This is the first in a series of training classes for pilots interested in a career in mining. The topics that we will cover, and exercises that we will do during this class are geared toward players that are brand new to the world of mining. We will be covering some basics about Eve and some basics about mining, do a live exercise, discuss some ways to increase your income, then do a second live exercise, and finish with a brief overview about where to mine and which ore to mine. If you have any questions, feel free to contact one of the corporation's managers in-game.

The BasicsEdit

Unlike many MMO games, the majority of the items in Eve are built, or manufactured, by players. Items are manufactured from a combination of things that may include Salvage materials, trade goods sold by NPCs, and minerals. Manufacturing the different items in the game require different materials and different quantities of those materials.

If you have done the 10-part tutorial missions, or have ever done any salvaging, you most likely know that Salvage Materials come from salvaging wrecks. NPC Trade Goods, such as Construction Blocks, may also be required to manufacture some items. The third type of item is minerals. Minerals are required to manufacture EVERY type of item in the game from the smallest little module to the largest ship.

Minerals come from refining ore, modules, or alloys. Refining different types of ore result in different types and different quantities of minerals. There are currently 9 different types of minerals and 16 different types of ore in the game. Each type of ore will refine into a certain amount of somewhere between 1 and 5 different minerals. Veldspar, for example, will refine into Tritanium, while Omber will refine into Tritanium, Pyerite, and Isogen. In addition, if you have ever been in an asteroid belt, you no doubt noticed that there are different varieties of each type of ore. In fact there are 3 different varieties of ore for each of the 16 ore types. For example, Veldspar can be found as either: Veldspar, Concentrated Veldspar, or Dense Veldspar.

The amount of minerals you get when you refine ore is determined by several factors, including the variety of the ore, how good your refining skills you are, and how good the station’s refining equipment is. To give you an example of how the variety of the ore affects the amount of minerals let’s take a look at Veldspar again. Regular Veldspar will give you a certain amount of Tritanium. Concentrated Veldspar will give you 5% more minerals than regular Veldspar, and Dense Veldspar will give you 10% more minerals than the regular variety. In “Mining 102: Perfect Refining”, we cover how your refining skills and the station’s equipment can affect the amount of minerals you receive when you refine ore.

Mining BasicsEdit

As mentioned previously, minerals come from ore, but where does ore come from? Ore comes from asteroids which can be found in asteroid belts throughout most of the solar systems in Eve. Mining is basically the process of using mining lasers to extract ore from asteroids. Any ship in Eve that can fit a turret should be able to fit a mining laser and can be used for mining. You basically go out to an asteroid belt in a ship that has a Mining Laser fitted on it, target an asteroid, and activate the Mining Laser. Each time the Mining Laser “cycles” a certain amount of ore will be transferred from the asteroid into the cargohold of your ship. You then dock at a station, unload the ore from your ship into the station’s hangar bay, refine the ore into minerals, and finally sell the minerals for money.

While any pilot in almost any ship can mine ore, you won’t make any significant amount of money doing it unless you understand the different aspects of mining. In order to make a decent living in Eve as a miner you can’t expect to just fit the cheapest mining laser on the cheapest, smallest ship on your first day playing the game, and go mine and get filthy, stinking rich. There are several things that can increase the amount of ore you can mine per minute. There are several other things that can increase the amount of minerals that you get from the ore you mine. And, finally, there are several things that you can do to allow you be more efficient when you mine.

Making a living at mining is all about maximizing every aspect of your efficiency so you make larger amounts of money per hour. Your long term plans should determine how much time, training, money, and effort you should put into maximizing your efficiency. I would never expect someone that wants to just make a small amount of money so they can afford to upgrade from a rookie ship to their first Frigate to concentrate too much on efficiency.

Exercise #1:Edit

1.)Once you are in your rookie ship, Undock from the station.
2.)Adjust your overview window to show Asteroid Belts and the different types of asteroids by clicking the small white triangle and the top of your overview window and choosing Load > Default Mining.
3.)Warp to any asteroid belt.
4.)Select the closest asteroid in your overview window and fly to within 10KM of it.
5.)Lock target.
6.)Activate your Mining Laser.
7.)Watch as the ore is deposited into your ship.
8.)Once your ship is either full of ore or has at least 500 units of ore in it, warp back to the station and dock.
9.)Move the ore from your ship to the station’s hangar bay (the Items window)
10.)Repeat steps 1 through 9 until you have a stack of at least 500 units of ore in the hangar bay.
11.)Right click the stack of ore in the Hangar bay and choose “Sell Item”.
12.)When they window comes up just click Accept.

Congratulations, you just became a miner. Unfortunately, what you just did also made you the least efficient miner in the history of the Eve galaxy. It’s OK though. I wanted you to do it that way so we can discuss how to improve your efficiency and demonstrate how much of a difference being efficient can make.

Ways to Improve Your EfficiencyEdit

As in any aspect of Eve, studying the appropriate skills can greatly increase your effectiveness, allow you to fly better ships, etc. Mining is no different. Training certain skills will allow you to fly a better ship, allow you to use better equipment, increase the amount of ore you produce each cycle, increase the number of Mining Laser cycles each hour, and allow you to use Mining Drones. Being more efficient also includes finding more efficient ways to sell your ore, and much more. Some skills, by themselves, don’t actually affect your efficiency but are simply prerequisites to be able to train skills that do directly help you.

See Also: Mining Skills

Use a Better Ship.Edit

We just did the exercise in a rookie ship which is the smallest most useless ship in the game when it comes to mining. Upgrading your ship can make a big difference in how much ore you can hold, how many mining lasers you can fit on your ship, and how much ore you mine with each cycle of the Mining Lasers. The best mining ship for starters is a frigate. While just about any frigate would be better than the rookie ship, some are better at mining than others. Each race has one type of frigate that has Mining bonuses and is considered to be a mining frigate. Caldari have the Bantam, Gallente have the Navitas, Minmatar have the Burst, and Amarr have the Tormentor. If you have done the 10-part tutorial missions, then you have been given one of these ships as a reward for doing the missions and it is probably gathering dust in a station somewhere if you haven’t already sold it or had it blown up.

The reason that those 4 frigates are better at mining than other frigates is because they all have a 5% bonus to cargo capacity and a 20% bonus to mining laser yield for each level of the appropriate Frigate skill that you train. In addition, they all have a ship bonus that makes Mining Lasers use 60% less capacitor per cycle. The cargo capacity bonus means that for each level of Caldari Frigate that you train, a Bantam could hold 5% more ore before it has to be emptied. The Mining Laser bonus means that for each level of Caldari Frigate that you train, a Bantam would produce 20% more ore per cycle. And, finally, the mining laser capacitor bonus means that, even though Mining Lasers usually use up a lot of capacitor, the frigates I listed would use barely any capacitor and can be run non-stop without draining the capacitor dry.

So, if we had our Caldari Frigate skill trained up to level 4 right now, a Bantam would have a 20% larger cargo capacity than normal, it would mine 80% more ore for each cycle (Almost DOUBLE of the normal amount each cycle), and would use so little capacitor that it would be able to run the mining lasers non-stop for as long as we were mining.

Obviously, a frigate is not the best mining ship in the entire game, but is better than the rookie ship that we were just using in many ways. From frigates, we would next proceed into one of the, and then continue to train to fly either 1.) One of the Battleships, or 2.) Mining Barges then Exhumers. The best mining ship in the game is considered, by many, to be the Hulk, but there are several ships that can be as good as or better than the Hulk in certain situations. I would suggest training the appropriate frigate skill to 2 (if you did not already start with frigate skill at 2 when you created your pilot), then mining skill to 2 (if you did not start with Mining 2 already), then frigate to 4, and finally Mining to 4. Frigate 4 and Mining 4 are recommended before moving on to flying Cruisers.

Use Better Equipment on Your ShipEdit

During the exercise the Mining Laser we were using was a Civilian Miner which normally produces 30m3 of ore per cycle. If we train Mining to level 4, we will be able to use Tech 2 Mining Lasers which can produce 60m3 of ore per cycle. Changing the mining laser from a Civilian Miner to a Miner II, we produce DOUBLE the amount of ore every minute.

To take a minute and look at what we’ve accomplished so far on improving our efficiency. We started with a brand new pilot with Mining skill 2 and Frigate skill 2, in a rookie ship which had no bonuses and that was fit with once Civilian Miner module resulting in the following:

One Civilian Miner produces 30m3 of ore per minute. The Mining skill 2 increases that amount by 3m3 (30m3 X 10%). This gives us roughly 33m3 of ore per minute.

With just a day or so of training to get us to Frigate 4 and Mining 4 and upgrading into a Bantam frigate that is equipped with two Miner II modules we would end up with the following:

Each of the two Miner II lasers produces 60m3 of ore per minute. The Mining skill 4 gives us a 20% bonus to the amount of ore we get from each cycle (5% per level X 4 = 20%). The Frigate 4 makes the Bantam’s ship bonuses give us 80% more ore per cycle (20% per level X 4 = 80%). If we do the math, this gives us a total of roughly 259m3 of ore per minute.

The small amount of improvements we made increased our yield from 33m3 per minute to 259m3 per minute, which is about a 785% increase! Obviously, we are not going to get that large of an increase in efficiency every time we upgrade to better equipment or ships, and other factors play a role in the actual amount of ore we mine per minute, but that should give you an idea of how important efficiency can be to a miner... even a brand new miner that is just trying to make a some ISK at the start of their life in Eve.

There are other equipment improvements that we can make to further improve our efficiency such as: Mining Laser Upgrades, which increase the amount of ore per cycle or Expanded Cargohold II modules, which increase the amount of ore we can hold before we have to empty our ship. Which type of these items we should fit onto our mining ship depends on the tactics we use to mine. Tactics will be covered in “Mining 103: Hi-sec Mining Tactics”.

Use a Little Help from Your FriendsEdit

In addition to using a better ship and/or better equipment to produce more ore each cycle, there is another way to increase your yield per cycle. You are able to form a fleet with a friend or pilot on a second account and utilize Fleet Bonuses to improve your yield per minute. In order to take advantage of these bonuses, one of the pilots (the one that is set as the Fleet/Wing/Squad Booster) must have trained one or more of the Leadership skills. First off, the Leadership skill is required. This does not give any bonus that really affects our efficiency, but it is a prerequisite to learn the other skills that do. Leadership allows a pilot to command a squadron with 2 squad members per level (up to a max of 10 members). Once we have trained Leadership to level 1, we will be able to train the Mining Foreman skill. This skill allows us to grant pilots in the squad a 2% bonus to mining yield for each level that we train. In order to “share” this bonus with other squad members there are a few key things to pay attention to:

1.)The other pilot(s) must be in the same solar system somewhere in space (undocked). This includes the pilot doing the “boosting”.
2.)The total number of pilots in the squad must not exceed the number of pilots that we are allowed by our Leadership skill.
3.)The pilots in the fleet must be arranged correctly (not to exceed their leadership skills limits) in order to share bonuses, or boost, other pilots.

The way we setup fleets to share bonuses is discussed in more detail in the Fleet 101 guide on this wiki.

In addition to offering a way to boost our yield per minute, mining in a fleet also allows for other benefits. If the “other pilot” is not another miner, but rather a Hauler, then we can continue to mine non-stop while the hauler transports ore from our mining location back to the station. When we did the last exercise, one thing that made what we did so inefficient is that we spent some time flying to a belt, then more time getting into range of the asteroids, and after our ship was full, we spent time flying back to the station. Imagine how much more efficient we would be if we just flew out to a belt, got into position, and then just mined for as long as we wanted to without having to go back and forth to a station to unload. Just remember, every second that your Mining Lasers are not active, you are not making any money.

Use Some DronesEdit

Drones can help us in various ways. They can offer us defensive abilities, or they can increase the amount that we mine per minute. If we fit our ship with only Mining Lasers, then we have no way to defend ourselves. Combat Drones can offer a way for us to do that. Defending ourselves isn’t a big deal if we stay in 1.0 to 0.9 areas since NPC pirates, commonly called "rats", do not spawn in the belts in those areas. Unfortunately, with only a limited amount of ore in those very high security areas, the belts tend to empty pretty quickly forcing us to move into lower security areas. I suggest keeping your drones inside until rats spawn that you need to kill. If you leave them deployed in space, the rats tend to attack them first and you will find yourself going through piles and piles of drones (which cuts into your profitability).

The second way that drones can help us is by using Mining Drones instead of Combat Drones. Mining Drones act sort of like little Mining Lasers in that they mine ore for us and put it into our ship’s cargohold. The difference between Mining Lasers and Mining Drones is that, while distance doesn’t much matter to a laser, drones need to travel to the asteroid, mine for 60 seconds, then travel back to the ship to deposit the ore in the cargohold. Because of this fact, you should always target the asteroid closest to your ship and set your drones to mine that target while you use your Mining Lasers to target the asteroids that are within range but are the furthest from your ship. If you are flying a frigate you probably only have room for a single drone so you would need to choose which type of drone to use (combat or mining), but once you progress into larger ships you can carry both types. If you are using a ship that has room to carry both types of drones, deploy the Mining Drones and have them mine until NPC pirates spawn in the belt, then quickly recall them into your ship, wait until the rats aggro you, then deploy your Combat Drones to deal with them.

Before we discuss the next way to increase the amount of money that you can earn as a miner, we are going to do another small exercise.

Exercise #1:Edit

1.)Once you are in your rookie ship, Undock from the station.
2.)Adjust your overview window to show Asteroid Belts and the different types of asteroids by clicking the small white triangle and the top of your overview window and choosing Load > Default Mining.
3.)Warp to any asteroid belt.
4.)Select the closest asteroid in your overview window and fly to within 10KM of it.
5.)Lock target.
6.)Activate your Mining Laser.
7.)Watch as the ore is deposited into your ship.
8.)Once your ship is full of ore or once you have at least 500 units of ore in your cargohold, warp back to the station and dock.
9.)Move the ore from your ship to the station’s hangar bay (the Items window)
10.)Repeat steps 1 through 9 until you have a stack of at least 500 units of ore in the hangar bay.
11.)Right click the stack of ore in the Hangar bay and choose “Refine”.
12.)When the Refining/Reprocessing window pops up, click “Accept”.
13.)Right click the stack of Minerals in the Hangar bay and choose “Sell Item”.
14.)When they window comes up just click Accept.

The difference between the first exercise and this one, you may have noticed, is that we refined the ore into minerals before we sold them on the market. Refining ore into minerals can greatly increase your efficiency and greatly increase the amount of money that you make from mining. Be aware, at the beginning of your mining career, you might not have high enough refining skills to make the amount of money you get from the minerals be greater than the amount of money that you would normally get from selling the raw ore. Never fear, several members of IPoG have perfect refining skills and can refine the ore for you for free, provided you move the ore to a location (or station) that they can provide the service at. Information about which members offer these free services and where they need the ore to be, can be found under the Mining 102: Perfect Refining section of the wiki. I would recommend that you save up a fairly large stockpile of ore (1 to 2 weeks worth of mining) before you ask them to refine it for you.

The requirements you need to efficiently refine ore into minerals is a topic that will be covered in depth in Mining 102: Perfect Refining.

Mine the “Right” Ore in the “Right” placeEdit

Pilots just getting into mining seem to think that to make decent money as a miner that they need to mine in low-sec (0.4 to 0.1 sec areas) or null-sec (0.0 areas). While there are some very, very valuable types of ore that are only found in nul-sec, many pilots are surprised when they are told that mining in Hi-sec is one of the most profitable things a miner can do. Even harder for a lot of pilots to understand, is the fact that mining Veldspar in hi-sec can make you more money per hour than any of the other ore types in both hi-sec and low-sec. Couple that fact with the fact that mining in hi-sec is much safer (nothing in Eve is 100% safe) than trying to mine in low or null sec, and it should be fairly obvious that a new pilot starting a career in mining should stick to mining in hi-sec and should mine Veldspar if it is available.

An ideal location for a beginner EUNI miner to mine would be a hi-sec system that is within a few jumps of one of the IPoG Office Locations, but one that was a little off the beaten path so the asteroid belts don’t get completely mined out of Veldspar each day. The reason I say that it would be good to be near the one of the main offices is that often times the corporation will purchase minerals from the members via contract, making it easy to sell your minerals while allowing you to avoid Market tax fees. Being close to a station also allows pilots to easily take part in events that are held from time to time. In addition, if the corporation nor any of it's members are not currently purchasing minerals, most of the IPoG offices are only a few quick jumps from Jita, the largest of all the major trade hubs.

As stated earlier, there are 16 different types of ore in the game. The different types of ore are different “sizes” and our mining lasers do not produce a specific number of units of ore per minute, but rather a specific volume of ore. This means that we would mine more units of a smaller sized ore each minute than we would of a larger sized ore. The different types of ore also refine into specific types and quantities of minerals. Different ores also require different number of units of ore in order to refine them. These three factors make some ore more valuable than others.

Let’s take a look at an example using Veldspar and Pyroxeres, two types of that are readily available and are commonly found in many hi-sec solar systems. To make it simpler, we will assume that we have a ship that mines 1000m3 of ore per minute, that we are simply selling the raw ore without refining it (a big No NO if we were actually mining for real), and that we are not using drones to help us mine.

Veldspar Pyroxeres
Price of 1 Unit of ore 12.16 ISK per Unit 22.20 ISK per Unit

At first glance some people would assume that Pyroxeres is better and that they would make almost twice the amount of money per minute or hour if they mined Pyroxeres. This would be true if both ores were the same size… but they are not.

Veldspar Pyroxeres
Ore size 0.1m3 per unit 0.3m3 per unit
M3 of ore per min 1000m3 per min 1000m3 per min
Units mined per min 10000 units per min 3333 units per min
Price of 1 unit of ore 12.16 ISK per unit 22.20 ISK per unit
Total ISK per minute 121,600.00 ISK/min 73,992.60 ISK/min

Using the information in the table above, suddenly Pyroxeres doesn’t look like such a good deal anymore. To make the difference even greater, since Pyroxeres is larger that means it takes up more room in our mining ship or our hauler ship so we can carry less units of it in each load. More loads mean more time hauling it and hence less time spent mining. As mentioned earlier, anytime spent not mining is time you are not making money. Using this simple example, we can see that, even though each unit of Veldspar is less valuable than each unit of Pyroxeres, we would make approximately 47,000 more ISK per minute if we mined Veldspar.

Market prices change from hour to hour, and day to day, but trends stay about the same. In hi-sec areas (0.5 and above), Veldspar is the most valuable ore that you can mine. The second most valuable ore would be Scordite, followed by Plagioclase, Omber, and finally Pyroxeres. There are a few situations that would cause some of the lesser ores to potentially be more valuable than Veldspar, but discussing those situations is better handled in a trading guide because they deal with using the market to be able to sell items at inflated prices in certain locations because of extenuating circumstances such as the presence of a Storyline Agent in that particular station.

In the second exercise we just sold the raw ore. I want to end this guide by simply saying “Once you have trained your refining skills, always refine your ore!” There is a reason that “mining” and “refining” are usually discussed in the same breath. Even though we didn’t really delve into the topic in this class, refining can greatly increase the amount of ISK you make from mining. Sometimes the refined minerals can be sold for upwards of TWICE as much as the raw ore would have sold for.