Frequently Asked Questions

How large are U.S. coal reserves?

Categories and estimated amounts of U.S. coal reserves as of January 1, 2014:

Recoverable reserves at producing mines totaled 19,745 million short tonsRecoverable reserves at producing mines represent the quantity of coal that can be recovered (mined) from existing coal reserves at active mines. These reserves essentially reflect the working inventory at producing mines.

Estimated recoverable reserves totaled 256,709 million short tons. Estimated recoverable reserves is coal in the demonstrated reserve base considered recoverable after excluding coal estimated to be unavailable because of land use restrictions, and after applying assumed mining recovery rates. This estimate does not include specific economic feasibility criteria.

The demonstrated reserve base was estimated to contain 479,914 million short tons. Demonstrated reserve base is composed of coal resources that have been identified to specified levels of accuracy and may support economic mining under current technologies. Demonstrated reserve base includes publicly-available data on coal that has been mapped and verified to be technologically minable.

Learn more:

How Much Coal Is Left

U.S. Coal Reserves

Last updated: February 2, 2015

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