Coal Under Illinois

By any standards or measurement, Illinois is rich in coal.


Of all the states, Illinois has the largest reported bituminous coal resources with almost 25% of our nation's reserves. Coal bearing rocks underlie about 65 percent of Illinois (36,806 out of a total of 56,500 square miles), including all or parts of at least 86 of the 102 counties in the state. According to the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) there are 100 billion tons of recoverable coal beneath the borders of Illinois. This is enough coal to meet the country’s need for coal for the next 100 years. There is more energy content in the coal in Illinois than in the oil in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait combined!


The industry that mines coal is a highly mechanized one. In 2015, there were 22 mines operating in central and southern Illinois. The bulk of these mines are operated by leading companies in American coal mining.


Illinois coal mines produced 56.1 million tons of coal in 2015.