Coal and shale deposits were recorded in the Blue Mountains in the early 1840s. From the 1860s to the turn of the century, and several companies were set up to work the coal and shale seams including the Katoomba Coal & Shale Company owned by John Britty North and the Australian Kerosene Oil & Mineral Company. Small settlements congregated around these mines including Nellie's Glen which had several shops and a hall in the Megalong Valley. Mining had ceased in the Blue Mountains by 1903 as supplies were depleted.
Attempts were made during the 1860s to locate coal around the Newington Estate and although there was some potential it was never developed. The coal industry was established in the Camden district during the Depression. The Clinton family and Stanley Fox were involved in the mining industry in this area. Oakdale State Mine was established the NSW Government. Commercial silver mining commenced in 1899 at Yerranderie in the Camden district, closing in 1928 as a result of falling prices and industrial disputes.
ROAD METAL QUARRY
A blue metal quarry was established at Prospect by the 1870s producing road surface material. Other quarries are located in the Penrith & Hawkesbury districts. In 1884 a road metal quarry was established in Rookwood and was still in operation in 1890. In the 1920s a quarry was opened in the Fairfield district.
The first oil refinery in Australia opened in 1928 at Clyde on the Parramatta River. The Australian Kerosene Oil & Mineral Company also operated in the Parramatta district late last century closing in 1916.
Several areas in Western Sydney concentrated on engineering and large scale manufacturing during the nineteenth century particularly in Parramatta, Granville and Auburn areas. Some of these businesses included Clyde & Chullora railway yards, stove manufacturing at Auburn, Babcock & Wilcox Boilermakers at Regents Park. Ritchie Brothers Carriage Builders and H. Vale & Sons Engineers were established in Auburn in 1878 and constructed carriages, wagons and locomotives for the Government and private enterprise.