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The objectives of this study were to: (1) develop a comprehensive surface coal mine simulation model that is easy and inexpensive to apply for the benefit of the smaller to medium-size coal mine operators of hilly topographic regions; (2) formulate a comprehensive approach to equipment quantity and size selection; and (3) examine the current reclamation practices of these regions with a view to improving them. By using the Next Event Matrix (NEM) analysis approach the job activities associated with the operations of face excavators such as draglines, shovels, front-end loaders, backhoes, etc., and haulage trucks were simulated. For ease of operation, three levels of operation were formulated so as to fulfill the terms of the objectives. Level I provides a quick answer to a mining request. Level II provides a more detailed answer to the same problem. Level III actually analyzes the results of Level II. In actuality, Levels I and II have been consolidated into one program and called the concept feasibility program. Level III is the actual simulation program. These programs have built-in provisions for selective job operation and equipment quantity and size selection. The number of variables and required data have been drastically reduced. Varying thicknesses of overburden and coal are automatically considered by the simulation model. The need for large computers with high memory capacity has been reduced. Model validation has been simplified. Also, the burden of computer 'shop talk' on the smaller to medium-size mine operators has been alleviated. In conclusion, the analysis of surface coal mining is very important. It is very time consuming when done manually. The computer programs developed here can and will help the target group, namely the smaller to medium-size mine operators. The flexibility and portability of the computer programs were demonstrated through a hypothetical and a real mine case study.