Ice harvesting guide

For the skill related to this process, see Ice Harvesting.

Ice harvesting is very similar to Asteroid mining. You warp to an ice field, lock on to an "ice asteroid" and activate your ice harvesters. Important difference are:

  • Ice harvesting can only be done using mining barges. See the Ice Harvesting Ships section for more information.
  • The result of the harvesting process will be a single block of ice (per Ice Harvesting beam) with a volume of 1.000 m3. The size of the ice mined cannot be changed unless compressing, which should be kept in mind when arranging cargo capacity.
Hint: As the size of the yielded ice is fixed, the method of optimizing ice harvesting is by altering the harvester cycle time. (whereas asteroid mining has a fixed cycle time and variable yield). Increasing your Ice harvesting and exhumer skills, using the right implants and equipping Ice harvester upgrade or using tech 2 harvester modules will all affect your cycle time.


Ice Fields

These can be located using your ships probe scanner interface. Upon undocking or jumping into a new system, your ship will automatically scan the system for nearby anomalies (Ice fields are considered anomalies as of the Odyssey expansion) Once the scan is done, you may see various points of interested highlighted on your HUD. You will see a label called "Ice belt" or something similar depending on the kind of ice in the system if an ice belt exists in your system. If you aren't able to react in time for the HUD overlay, opening your ship scanner and going to the Probe Scanner section will display all results, including a full strength ice belt that can be right clicked and warped to. You have the same options in the menu for ice fields as with regular asteroid belts. Ice fields have a very different look from asteroid belts, they generally are a very long string of huge chunks of blueish asteroids, versus the half-circular form of brownish asteroids that ore asteroid fields have.

Please note: Ice fields do not appear at gravimetric or other exploration sites.

Ice Harvesting Ships

Mining barges are the only ships that are able to mine ice, as they are the only ships that can fit ice harvesters. Before you rush of to purchase one, please note that you require special skills to operate them, as listed below:

The above skills allow you to fly the Procurer, which can fit one Ice harvester.

The Mackinaw, the best ship for ice harvesting requires more skills:

The Mackinaw lacks the extra high slot of the Hulk for fitting an extra ice harvester but the yield of each harverster is doubled, yielding two blocks of ice instead of one per cycle. A drawback is that the standard cycle time is longer, but this is reduced by training the exhumer skill.

Harvesting Skills

Now that you have the Ice Harvesting Skill what does it mean to you?

Base Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
Tech 1 600 sec 570 sec 540 sec 510 sec 480 sec 450 sec
Tech 2 or ORE 500 sec 475 sec 450 sec 425 sec 400 sec 375 sec

Therefore with level 5 Ice Harvesting and Tech 2 Harvesters your cycle is only 6.25 mins (6 min 15 sec).

An additional skill that can reduce your cycle time further is Mining Upgrades. An Ice Harvesting Upgrade I reduces cycle time by 5%. Meaning it is equal to 1 level of Ice Harvesting. Level 4 of Mining Upgrades opens up the ability to use Ice Harvesting Upgrade II giving a 9% reduction of cycle time. All together you can get your solo cycle time down to 5.5 mins (330 sec).

Ice Harvesters

These are specialized mining lasers and should be available on the market. They can only be fitted on mining barges. Operation of an ice harvester requires the Ice Harvesting skill, which in turn requires Mining level 4.

With the skills trained and the necessary items acquired you are now ready to do some ice mining. Please keep in mind that NPC pirates spawn in ice fields as well as asteroid belts and that the ice harvester has a very long cycle time, so you won't see any units of ice in your cargohold for a while after you start harvesting.


The amount gained from reprocessing ice depends on your reprocessing skills. Refining V and Refinery Efficiency V are a prerequisite to the specialization skill Ice Processing and at a station with a base yield of 50%, will increase your yield to 99.5%. Ice Processing will then further increase yield by 5% per level.

Maximum Earning Potential

To achieve the Maximum Earning Potential (MEP) the following items/skills are required:


With Fleet Boosting - Each miner is using/have the above items and skills