Fireclay Caverns

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Fireclay Caverns are located in the heritage-listed Mount Morgan Mine site in Queensland, Australia.

The Fireclay Caverns were excavated by the Mount Morgan Mine to provide clay for its brickworks. Excavation of the caverns ceased when the mine brickworks were decommissioned. Erosion revealed dinosaur footprints on the cavern ceilings plus the caverns also became inhabited by a colony of bent-wing bats. Walkways and stairs have been constructed to provide access to the dinosaur footprints [1] as part of the mine site tours.

History[edit]

The Fireclay Caverns were excavated to supply clay to brickworks of the Mount Morgan Mine. Clay was mined from within the caverns by pick and shovel, then transferred by underground rail to a brickworks lower in the Mount Morgan Mine site. Excavation from the caverns ceased when their clay was no longer required by the mine.

Pleseosaurs[edit]

After cavern excavations ceased, clay progressively fell from the cavern ceilings, revealing rock ceilings above. In 1953, HRE Staines, a Mount Morgan Limited geologist, identified pleseosaur footprints in the rock ceilings.[2] Over 300 such footprints have been identified on the cavern ceilings.

Bent-wing bat colony[edit]

After cavern excavations ceased, a colony of bent-wing bats began inhabiting the caverns. The sections of the caverns containing the bats are inaccessible to protect the bat habitat.

References[edit]