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Coal
  
Coal in Indiana

Coal Production Graph Indiana coal production averages nearly 35 million short tons per year (1 short ton = 2,000 pounds). In recent years there has been a resurgence of underground mining as the easily strippable reserves are depleted.

The Indiana Coal Industry

Bituminous coal has become one of Indiana’s most valuable natural resources since its discovery along the banks of the Wabash River in 1736. Organized development of Indiana’s coal resources began in the 1830s and by 1918, production exceeded 30 million short tons. Coal production declined following World War I, but underground (deep) mining remained the primary mining method in Indiana until the 1940s. Following World War II, the advent of large-scale excavation equipment made surface mining more cost efficient and by 1965, surface mining accounted for more than 80 percent of the state’s annual production. Surface mining continues to be the primary method of coal removal in Indiana, with nearly 70 percent of the current production coming from surface mines.

Indiana Coal Reserves

Indiana has approximately 57 billion tons of unmined coal, of which nearly 17 billion tons is recoverable using current technology. Of the mineable reserves, about 88 percent is recoverable by underground mining and only 12 percent is recoverable using surface mining methods. Based on current production rates, Indiana's 17 billion tons of available coal could last more than 500 years.

Drageline The "Old Glory" dragline removes overburden at the Farmersburg Mine in Vigo County. Large surface mines are now being replaced by underground operations such as the Gibson County Mine near Princeton.

Maps and Databases

Coal Research

Coal conveyor Indiana coal production averages nearly 35 million short tons per year (1 short ton = 2,000 pounds). In recent years there has been a resurgence of underground mining as the easily strippable reserves are depleted.

Mine Reclamation

Additional Information From External Sources



 
 
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