Automatic control of drum head continuous mining machines was investigated as a means of reducing respirable dust generated and operator variability. Literature survey, manufacturer interviews, and mine visits were the major information sources. Technically feasible automation concepts were identified to control sump and shear rates, cutter head elevation limits, and sumping distance. These are the elements of a programed cutting cycle that maintains peak penetrating force on the cutter, to maximize depth of cut, and therefore reduce dust generation. Based on the industry surveys, successful underground hardware demonstrations must be completed to stimulate the market demand for these advanced control features.