We’re a traditional Austrian company that’s shaping the future:
We’ve been passionate about copper and silver for over 550 years!
We export over 80% of what we produce. Our products boast high market recognition, excellent quality, and numerous areas of application. The “BRX” brand is a well-known trademark across the globe.
Copper and silver ore were mined in Tyrol and refined into pure metals in Brixlegg into the 20th century. As mining has declined from around 1890 onwards, ever-larger amounts of copper-containing secondary materials have been used as raw materials for producing metal in place of ore. Montanwerke Brixlegg is now purely an upcycling company. With over 350 employees based at our Brixlegg location, Montanwerke Brixlegg AG is a key industry leader in western Austria.
Our Brixlegg plant uses cutting-edge technology for copper recycling and refining. To stay on top of our steep international competition, we continuously refine our processes for extracting valuable metals, working closely together with both Austrian and international universities.
We draw on our strong regional roots to shape our future across the globe.
We’re an international supplier of flexible copper solutions – and our chief objective is to deliver benefits for our customers.
Our excellent production and quality standards lead us to excel in our market segments.
Running our business both efficiently and sustainably is crucial to us.
Our most precious commodities are our employees and our sense of social responsibility.
We support and challenge our employees in an agile market environment.
Our Quality, Safety, and Environmental Protection Principles
Customers and Supplier
Organization and Technology
Montanwerke Brixlegg AG always delivers premium-quality products on schedule and takes a flexible approach to meeting individual customer needs. We quickly respond to shifting market situations, employing a certified quality management system to map the required processes, interdependencies, and responsibilities. Our longstanding partnerships with suppliers as well as our access to an international network ensure the availability of the necessary (raw) materials.
Montanwerke Brixlegg AG is committed to living out this principle. To this end, we analyze and optimize processes on a consistent, ongoing basis, subjecting them to intense scrutiny. We highly value our employees’ suggestions for improvement and readily implement their ideas. We also take any critical feedback we may receive from customers and partners and use it to derive measures for optimization.
The certified environmental management system in place at Montanwerke Brixlegg AG underpins our methodical approach to continuously improving our environmental impact. We evaluate measurable KPIs to derive effective methods for achieving our environmental goals, and we make sure to uphold environmental regulations in all that we do.
Protecting the health of our employees as well as of individuals located in our catchment represents a top priority, which is why we take care to observe all the applicable safety regulations. Systematic risk assessment and comprehensive emergency planning guarantee maximum safety at Montanwerke Brixlegg AG.
Internal reporting ensures transparent communication along our various levels of management. We involve front-line employees to raise their awareness of goings-on within the organization, and have established a regular, open flow of information to support this. Local residents are also important to Montanwerke Brixlegg AG; we make sure to communicate with them openly, addressing them as equals.
Montanwerke Brixlegg AG is organized in a way that reflects our commitment to environmental protection. We make sure to deploy sufficient resources towards fulfilling our company goals. Employing qualified personnel and providing them with continuous training lays the groundwork for our success. To protect our interests, the systems at Montanwerke Brixlegg AG are designed and operated with cutting-edge technology.
Here at Montanwerke Brixlegg AG, we’re proud of our 550-year history and conscious of the responsibility we have to carry on our traditions into the future
EXPLORE OUR TIMELINE
Electrolysis capacity is increased to 122,000 metric tons/year: a new record
Montanwerke Brixlegg AG celebrates its 550th birthday. We have been shaping our local region for over half a millennium, and remain conscious of the responsibility we have to uphold our traditions into the future.
On 4 April 2012, Montanwerke Brixlegg Aktiengesellschaft and Gindre Duchavany S.A. in Point de Chéruy, France, along with their subsidiaries, are acquired by UMCOR Holding GmbH, Vienna (a subsidiary of UMCOR AG, Zurich).
Montanwerke Brixlegg AG introduces a 50 kA high-current system and expands its stockyard.
The electrolysis plant’s capacity is increased to 108,000 metric tons/year.
Montanwerke Brixlegg AG acquires the copper foundry Kovohuty, a.s. in Krompachy, Slovakia. Kovohuty, a.s. employs a staff of 150 and is a recycling company that annually produces around 60,000 metric tons of anode copper from copper-containing secondary raw materials. This copper is further processed into cathodes at the Brixlegg plant.
Montanwerke Brixlegg AG expands with the addition of an Asarco shaft furnace.
Montanwerke Brixlegg becomes one of Europe’s most modern copper producers when it commissions an electrolysis plant based on cutting-edge technology with an annual capacity of 50,000 metric tons of the highest-quality cathode copper. Montanwerke Brixlegg is Austria’s only copper foundry and operates purely as a recycling company. Copper, nickel, tin, lead, zinc, and precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum, and palladium are recovered from scrap and other metal-containing materials.
Following further modernization to the copper electrolysis process, the foundry’s annual capacity is increased to 13,000 metric tons of copper. 500 years prior to this, local foundries only produced around 40 metric tons of copper each year.
Montanwerke Brixlegg GmbH is founded in Berlin on 15 August 1940; the business had been run by the German Reich since 1938. In 1945, bomb attacks virtually decimate the foundry. Reconstruction is completed on 30 June 1947, after which the first black copper is smelted in the shaft furnace. Other copper ores are then smelted again in the Mitterberg copper mine in Mühlbach am Hochkönig, located in the Austrian state of Salzburg.
1,900 metric tons of copper cathodes are produced each year.
The first converters with a filter system are put into operation. Copper products from Brixlegg are used all over Austria: Brixlegg copper sheets are used on the rooftops of the Parliament Building, the Palace of Justice, and Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. Coin metals from Brixlegg are supplied to the mint in Halle as well as mints in Vienna, Milan, and Venice.
95 metric tons of electrolyte copper are produced this year. Since ore supplies are dwindling, the foundry begins to produce copper from high-grade scrap metal alloys such as brass, bronze, and red bronze.
In keeping with the increasing use of electricity, the foundry starts to produce highly pure copper, made possible by introducing large-scale refining electrolysis. Copper sulfate has been generated as a by-product ever since.
Two granaries are built on the Inn River in 1687 and 1718, respectively. These mainly supply the local mine, metalworkers, and inhabitants. There are three granaries in total – it is unclear when the third was established; reports of it date back to the 16th century.
Four smelting works are operating in Brixlegg. Ore mining and smelting are commissioned by the local rulers in Schwaz, Kitzbühel, Schneeberg, Gossensasser, Pfunderer Berg, Nals, Terlan, the Mining Court of Imst, and other locations. Private unions and self-employed miners can also have their ores processed at the Brixlegg works.
The Unterinntal silver mining smelting works held by the local ruler is established in the location where Montanwerke still stands today. Incidentally, Montanwerke is the only copper smelting works in Austria.
The Brixlegg copper and silver smelting works is first documented. The Bavarian duke Louis the Rich lays the cornerstone for the works in the small town of Brixlegg, which belongs to Bavaria at this time. The economic development of the smelting works was closely linked to ore mining in Tyrol up to the 20th century.
Historical documents trace the recommencement of mining in the Brixlegg mining district to this year, towards the end of the Middle Ages. A goods catalog held by a local ruler and dated to this year records mining at six locations near Rattenberg. Brixlegg, which is still of little importance at this time, is under Rattenberg rule and belongs to the duchy of Bavaria, along with Kufstein and Kitzbühel.
Copper is discovered. (Image: James John)
Executive Board & Structure
The Executive Board of Montanwerke Brixlegg AG consists of:
DR. DIETMAR LEITLMEIER (CTO)
MAG. GABRIELE PUNZ-PRAXMARER (CFO)
DIPL.-ING. UWE SCHMIDT (CCO)
99% Umcor Holding GmbH
1% Umcor AG
KOVOHUTY, A.S. [KROMPACHY, SLOVAKIA]
Montanwerke Brixlegg AG acquired the copper foundry Kovohuty, a.s. in Krompachy, Slovakia, in 2002. Kovohuty, a.s. employs a staff of 170 and is a recycling company that annually produces around 48,000 metric tons of anode copper from copper-containing secondary raw materials. This copper is further processed into cathodes at the Brixlegg plant.
Montanwerke Brixlegg AG holds a 100% share of Montanwerke Brixlegg Wasserkraftwerke GmbH. This company operates three small hydroelectric plants in Alpbach with a total capacity of 18.1 million kWh. This corresponds to approximately 20-25% of the total electricity required by Montanwerke Brixlegg Aktiengesellschaft. The newest of the company’s three plants (the one located in Alpsteg) was commissioned in June 2009.