Oil shale

Fracture surface of a dark-grey oil shale in underground mine
Photo: M. Schatz

Oil shale is a fine-grained clay-rich or calcareous sedimentary rock containing organic matter, from which shale oil can be obtained by heating and subsequent condensation. The industrial mineral oil shale is one of the mineral raw materials that are "free for mining".

In the Austrian area of the Achensee lake in Tyrol small amounts of oil shale have been exploited - up to 1964 in underground mining, since that time in open-cast mining at about 1,500 m above sea - and processed into cosmetic and pharmaceutical products (such as ointments, bath oils, hair balsams).

The current production data for Austria and the world can be found in the Austrian Montan-Handbuch and in the international statistics on raw materials, WORLD MINING DATA.