This guide first explains the background of mining, then continues with the motivation to become a miner and the first steps to begin a miner's career. We introduce the purpose of ores and minerals in the production chain along with insights into the different ore types. A section about industrial ships explains how to transfer the materials around to finally sell them on the market. At that time you have all information to assemble enough ore to build a better mining ship yourself. Therefore the mining ship section gives an overview over the core attributes of the different mining ships. This guide finishes with background information about the ongoing war against miners and gives hints to avoid attackers in high security space.
Background of Mining in New Eden
Almost every system has asteroid belts. Asteroids contain various kinds of ore ready for mining. Mining lasers run in cycles and transfer a certain amount of ore, measured in cubic meters (m3) , from asteroids into your cargo hold. The cycle repeats until you stop your mining laser(s) or the asteroid is depleted of its ore. Large cargo holds are required to haul ore from the belt to a nearby station or reprocessing array. That ore can then be reprocessed into minerals. Blueprints together with the necessary quantity of minerals are used to build products in New Eden.
While the quantity of minerals is relevant for industrialists to plan their supply chain, miners are mainly interested in the volume in cubic meters (m3). This is because the ores differ in volume and therefore different amounts of ore fit into the same cargo hold. Your mining lasers also operate on volume and thus you will mine different quantities of different ores within the same time slice.
The most common types of asteroids are Veldspar, Scordite and Pyroxeres, but this does not necessarily make them less valuable than rare ores. If there is no shortage of a certain mineral on the market, the actual value of an ore type depends on its mineral density if you want to mine for your own production line or on market prices if you want to sell the ore to other players.
When mining you have to make a trade-off between the amount of ore to be extracted, the attention you pay for interacting with your ship and the risk of being destroyed by rats or other players.
While other specializations and activities draw your full attention to the game, mining can be different. Once your ship is in position and your lasers are running, there seems to be nothing to do for several minutes. So the motivation is not solely to retrieve ore. In fact you can do something additionally to your mining activity. For example you can open the in-game browser to read this guide. So while you are planning your next action in the game you are additionally awarded with ore.
Of course there are strict limits. Being away from keyboard while your ship is mining is highly disgraced. Since there is a lot of abuse, you may even be flagged as a bot if you leave your ship in the belt mining, while you are not there physically.
Asteroid Belts and Ores
Some ore can only be found in particular systems. For example, Jaspet can only be found in 0.4 systems in Gallente or Amarr space. A selection of all ore types can be found in null systems (see picture on the left).
The security status is between 1.0 and 0.0. The lower the security status the more dangerous are the belt rats which attack your mining ship, while at the same time the belts are getting richer. Because of the small Asteroids size it is not recommended to mine in systems above 0.7. In high security systems between 1.0 and 0.5 every other player who attacks you will be destroyed by Concord. However the time for Concord to arrive gets higher with the decreasing security status. There is no Concord response in systems below 0.5.
Each ore has two variations. The first variant will give extra 5% minerals when refining, and the second variant will give an extra 10%. Here is a table with each ore's variations.
The Beginning of a Miner's CareerTo start a mining career, hit the F12 key to open the help menu. In the "Career Advancement" Section click "Show Career Agents". Look up "Industry" in the next window and choose "Set Destination" to the up the route to the industry career agent. You will recieve a Venture after completing part 2 of this tutorial. A possible route is then to equip it with two Miner II Lasers and a Mining Laser Upgrade I (see needed skills in underlying links).
Your venture will start with around 700 effective hitpoints. It will not be possible to mine a 0.7 system because belt rats would kill you. To get rid of the rats a comfortable way is to put two Hobgoblin I drones into your drone bay (it only takes three hours to train the drone skills).
The Basic Mining Techniques
There are two basic courses of action to take when mining. The first is to fill your cargo hold with ore, and then fly back to a station to unload it. Unfortunately, this technique is quite time consuming. The alternative technique is to perform the technique called jetcan mining.
To Jetcan mine, fill your cargo hold with ore, then jettison the ore into space. This will create a jettisoned can (jetcan), with a capacity of 27,500m3. As you continue mining, move the ore from your cargo hold to the jetcan. When the can is full, switch to a Miasmos, with a capacity of 42,000m3. Make sure you haul or refresh your can before it expires and pops (disappear) after exactly 120 Minutes. It is therefore a good idea to rename the can to the current eve time (displayed on the bottom left on the screen) as soon as you create a new can. In this way you always know exactly when your cans pop.
The main drawback about using this technique is that anyone can open your can and steal your ore. If someone does steal something from your can, they will start flashing in your overview, which means you will be allowed to shoot them without Concord interfering. However as soon as you shoot them, they will be allowed to shoot back without Concord protecting you anymore. And additionally fleet members, (who are in a different corporation) will not be allowed to fire on the can thief unless he has committed a crime against them as well. Therefore it is recomended not to shoot on anyone when mining.
Another drawback is that you can not just lock off when you are fed of with mining or when you get interrupted somehow (e.g. if you lose your internet connection). If you just leave the game your cans will eventually pop into nothingness after their lifetime runs out. This inconvenience seems to be the main reason why Retrievers and Mackinaws (with thier huge cargo holds to keep the ore in a safer place) are so popular among miners.
Minerals are reprocessed from the ore you mine. You do this by storing the ore in a station or reprocessing array, right click it and choose reprocess in the context menu. Each 100 units of a certain ore type are converted into the number of minerals listed in the table below:
The reprocessing base yield is 50% so half of your ore is lost during reprocessing if you don't have appropiate skills (which are Reprocessing, Reprocessing Efficiency and <ore name> Processing (e.g. Kernite Processing)). This table shows how your skills and reprocessing facilities affect the mineral yield obtained from ore:
Reprocessing costs no time, the ore is converted immediately. It disappears and is replaced by the amount of minerals.
Here is an example:
You spend 2 hour and 9 Minutes mining Kernite with a Venture at 8,52m3 per second. You will end up with 66,360m3 of Kernite. Now you want to reprocess at a station where you have no standing (x0.95) while your Repprocessing Skill is 4 (x1.12), your Reprocessing Efficiency Skill is also 4 (x1.08) and your Kernite Reprocessing Skill is 3 (x1.06).
effective_yield = base_yield * (1+0.03*reprocessing_skill_level) * (1+0.02*reprocessing_efficiency_skill_level) * (1+0.02*ore_processing_skill_level) * (reduction_from_station_owner_tax)
effective_yield = 50% * (1+0.03*4) * (1+0.02*4) * (1+0.02*3) * (0,95) = 60.9
Now you have 66,360m3 Kernite with a volume of 1,2m3 per unit. Which is 55,300 units of Kernite which in turn makes 553 batches. Every batch contains 134 units of Isogen which would make 74,102 units but because of your effective yield of 60.9% you only receive 45,130. (However this is enough Isogen to build a covetor, which needs 44,444 units of Isogen)
For more details see this devblog.
The Mineral Density
We learned from the tables above that ore is the starting point of the production process. From there it is converted into minerals and minerals are converted into products. We further learned that there are rare Ores which in turn become rare Minerals. But we do not know yet how valuable a rare Mineral is compared to a frequent one. How much more effort is acceptable to obtain Nocxium instead of mining for a comparable amount of Tritanium?
We could look at the market prices but these are volatile and subject to market manipulation. And further these values are irrelevant if we want to supply our own independent production line.
To answer this question we have to analyze the blueprints and see how much of each mineral is contained in an average product:
From here we can say 61 units of Tritanium are worth 19 units of Pyerite and 8 Units of Mexallon and so on.
Now we have to calculate the mineral density which in turn leads to this table:
The table above shows how "dense" mineral is available in one m3 of a certian ore by representing the "virtual" amount of Tritanium contained in it. It shows that in fact some ores are significantly more valuable than others in terms of production mineral supply.
So according to these number you should mine scordite, however it is not extraordinary popular among miners. This is because there is only half of the volume in an average Scordite Asteroid than in a Kernite or Plagioclase asteroid in the same system. This means that it depletes twice as often and draws more attention for targeting new asteroids. If you further compare real ore market prices, it turns out that Scordite, Pyroxeres and Plagioclase sell for similar values while Kernite is around 10% better and Veldspar is around 10% worse than Scordite.
When it comes to hauling we focus on Cargo Hold capacity. The following table introduces the capacities of the different ships.
You may wonder that the numbers here are much higher than dispayed in the Item data base. This is because you may fit Expanded Carghohold II into each low slot and three Medium Cargohold Optimization II rigs into the ships. Further you get skill bonuses which are also applied. The numbers above are assembled based on this formular
Full Cargo = base_cargo * (1+0,05*FrigateSkillLevel)*(1+0,275)^(number_of_ExpandedCargoHoldII) * (1+0,15)^(number_of_MediumCargoHoldOptimizationII)
So there are four ships with decent cargo hold: Bestower, Iteron Mark V, Tayra and Mammoth. Further Gallente offers the Miasmos for carrying Ore and the Kryos for carrying Minerals around with an 33% bonus compared to the regular haulers.
It takes 36 days to get the skills for a freighter. This is totally worth the time since the cargo size is considerable larger than any industrial. The drawback here is that freighters are very slow. They also have nearly no CPU capacity so you can not protect yourself with Warp Core Stabelizers. You can however fit three Expanded Carghohold II in every Freighter.
Note that the Bestower contains a Ship Maintenance Bay and therefore is only applicable to transfer ships.
There are around 22 Destroyers necessary to destroy a Freighter in highsec it is therefore important to check for gate camps with an ALT prior to flying through a gate with a freighter.
Building a Freighter
This is an example to give an insight into the value of a freighter without refering to the volatile market values. From the Obelisk Blueprint we see that we need four different Capital Ship Modules which total in the following amount of minerals:
We assume that we will buy Zydrine and Megacyte from the market and only mine the ore for the rest:
We get a total of 8,003,770 m3 of ore. With the 28.69 m3 per second value of a Hulk it would take 3d 5h and 29min to mine enough ore to build an Obelisk with a single Hulk in operation.
This is also a good example for pointing out the hauling effort: Hauling around the ore for a freighter with a Miasos would take 127 truck loads while hauling around the minerals for a freighter (1,370,589m3) with a Kryos would take 21 truck loads.
Joining a Corp
As described in the following chapter it is easier to get your ore reprocessed when you are in a corp. Additionally you get access all the standings which makes it easier to detect threats in local. The main drawback here is that cops are often subject to war declarations which allow other players to attack you without Concord response. This makes it very risky to fly expensive ships. Note that your online status will be available through the watchlist and your position is available by locator agents. Wars may further take very long since the enemy has to decide every week if he wants to pay another fee for continuing the war.
Selling your Ore
At the very beginning of the game, reprocessing the ore you mine yourself would result in a yield of 47,5%, while high skilled players will be able to reprocess at 72,4%. So you get 33% less minerals from your ore than a skilled player with the Intensive Reprocessing Array installed at his POS.
The best way to get around this is to join a corp with a free reprocessing service to support new comers. Further they have freighters which carry the minerals to the tradehubs where you get top ISK for it.
If you insist playing solo you may aim for the reprocessing skills (24 days for Reprocessing and Reprocessing Efficiency + between 4 and 24 days for the ore reprocessing skill depending on the ore rarity). But note that you still have to pay station tax and you get a lower base yield (50% instead of 52%/54%) if you do not own your own reprocessing array.
Take a look at the acutal market situation before you start mining, with the intent to sell the ore instead of reprocessing it. If you are sitting on a pile of ore while you are in desperate need of ISK, check the buy orders and price history of your Region. Then check the neighbour regions. If you compare different region markets it turns out that the ore price is increasing together with the quantity sold in your region while on the same time it is more dangerous to mine in a crowded region. For example 14k exhumers are destroyed in The Forge while only 2,6k exhumers are destroyed in Derelik. So if you are in an unpopulated region it will be very safe to mine but no one will be there to buy your ore. Other miners in the region have the same problem and therefore the ore price will be very low. This causes the miners to leave the region which becomes even more scarce and the haulers carrying the cheap ore to better places will not get enough to fill their cargo holds. So if you are solo playing in such a region the best way might be to collect enough ore that a freighter pilot may fill his cargo hold (1,000,000m³) and put this on the market for a fair price above the region average.
Your First Mining Barge
let's assume your're addicted to mining and this is your only source of income. In this case it is an obvious step to build your next mining ship from your own ore.
If we take the Covetor for example we look up the blue print to see how much minerals are needed:
Lets assume you stay in high-sec and you buy the few Zydrine and Megacyte units from the market. Then we do some number crunching with 60% reprocessing yield to figure out what asteroids are needed:
This is 227,115 m³ total ore to mine. If you are using a Venture with maximum skills you will be able to mine 8,52m³ per second. So the de-facto time both of your Miner II Lasers are melting down the asteroids is 7 hours 24 minutes.
The first step is as always the hardest. Once you have built your covetor you will be able to extract the same amount of ore within 2 hours and 35 minutes.
Note that with this example you will have 66,383 units of Mexallon left. If you sell this on the market it should be sufficient to buy the blueprint copy and the missing Zydrine and Megacyte needed to build the Covetor. You also need the Industry skill at level 1.
Here's a summary for newcomers about the basic mining lasers which come across:
This table is straight forward: you aim for the best mining ratio. There is no reason to use a lower miner except you do not have the required skill obtained yet.
There are more variants for Metroxit mining, Gas Cloud Mining and Ice Mining which are extracted mostly in low sec (except ice).
To compare the different ships we assume the best fitting with max skills for each ship. Except for the Venture each ship is fitted with the maximum amount of Mining Laser II Upgrades + Modulated Strip Miner II modules each with a Mining Crystal II charge. Further the m³ per cycle is the sum of all lasers combined while the ratio m³/s gives the amount of ore extracted per second with this ship.
For effective hit point calculation we use similar modules for all ships (Adaptive Invulnerability Field II, Damage Control II, EM Ward Field II, Thermic Dissipation Field II, Power Diagnostic System II and Medium Processor Overclocking Unit I for more CPU load and Medium Core Defence Field Extender). To get comparable values we focus on EHP maxing and therefore no Mining Laser Upgrades are contained in these fittings.
see here for details about the math behind these numbers.
We learn form this table that there are three (mutually excluding) aspects in mining
This is a nice example for Eve's diversity strategy: every ship has it's own domain of use. If you are in danger you fly a Procurer, if you want to mine in a convenient way with minimum interaction you fly a Retriever, if you aim for maximum ISK per hour you fly a Covetor. The Tech II variants are slightly better but significantly expensive. Further the risk of losing your ship is very high (even in high sec). So only fly a Tech II ship if you feel very safe or if you can afford losing it.
The Orca Boost contains the 15% from the Mining Foreman Mindlink Implantat.
Consider the fact that the character operating the orca could be sitting in a Hulk mining instead. If you have an ALT with an Orca you would mine 48,76m3 per second but it would be 57,38 m3/s with two Hulks. However if you have three characters mining, the yield would be 86,07m3/s and this would become 97,52m3/s if one of them sits in an Orca.
The War on Miners
You should be aware that as a miner you are participating on an open market competition. This market is controlled only by the means of demand and supply. If you sell your supplies on the market it is because you are cheaper or better available than your competitors. If you would not participate actively in this market the supply would be smaller and the demand would be higher, which in turn increases the prices and therefore the profit of the other participants in this market. Think of the demand as a big cake and everyone providing supply to this demand is taking his small piece of the cake, hence making the cake smaller for all others. In other words: by selling ore or minerals on the market you are actively taking ISK out of other people's pockets. Therefore mining is not as peaceful and harmonic as it seems on it's shiny shallow surface.
You should be aware that at the time you start mining, you are at war. There are people which are concerned about their business, who will do anything to stop you to protect their interessts. They will hunt you down and attack you even in high security space. This is further considered an offcial game mechanic.
Deal with it
The first step is accepting the fact and don't getting in distress about it. So if you are shot over and over again it's not because of the heinous villains laughing in their seats while ruining your game experience, it is because you are not careful enough.-- CCP Wrangler 
The scenario is set so you need to adapt your behavoir to the threat. First it is important to understand how mining ships could be effectively attacked in high-sec:
There are some some hints to avoid this kind of scenario
More on Mining
Further subjects on mining contain Mining Drones, Mining Implants and effects of links modules. Additionally there are different sorts of mining, like gas cloud mining and ice mining. These subjects have been described in former versions of this guide, but have been moved to the legacy page.
Please help improving this page by reworking subjects from the legacy page and placing them here again.
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