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Prospectus of the Mid-Lothian Mineral Oil Co. Ltd.

Incorporated under the Companies' Acts 1852 and 1867. Capital £75,000. First issue £50,000, in 10,000 Shares of £6 each, payable as under:— 10s. per Share on Application. 20s. ditto on Allotment 20s. ditto on lst January 1872; 20s. ditto on 1st June, 1872; and 30s. ditto on 1st October, 1872. The additional capital when issued will be offered pro rata to existing share holders.








This Company is formed for the purpose of working on an extensive scale a valuable Mineral Oil Property at Charlesfield, near West Calder, in the county of Edinburgh. This property comprises 150 acres of first class shale, with an upper and lower seam, capable of producing 14,000 tons of shale per acre, which will yield 25 gallons or upwards of crude oil of the finest quality to each ton of shale.

The rate and progress of the manufacture of Mineral Oil in Scotland is unparalleled by that of any other branch of trade, and there is at present an enormous and increasing demand for what has become one of the leading industries of the country. At the present time, the average weekly production of crude oil in Scotland exceeds 400,000 gallons being regularly at work, producing 21,800,000 gallons annually. About 10,000,000 gallons are annually refined for burning, besides which an enormous quantity of paraffin wax and other valuable products ate obtained from treatment of the shale.

As to the quality of the Oil, its superiority to all other oils is apparent from a report issued by the Lighthouse authorities in France, in which they state that the Scottish oil presented a marked superiority over all others experimented upon for quality and luminous intensity, and has been adopted in all the lighthouses in France adapted for Mineral Oils. Captain H. H. Doty, in a paper read before the Royal Scottish Society Of Arts In March last, unhesitatingly pronounced Scotch oils superior to all others, and predicted their adoption at no distant date in all the lighthouses of the world. He stated that these oil possess nearly double the illuminating power of an equal quantity of vegetable or animal oils, at the same time the price being less than half. It will immediately be seen that a marked economy is effected in their use, and this circumstance has tended much to their rapid adoption

This Company will be favourably circumstanced for producing oil, having acquired the right to work property of high repute in the West Calder district, which is particularly rich in bituminous shale of superior quality. The Caledonian Railway passes in close proximity to the property, and will be connected with the works by means of a siding, by which the cheap and easy transit of material and produce will lie greatly facilitated.

It is estimated that the shale which exists on the property is capable of yielding 50,000,000 gallons of oil. The estimate of income and expenditure annexed to prospectus will show the highly remunerative character of this undertaking. The capital will be expended in erecting retorts and refineries, sinking pits, laying down tramways, building workmen's houses &c. the whole of the plant and machinery will, be of the most approved description. In estimating the dividends which will accrue, It is difficult to avoid an appearance of exaggeration; but after allowing fully for all expenses of manufacture, and in view of the very moderate selling prices which have been taken, and which are confirmed by competent and experienced authorities, dividends of at least 30 per cent may be reasonably expected. The business in one that is carried on without risk of bad debts, its transactions being almost entirely in cash payments.

The Company propose to work at first about 120 tons daily, but by the issue of the remaining capital of £25,000 they would he enabled to work 240 tons a day, by which it is at once apparent the dividend would be largely increased. It is expected that the works will be in active operation in about six months from their commencement.

The Board includes the names of gentlemen having a good knowledge of the business of the Company, and the directors have secured the services of a manager who has had great practical experience in the manufacture of mineral oils, and is thoroughly acquainted with every detail of the business. The only contract entered into is a Minute of Agreement dated 14th November 1871 between John Peter Raeburn of the one part, and William Bell, on behalf of the company, of the other part, under which a lease of shale, subject to a stipulated fixed rent or royalty, is to be granted to the Company. The price to be paid for this lease is £8,000, of which the proprietor has agreed to accept £7,000 in shares. The contract may be inspected at the office of the solicitors, and a copy may be seen at the office of the company.

Share warrants to bearer, or share certificates, as may be desired, will he issued, when shares are fully paid. In exchange for bankers' receipts. Shares may be paid up in full on allotment if desired. Prospectuses and forms of application for shares may be obtained at the office of the Company, or of the Company's bankers or brokers where also copies of the Memorandum and Articles of Association may be had.

London Standard, 23rd November 1871 also in the Yorkshire Post, 25th November 1872


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