The Early Years
The original members of CCRA and the senior officials of EMR were successful in convincing the Minister of EMR to establish a coal carbonization laboratory in Canada. The first Laboratory was located at The Mines Branch on Booth Street in Ottawa and centered around a 12inch Wide Pilot Coke Oven, a newly designed Sole heated Oven and the BM/AGA Coke Oven. J. Walsh managed this new facility and the other EMR staff helped with the operation including J.C. Botham, who later became the Technical Manager.
At first, the operation of the equipment was often performed by personnel from CCRA member companies and later CCRA employed personnel for this purpose. In 1968, a new facility location was chosen at Bells Corners, 20 km west of downtown Ottawa, where a laboratory was to be built. CCRA played a significant role in getting this new Laboratory. EMR provided the building facilities and CCRA members supplying much of the carbonization equipment for the new lab. The new lab was to center around a new 18 inch silica brick movable wall oven. A 30 pound coke oven was also part of the new facilities and the BM/AGA Oven was redesigned and rebuilt.
In December 1968, the group at the Mines Branch responsible for coal and ironmaking were also relocated to Bells Corners.