In Poland nearly 40 per cent of all coal is extracted from seams more than 3 m. thick. In absolute figures this represents about 70 million tons of coal per year. Working seams with thicknesses up to 3.5 m. does not present, at present, major difficulties. Working thicker seams calls for a steady improvement in order to increase the degree of utilizaion of the deposit and to enlarge the concentration of output. The seams are worked under protected surface structures which compels the mines to use hydraulic stowing with all its advantages and disadvantages. Rock burst hazard, the control of which is the basic problem hindering the mining, is a further problem. 3 refs.