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Kentucky Coal Production 1790-2001

Kentucky has been one of the top three producing coal states in the United States for decades. Currently, Kentucky ranks third in national coal production. According to the Kentucky Department of Mines and Minerals, more than 8.36 billion tons of coal have been produced from the two Kentucky coal fields for the past 200 years. The Eastern Kentucky Coal Field has produced more than 5.78 billion tons and the Western Kentucky Coal Field has produced more than 2.58 billion tons. Information on Kentucky’s coal production is summarized in the following sections. Statistics are based from Kentucky Department of Mines and Minerals data unless otherwise stated. The most recent annual report from the KYDMM Office of Mine Safety and Licensing can be found at their website.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) also provides statistics on coal production. These statistics differ slightly from the state’s. The most recent annual coal report from the U.S. EIA can be found at their website.

You may search the Kentucky Geological Survey's coal production database (this requires an Internet connection).

You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view some of the following files.

Coal Production Highlights

Bed Production

Historical Context and Trends of Kentucky Coal Production

U.S. EIA’s coal production by state and mine type. Provides latest official production data by state and mine type

U.,S. EIA’s annual coal report (2008). Provides most recent (2006) summary on U.S. coal with data tables by state, mine type, etc.


All coal production data discussed, including the data in tables and graphs, are from the Kentucky Department of Mines and Minerals.

Information for this page was updated from:
Carey, D.I., Davidson, O.B., and Hiett, J.K., 2001, Kentucky coal production--1790-1999: Kentucky Geological Survey, ser. 12, Information Circular 3. This publication is available in a PDF file in the KGS online list of publications.