Some townships in Xuan Wei County, Yunnan Province, have one of the highest lung cancer mortality rates in China and the epidemic disease in the area has generally been attributed to the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) released from domestic coal burning. However, the cancer-causing culprit is not settled as Tian [Tian, L., 2005. Coal Combustion Emissions and Lung Cancer in Xuan Wei, China. Ph.D. thesis, University of California, Berkeley.] found nanometer quartz in these coals, soot emissions, and lung cancer tissues. We have conducted mineralogical and geochemical studies of the coals from Xuan Wei for the purpose of shedding light on the minerals which may be related to the epidemic lung cancer. In this paper, abundances, modes of occurrence, and origins of minerals and elements in the coals from two mines in Xuan Wei have been studied using optical microscope, low-temperature ashing, X-ray diffraction analysis, scanning electron microscope equipped with energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometer, and inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The minerals in the coals are mainly composed of quartz, chamosite, kaolinite, and calcite. The particle size of quartz is rather small, mostly less than 20????m and it is of authigenic origin. Chamosite occurs mainly as cell-fillings. The occurrence of quartz and chamosite indicates that they were derived from the hydrothermal fluids. Epigenetic calcite is derived from calcic fluids. Kaolinite is derived mainly from sediment source region of Kangdian Oldland to the west of coal basin. The composition of Xuan Wei coal is high in SiO2, Fe2O3, TiO2, CaO, MnO, V, Co, Ni, Cu, and Zn. The high SiO2 content is attributed to quartz, and the Fe2O3 content to chamosite. The high Mn and low Mg contents in the coal indicate the inputs of hydrothermal fluids. CaO occurs mainly in epigenetic calcite. Elements Ti, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, and rare earth elements were derived from the basaltic rocks at sediment source region. ?? 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.