Kentucky's State Mineral: Coal
Kentucky's State Mineral is coal. Kentucky ranks as one of the top three producers of coal in the United States, with 150 to 160 million tons of annual production. Coal is mined in two coal fields; the Western Kentucky Coal Field and the Eastern Kentucky Coal Field. Coal is mined because coal is a rock that burns. Most of the coal mined in Kentucky is burned to produce electricity at power plants.
In 1998, students from Louisville petitioned the State Legislature to make coal the official State Mineral. One problem is that scientifically coal is a rock, not a mineral. Minerals are the building blocks of rocks. Rocks are composed of many minerals. But legally, coal is considered a mineral resource and is taxed as a mineral. The legislature passed the resolution in the summer of 1998, and coal is now the official State Mineral of Kentucky.