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Hutton, Adrian; Knapman, Leonie
Joadja Creek Oil Shale Operations
First International and Eighth Australian Engineering Heritage Conference 1996: Shaping Our Future; Proceedings
Institution of Engineers, Australia, Barton, Australian Capital Territory, 1996, pp. 151-158

Joadja Creek supported a thriving oil shale industry from the late 1870s until 1905. Early underground kerosene shale mining was by private enterprise but later the Australian Kerosene Oil and Mineral Company was formed and the operations were much larger. From the remains of the town, the mines and the retort-refinery area it is possible to piece together some of the important aspects of the operation. Water for the small town was supplied from a small dam, 1.5 km upstream from the village. The water was piped to three reservoirs from which the water was taken for the retorts, refinery and orchard. Mining was at best primitive although mechanisation was used towards the end of the life of the mines. Ventilation for the mines was based on the principle of convection currents produced by a fire in a fire box near the entrance of an auxiliary adit. The hot air passed upwards through a chimney and pulled air from most parts of the mine. The town had a variety of social activities with some of these catered for by the mining company which built a School of Arts of brick construction.

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