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 demand.
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 receive 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 recommended 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 their 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 appropriate 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 Reprocessing 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.
For determining the value of an you can not look at the market prices in the same way as for minerals. This is because there is not so much ore traded on the market, since it is more rewarding to reprocess the ore and then sell the minerals. Further every ore comes with three different types which are displayed separately in the market window.
A way to determine the value of an ore is to sum up the values of the minerals contained in it.
ore value = ( [mineral_price * mineral_per_batch ] + [ next_mineral ] + [ ... ] ) * reprocessing_factor / (ore volume * batch_size)
Pyroxeres value = ( [ 5.7 * 351 ] + [ 12.43 * 25 ] + [ 54.66 * 50 ] + [ 639.03 * 5 ] ) * 0.72 / (0.3 * 100) = 197.75
Here is an example for a table of the ore values calculated from the prices in the top row:
Check this site for an up-to-date table, but note that it takes the mineral prices from Eve Central while the prices above are the average prices from the CREST API. It further does not consider the 0.72 reprocessing factor. Keep that in mind because nobody can reprocess with 100% outcome.
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. If you want to produce "something" you need to know how much of a mineral type is needed to produce it. If you look into the blue-print-data you can sum up all minerals needed by all products in total and then calculate an average value. The table below shows in percent how much of a mineral is used in an average product.
Note that due to the April 2015, Ore, Mineral and Nullsec Mining Anomaly Revamp the amount of Zydrine and Megacyte has been doubled in the Mosaic Release.
This sounds a lot but still only 0.133% and 0.044% of the total amount of minerals in an average product contain Zydrine and Megacyte. So if you are producing your own stuff you will need mostly Tritanium and Pyerite which sum up to 93,7% of minerals used for production.
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 displayed 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 formula
Full Cargo = base_cargo * (1+0,05*ShipSkillLevel)*(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 Bowhead 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 referring 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 watch-list 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 75,25%. 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. However with max standing at the NPC corporation which owns the station you can reach up to 72% yield as a solo player.
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 underpopulated 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 you'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).
The mining amount is the amount of ore extracted per cycle. A Strip Miner I mines 540m3 per cycle while a Modulated Strip Miner II mines only 360m3 per cycle. This is because The Modulated Strip Miner II needs to be charged with ore-specific mining crystals to become effective.
Mining crystals deteriorate slowly so it is sufficient to have only one backup charge in the cargo hold. The price is affordable so it is always better to mine with crystals than without. the biggest drawback here is that you need the ore processing skill on level four to use the T2 crystals. So you need 8 days of training for a Kernite T2 crystal and 27 days of training for Arkonor Crystal II. So if you are mining in null sec is likely you will mine with a Strip Miner I and still have a "ok" yield if you do not plan to reprocess on your own.
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.
Note that the number of high slots does not indicate the mining amount because there are significant role boni on the ships with less than three high slots.
We learn form this table that there are three (mutually excluding) aspects in mining
Every ship has its 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 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.
If you mine ice the outcome is slightly different as shown in the table below (these numbers assume a fitting with maximum skills and Ice Harvester II + Ice Harvester Upgrade II+ Medium Ice Harvester Accelerator I rig).
See here for the math behind these numbers.
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 its 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 interests. They will hunt you down and attack you even in high security space. This is further considered an official game mechanic.
Deal with it
The first step is accepting the fact, and not getting distressed 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 behavior 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
Null Sec Mining
Null sec ores are generally more valuable that high sec ores, so here are some hints what it means to mine in null sec.
As a miner you are very vulnerable because you are easy to find via directional scanner. Additionally it takes very long to warp out (13s Procurer, Skiff, 18s Retriever, Mackinaw and 20s Covetor, Hulk). This means you are very easy to tackle by PVP guys.
If you are not in a null sec corp you should look for a region which is occupied by a NRDS (not red don't shoot) alliance. In this way you are not shot on sight by everyone. It is further essential to reduce the amount of unknown people in your local to zero in order to mine in null sec. For this purpose you need to look for a system which is within a dead-end so that no travelers are just passing through. Further you need to stick to that system and get to know your neighbors. You have to make extensive use of your contact list here: add everyone you see in local to your contact list and mark them blue or red depending on their behavior (this is much easier if you are in a corp which does this job for you already). Further you should look for a system with friendly people who provide a 24/7 rorqual boost for you.
Let's assume you did all this and know you are in a system with everyone in your local wearing the blue star. The main annoyance now are hot droppers. These are people in a cloaked ship, who stay in your system all day, watching your moves via dscan and trying to ligh a cyno, releasing black ops cruisers at you. There is nothing you can do about that as simply bore them out by waiting for them to leave.
Additional there will be regular PVP guys which come to your system to catch you. You should be in an intel channel with people in the neighbour systems who warn you as soon as they show up. So even with a 13s warp time of the skiff it should be possible to get safe as soon as someone reports a red guy showing up next door. Now you can just wait for them to leave as well but this is boring and self-deprecating at the same time. Better catch up with your fellow miners in PVP ships and turn the tables on them. If it is not a red fleet you should easily outnumber them.
In null sec as an additionally advantage to the valuable ores, the asteroids are huge in large, enormous and colossal asteroid clusters. In this case you just stick to an asteroid and it will not deplete for the next 30 minutes. This is much more convenient than high sec mining, however now you can fully focus on your intel channels and local to get aware of threads. Further ice mining is much more profitable as the belts are not depleted as fast as in high sec and it is even safer as the high sec ice belts are always targeted by gankers.
Now you have gathered tons of ores you can reprocess it with a 78.15% yield in an intensive reprocessing array. You may sell it directly to your fellow miners or transfer it to a low sec system with a cyno in a rorqual or jump freighter.
For mining Mercoxit you need to fit a Modulated Deep Core Strip Miner II instead of the the regular Modulated Strip Miner II. The Mining Amount of this laser is only 250 and the Asteroid Specialization Yield Modifier from the Mercoxit Mining Crystal II is only 1.375. But you can fit a Medium Mercoxit Crystal Optimization I for an additional 16% yield bonus. Therefore the effective mining amount is 62% of a regular ore. This compensates the high value of Morphite and makes Mercoxit slightly less valuable than Bistot.
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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