Founded in and incorporated in , it lies on the Tallinn—St. Petersburg road and railway. Its principal industry is the processing of oil shales based on local deposits; shale-gas pipelines were constructed to Leningrad now St. Petersburg in and to Tallinn in
Born in Kohtla-Järve: I do not feel either Russian or Estonian
The city is highly industrial, and is both a processor of oil shales and is a large producer of various petroleum products. Local residents were aware of oil shale's flammable capability in ancient times, but its industrial extraction in Estonia began only in the 20th century. In the State Oil Shale Industrial Corporation was formed and extraction by shaft and open-pit mining was extended. Settlements for workers began to appear adjacent to the mines.
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