What is believed to be a very unusual mode of occurrence for lead in coal has been identified as crocoite (PbCrO4). As part of a larger study on trace elements and mineralogy in the Cretaceous Main Seam in New Zealand, crocoite was found in raw coal samples within the lower part of the coal seam. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and bulk chemical data from a SEM equipped with an energy dispersive X-ray analyser (EDXA) have confirmed the identity of this mineral. This is apparently the first time that crocoite has been reported in coal. Crocoite usually occurs only in the oxidised zone of lead mineral deposits. The occurrence of this mineral in the Main Seam coal implies that the deposit was exposed to an oxidising environment at some stage, most likely after coalification. Published by Elsevier Science B.V.