Finite-element structural analyses were performed to determine the stress distribution and displacements around a single rectangular coal mine opening in a multilayered rock system. The effects of changes in mechanical properties of roof and coal layers, roof layer and mine opening geometry, horizontal-to-vertical load ratio, and structural geologic features on the stress distribution about the opening were studied. Variability in the stiffness and relative thickness of the immediate roof layers can produce a considerable difference in the stress distribution about the opening as compared with that of a homogeneous material. Changes in opening width and horizontal-to-vertical load ratio have different effects on the stress distribution about the opening depending on the composition of the roof layers. In general, where a stiff layer exists in the roof at the surface of the opening, the stresses are higher in the roof and ribs around the opening. Horizontal changes in facies in the roof layers produced by structural geologic features can also greatly alter the stress distribution about the opening compared with the simple layered cases.