This paper presents the development of an analytical model which can be used to relate the structural parameters of coal to its mechanical properties such as elastic modulus and Poisson's ratio under a confined stress condition. This model is developed primarily to support process modeling of coalbed methane (CBM) or CO2-enhanced CBM (ECBM) recovery from coal seam. It applied an innovative approach by which stresses acting on and strains occurring in coal are successively combined in rectangular coordinates, leading to the aggregated mechanical constants. These mechanical properties represent important information for improving CBM/ECBM simulations and incorporating within these considerations of directional permeability. The model, consisting of constitutive equations which implement a mechanically consistent stress-strains correlation, can be used as a generalized tool to study the mechanical and fluid behaviors of coal composites. An example using the model to predict the stress-strain correlation of coal under triaxial confined stress by accounting for the elastic and brittle (non-elastic) deformations is discussed. The result shows a good agreement between the prediction and the experimental measurement. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.