Surface mining of coal from the Poker Flats mining area to the north of Healy, Alaska began in 1978. Current operations involve a 25 m/sup 3/ walking dragline which strips two coal seams, using an extended bench on the second pass; a fleet of trucks and shovels are used for coal removal and some limited overburden stripping. Geotechnical constraints to mining within the steeply dipping coal deposits are discussed. The area had a number of landslides. During 1984, mining operations close to a landslide caused movement to resume. A mine plan was developed which allowed the coal to be safely removed without inducing additional movement. This involves a dipline mining scheme through the slide area. Future mine plans will acknowledge the hazards of mining through potentially unstable zones. Aerial photographs, field mapping and geological exploration were used. 1 ref., 6 figs.