Part of a series on
- For the skillbook, read Mining (skill)
Everybody who has completed the in-game tutorial should know the basics of mining; you sit next to a space rock and extract ore with mining lasers. This article is intended to give a good overview of how mining works in our area, how to improve your yield, and other useful advice. If you are a newbie, start with our Newbie Mining Guide and How to avoid getting robbed and killed, then return to this page. If you are a more advanced player, you may also be interested in Hauling, Advanced Mining Calculations, and this article on how to create a mining alt on the cheap.
Where You Can Mine
Our agreements with other alliances sometimes preclude us from mining in certain areas. Additionally, because our space if often infested with hostiles, you should not mine whenever there are hostiles in Local. If you feel you must despite this, learn how to align, pay attention to the GSINTEL channel, and try to help out other miners when they are under attack.
Mining ops are when a group of miners band together for mutual protection and more efficient hauling. They are the optimal method of mining for any player, but especially crucial for newbies. Here is how they work: A bunch of people join the op. Op members are given roles. Most will be miners, one or two will be haulers, and one person will tank NPC spawns. Everyone gathers around a few arkonor asteroids and mines away. A jettisoned container will be used for holding all the ore since it makes it much easier for the hauler, and you probably don’t have enough room in your cargo to hold more than one cycle worth of ore. Drag your ore into the can after every cycle. Arkonor is the most valuable ore in Delve/Querious(except mercoxit, which needs special equipment to mine), with bistot second, and those are all you should be mining unless specified otherwise by the op commander. After the op is over, the ore will be refined by one of our master refiners, and you will receive your fair share of the minerals to sell or use as you like.
Solo / Ninja Mining
If a mining op isn't going on and you don't mind the risk, you can go solo mining, sometimes called ninja mining. While most of the mining during your eve career will likely be solo, newbies are not advised to mine alone because they are incapable of defending themselves from NPC rats. Let's go over the steps for a typical solo op:
- Check Local carefully for hostiles (make sure your overview and tags are set up correctly). Also check GSINTEL in case anything unpleasant is inbound.
- Undock your mining ship and warp to whatever belt you want to mine at 100km (This lets you check safely for rats/asteroid density). If the belt has rats you should have plenty of time to warp away even if they target you, as they will have to cover a pretty large distance before you will be within firing range.
- If there are lots of arkonor asteroids and no rats, pick an asteroid that is over 150km away and warp to it (some of them should at least this far if you warped in at 100km).
- Get in slightly closer than mining laser range (about 12KM, or less if you are using Warp Core Stabilizers) then align your ship towards the station in that system. Try to position your ship on the side of the asteroid that is facing towards that station so you won't get stuck on it if you need to warp out in a hurry. Once aligned, stop your ship and bookmark that spot. If you do this right, then later when you bring your hauler the bookmark will put you very close to your can. If rats appear, you can now warp out quickly - if a hostile player appears, you can warp to the station at 0KM and dock before he is able to get you.
- Start the mining lasers!
- Once the lasers have cycled, jettison the ore and change the name of the can to your name followed by the current Eve time. This gives you an idea of when your can will pop on its own, which is two hours from creation. Keep moving ore into this one can you have jettisoned and keep an eye on local for hostiles. That variety of can is known as a 'jetcan'
- If anything hostile or neutral enters the system, you want to dock as quickly as possible. If rats enter your belt, you want to warp out right away. It will take them around fifteen seconds to lock you. Announce the rats in GFMoney and wait for someone with a ratting ship to confirm the belt is clear before warping back to the belt. Do not announce rats in GSINTEL, and do not talk in Local if hostiles/neutrals are present! If nobody in GFMoney is helping, ask in your squad chat, or, if you really must, GFGBS. Consider offering a small reward for killing the rats to sweeten the deal.
- Once you are ready to finish, go back to the station and get your hauling ship, or get someone to haul your ore with their hauler (they usually charge 10% of the ore for this service). Check local for hostiles again, then undock and fly to your mining can bookmark. This will put you within 5km of your can unless you didn't place it correctly in step 4! Haul the ore back to the nearest refinery station.
- Get someone to refine your ore into valuable minerals. They can be sold on the local market, or brought to Empire and sold there. To be worthwhile, you may have to commission a capital ship (a carrier or freighter) to truck a large quantity of your refined minerals to Empire. In the presently crashing market, the only mineral that seems to merit exportation is Megacyte.
- People usually don't mine in low-belt systems even if the ore is really good, so these systems can accumulate large quantities of ore over time, and may be a better choice than a more popular mining system that has numerous belts.
Here is a video tutorial on the basics of solo 0.0 mining: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvNIq4KLXyI
If you want to mine outside of an op -which you probably will- you need a hauling ship. These are big, fat and slow but have a much larger cargo hold allowing you to move that ore around. Don't solo mine without one, you will only be able to move tiny amounts of ore in any other ship and it would be a big waste of time. You only need Industrial 1 to fly the smallest Industrial ship for your race. Fill it with Tech 1 cargo expanders to get more space, an afterburner to close the short distance to your cans quickly and never, ever take it out of the station when a hostile is in system.
After you've earned a bit of money you may want to consider investing in a tractor beam (requires Science IV) for your hauler. Bookmarks almost never deposit you in the exact same place twice, so you may find yourself a few kilometers from your can. In this case a tractor beam can save you valuable time and effort. Tractor beams become even more handy if you're taking part in a non-communist mining op and are hauling for other people for the same reason listed before, except you'll be pulling the cans from greater distances. For more information, check out Hauling.
Tips and Tricks
- Keep an eye on Local.
- Check out the Ore Value chart to get an idea of what minerals are most worth your time.
- Prime Arkonor is more valuable than Crimson Arkonor, and regular Arkonor is less valuable than both.
- You may have to use a massive amount of Co-Processors in order to fit all your mining lasers.
- When on an op you can warp to a gang member instead of warping to the belt and flying a long distance to get to the asteroids
- Fit an afterburner or a shield tank if you have the space.
- Get a survey scanner. You don't want to get into position, drop a can, and then discover the asteroid you are mining only holds a low amount of minerals. This may not be necessary, since you can determine the amount of ore an asteroid had when downtime ended by doing "Show Info" on it and checking the radius.
- If you can, fit a Warp Core Stabilizer (And if you can't, learn how to and do it). Some rats (NPC hostiles) sometimes carry disruptors which will screw you up. Any hostile players will also sure as hell be carrying one too, the WCS probably won't save you then but again, it might.
- Set overview to show arkonor, bistot, and crokite. It's definitely not something you'd want on during PVP but it's a big help when mining. Save this overview setup as "High-End Mining" or something similar so you won't need to set this up every time you go mining.
- When moving from one mining spot to a new asteroid that's significantly far away, it can take a while to slowboat over. It can be quicker to make a bookmark to the new asteroid, warp to a planet or a distant veldspar asteroid, then back to the new bookmark.
- If multiple rocks are in mining range, always mine out prime arkonor before crimson arkonor, and regular arkonor last. You may plan to do all of them, but if hostiles warp in and you have to stop, wouldn't you rather have the best ore already mined and hauled back?
- When gang mining, send out a scout for a new spot before the last roid in the current spot pops.
- Drones are worthwhile, even if they only bring in 1 extra unit every 2 minutes. They give an extra quarter million ISK per an hour per drone per miner, all for bothering to click a few extra times.
- If a hostile lands in the same belt as you while you are mining, do not wait for your drones to return to your ship unless they are right there. They are vastly more expendable than your mining cruiser, and hostiles don't wait before trying to pop you.
Using drones to mine Arkonor or Bistot but they aren't working? Here's why.
Drones can only mine a certain amount, 15m3 for Mining Drone 1, 25m3 for Mining Drone 2. When converting m3 mined to units of ore, the Eve system rounds down to the nearest unit of ore, and as Arkonor and Bistot have a volume per unit of 16m3, an unskilled pilot using V1 drones cannot mine it: 15m3 * 1.05 = 15.75m3, which rounds down to 0.
Get your Mining Drone Operation to 2 and you get a 10% bonus to the amount a drone can mine; 15m3 * 1.1 = 16.5m3, which rounds down to 16m3, or 1 unit of your sweet, sweet Arkonor. A point here should be made that if you're mining these high volume ores, using V2 drones is pointless until you have Drone Interfacing as they will mine a maximum of 31.25m3 (with Mining Drones V) which still rounds down to 1 unit of Ark (16m3). Train Mining Drone Operation II and then get Drones V and Drone Interfacing I. Switching to V2 drones at this stage will net you 2 units of Ark for each cycle: 25m3 * 1.2 * 1.1 = 33m3.
This does apply to other ores, but I'm not doing all of the maths for you. The Ore Values page lists more volumes.
Improving your Skills
Cruiser mining is sufficient to keep you in ships indefinitely, but there are more things you can do to climb up the mining effectiveness chart. These skills will help you mine faster:
- Cruiser (If Minmatar/Caldari, their mining cruisers gain 20% extra yield per turret per level, level 5 effectively doubles your number of mining lasers)
- Astrogeology (5% yield boost to mining laser per level)
- Mining Foreman (2% yield boost to mining laser and mining drone yield per level)
To see exactly how much you mine each cycle, refer to the Advanced Mining Calculations article.
After you have trained Cruiser to IV and have accumulated enough ISK, you can graduate up to a mining battleship.
The mining yield of some battleships can actually be comparable to barges AND (with appropriate fitting skills) you can tank spawns and hostile interceptors. No battleship has a mining bonus, but because mining lasers take up turret hardpoints, some battleships are better suited to mining than others. All the T3 battleships (Abbadon,Rokh,Hyperion and Maelstrom) have 8 turret hardpoints, making them very effective miners. The trouble is that the cost of these ships make getting into them somewhat difficult. The Apocalypse also has 8 hardpoints, making it the equal to the T3 Battleships, but much cheaper. An 8-turret battleship will mine more than a Retriever and less than the Covetor. It will take around 10-15 days total to train Frigate 4, Cruiser 4, and Battleship 3. If you prefer Gallente ships the Dominix and Megathron are also good miners, with 6 and 7 turrets, each (the Dominix is cheaper and also has a large drone bay, improving its defensive capabilites and potential mining drone income, see Dominix Mining Analysis).
Barges and Beyond
The final step is mining barges. These use Strip Miners, which have a longer cycle but give you a better yield than Miner IIs. Only bother with the Retriever, the Procurer isn't better than a mining cruiser. Mining in a barge is skill intensive, you need: Science 4, Mining 4, Astrogeology 4 and Industry 5. It will take a few weeks to train it, but barges are pretty much the ultimate mining vessel, especially if you take the long steps to getting a Covetor (two months of skilling once you can use a Retriever). From there, it's a short road to getting into a Hulk, which can have a yield 15% better than a Covetor, making you the fastest mining ship in the galaxy. Making an alt specialized in barge mining is painless, if time-consuming. If you are interested in having an extra character whose sole purpose is mining, read the Barge Alt article.
Strip Miners are a special type of turret that can only be fitted on mining barges. They have a large yield and a slightly longer cycle time than normal mining lasers. Keep in mind that when you are looking at the yield stats, it is measured in m3, not units of ore.
For reference, one Miner II has a base ore yield of 60 m3 every minute. Without applying skill modifiers, a mining Osprey (which can fit three Miner IIs) would have the same yield as a Procurer (which can fit only one Strip Miner), making the Procurer a waste of money. If you want to get into serious mining, train up to at least a Retriever.
Modulated Strip Miners
The tech 2 version of the Strip Miner I is the Modulated Strip Miner II. This mining laser has two yield stats- one for normal operation and one for using it with a mining crystal fitted. The base yield stat is only 360 m3, so it doesn't make sense to use this module unless you can fit the proper crystal too. The Modulated Strip Miner II requires Mining V to use, and the crystals themselves have individual requirements.
The Crokite crystal, for instance, has a yield modifier 1.625. Quite a lot, but consider the hefty requirements of the Crokite mining crystal: Metallurgy IV, Refining V, Refinery Efficiency V, and Crokite Processing III.
Because of the way that bonuses are calculated, it doesn't become viable to use the Modulated Strip Miner II and a corresponding crystal until you have very high mining skills and bonuses. And even then, the bonus is so small and the training time required so high, that most players don't find it worth the effort unless they are going for a purely industry-focused character.
Hardcore Drone Mining
With some training, it is possible to get mining drones to gather up to 5 Crok per minute per drone. With a Vexor it can be possible to have 45 Crok mining per minute. The skills required for this are: 5 Mining Drones II + 4 Mining Turret II + Vexor, Drones 5, Mining 4, Science 4, Astrogeology 3, Drone Interfacing 5, Mining Drone Operation 5, and Gallente Cruiser 4. For more about drone-based mining see Dominix Mining Analysis.
After you mine all this ore, you will probably want to find somebody with lots of skillpoints in refining to get the most minerals possible out of your ore. Many people will do this for a flat rate or percentage of the minerals refined. Even with minerals paid for their service, you will still make a greater profit. The only downside is that it might take them a couple days to process your minerals. Here is a list of private refiners that you might contact. Another place to look is S-Mart, where refiners will often post threads advertising their services.
Space Jew Calculators
These calculators can be used to fine-tune your mining setups and figure out what skills to train:
- You can work out how much profit you will make from your ores by visiting Evegeek. Enter all the relevant data (amount of ore, your skills and factory efficiency) and it calculates how much you will make by using the QUANT Corporation - Matari Mineral Index (IGB), a well-regarded price standard.
- This is an awesome mining guide. <- Some of the values listed in this document are incorrect, for instance it lists the required Arkonor needed to refine as 250 when it is really only 200.