This paper provides an overview and discussion of important aspects of risk analysis that are relevant to underground metal mines operating risks assessment and the impact on mining project economics, using stochastic computer modelling, in Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) analysis. Mine operating risk assessment is presented in an overview of available risks evaluation tools that have been developed in other than mining engineering disciplines. Links are established between the decision-making process for mine design alternatives evaluation and the risk based mine planning process, with emphasis to the need of introduction of quality and flexibility in mine design process. Finally, challenges of risk-based mine planning and design implementation are discussed and the call for a systems risk-optimisation analysis approach is made.
Keywords: operating risk assessment, subjective probabilities, underground mining systems, DCF analysis, Monte Carlo simulation, flexibility, real options in projects, mine planning, expert-based decision-making systems