Geologic Occurrence: Silver probably occurs in distinct mineral phases in coal such as silver sulfide (probably argentite Ag2S), and in small amounts in minerals such as pyrite, calcite, siderite, barite and hematite 1. Silver content of West Virginia coals is very low, with an average of 0.056 ppm. Silver did not correlate with ash yield and only slightly with copper (Cu) and tin (Sn). Average coal bed silver content was very low (< 0.10 ppm) in coals throughout the stratigraphic column with slightly higher values in coals of the upper Kanawha Formation and Allegheny Group. Silver displayed no clear areal distribution trends.
Economic Impact: There is no economic impact to silver in coal. Silver is used in photography, jewelry, dental alloys, solder, electrical contacts and mirror manufacture 2.
Environmental Impact: Silver has no detrimental environmental effects 3.
1. Finkelman, R.B., (1981)
2. CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics
3. Swaine, D.J., (1990)
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