MBMG Coal Program

Montana has the nation's largest recoverable coal reserves—over 74 billion tons, which is nearly one-third of the U.S. total. Montana ranks 6th in coal production with about 30 million tons produced annually from 6 mines.

Since the 1960s, MBMG has maintained a Coal Program to conduct research projects on Montana’s coal resources—from exploratory drilling and sampling to statewide resource assessments and coal availability studies—to determine the distribution, quantity, and quality of the State’s mineable reserves. The MBMG maintains coal stratigraphic and coal chemistry databases that are available to the public. These data were critical for a reassessment of coal resources and reserves in the Powder River Basin—the most prolific coal basin in the U.S. These data are also vital for those developing and testing advanced coal power technologies and to those who make energy and land-use policy decisions.

Other Useful Information

Coal regions of Montana
Annual coal production at mines
Historical production statistics

Contact Information

Program Information

Jay A. Gunderson, Geologist–Professor
(406) 496-4598 | Email

Ryan Davison, Geologist–Associate Professor
(406) 496-4595 | Email

Elizabeth (Liddi) Meredith, Hydrogeologist–Professor
(406) 496-4599 | Email

Office locations in Butte and Billings

Related Publications and Data