characteristics of the economy. The share of Austria in the global industrial capitalist production is 0.7% (1979). The share of the industrial products in the total GNP value is 33% (including 0.5% of the mining, 29.3% of the processing), 3% of the energetics, 4% of the agriculture (1980). The main industries are the engineering and metal processing, ferrous metallurgy, food processing, chemical, textile, and wood working. In the structure of the fuel and energy balance of Austria, 53.1% of the consumption belongs to the liquid fuels (oil and oil products), 18.7% is the natural gas, 12.2% is the water power, the rest is the solid fuel (1980). 42 billion kiloWatt hours of electricity have been produced in 1980.
The predominant part of the freight transportation is carried out by the railway transport. The length of the railways is more than 6,000 kilometres, the length of the automobile roads is more than 30,000 kilometres (the end of the 1990th).
The nature. About 80% of the territory is occupied by the Austrian Alps. Two main groups of the mountain ranges stretch almost across the country from west to east: the Northern Limestone Alps (Dachstein mountain, 2996 metres) with the most important Arlberg Pass (1802 metres), and the Central Crystalline Alps (Grossglockner mountain, 3797 metres) with the most important Brenner Pass (1370 metres). In the far south, on the border with Yugoslavia, is the small part of the Southern Limestone Alps. The south-western part of the Bohemian Massif, with undulating plains of 500-600 metres in height, which are crossed by several ridges up to 1100 metres in height (the Weinsberger Wald mountains), is situated in the north-east (on the left bank of the Danube river). The slightly hilly plain (the Vienna basin, the Northern Burgenland lowland, and the hilly Styria-Burgenland region) is in the east. The crests of the ridges of the Central Alps are covered with snow (snow line is at the height of 2500-2800 metres) and by the glaciers. Almost all the rivers of Austria (Inn, Salzach, Enns, Drava, Morava, etc.) are included in the drainage basin of the Danube river (350 kilometres in Austria), which is the single major navigable river. There are many lakes there, mainly of the glacial origin, the largest are the Lake Constance and the Lake Neusiedl. The climate in the plains and in the foothills of the Alps is temperate continental. The average temperature in January is from -1 to -4 degrees Celsius, in July 15-18 degrees Celsius. The rainfall per year is 500-900 millimetres, is increased up to 2000 millimetres at the mountains. The 38% of the territory of Austria is covered by the forests.
The geological structure. In Austria, they distinguish the cover-folded structures of the Eastern Alps (see the Alpine folded geosynclinal region), the Prealpine marginal depression, the Czech (Bohemian) Massif, and the depression of the Vienna basin. The Eastern Alps, which occupy the greater part of the country, include the Northern Limestone Alps and the internal zones of the Alps. The Northern Limestone Alps are composed mainly of the Mesozoic clastic-carbonate sedimentary rocks, which accumulated on the deeply eroded surface of the Variscan folded and weakly metamorphosed strata, including the remains of the Permian cover. The central part of the Limestone Alps is completely torn from its foundation. The very thick Jurassic-Cretaceous carbonate stratum lay sometimes on the Triassic sandstones. All structures are deformed at the different phases of the Alpine orogeny with the formation of the coating structures, the massive subhorizontal plates, which to the north are pulled over on the flysch and the molasse strata of the foothills.
The mountain structures of the internal zone of the Eastern Alps (Rhaetian Alps, High and Low Tauern, Styrian Alps, etc.) are composed of the ancient crystalline schists and the Paleozoic rocks, which are pulled over on the Triassic-Jurassic metamorphic shiny schists and basic volcanics of the Pennine structural zone, which have been found among the older rocks in the tectonic windows of the Engadine and the High Tauern. The Prealpine marginal depression, which is composed of the thick stratum of the Oligocene and Miocene clastic depositions, stretches at the northern edge of the Eastern Alps, and wedges to the east between the front edge of the Southern Alps and the southern edge of the Bohemian Massif. The subalpine molasse depositions, mainly the Oligocene conglomerates, which form the large scales with the tilt to the south, are pulled over this thick stratum. The substrate of the molasse depositions is formed by the crystalline rocks of the Bohemian Massif with individual, sometimes quite large areas of the Mesozoic sedimentary cover.
The southern part of the Bohemian Massif, which is composed of the Precambrian schists and the Paleozoic granites, and farther to the south is covered by the sedimentary rocks, which compose the Prealpine marginal depression, stretches on the left bank of the Danube river in the north of the country. The greywacke zone, which has been formed by the tectonic plates of the ancient crystalline basement, the Lower Paleozoic phyllites, the metamorphosed Paleozoic schists, and the Permian depositions, stretches for 500 kilometres along the southern front edge of the Northern Limestone Alps, between the Vorarlberg land (province) and the Vienna depression. The eastern part of Austria occupies the young depression (graben) of the Vienna basin, the formation of which began in the Tortona and continued to the Pleistocene. The Vienna basin is unconformably overlaid over the various zones of the Alps and the Carpathians, and is composed of the very thick (up to 6 kilometres) stratum of the sandy and clayish rocks of the Neogene, beneath which lie the Cretaceous and Paleogene flysch, dislocated carbonate rocks of the Jurassic and Triassic ages, and the metamorphosed rocks of the Paleozoic.
Hydrogeology. In Austria, they distinguish the hydrogeological folded region of the Eastern Alps, the Prealpine basin, and the Bohemian Massif. The greater part of the groundwater resources is associated with the Prealpine basin, the main waterbearing systems of which are in the conjunction with the Cenozoic sands (fresh waters) and the gravel-pebble formations (pressurized mineralized waters) with the total thickness of up to several hundred metres. Within the Prealpine basin, they distinguish the smaller groundwater basins, Vienna (the reserves of fresh water 1.2-2.3 billion cubic metres), Graz, Leibnitz, Murfeld, Tulln, Eferding, Machland, Wels. The groundwaters are exploited by the drilled wells down to the depth of 100-250 metres, and by the dug wells down to the depth 10-20 metres; the flow rate is up to 400 litres per second.
The main waterbearing system (fresh water) in the hydrogeological folded region of the Eastern Alps is associated with the very cracked and intensely karsted limestones and dolomites of the Mesozoic. Within the folded region, there are several large groundwater basins, which are in the conjunction with the intermountain depressions (Villacher, Klagenfurt, Wolfsberg, and Lienz). The extraction of the waters is performed by the dug wells (depth 10-20 metres) and drilled wells (down to 100 metres). The productivity of the individual water intakes is up to 150 litres per second.
The groundwater reserves of the Bohemian Massif are very small. In Austria, there are 210 sources of the mineral waters, of which about 125 are exploited. They distinguish 3 provinces of the mineral waters: the acidic waters of the areas of the young magmatic activity, associated with the zones of the major tectonic faults of the axial crystallic part of the Eastern Alps and of their eastern border with the Prealpine basin (the sources: Bad Villach, Bad Schönau Preblau); hydrocarbonate and thermal waters of the regions of the most recent tectonic movements in the fault zones of the Eastern Alps (Bad Gastein, Bad Bleiberg, Tobelbad); partially highly mineralized waters of the sedimentary depositions of the cover of the tectonic depressions in the Prealpine basin and in the marginal part of the Northern Limestone Alps (Baden near Vienna, Oberle). There are also known the sodium and sulfate sources, which have originated as the result of the leaching of the salt bearing and the gypsum bearing Mesozoic formations in separate places within the Northern Limestone Alps (Bad Aussee, Bad Ischl).
Mineral resources. The most important mineral resources of Austria are the oil, gas, the ores of iron, lead, zinc, antimony, magnesite and graphite (Table 1).
(Table 1, the reserves of the essential mineral resources)
|Mineral resource||Reserves||the content of the useful material|
|total||including the proven|
|Oil, million tonnes||-||22.2||-|
|Natural gas, billion of cubic metres||-||13.9||-|
|Brown coal, million tonnes||175||150||-|
|Iron ores, million tonnes||369||232||32-33|
|Bauxites, million tonnes||2||1||48-58|
|Copper ores, thousand tonnes||50||50||1-2|
|Lead ores, thousand tonnes||160||160||6.0|
|Zinc ores, thousand tonnes||200||200||8.0|
|Tungsten ores, thousand tonnes||20||15||0.6-0.7|
|Antimony ores, thousand tonnes||50||0||3-7|
|Mercury ores, thousand tonnes||6||-||0.3|
|Baryte, thousand tonnes||100||100||95.6|
|Graphite, thousand tonnes||10500||10500||-|
|Pyrite, thousand tonnes||2700||2700||20-25|
|Magnesite, million tonnes||15-20||10||38-40|
The oil and gas fields are associated with the young sediments of the Vienna basin and the Prealpine basin. In Austria, they have discovered in total 63 oil and gas fields (1981); including in the Vienna basin, the 21 oil fields (the largest is Matzen, initial recoverable oil reserves of 62 million tonnes), and 14 gas fields (the largest is Zwerndorf, initial recoverable gas reserves of 45 billion cubic metres); in the Prealpine basin, 13 oil fields and 15 gas fields. In the Vienna basin, the oil is characterised by the density of 905-930 kilograms per cubic metre, the content of sulfur 0.21-0.28%, of the paraffin wax 0.15-0.25%; in the Prealpine basin, the oil is light (872 kilograms per cubic metre), with the small content of sulfur, and with the small content of the paraffin wax.
In Austria, they know the large quantity of the coal deposits of the different ages. The coals of the Paleozoic and Mesozoic ages are hard, the coals of the Paleogene-Neogene age are soft. The reserves of the hard coal are exhausted. The Paleogene lignite basin Köflach-Voitsberg in Styria (38% of the reserves of the country) has the main industrial importance. Miocene coal-bearing stratum is composed of the gray greasy and bentonite clays, the mica sands, and the thick seams of coal (12-50 metres). The coals are schistoseous, soft, contain 30-40% water, 5-15% ash, the least calorific value of the working fuel is 10-15 Megajoules per kilogram. The Thomasroith-Ampflwang lignite basin in the Upper Austria (29% of the reserves) is the second most important, where the slightly tilted seams of 2-6 metres thick of the dense shiny coal are developed. The Neogene deposits (15% of the reserves) of the earthy dull coals have the subordinate importance. The prognostic reserves of the coals are estimated to be up to 2 billion tonnes.
In Austria, they know more than 290 iron ore deposits and manifestations, that form 3 iron ore belts: in the Northern Limestone Alps, Northern greywacke zone, and the central zone of the Eastern Alps. The most important deposit is Eisenerz, which is in the conjuction with the Paleozoic greywacke zone. The ore bodies are the large stratified depositions with the area of more than 1 square kilometre, and with the thickness of up to 200 metres. The ores contain siderite, as well as the small quantities of the pyrite, chalcopyrite, tetrahedrite, etc. The average Fe (iron) content is 33-35%. Other deposits (Radmer, Hüttenberg) are similar in the structure and the quality of ore to the deposits of greywacke zone, but are not large in size.
The small deposits of the copper ores are quite numerous, and are represented by the quartz-carbonate veins, containing siderite, chalcopyrite, and other sulfides. Kitzbuhel, Pinzgau, Schwaz and Brixlegg in the Limestone Alps, Kalwang in Styria; the largest deposit is the Mitterberg (total reserves of 50,000 tonnes) at the border between the Limestone Alps and the Central Alps in the western Austria. Numerous manifestations and deposits of the lead and zinc ores have been known for a long time along the junction of the Central and Southern Limestone Alps. The largest Bleiberg deposit is located on the northern slopes of the Southern Limestone Alps. The undeveloped deposits (Lafach, Nassereith, Annaberg, etc.) are located in the Northern Limestone Alps. The tungsten deposits are known in the western part of the Eastern Alps. They are represented by the scheelite bearing skarns. The largest deposit is Mittersill, the reserves of which are estimated at 20,000 tonnes WO3; the content of the WO3 in the ore is 0,7-1%. The main antimony deposits with aggregate total reserves up to 50 thousand tonnes are located near Schlaining in the conjunction with the Paleozoic foundation of the central zones of the Eastern Alps. Numerous small gold deposits, which are associated with the quartz-ankerite veins (thickness 0.5-3 metres), are known in the High Tauern. The length of the chains of the veins is tens of kilometres horizontal, and up to 1,000 metres vertical. The content of gold is up to 30 grams per tonne. They known the large deposits of magnesite, such as Breitenau, Veitsch, Radenthein, Hochfilzen, Lanersbach, Trieben, and Oberort. Graphite deposits are in the conjunction with the greywacke zone (Kaysersberg, etc.) or the ancient crystalline schists of the Bohemian Massif (Mühldorf). The deposits of the rock salt are numerous in the Limestone Alps, and are formed by the thick salt strata and domes, like Bad Aussee, Hallstatt, Bad Ischl, Hallein, etc. The deposits of kaolin, cement raw materials, talc, gypsum, and other building materials, have been found in many other parts of the country. The numerous mineral springs have the world wide fame: Bad Villach, Bad Aussee, Bad Gastein, Bad Hall, Baden, Bad Schoenau, Bleiberg, etc.
The history of the development of the mineral resources. The usage of the flint stone in Austria for making tools had begun in the Lower Paleolithic (about 500,000 years ago) and continued until the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC). The clays were mined in large quantities since the 6th century BC for making pottery and building homes in the eastern Austria. The mining centres in Austria have begun the operations, apparently, in the 3rd millennium BC. However, their significance had become paramount for the certain areas of the Central Europe only in the late Bronze Age (from the 2nd half of the 2nd millennium BC to the start of the 1st millennium BC). The extensive mining and the processing of the copper sulfide ores and of the minerals of the cementation zone of the copper deposits began at this time. There emerged dozens of the major mining developments, which were concentrated mainly in the regions of Salzburg and Tyrol. The system of the large-scale mining developments in "Mitterberg" has been explored more than others. Apparently, the local sources of gold were developed at the same time.
The development of the iron ore and the production of iron, which displaced the bronze in the manufacturing of tools, began since the 8th-7th centuries BC. From the 1st century BC to the 5th century AD, the eastern alpine areas continued to be one of the most significant mining and metallurgy centres in Europe, the technique of mining improved noticeably. In the Migration Period (the 4th-9th centuries), the mining trade in the territory of Austria is experiencing the decline (the development of iron ore in the Styrian Alps is only mentioned in 712). Since the 10th century, the silver mining in Styria got the development (Schladming, Seyring) for the manufacturing of the coins. In the 10th-13th centuries, the traditional industries of salt and iron ore extraction were reborn. In the 13th century, they switched from the initial dry development of the rock salt to the extraction with the help of the solution mining method. The salt was mined as the "crown property" since this time in Hallein, Bad Hall, Salzkammergut. Innerberg (now Eisenerz) and Leoben in Styria, and Hüttenberg in Carinthia, were the centres of the iron ore extraction. The extraction was performed by the associations of miners, which were forced out by the companies of the entrepreneurs since the 15th century. The development was performed using the galleries and by the open method. The state monopoly on the production of salt has been established in the 14th-16th centuries. The development of the deposits of the ores of gold and silver reaches the maximum in the 15th-16th centuries. The gold mines (there were about 1000 of them) were located in the Tauern area, and the places Raurisertal, Lavanttal, Guttal, Gößnitz (high grade gold). The enterprises for the extraction of silver were located in Styria, Carinthia, especially rich in the Tyrol (in the late 15th century, the mines Rattenberg, Sterzing, and Clausen gave up to 12 thousand tonnes of silver per year).
At the end of the 15th century, they also produced in Carinthia copper (2,200 tonnes per year), lead (up to 400 tonnes per year, the largest centre is Bleiberg), tin, and mercury in the Carniola (Idrija) area. In the 16th century, the mining in Austria has reached a high level. At the time of the underground mining of the silver ores in the Tyrol (1515), they used the horse driven winch for the mine hoisting, dewatering installations, the first mining hutches. At this time, the Austrian specialists in the field of mining were invited to England for the teaching of the miners. In the late 16th century, the extraction of silver and gold decreased, the non-significant quantity of gold was extracted by the washing at the alpine rivers and at the mouth of the Enns river. Since the beginning of the 18th century, they began to use blasting at the time of the extraction of the mineral resources. During the 18th century, the extraction of silver and gold sharply decreased, the last major mine worked in 1760-1813 in Annaberg (Northern Austria). The mining of the iron ore, which has undergone the crisis in the 17th century, increased, and reached the level of 1600 by the end of the 18th century. In the 19th century, the extraction of magnesite increased (Veitsch area in Styria, Radenthein in Carinthia). The formation of the mining industry is associated with the large-scale extraction of coal, magnesite (1st place in the world until 1918).
The mining industry. General characteristics. The mining industry in Austria is based on the various, with small reserves (except magnesite), mineral deposits (map).
(Table 2, the extraction of the essential minerals)
|The type of the mineral raw material||1950||1960||1970||1980|
|Oil (with condensate), million tonnes||1.5||2.4||2.8||1.5|
|Natural gas (marketable), billion of cubic metres||-||1.2||1.8||1.6|
|Brown coal, million tonnes||3.4||6.0||3.7||2.86|
|Iron ores, million tonnes||0.4||1.1||1.3||3.2|
|Tungsten ores (WO3), thousand tonnes||-||0.132||0.165||0.459|
|Copper ores, thousand tonnes||0.9||2.0||2.3||-|
|Lead ores, thousand tonnes||3.5||5.8||6.0||4.0|
|Antimony ores, thousand tonnes||269||930||617||247|
|Zinc ores, thousand tonnes||3.2||8.9||15.7||18.8|
|Magnesite, thousand tonnes||412||1625||1609||1318|
|Brines, million of cubic metres||-||-||-||2.241|
|Graphite, thousand tonnes||14.7||88||30||36.7|
|Kaolin, thousand tonnes||51.1||96.2||100||340.98|
|Talc, thousand tonnes||59||82||100.2||116.7|
|Gypsum, thousand tonnes||42.3||447.7||619.7||698.6|
|Dolomite, thousand tonnes||-||-||-||1107|
In the country, they extract lignite, petroleum, the ores of iron, lead, zinc and copper, magnesite (Table 2).
In the structure of the industry, the main place belongs to the fuel (57% of all employees, 75% of investments, 73.7% of the value added), the mining, respectively (20.2%, 8.7%, 9.5%) and mined chemical raw materials (12.3 %, 10.7%, 9.9%) industries. There are 98 mining companies (including 42 mines) in the country. Most of the deposits are developed by the open method (56% of all active). There are 12 companies in the mining industry of Austria (1978), including the ones that take part in the extraction of coal 3, oil and gas - 2, ore - 2, potassium salts - 1, magnesite - 3, non-metallic materials - 1.
The role of the foreign investment is not large. In the late 40's, the state-monopoly capitalism has got the significant development in Austria, the largest mining companies belong to the government, which controls the coal and oil industries almost entirely. The major mining firms (1976) are: "Österreichische Industrieverwaltung Aktiengesellschaft" (extraction and processing of the ores of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, the quantity of the employed is 57,200 people), "Vöest-Alpine AG" (extraction of coal and iron ore, 84,300 people), "Österreichische Mineralöl Verwaltung Aktien-gesellschaft" (extraction of oil and gas, 7,400 people).
The non-significant part of the needs for the raw materials and the fuel is satisfied in Austria through its own production. There are imported there over 90% of coal, 80% of oil, 60% of gas, the majority of the ores. In 1978, the quantity of the import of the products of the mining industry was 20.1 billion shillings (including the iron ore 1.1, non-ferrous and precious metals 2.4, coal and peat 2.3, oil 12.0, natural gas 3.4). The mining products are imported mainly from Germany, USSR, the Netherlands, Poland, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia. The quantity of the exports of the industry (mainly magnesite) has totalled 0.2 billion shillings (1978). Germany, Italy, Switzerland are the main importer countries of the mining products of Austria.
The oil and gas industry, with about 90 companies, is based on the small oil and gas fields (more than 60). About 75% of the oil is extracted in the Vienna basin (90% of them gives the Matzen field), they obtain the rest of the oil from the Prealpine basin. There are about 1,300 active oil wells (1982). The extracted oil satisfies 13.0% of the needs of the country; the missing quantity (about 8 million tonnes, 1980) is imported from the countries of Africa and the Middle East through the branch of the Transalpine oil pipeline (415 kilometres), as well as from the USSR. The total length of the local oil and gas pipelines is 1,200 kilometres. The crude oil comes to the oil refinery "Schwechat" (near Vienna) for the processing, its productivity is 14 million tonnes (1980). The extraction of the natural gas (including the associated gas) is about 1.4 billion cubic metres per year (CH4 content in the gas is 84-99%), which provides less than 1/3 of the need of the country. The largest company in the oil extraction (82% of the total extraction), natural gas (70%), and the associated gas, is the state company "Österreichische Mineralöl Verwaltung Aktiengesellschaft". They import the gas mainly from the USSR (2,9 billion cubic meters, 1979) through the branch of the Transaustrian gas pipeline. The search and exploration works for the oil and gas are controlled by the state and private companies.
The coal industry. The industrial extraction of coal in Austria is performed since the 19th century (by 1978 the extraction of the hard coal has been terminated). The coal industry (1980) provides 25% of the need of the country in coal. The extraction is performed mainly (70%, 1980) by the underground method. There are 5 mines and 2 quarries active in the country. All enterprises are owned by the three companies, the largest is the "Graz-Köflacher-Eisenbahnund Bergbaugesellschaft", on the enterprises of which in 1980 there have been extracted 1.69 million tonnes of the brown coal. The most powerful enterprise is the "Karlshaht" (922 thousand tonnes, 1980), which is performing the development by the underground and the open pit mining methods. There is being built now (1980) the lignite open pit mine in Oberdorf in Styria (the design capacity of 1.25 million tonnes).
The map of Austria. The extraction of the iron ores.
They extract the iron ores mainly (81%) by the open pit method in Styria (Erzberg). The development of the smaller deposits (Radmer, Hüttenberg) has been terminated in 1978.
The extraction of the non-ferrous metals. The development of the copper deposits in Austria is performed since the Middle Ages; many deposits (Kalwang, Schwaz and Brixlegg) are exhausted. The copper deposit Mitterberg (153 thousand tonnes of ore have been extracted in 1975) has been operated by the underground method until 1976. The development has been performed with the usage of the overhead stoping with the hydraulic stowing and the system of the sublevel caving. It (like the Mühlbach deposit) has been shut down as the consequence of the fall of the prices of copper. The lead-zinc ores are mined at the Bleiberg deposit. After the pause, the extraction of the tungsten ores has been resumed in 1976 in the Tyrol at the "Mittersill" mine, where the new scheelite ore bodies have been discovered and explored, with the total reserves of 2.5 million tonnes of ore, of which 10% would be developed by the open pit mining. The deposit is operated by the Austrian company "Wolfram Bergbau und Hütten GmbH". The extraction is about 450,000 tonnes of the ore per year. The tungsten concentrates are processed at the plant "Pölfing-Burghley" in Styria (1.0-1.2 thousand tonnes of the carbide powder per year). The antimony ores are developed using the underground method by the single "Schlaining" enterprise. The single bauxite mine in the country, which is located in Unterlaus, has been closed in the late 60's, and the production of aluminium in Austria is completely based on the imported raw materials .
The extraction of the mined chemical raw materials. Austria is the largest producer of magnesite in Europe. The extraction is performed by the open pit and underground methods (deposits: Radenthein, Hochfilzen, Hohentauern, Breitenau, etc.). The underground development (for example, the "Milshteter Alpe" company) is performed using the horizontal layers of up to 2.8 metres in height with the placement of the shrinkage stopes across the strike, and the continuous extraction of the magnesite in the direction which is reverse of the strike. They secure the rock faces by the hydraulic supports in two rows. At the time of the open pit development, they use the blasting for the breaking, and transport the rock mass by the automobile dump trucks of the great load carrying capacity. The magnesite is beneficiated by the flotation (the fine-grained magnesite), and also by the separation in the heavy media. The development of the rock salt has the great importance (Hallein, Hallstatt, Bad Aussee, Bad Ischl, etc.). The extraction is performed by the underground method (including 33% by the leaching). The single deposit of the baryte in the country is located in the Semmering region and is developed by the underground method.
The extraction of the other mineral resources. The deposits of graphite (the largest is the Kaisersberg in the Upper Styria) on the territory of Austria are developed by the underground method by the "Grafitbergbau Kaisersberg Franz Mayer Melhof Co." company. The annual extraction has decreased to the average of 23-25 thousand tonnes. The lenticular depositions are uncovered by the adits and the vertical shafts. The graphite is of the high grade, it contains up to 80% of the carbon in several places; it is beneficiated at the Kaisersberg factory, and the concentrate with 95% of carbon is obtained. About 90% of the graphite is exported. The talc deposits are exploited near the Rabenwald in Styria. The extraction is performed primarily by the underground method with the adit mining. The largest part of the extracted talc is exported. The deposits of gypsum and anhydrite are developed by the open pit and underground methods by 12 companies (1981). The largest mine is the "Grundlsee", where the chamber mining system of the development is used with the shrinkage of the ore. In Austria, the extraction of kaolin is performed by the underground method (deposits Kriechbaum, Weinzierl), olivine (Leoben), the deposits of the non-metallic building materials are exploited in many regions.
The tunneling is the specialized mining industry, the technology of which in Austria has accumulated rich experience. One of the first railway lines Vienna-Trieste (1846-56) had 15 tunnels, the longest of them 1.43 kilometres. The construction of the Arlberg railway tunnel, one of the longest for the time, has been completed in 1883 on the border with Italy. The experience in the construction of the tunnels in the complex mining and geological conditions has led to the creation in 1837 of the so-called Austrian method, which has got the wide spread distribution. The gist of the method is that at the start they mine the lower directional adit for the whole length of the tunnel, and then in the separate places, while keeping the securing rock pillars, they widen the cross section of the tunnel up to the complete profile, supporting the working by the end trusses, which are the special system of the temporary wooden fastening. They erect the lining of the tunnel using the natural stones or the cast concrete in the formwork, starting from the foundations, withdrawing the temporary fastening elements in the progress of the work, and ending with the lock in the arch of the ceiling. In the presence of the lateral pressure of the rock, they excavate the rock in the tray, and close the lining by the inverted arch. The substantial disadvantage of this method is the limit on the possibility of the usage of the mining heading machinery.
(Table 3) The longest road tunnels.
|The name of the tunnel||Cross-section, square metres||Length, kilometres||The year of introduction|
The new Austrian method has got the distribution during the construction of the modern tunnels (L.Rabtsevich, and L.Muller, 1956), which allows to completely open the cross section of the tunnel even in the unstable rocks, and to use the large heading machinery, due to the complete clearance of the temporary fastening elements from the cross section of the tunnel which is built. The new Austrian method includes the creation of the flexible arch, which consist of the layer of the rocks, which are adjacent to the working, and are put into the work by the system of the anchors, and the thin shell of the sprayed concrete. The flexible support of the working, which is created, allows to extend the time of the stability of the rocks up to the time, when the closure of the ring by the inverted arch would ensure the inclusion of the complete lining into the work. The single type of the fasteners are used through the complete length of the tunnel, which allows the usage of the unified complex set of the machines for the construction of the tunnel. The system for the control of the state of the stress and deformation of the surrounding massif of the rocks, and for the control of the deformation of the contour of the working, is acting continuously during the construction of the tunnel. They build the road tunnels using the drilling and blasting operations, and the hydrotechnical tunnels using the tunneling combine machines of the rotary type. More than 100 kilometres of the tunnels with the diameter of 2.1-4.8 metres (Table 3) have been built in 1967-81 by such combines.
The mining machinery. In Austria, there is the developed industry of the mining machinery. The largest state concern "Vöest-Alpine AG" (the annual turnover of over 50 billion Austrian schillings, 80,200 personnel, 1980), which, along with the products of the general industrial destination, also manufactures the mining equipment, such as the tunneling combine machines, powered roof supports of the cluster type, processing equipment (especially for the benefication of the brown coal), wheeled loaders, etc. The company "Vereinigte Edelstahlwerke AG" (the branch of the "Vöest-Alpine AG") manufactures the drilling equipment and the pneumatic tools, and the compressors. The "Schaffler und Co." company (the factory in the Vintsendorf city) manufactures the explosive machines, electric detonators, and other explosive equipment, and the equipment for the test, control, and measurements. The "Österreichisches Schacht und Tiefbau-Unternehmen GmbH" shaft construction company is active in Austria. The "Austromineral GmbH" consultative engineering company has been organized in 1971, which carries out about 30 projects in more than 20 countries.
The protection of the mineral resources and the reclamation. They dedicate a lot of attention in Austria to the protection of the environment from the influence of the mining. The state standards are developed and are acting for these purposes. The decreasing of the harmful influence during the underground mining (the subsidence of the surface, etc.) is achieved primarily by the method of using the systems of the development with the stowing of the mined-out space. The conservation of the natural landscapes during the development of the deposits by the open pit method is achieved by the reclamation of the disturbed lands, by the creation of the artificial barriers around the open pits and dumps in the form of the green plantations, by the painting of the non-working walls of the open pits, etc. The monitoring is performed of the contamination of the groundwater and the open water bodies (lakes, ponds, rivers, etc.) from the influence of the mining developments. There are established the limited acceptable norms for the dust, the norms for the level of the noise and vibration at the quarries and mines. The annual spendings on the protection of the environment from the influence of the mining developments form up to 5% of the cost of the production of the mining industry in Austria.
The scientific institutions. The training of the personnel. The press. The development of the mining and geological sciences in Austria is associated with the creation of the universities in the cities of Vienna and Graz (founded in 1586), Salzburg (1622), Innsbruck (1669). The Austrian Academy of Sciences has been founded in 1847, the High School of Mines (now the Mining University of the Leoben city) has been founded in 1848, the Vienna Institute of Geology has been founded in 1949. The specialized research centres, which have been formed in the 19-20 centuries, are the Austrian public services, geological (1849), Meteorology and Geodynamics (1851), and others, as well as the scientific societies, geographical (1856), mineralogical (1901), geological (1907), and mining (1950). The organization of the modern mining and geological service is realized by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Crafts, in which there are the administration of the mining industry and the geological service, as well as by the Association of the Austrian oil industry. The administration of the mining industry has the regional offices in the cities of Vienna, Leoben, Salzburg, Klagenfurt, Graz, and Innsbruck. The training in the field of the mining science and the mining trade is performed in the Mining University of Leoben. The main periodicals on the geology and the mining trade are: "Berg- und Hüttenmännische Monatshefte" (from 1851), "Jahrbuch der geologischen Bundesanstalf" (from 1850), "Tschermak's mineralogische und petrographische Mitteilungen" (from 1851), "Mitteilungen der Österreichischen geologischen Gesellschaft" (from 1908), "Verhandlungen der geologischen Bundesanstalt" (from 1858), "Mitteilungen der Abteilung für Geologie, Paldontologie und Bergbau" (from 1935).
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