Risk is a major factor in all mining activities, arising from many internal and external variables. The authors’ research has resulted in a systematic method for the quantification of risk in mining projects (Park, 2012). This research will be presented in a series of papers, this one and two more that will be published on Mining Engineering’s web site, www.me.smenet.com. This paper identifies the variables associated with risk in mining projects, and their effects. The second paper discusses methods of assessing the overall risk associated with those variables, and presents a statistical model based on a survey of 31 experts. The third paper presents an evaluation of the statistical model, using data from previous mining investment decisions in which the authors have been involved.