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The Powder River Basin, and specifically the Gillette coal field, contains large quantities of economically extractable coal resources. These coal resources have low total sulfur content and ash yield, and most of the resources are subbituminous in rank. A recent U.S Geological Survey study of economically extractable coal in the Gillette coal field focused on five coal beds, the Wyodak rider, Upper Wyodak, Canyon, Lower Wyodak-Werner, and Gates/Kennedy. This report compares the coal quality of these economically extractable coal beds to coal in the Wyodak-Anderson coal zone in the Powder River Basin and in the Gillette coal field (Flores and others, 1999) and other produced coal in the Gillette coal field (Glass, 2000). The Upper Wyodak, Canyon, and Lower Wyodak/Werner beds are within the Wyodak-Anderson coal zone. Compared with all coal in the Wyodak-Anderson coal zone, both throughout the Powder River Basin and just within the Gillette coal field; the thick, persistent Upper Wyodak coal bed in the Gillette coal field has higher mean gross calorific value (8,569 Btu/lb), lower mean ash yield (5.8 percent), and lower mean total sulfur content (0.46 percent).
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Quality of economically extractable coal beds in the Gillette coal field as compared with other Tertiary coal beds in the Powder River basin, Wyoming and Montana