The objective of this investigation was to determine from existing wire rope test data the effect of different operating parameters on rope life and to develop an optimum statistical methodology for the analysis of that data. Laboratory and field data for wire ropes typical of constructions used in underground mine hoisting were obtained, screened, encoded, and analyzed statistically. The analysis of hoist ropes retired from service showed that rope remaining strength or strength loss can be predicted with good accuracy if several nondestructive measures of rope damage are assessed. The outer-wire corrosion rating, the electromagnetic nondestructive inspection technique used for predicting strength loss, and the rope diameter reduction was found to be most important. Signs of rope deterioration such as broken wires or damage were also important indicators of strength loss. Based on the results of the investigation, a number of recommendations are presented that promise to yield better rope inspection and retirement criteria that will lead to improved safety and efficiency in underground mine hoist systems.