This paper presents a method of measuring field power consumption of shearers and deriving specific energy consumption versus shearer haulage speed performance curves. A description of a computer program which simulates the cutting action of a shearer drum is presented. A comparison between the field specific energy curves and the computer simulation results is made. The simulation results compare well with the field data where all the coal seam is being cut by the shearer. The computer simulation results give back-calculated field pick force cutting characteristics, which allow the performance of the shearer to be predicted for other operating conditions, e.g. effect of changes to pick lacing, effect of changing the drum rotational speed, allows the calculation of power requirements for a particular production rate.