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I've started several fortresses now, and I've never encountered any lignite or bituminous coal. I've even prospected a couple maps (with DFHack) to see if it was merely out of reach, but unless prospect doesn't show these minerals, there has never been any in my maps.

Is this common, or am I doing something wrong?

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My past 2 fortresses since I updated have had this problem too. – Stuart Pegg Mar 30 '12 at 12:25
There's an open bug that was updated back in February, but it doesn't seem exactly high-traffic: – Stuart Pegg Mar 30 '12 at 12:34
I started another, and found some (using dfhack/prospect), so it's not impossible, but man, it's harder than it should be... – Mark Mar 30 '12 at 16:40
ive found it rarer on the newer versions. – TrewTzu May 3 '12 at 18:31
I've found when generating advanced maps, if there's too much volcanism, you won't get any sedimentary layers. Also, it seems like setting Layers above ground to a lower number, like 3, helps. I was able to create a world with lots of coal and minearls set at 500. Igneous replaces sedimentary with too much volcanism. – N West Jul 16 '12 at 23:02
up vote 2 down vote accepted

They are fairly commonly found in sedimentary layers, such as

  • Sandstone
  • Siltstone
  • Mudstone
  • Shale
  • Claystone
  • Rock salt
  • Limestone
  • Conglomerate
  • Dolomite
  • Chert
  • Chalk

If you're running an older version of DF (31.19 or earlier), you can check what sort of layers are available on the embark site.

Keep in mind you can burn wood to make coal, though it is less efficient, wood is available aboveground in most biomes, and in caverns. You can also use magma smelters and forges to remove the need for most coal, the notable exception being steelmaking, which requires fuel no matter what.

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You can't see what you're embarking on anymore, unfortunately, ever since mineral scarcity kicked in. – Raven Dreamer Mar 29 '12 at 19:23
@RavenDreamer thanks, I updated my answer. – kotekzot Mar 29 '12 at 19:27
If it were present, then "prospect" would tell me, correct? What section would it be in? – Mark Mar 29 '12 at 20:28
I believe it outputs all the mineable blocks on a map, and if you just read through the list, you'll see what you have. You can also try using DF Prospector ( ), which lets you sort the list by various parameters and see what a particular material is good for. Alphabetical ordering will probably be what you're looking for. – kotekzot Mar 29 '12 at 20:51
Nevermind DF Prospector, it doesn't support the latest version. Still, you should be able to see lignite and coal in Prospect if they're there. – kotekzot Mar 29 '12 at 21:05

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