When bituminous coal is heated in an inert atmosphere (He) containing small amounts of oxygen at 393-455 ??C, pyrite (FeS2) in coal is partially converted to magnetite (Fe304). The maximum amount of Fe304 formed during the time of heating corresponds to 5-20% of the total pyrite present, depending on the coal sample. The magnetite forms as an outer crust on the pyrite grains. The fact that the magnetic properties of the pyrite grains are substantially increased by the magnetite crust suggests that pyrite can be separated from coal by use of a low magnetic field. In a laboratory test, 75% removal is obtained by means of a 500 Oe magnet on three samples, and 60% on a fourth sample. ?? 1984.