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Coal is formed from a sediment composed of peat (plant debris). Under the influence of high pressure and temperature, the sediment was altered by diagenesis into lignite, and later into coal. Because coal has an organic origin, many parts of fossil plants can be found in there. Coal contains the mineral Anthracite.
Much coal originates from the Carboniferous period. Large parts of the Earth were covered with lush marshes. Peat layers were formed at a large scale, and after being buried formed coal. In other periods the forming of coal has never equaled the scale of coal forming as in the Carboniferous period.
Coal is still being mined on a large scale to serve as fuel. The countries with the highest production are China, the United States of America, Russia and Australia.
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