Lead and Zinc Deposit Bleiberg in Carinthia (Austria)

Dalibor Velebil – National museum, Prague, Czech republic
Minerál (Brno) 13 (2005), 1, 41–48


Mining of lead ore at the lead and zinc deposit in Bleiberg, Austria, started more than 2000 years ago. The first written record about lead mining in Bleiberg is from 1333. Since the second half of the 19th century, zinc ore was also mined there. Bleiberg mines were definitely closed in 1993.

Lead and zinc ores (galena, sphalerite) form irregular accumulations in Triassic carbonate rocks – so called wetterstein limestones and overlying dolomites. Beside galena and sphalerite, the following minerals commonly occurs at the deposit: baryte, gypsum, anhydrite, fluorite, dolomite and calcite. Less common are wulfenite, hemimorphite, cerusite, smithsonite, vanadinite, descloizite, hydrozincite, greenockite etc. First formal description of wulfenite, hydrozincite and ilsemannite minerals was done for samples from the Bleiberg deposit (Bleiberg is type locality of wulfenite, hydrozincite and ilsemannite).

Keywords: Triassic period, limestone, dolomite, galena, sphalerite, calcite, hemimorphite, cerusite, wulfenite, hydrozincite, ilsemannite, smithsonite

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