This is an authoritative report on the technology of surface coal mining in the United States, including current problems, possible solutions, and projected future developments. It presents a coordinated, systematized, technical, economic analysis of the industry, describes practices and trends, and gives cost data. To evaluate the mining techniques employed, the United States was divided into four regions where similar geologic and topographic conditions warrant similar mining practices. Mining methods for each region were examined in detail from a unit operation viewpoint. Economies of alternative mining equipment choices are discussed. The report covers surface coal mining from exploration through transportation to markets.