Samples of fine coal refuse were obtained from 11 coal preparation plants throughout the United States. The samples were characterized by ash analysis, particle size, and mineral composition. From the characterization, geographical locations, and the dewatering equipment being used by the plants, five sites were selected for obtaining bulk fine refuse samples. The selected coal preparation plants were used for final dewatering thickeners followed by a vacuum disk filter, a filter press, a belt press filter, a centrifuge, and a settling pond. None were using thermal drying. The moisture content of the final cake ranged from approximately 23 to 50 pct, depending upon the feed material, flocculant addition, and the type of equipment. The filter press gave the lowest moisture content followed by a belt press and then either a centrifuge or vacuum filter. The centrifuge products were all dried to an approximate 5-pct moisture in a thermal dryer.