Item Number: OP69

The locations of historical coal-preparation plants in Indiana were determined from an extensive review of the mining and geological literature and from inspection of historical aerial photographs taken between 1937 and 2005. Associated deposits of fine-grained refuse (referred to as “slurry”) from the preparation plants were also identified and mapped using georeferenced aerial photographs and techniques of geographic information systems (GIS). The area of each deposit was determined, estimates of thickness were made, and the volumes of each deposit were then calculated. Estimates of the total volume of coal slurry in Indiana range from 94 to 136 million cubic yards. Using certain assumptions, this represents from 22 to 69 million tons of recoverable coal. Chemical analyses of slurry performed in the 1970s and 1980s and contained in the archives of the Indiana Geological Survey were also collected, compiled, and analyzed. Of 473 archival chemical records, locations are known for 450 samples, which were obtained from 93 drill holes at 10 different mine sites. Statistical analyses were performed to identify vertical trends among individual samples within drill holes, as well as lateral trends for average values from drill holes within various slurry deposits.

Harper, D., Dintaman, C., Mastalerz, M., and Letsinger, S. L. 2009, Reconnaissance of coal-slurry deposits in Indiana: Indiana Geological Survey Occasional Paper 69, 20 p., 13 figs., 3 tables.

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Keywords: coal processing, coal, preparation plants, coal refuse, slurry, tailings, geographic information systems, GIS, historical aerial photographs, chemical analyses

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