The tasks of autonomous face navigation for a continuous mining machine and the navigational information necessary to perform these tasks are discussed. The proposed solution is presented, in this Bureau of Mines paper, including the employment of a mobile control structure to serve as a reference in the face area, of laser-based optical scanning units and retroreflective targets to determine the machine's position relative to the reference, and of a gyroscope to maintain a short-term knowledge of heading of the machine. An algorithm for fusion of the laser system's data is outlined. Future work on the navigational control software is discussed. The current status of the project is stated.