A model is presented by means of which the optimal dragline selection may be made. An outline is given of the methodology that was adopted in developing a series of generic algorithms to first define and then formularize the need to extend the working bench under a nat-lying topography and coal seam. Rehandle percentages were calculated for four generalized extended bench geometries, in each of which the percentage rehandle varied according to the relative positions of the extended bench and pit. A set of geometric and simulative equations was developed on which a model for the optimal selection of a dragline was based. Finally, a typical application was tested through the use of data associated with a hypothetical strip-mining operation.