Just south-west of Kin­ne-Kle­va vil­lage you can see lar­ge red­dish-colou­red heaps in the distance.

The­se con­si­st of alum sha­le that was hea­ted to pro­du­ce oil. The high hyd­rocar­bon con­tent of alum sha­le led to the for­ma­tion of a com­pa­ny to extract oil from the sha­le as ear­ly as 1873. Anot­her way to extract oil was by distil­ling the sha­le to pro­du­ce gas. The gas was then used to burn lime in shaft kilns.

Alum sha­le was quar­ri­ed from mines during the first half of the 20th cen­tu­ry. The sha­le was used to pro­du­ce oil for the armed for­ces during the first and second world wars. The mine reached its peak out­put during the mid-1940s. By that time around 300 peop­le worked in the mine’s kilo­met­re-long tun­nels, which are not acces­sib­le to visi­tors today.

The oil that was pro­du­ced, some 500 ton­nes per year, was con­si­de­red sui­tab­le for wars­hips, and the plant was mana­ged by the Swe­dish navy. The plant, which ope­ra­ted under the name of Flot­tans Skif­fer­ol­je­verk (Fle­et Sha­le Oil Works), was exten­ded in 1941 and had an out­put of 20 tons of cru­de oil, 2–2.5 tons of “light petrol” and 8 tons of sulp­hur per day. Pro­duc­tion was shut down in 1946.

Alongside the specta­tor stands at Kin­ne­kul­le Ring racing cir­cuit is a long and spectacu­lar expo­sed sha­le face that is around 500 mil­li­on years old, in which lar­ge limesto­ne len­ses known as ant­h­raco­ni­te or stink­sto­ne are com­mon­ly found. The­se limesto­ne concre­tions are par­ticu­lar­ly rich in hydrocarbons.

Visi­tors are advi­sed not to enter the mine tun­nels as they pose a seri­ous health risk. This is becau­se the sha­le con­tains rela­ti­vely high levels of ura­ni­um, which pro­du­ces radon gas.

The­re is limi­ted access to the expo­sed sha­le along the race track, as this area is now used as a skid pan for vehicles.

Hit­ta Hit