The No. 12 Coal (Late Permian) in the Songzao Coalfield, Chongqing, southwestern China, is characteristically high in pyrite and some trace elements. It is uniquely deposited directly above mafic tuff beds. Samples of coal and tuffs have been studied for their mineralogy and geochemistry using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry, X-ray fluorescence, plasma low-temperature ashing plus powder X-ray diffraction, and scanning electron microscopy equipped with energy-dispersive X-ray analysis.The results show that the minerals of the No. 12 Coal are mainly composed of pyrite, clay minerals (kaolinite, chamosite, and illite), ankerite, calcite, and trace amounts of quartz and boehmite. Kaolinite and boehmite were mainly derived from sediment source region of mafic tuffs. Chamosite was formed by the reaction of kaolinite with Fe-Mg-rich fluids during early diagenesis. The high pyrite (Sp,d=8.83 in the coal was related to marine transgression over peat deposits and abundant Fe derived from the underlying mafic tuff bed. Ankerite and calcite were precipitated from epigenetic fluids.Chemical compositions of incompatible elements indicate that the tuffs were derived from enriched mantle and the source magmas had an alkali-basalt character. Compared to other coals from the Songzao Coalfield and common Chinese coals, the No. 12 Coal has a lower SiO2/Al2O3 (1.13) but a higher Al2O3/Na2O (80.1) value and is significantly enriched in trace elements including Sc (13.5g/g), V (121g/g), Cr (33.6g/g), Co (27.2g/g), Ni (83.5g/g), Cu (48.5g/g), Ga (17.3g/g), Y (68.3g/g), Zr (444g/g), Nb (23.8g/g), and REE (392g/g on average). Above mineralogical compositions, as well as similar ratios of selected elements (e.g., SiO2/Al2O3 and Al2O3/Na2O) and similar distribution patterns of incompatible elements (e.g., the mantle-normalized diagram for incompatible elements and chondrite-normalized diagram for rare earth elements) of coal and tuff, indicated that enriched trace elements above were largely derived from mafic tuffs, in addition to a minor amount from the Kandian Oldland. 2010 Elsevier B.V.