U.S. Department of the Interior

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For More Information:

Ben Owens

Division Chief
(412) 937-2827

Pittsburgh Field Division

Contact OSMRE


Rhode Island

Portsmouth Coal Mine, circa 1911.Commercial coal mining in Rhode Island began in 1808 near Portsmouth, and terminated in 1959, in Cranston, on the present site of the Garden City Shopping Center. The Portsmouth venture operated until 1912; over a million tons of anthracite was mined. The Cranston mines yielded both graphite and coal and many thousands of tons were taken over a span of approximately 110 years.

The coal at Portsmouth seems to have been known at least as early as 1760. It is said that during the Revolutionary War the British soldiers in Newport used the coal from the island for heating. Coal was found in Cumberland in 1808 between Blackstone River and Abbotts Run, a little north of Pawtucket.

State Contacts

Rhode Island
Abandoned Mine Lands (Title IV) Regulatory (Title V)

ABandoned Mine Land (AML)

Since the early 1980’s the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, through the Federal Reclamation Program (FRP), has spent almost $600,000 eliminating safety issues resulting from mine subsidence problems located in Cranston, Valley Falls, and Cumberland Rhode Island.

Active mining is not currently being performed within this state. Abandoned mine land (AML) issues are handled by AR's Technical Support Division (TSD).

To report a potential coal mining abandoned mine land (AML) problem contact:
Mike Richmond,, (412) 937-2850

Page Last Modified/Reviewed: 12/23/16

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