The United States of America is being the top country by recoverable lignite in the world. As of 2011, recoverable lignite in the United States of America was 140,368 million short tons that accounts for 26.16 % of the world's recoverable lignite. The top 5 countries (others are Russian Federation, China, Germany, and Australia) account for 75.48 % of it. The world's total recoverable lignite was estimated at 536,489 million short tons in 2011.
Recoverable coal is the coal that is, or can be, extracted from a coal bed during mining. Lignite is the lowest rank of coal, often referred to as brown coal, used almost exclusively as fuel for steam-electric power generation. It is brownish-black and has a high inherent moisture content, sometimes as high as 45 percent The heat content of lignite ranges from 9 to 17 million Btu per ton on a moist, mineral-matter-free basis. Production data include quantities extracted from surface and underground mines, and normally exclude wastes removed at mines or associated reparation plants.