Research programs on underground black coal mining in Poland are discussed. It is assumed that no major technology changes will take place by the year 2000. Second generation of mining technologies will be used after the year 2000. The following technologies of the second generation are discussed: in-situ gasification, chemical coal disintegration, manless hydraulic mining with hydraulic transport. Research programs on technologies of the second generation should guarantee their commercial and economic use by the year 2000. The following targets for research programs aimed at increasing productivity, reducing mining cost, reducing labor and increasing safety in mining, covering the next 2 decades are comparatively evaluated: increasing advance rate of longwall faces, increasing machine time of integrated face systems by at least 20%, improving design of powered supports for eliminating rock falls, development of heavy-duty face systems for longwall mining with hydraulic stowing, development of face systems for mining thick coal seams on their whole thickness, slice mining thick coal seams with artificial roofs, bidirectional longwall mining by shearer loaders, use of more elastic and reliable mining systems.