Appendix C From “The Collieries and Boghead Mines of New South Wales

This is a copy of the report that first suggests an aerial ropeway would be a suitable means of transporting Oil Shale from the Ruined Castle to the bankhead of Katoomba Colliery.

Comment from Stan Johnstone:

207            Tankersley was at least  4 km west of the State Mine pit top, not “less than 1 km east”.

 221            The report by John MacKenzie ( Appendix C) based one Cox and Seaver’s   report shows many inaccuracies and short comings.       

 Reply from PH:

P 221  Again this is a direct reprint, and all mistakes get carried with it.  If anything it illustrates the type of research material that North had available to base decisions on.

More from John: 

Glen Davis would have been an absolutely outstanding success if it had not been for the exceptional power at that time able to be exerted by the Miners Federation. This was shown  in opposition to new methods and equipment, examples of sabotage from time to time and imposition of arbitrary limits on production. Additionally, there were directives from the Federal government that the operation must be kept going, no matter what.

Despite these obstacles, the small management team at the mine was able to achieve some significant new technological breakthroughs.

 With the introduction of the Petrie ( Pumpherston ) modifications to the retorts, in the face of tremendous opposition from high powered consultants, followed by doubling of the number of retorts, incorporating the improved design, retorting and refining was limited only by production of shale.

 In John MacKenzie’s report there are several examples of seam sections where the thickness of individual plies are added up incorrectly, one very grossly so (page 224).


The tabulated data for the shale sample should read:

 Sulphur            0.43  not 43 (AB and SJ)