The Bureau of Mines conducted an investigation to improve the flotation response of coals that are difficult to wash by froth flotation. A literature survey and experimentation showed that, for the most part, refractory coals can be floated with oily collectors and frothers. Collector reagent consumption can be minimized and the selectivity of the flotation enhanced by assuring adequate, but not prolonged reagent conditioning. Where flotation selectivity is especially poor, two-stage rougher-cleaner flotation is recommmended. It was concluded that a major problem with refractory coals is predicting when they will appear in a flotation circuit so that supplementary flotation collectors can be added. Coal losses due to variation in the floatability of the feed might be reduced if a nonpolar collector such as kerosine or fuel oil is used along with a frother as general coal flotation practice.