A range of processing conditions and compositions have been evaluated in order to optimize the properties of tib2-(ni, cu) composites for application as a nonsparking tool material for use in coal mining operations. Fifty billets containing from 70 to 95 weight-percent titanium diboride were hot pressed at 3,000 psi between 2,400 deg. and 2,650 deg. F. Samples which were cut from these billets were used to measure hardness, bend strength, and impact strength so that composition processing optimization could be effected. Eight compositions selected on this basis were evaluated by incendivity tests in order to choose the best composition. The best results were obtained for an 85-weight-percent tib2-12-weight- percent cu-3-weight-percent ni composite hot pressed at 2,650 deg. F and 3,000 psi. This material appears to be the best choice for fabrication of coal cutter bits to be evaluated in field tests.