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Mining is the act of extracting raw materials from objects found in space. These materials are then refined into products that can be used in the manufacture of items, or used as fuel for various purposes. Mining serves as the basis for the economy of EVE, and is one of the simplest ways of making money in the game.
Mining most commonly refers to the extraction of ore from asteroids in asteroid belts. It can also refer to extracting ice from ice fields, gas from gas clouds. Using a Moon Harvesting Array (a Player Owned Station structure) to harvest materials from a moon is related, but not generally thought of as 'mining'.
Note that this page is not a 'mining guide' as such. It should, however, provide you links to the information you need.
There are several requirements to mining.
- You must be in a ship equipped with an appropriate Mining Laser.
- You must have the skill to operate the laser that is mounted.
- You must be within the laser's operating range of an appropriate target.
A rookie pilot (new Eve character) starts out with the basic equipment and skills required to conduct mining. If the pilot loses a ship, upon docking at a station in their pod, they will be given a new ship identical to the one they started with. It is nearly impossible to end up unable to eventually recover from the loss of a ship.
The process of mining is simple.
- Fly your ship within range of an asteroid
- Target the asteroid
- Activate your mining laser module(s)
When the mining laser completes a cycle (depends on the module, but for basic mining lasers, 60 seconds), ore of asteroid's type appears in the ship's cargo hold. Unless directed otherwise, the mining laser will continue cycling until no more of that type of ore can be placed in the hold.
Source(s): Game solutions
- Main article: ore
The ore that is gained by mining depends upon the type of asteroid targeted. As mining continues on an asteroid, that asteroid will become depleted (not mineable), and will disappear. Eventually a given asteroid belt can become entirely depleted, and miners will have to move elsewhere. As asteroids are depleted, the game host will spawn new asteroids nearby - in other asteroid belts in that system, or in nearby systems. Asteroids with more valuable ore will be highly sought, and may become hard to find, depending on how heavy mining is in the area.
While asteroid belts are found in almost every system, not every type of ore can be found in every system. In general, there are two factors that determine the types of ores found, and both are closely linked to the Empire factions.
First, is the security level of the system. One might think of this as "the empire depletes the most valuable ores; the higher the security level, the less is left for you to find".
Second, types of ore are associated with regions of space that roughly correspond to the sections that specific factions occupy. In the table below, a system will have any ore listed in its security level and higher.
- Ubiquitous ores: Veldspar and Scordite can be found in all systems.
- High security ores: (0.7+) Pyroxeres, Plagioclase, Kernite, Omber
- Low security ores: (0.2+) Jaspet, Hemorphite, Hedbergite
- 0.0 ores: Arkonor, Bistot, Crokite, Dark Ochre, Gneiss, Spodumain
- Deep Core Mining: Mercoxit
Note that each type of ore has three variants: the "basic" one, one that yields a flat 5% more minerals, and a second that yields 10% more. These variants all have adjectives added to the base mineral name. See ore for more details.
Also see: Minerals
The basic tool for mining is the Mining Laser. These come in 3 distinct grades, and in a number of variations.
- The standard Mining Laser harvests about 40 m3 per minute (60 for the Miner II), before all other factors are counted.
- The Basic Miner, which harvests at best 30 m3 per minute (again, before other factors are counted).
- and the Strip Miner, which harvests an amazing 180 m3 per minute, but has 3 minute cycles, and can only be mounted on Mining Barges and Exhumers.
- How can my basic miner "have problem with more difficult ore?"
The volume harvested by the mining laser per cycle is important because only complete units of ore are produced per cycle. Veldspar has a volume of 0.10 per unit (10 units per m3), and thus any laser will be highly efficient when mining it. Gneiss, for a counter-example has a volume of 5.0 m3 per unit. If the amount you harvest per cycle is an exact multiple of 5, then you harvest perfectly. However, if your mining volume is, for instance 49 m3 per minute (with skills and other bonuses), you would harvest 9, not 10 units per cycle, losing 10% of your potential productivity. This applies as well to mining drones, with their low volume per cycle. Strip miners, with their high volume per cycle, suffer the same problems as smaller mining units, but with a much smaller percentage of productivity lost.
Each race has at least one ship designed for mining operations, providing significant bonuses to mining laser yield (based on racial frigate/cruiser skill level) or mining drone yield.
The *20% mining yield cruiser bonuses of the Osprey and Scythe allow these ships to significantly outperform most other vessels on a per-laser basis; both can fit 3 mining laters. The Amarr Arbitrator and Gallente Vexor have no bonuses to mining lasers, but have bonuses to mining drones. With only two turrets, the Arbitrator is not substantially better at mining than a frigate; the Vexor however is able to fit four mining lases, which makes it competitive with the Osprey or Scythe.
In the cruiser category, the Gallente Exequror can also mount a fourth mining laser and possesses a substantially larger cargo bay than other cruisers (600 m3) and has a cruiser bonus (10%/level) to increase it even further, allowing it to spend more time mining then unloading when solo mining, although the extraction rate per laser is lower.
In terms of overall effectiveness at mining, battleships can achieve higher yields by virtue of fitting many more lasers.
Specialized Mining Ships
There are also dedicated Mining Barges and their Tech II equivalent, Exhumers. These vessels are able to mount strip mining modules, which have longer cycle times then mining lasers, but also extract ore at a much faster rate.
|Tier 1||Tier 2||Tier 3|
The most common mining barge in New Eden is the Retriever, followed by the Covetor (based on sales activity). The Procurer is particularly unpopular as most cruisers are easily able to mine faster then it can. The training time necessary to train from the Retriever to the Covetor is substantially longer then to train from Covetor to the Hulk, so pilots frequently only fly Covetors if they are unable to afford a Hulk, or unwilling to risk losing one.
While barges are general purpose miners, each of their Tech II Exhumer cousins is a specialized vessel, able to perform their designated task more effectively then any other mining vessel. The Hulk is optimized for mining of all manner of ores, the Mackinaw is intended for mining ice, and the Skiff is designed to extract Mercoxit.
Fleet Mining Ships
In addition to ships intended to perform mining, there are several ships which are intended to support mining operations or which are considered critical to effective fleet mining.
- The Rorqual is a highly specialized Capital Industrial Ship intended to facilitate the transport of significant quantities of ore in compressed form, although it also has many of the features common to carriers such a ship maintenance bay, corporate hangar, capital tractors, the ability to fit clone vats, and bonuses to gang links. However, it is immobile while in use and thus generally operated within the safety of a starbase shield. In practice the Rorqual is treated more as a hulk carrier and compressed-ore jump freighter then anything else, as they are unable to operate in empire space.
- The Orca is an Industrial Command Ship which combines hauling and gang link bonuses into a single vessel, along with a corporate hangar and a ship maintenance bay. Unlike the Rorqual, the Orca is able to make use of stargates and is increasingly commonplace in mining operations. The Orca is the only pilotable vessel with a ship maintenance bay and corporate hangar that can operate in empire space. When used with a single mining ship the Orca can completely replace jetcans and haulers, although in larger operations it is usually tasked with acting as a jetcan for nearby miners, tractoring jetcans from distant miners, serving as a pickup point for haulers, and carrying spare equipment like an extra hauler, a salvager ship, or spare mining crystals. All this in addition to providing foreman bonuses. It can also field a full flight of medium drones.
- Iteron Mark V
- Although the Iteron Mark V is only one of a variety of choices in the Industrial Ships category, its unique combination of high base capacity and five low slots have made it ubiquitous in New Eden. It remains substantially cheaper then the Orca (by a ratio of about 400 to 1), and the cheapest vessel able to empty a full jetcan with room to spare (a feat which only deep space transports and the Orca can match). In terms of training time it is one of the fastest ways for a new pilot to become a productive member of a mining operation.
- The most obvious skill affecting mining is Mining, which increases mining yields by 5% per level.
- The skill Astrogeology, which requires Mining trained to level 4 anyway, adds another 5% per level to mining output.
- The skills Ice Harvesting and Gas Cloud Harvesting provide benefits to ice mining and gas cloud mining, respectively.
For a Retriever you need the following skills:
For a Hulk you need the following skills:
Rigs, implants, and mining upgrades
- Rigs: There is only one type of rig, the Drone Mining Augmentor that affects mining. This rig is only of value when using drones to mine. There are other rigs that affect drones, and thus indirectly affect the ship's mining ability when using them. Of course, the cargo expansion rigs are always useful for solo mining.
- Implants (hardwiring): There are two known varieties of mining implants. Both varieties occupy implant slot 10. Both varieties are obtained as mission rewards from various high level missions. One variety increases mining yields, and the other reduces the CPU penalty of mining upgrade modules.
- Mining Upgrades: There are a dozen varieties of mining upgrade modules, but they come in only two variations. The ones that affect standard mining lasers increase mining yield per cycle but increase the CPU usage per laser. The ones that affect ice harvesters reduce the cycle time, again at the cost of increased CPU usage.
- Next to that it's handy to use a medium-slot Survey Scanner that shows how much ore is left in asteroids.
One can take a mission that implies acceleration gates. At one gate you can find lots of huge asteroids to be mined. Kill all enemies (if any exists) and than one can mine there (without finishing that mission, though) without fearing pirates (almost). This will happen in deadspace, so the possibility to see a pirate is very low.
For ships which have Drone bay capacity, Mining drones are a useful tool. These are drones that travel to a specified asteroid, mine, then return with ore. Different drones have different mining amounts.
- Main article: Fleet mining
When mining solo, a pilot has two options:
- when the cargo hold is full, fly to a station to unload and refine.
- unload the cargo hold into a container (either a temporary jettisoned container or an anchored container), then swap ships to one with a greater cargo capacity to haul the accumulated ore.
When organized with others, the separate duties of hauling and extracting ore can be specialized, avoiding the risks and wasted time that occurs when mining alone.
Beyond this, however, are the benefits that organizing in a Fleet can grant. A properly organized fleet can have a member whose specialization is a bonus to the mining abilities of the rest of the fleet. This bonus comes in two tiers.
The first tier is the Mining Foreman skill. This skill provides a flat benefit of increasing mining yield by 2% per skill level (to a maximum of 10%).
- FleetLogger - A fleet-mining-tool: share your ISK easy to all your fleet-member
-  - A fitting guide for new pilots using various races ships.