The darker material to the left is lignite, uncovered during a test excavation near Malvern several years ago.

Lignite research at Southern Arkansas University would get $2.5 million under a bill pre-filed for next month’s fiscal session of the Arkansas General Assembly. The bill would set aside money from unspent general improvement funds for research into deposits of the soft coal in Arkansas, including a plan to drill hundreds of core samples to confirm the location, quantity and quality of the mineral. The money would be released after June 30. Read the full story at the Magnolia Reporter.com