On to the Erzberg in Eisenerz ...

Photo of the group on the train in the Erzberg show minePhoto of the group on the train in the Erzberg show mine

© Christian Zaruba

... it went with a group of around 40 men/women of IMST employees on May 5th, 2010. Arrived at the mine and greeted with the words "Glück auf!" the temporary miners were greeted with the so-called "Katl" , the former crew train, about 1.5 km into the Erzberg into the depths of the show mine, where one could gain insights into the impressive living and working world of the miners.

Photo of the group in the Erzberg show mine

© Christian Zaruba

During the tour, the ubiquitous St. Barbara - the patron saint of miners - was repeatedly reminded, who was sentenced to death by her father because of her chosen religion, but was able to escape and found at least a short-term ally and shelter in the mountain.

Photo of the group in the Erzberg show mine

© Christian Zaruba

Photo of the group in the Erzberg show mine

Photo of the group in the Erzberg show mine

© Christian Zaruba

Photo of the group in the Erzberg show mine

Photo of a tunnel in the Erzberg show mine

© Christian Zaruba

The further impressive tour was followed, among other things, by the legend of the Aquarius. This being is said to have appeared to the people in a grotto at the time and, after the assumption that this being possessed valuable treasures, was captured. Arrived at the place where the Erzberg is today, the water sprite is said to have raged and wailed and promised great treasures in exchange for his release. Besides the mentioned gold and silver, "iron forever" was also promised and the people chose the latter. After Aquarius was released, that promise continues to this day...

Back from the depths of the ore mine and strengthened by an opulent meal in the Leobner Arkadenhof (or A-Hof, as the people of Leobner affectionately call it), we continued to the Voest-Alpine according to the motto "... iron forever...". Donawitz, where the question was asked: Fe²+, Fe³+ or alloyed (Fe3C)?

There it was observed in a rather impressive way how, in a deserted hall, at unbelievably high temperatures and steam development, rails over 100m long were made from red-hot steel slabs in 3.5 minutes. The only thing that is not automated is the changing and reworking of the rolls in the company's own turning workshop.

At the end of the factory tour, one thing was clear: "Steel forever!"

Photo of a colleague in protective clothing in front of Voest-Alpine Donawitz

© Dagmar Fischer