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Compiled by
Robert C. Milici


This report is preliminary and has not been reviewed for conformity to U.S. Geological Survey editorial standards and stratigraphic nomenclature.

The COALPROD database contains coal production information, in short tons, for the major producing states within the conterminous U.S. (exclusive of Alaska), by major coal producing regions. These regions include the Appalachian basin, Eastern Interior basin (Illinois basin), Gulf Coast region, the Rocky Mountain region, and the Northern Great Plains region(See table below).

Pennsylvania Illinois Texas Montana N. Dakota
Ohio Indiana Louisiana Wyoming S. Dakota
West Virginia Western Kentucky   Colorado  
Eastern Kentucky     New Mexico  
Maryland     Utah  
Virginia     Arizona  

Coal of Early Mesozoic age was first produced in the U.S. from the banks of the James River near Manakin, Virginia, and was used in Colonial Virginia for domestic needs by French Huguenot settlers (Wilkes, 1988). It was not until 1758 that coal was produced commercially, however, when 9 tons of coal from near Richmond was shipped to New York. Eavenson (1942, p. 4) reports that the 1830 census was the first to collect and publish coal tonnages and that it was not until the middle 1880’s that coal production statistics "became reasonably complete and accurate." Nevertheless, Eavenson (1942) published available coal production data, by state and by county, from about 1800 until shortly after the end of the century.

The data used in this compilation are from several state and federal sources, including Currens and Smith (1977) for Kentucky; U.S. Energy Information Administration Coal Production (1983 -1993); U.S. Energy Information Administration Coal Industry Annuals (1994-1996); U.S. Bureau of Mines Minerals Yearbooks (1933-1976); U.S. Bureau of Mines Mineral Resources of the United States (1927-1933) U.S. Geological Survey Mineral Resources of the United States (1907 to 1926), and from databases and publications available from state geologic surveys. In addition, an unpublished manuscript (obtained from EIA) by Christiansen (1948) was used for much of the data from 1800 to 1947. Christiansen appears to have compiled coal production data both from Eavenson (1942) and from U.S. Bureau of Mines yearbooks. Where data from two different sources overlap, there commonly is a difference in the production statistics. The differences are generally small, however, and do not affect the overall production trends for the different states.

The present compilation began in 1984 as part of a study on Appalachian energy resources by Wallace deWitt, Jr., and Robert C. Milici (1989), and was published by the Geological Society of America. Subsequent additions to the database were made as part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Coal Resources Assessment project. Reports containing graphs of some of this data were published in the Proceedings of the Thirteenth Annual Pittsburgh Coal Conference at Pittsburgh, and as SME preprint 97-5 for the SME annual meeting in Denver. These papers are available on the USGS Eastern Energy Resources web site, ( This release of the basic coal production data in digital form is in response to user requests for the basic historical production data. The U.S. Geological Survey makes no claims as to the accuracy of this data.


Carroll, R. E., Alabama coal data for 1993: Geological Survey of Alabama Information Series 58O, 136 p.

Crowell, D. L., 1995, History of the coal-mining industry in Ohio, Ohio Division of Geological Survey Bulletin 72, 204 p.

Currens, J. C., and Smith, G. E., 1977, Coal production in Kentucky, 1790-1975: Kentucky Geological Survey Information Circular 23, 66 p.

Christiansen, A.J, (unpublished ms, 1948), Production of coal, bituminous and anthracite, years 1800 to 1947 inclusive, by states and producing districts and the United States, Northern Illinois Coal Trade Association

deWitt, Wallace, Jr., and Milici, R. C., 1989, Energy resources of the Appalachian orogen, in Hatcher, R. D., Jr. and others, The Geology of North America, vol. F-2, The Appalachian-Ouachita orogen in the United States

Energy Information Administration, 1979-1993, Coal Production: DOE/EIA-0118(79-92).

Energy Information Administration, 1979, Energy Data Report, Coal - Pennsylvania anthracite for the calendar year, 1977.

Energy Information Administration, 1994-1996, Coal Industry Annual: DOE/EIA-0584(93-95)

Eavenson, H. N., 1942, The first century and a quarter of American coal industry: Koppers Building, Pittsburgh, PA., 701 p.

Hibbard, W. R., Jr., Virginia coal, an abridged history: Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Virginia, 151 p.

United States Bureau of Mines, 1933-1976, Minerals Yearbook, Washington, U.S. Government Printing Office

United States Bureau of Mines, 1927-1933, Mineral Resources of the United States, Washington, U.S. Government Printing Office

United States Geological Survey, 1907-1926, Mineral Resources of the United States, Washington, U.S. Government Printing Office

Wilkes, G. P, 1988, Mining history of the Richmond coalfield of Virginia: Virginia Division of Mineral Resources Publication 85, 51 p.

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