• Classification(s) of raw materials
  • Total minerals production
  • Short Analysis of the different raw materials

Classification(s) of raw materials

  • Energetic Raw Materials (Mineral Fuels):
  • Non Fuel Raw Materials (Non Energetic Mat.)
    • Metals
    • Nonmetals

Non Fuel Raw Materials:

  • Iron and Ferro-Alloy Metals (Eisen- und Stahlveredler)
  • Non Ferros Metals(Buntmetalle, Sondermetalle, usw)
  • Precious Metals(Edelmetalle)
  • Industrial Minerals (Industrieminerale)
  • Construction Materials: Sand& Gravel (Steine und Erden)
  • Gemstones(Edelsteine)


  • coal, lignite, oil, Uranium, Natural Gas

Iron and Steel group: 

  • on ore, Chromium, Nickel, Cobalt, Manganese, Molybdenum, Tantal, Niob, Vanadium, Tungsten (Wolfram)

Non Ferrous-, Light- and Speciality Metals:

  • Al, Cu, Zn, Pb, Sn, Mg, Ti, Be, Se, Te, Ga, Ge, Cd, Li, In, Bi, Hg, Sb,

Precious Metals

  • Gold, Silber, Platinum Group (PGM)

Industrial Minerals

  •  Asbestos, Barite, Diatomite, Feldspar, Fluorite, Gips & Anhydrite, Graphite, Potassium, Kaolin, Magnesite, Perlite, Phosphate, Rare Earth, Salt, Sulphur, Talcum, etc.

Sand & Gravel

  • Sand & Gravel, dimensional stone (Lime stone, Dolomite, Basalt, Diabas, Granite), Clay


  • Diamond, Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire

Other Classifications

 Unused – used:

  • Primary (Mining, agricultural,forestry)
  • Secondary(used-mat. and waste)

 Bio – Geo:

  • Geo-raw.(Water, minerals)
  • Bio-raw. Mat.(Plants, Trees, Animals)


  • Geo-raw.mat -> mining
  • Bio-raw.mat -> Cultivation (Farming)

• Energetic Raw Materials (Energierohstoffe): used is the energy-potential through chemical or physical transformation

• Element Raw Materials (Elementrohstoffe): the practical value is used (Gebrauchswert); mainly: metals

• Property Raw Materials (Eigenschaftsrohstoffe) used because of their physical or chemical property. (Non- metals / Nichtmetalle)

• Mining:

  •  Around 80 – 100 different raw materials are produced (it depends on the details of the statistics/ Montanstatistik)
  • Raw Materials are often also called„Commodities“ or „Mineral Commodities“

Energy (Fuel) Raw Material

Total minerals production in 2016

Characteristic Features:

  • Total of ¾ of the production value of all raw materials
  • 2nd largest volume (tons) after the construction materials
  • Prices medium, cheap transportation necessary (availability of appropriate infrastructure, railway,harbour)
  • regional concentrations for oil and nat. gas (middle east and Russia)
  • Coal deposits distributed world wide
  • High dependency of industrial states on energy raw materials

Iron and Ferrous Metals

World-production (t/year):

  • ironore ~ 1.100 Mio. t
  • chromium 8 Mio.t
  • manganese 12 Mio.t
  • nickel 1 Mio.t


  • Ironore 200 $/t
  • Chromite 400$/t
  • Mn 2,5 $/mtu (48%Mn)
  • Ni 4 – 6US$/lb.

Characteristic Features:

  • Except iron ore relatively moderate consumption volumes
  • Partly strong regional concentrations (Cr, Co, Mo,Va, W)
  • High import dependency of the EU and Japan (Fe, Cr, Mn, Ni, Co, Mo)
  • Prices high, international trade
  • Demand highly dependent on the economic situation
  • Very volatile prices, high risk

Non Ferrous Metals

World-production (t/Jahr):

  • aluminium (metal) 37Mt
  • copper 16Mt
  • zinc 11Mt
  • lead(primary) 4 Mt

Characteristic Features:

  • Partly strong regional concentrations
  • High import-dependency of the EU and Japan (Bauxite/Alumina, Cu)
  • High prices,international trade
  • Low concentration grades of the deposits (e.g. Cu: 0,5 -1%), therefore high concentration factors and high mass movements
  • Demand highly dependent on the economic situation
  • Very volatile prices, high risk

Industrial Minerals

World-Production (t/year):

  • Salt 257 Mio.t
  • Gypsum 137 Mio.t
  • Sulphur 59 Mio.t
  • Phosphate 50 Mio.t
  • Potassium 21 Mio.t
  • Talc 8 Mio.t
  • Baryte 8 Mio.t

Prices e.g.:

  • Salt 40$/t
  • Potash 400$/t
  • Barite 70$/t

Characteristic Features:

  • Large group of raw materials with a large number of applications (fertilizer, chemicals, paper, plastics, rubber, pigments, glass, ceramic, pharmaceutical, …)
  • Medium – large consumption volumes
  • Medium – high price levels, therefore possibility for international markets(trade)
  • Price more stable than prices for metals
  • Prices can vary in a wide rage, depending on grades

Precious Metals and Gemstones

World-production (t/year)


  • Gold ~ 1,800$/oz.
  • Silber 5$/oz.
  • Platin > 1,500$/oz.
  • Diamonds(raw) >100 $/carat

Characteristic Features:

  • Extreme low grades in the deposits (e.g. 1 g/t Au or 1 carat/t Diamonds)
  • Therefore extreme large mass movements (e.g. 1g/t: 1000 t raw ore per kg Au); à Concentration at the mine site absolute necessary
  • extreme high prices,unlimited trading radius
  • excellent export products
  • High income-elasticity, because it is a luxury product
  • Object of hoarding

Construction Materials

Materials Type:

  • Sand and gravel
  • Dimensional stone(Natursteine, Schotter, Werksteine)
  • Clays(Bautone)

Production of Austria:

  • Sandand gravel > 65 Mio. t/year
  • stone > 35 Mio. t/year

World Production (estm.):

  • Sand and gravel ~ 22 Bio. t/year
  • stone > 4 Bio. t/year


  • Sand,Gravel, 5 – 10 $/t

Characteristic Features:

  • Widespread occurrences(world wide)
  • Largest volume of all mineral commodities (70 % of all raw materials, usage concentrated in conurbations)
  • Relatively high usage of area (normally no underground mining, mining mostly above groundwater level)
  • Highly sensitive to the surroundings (and the environment). Mining close to settlement areas
  • Low prices, small transportation- radius (~ 30 km)
  • Important: land planning (Raumordnung)

Quantity and Price

More Articles: