The abundances of nine major elements and thirty-eight trace elements in 520 samples of low sulfur coals from the Zhuji Mine, Huainan Coalfield, Anhui, China, were determined. Samples were mainly collected from 10 minable coal seams of 29 boreholes during exploration. The B content in coals shows that the influence of brackish water decreased toward the top of coal seams; marine transgression and regression occurred frequently in the Lower Shihezi Formation. A wide range of elemental abundances is found. Weighted means of Na, K, Fe, P, Be, B, Co, Ni, Cr, Se, Sb, Ba, and Bi abundances in Zhuji coals are higher, and the remainder elements are either lower or equal to the average values of elements in coals of northern China. Compared to the Chinese coals, the Zhuji coals are higher in Na, K, Be, B, Cr, Co, Se, Sn, Sb, and Bi, but lower in Ti, P, Li, V and Zn. The Zhuji coals are lower only in S, P, V and Zn than average U.S. and world coals. Potassium, Mg, Ca, Mn, Sr, As, Se, Sb and light rare earth elements (LREE) had a tendency to be enriched in thicker coal seams, whereas Fe, Ti, P, V, Co, Ni, Y, Mo, Pb and heavy rare earth elements (HREE) were inclined to concentrate in thinner coal seams. The enrichment of some elements in the Shanxi or Upper Shihezi Formations is related to their depositional environments. The elements are classified into three groups based on their stratigraphic distributions from coal seams 3 to 11-2, and the characteristics of each group are discussed. Lateral distributions of selected elements are also investigated. The correlation coefficients of elemental abundances with ash content show that the elements may be classified into four groups related to modes of occurrence of these elements. ?? 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.