This report is the result of information obtained from a review of related literature, personal inquiry, and on-site examination of active surface coal mining operations. Four improved surface coal mine systems are described in detail and evaluated for feasibility, implementation requirements, environmental benefits, and costs. Engineering feasibility emphasizes equipment availability, compliance to design requirements, practicality, and industry rating. Implementation potential emphasizes immediacy, ease, acceptability, and constraints. Special attention was given to environmental responsiveness, with regard both to the solutions to mined-land reclamation problems and to the concurrency of reclamation. Each system description included a hypothetical model mine with a depreciation schedule, capital summary, estimated annual production costs, sales price computation, production and operating cost summary, and a sensitivity analysis of mine price to stripping ratio. A program plan and a time schedule for demonstrating a selected mining system cover site selection criteria, mine data collection, criteria for controlling and budgeting costs, and reporting findings. Sixteen state reclamation laws and regulations are abstracted. Sixty-nine references are listed in the bibliography.