Fourteen samples of minerals were separated by handpicking from Late Permian coals in southwestern Guizhou province, China. These 14 minerals were nodular pyrite, massive recrystallized pyrite, pyrite deposited from low-temperature hydrothermal fluid and from ground water; clay minerals; and calcite deposited from low-temperature hydrothermal fluid and from ground water. The mineralogy, elemental composition, and distribution of 33 elements in these samples were studied by optical microscopy, scanning electron microscope equipped with energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer (SEM-EDX), X-ray diffraction (XRD), cold-vapor atomic absorption spectrometry (CV-AAS), atomic fluorescence spectrometry (AFS), inductively coupled-plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), and ion-selective electrode (ISE). The results show that various minerals in coal contain variable amounts of trace elements. Clay minerals have high concentrations of Ba, Be, Cs, F, Ga, Nb, Rb, Th, U, and Zr. Quartz has little contribution to the concentration of trace elements in bulk coal. Arsenic, Mn, and Sr are in high concentrations in calcite. Pyrite has high concentrations of As, Cd, Hg, Mo, Sb, Se, Tl, and Zn. Different genetic types of calcite in coal can accumulate different trace elements; for example Ba, Co, Cr, Hg, Ni, Rb, Sn, Sr, and Zn are in higher concentrations in calcite deposited from low-temperature hydrothermal fluid than in that deposited from ground water. Furthermore, the concentrations of some trace elements are quite variable in pyrite; different genetic types of pyrites (Py-A, B, C, D) have different concentrations of trace elements, and the concentrations of trace elements are also different in pyrite of low-temperature hydrothermal origin collected from different locations. The study shows that elemental concentration is rather uniform in a pyrite vein. There are many micron and submicron mosaic pyrites in a pyrite vein, which is enriched in some trace elements, such as As and Mo. The content of trace element in pyrite vein depends upon the content of mosaic pyrite and of trace elements in it. Many environmentally sensitive trace elements are mainly contained in the minerals in coal, and hence the physical coal cleaning techniques can remove minerals from coal and decrease the emissions of potentially hazardous trace elements. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.