Mining 101: An Introduction to Basic Mining
Welcome to Mining 101. In this introduction I will be explaining how to begin a career in mining, and in the grander scheme of things, all of industry. Mining is the act of harvesting ore from asteroids. Asteroids can be found widespread throughout most of the EVE Universe. For many players, their first mining experience will be had in a rookie ship with a civilian mining laser module. The player locates an asteroid, locks onto it, and then "cycles" (fires) their mining laser at the asteroid, resulting in the harvesting of some type of ore. This is the process you will repeat in the long-term to harvest ore of other types as well.
Your First Belt
Assuming this is your first time mining, you may wonder where or how to locate an asteroid to mine from. There are several ways to do this but one of the most common methods is to right-click in space, hover over the "Asteroid Belts" tab, and then warp to an asteroid belt. Another option is to use the "Mining" section of your overview, right click on an asteroid belt, and warp to it in that manner. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the security level of the space you are in, the more common the ores you find will be. An example of some common types of ores to look for in high-sec are Veldspar, Scordite, Pyroxeres or Plagioclase. In solar systems with little-to-no security, you are more likely to find more valuable types of ores such as Arkonor, Bistot or Crokite. The type of asteroid you mine will result in different types of ore being harvested. Each of these ore types also have variations resulting in higher (+5%/+10%) mineral yields when reprocessed. If you are looking for a specific ore but are unable to locate it you may have to search through different regions of the universe. Not all types of ore can be found in the same place. Keep in mind, you need to have 100 units of a given type of ore in order to successfully reprocess anything from it.
As mentioned earlier, there are variations associated with different types of ore. For example, when reprocessing Veldspar you will receive the mineral Tritanium. Tritanium is a mineral that is used in the construction of almost everything in the universe from ships to modules to ammunition and more. Because of this, Tritanium is generally high in demand. Due to Veldspar's abundance, it is also high in supply. This makes for an easy ore to mine, with a fairly reliable but low income. By comparison, there is another type of ore known as Concentrated Veldspar, which is similar to regular Veldspar except it gives you 5% more Tritanium when reprocessed. There is also Dense Veldspar which gives you a 10% increase in mineral yield when compared to regular Veldspar. What does this mean? It means Dense Veldspar will usually be more valuable for you to mine than concentrated or regular Veldspar. You cannot combine variations of the same type of ores for reprocessing or compression purposes. Ie. You can't reprocess 50 units of Veldspar and 50 units of Dense Veldspar together to receive Tritanium.
Different Ore, Different Minerals
Veldspar is far from the only type of ore in the universe. The most highly sought after ores are generally referred to as the ABC's. These ores are Arkonor, Bistot and Crokite. They are mostly found in null security space and have some of the rarest minerals in demand. One of these ores, Arkonor, contains three types of minerals. The minerals are Tritanium, Mexallon and Megacyte. You may ask yourself, if it has Tritanium, and it's already so common, what makes this ore more valuable? The answer to that is that the other two minerals are less common and thus generally have a higher value. The mineral Mexallon can be reprocessed from several ores ranging in rarity (Pyroxeres, Plagioclase, Jaspet, Spodumain, Gneiss and their variations). Megacyte is one of the rarest minerals in the universe, being contained in only Arkonor, Bistot, and their variations.
Mining those rocks
Now, you're at an asteroid belt and ready to mine some ore, the first thing you want to do is target an asteroid with whatever type of ore you desire and then activate your mining laser module. Depending on the type of module you are using (there are different types of mining lasers such as: Civilian Mining Laser, Mining Laser I, Mining Laser II, etc.) there will be a duration you have to wait before the activation is complete. Once the mining laser completes this cycle you will automatically receive some ore in your ship's hold. Like mining lasers, there are also different types of ships which are important to consider when mining. Some ships, like a Venture, have a dedicated "Ore Hold" which allows for the containment of up to 5,000 m3 of ore while only having a regular cargo hold of 50 m3. The Venture is a dedicated mining ship and ideal for players who are learning how to mine. Once your mining laser(s) have run through a few cycles and your ore hold is full, you will want to drop it off somewhere. For some players, this means compressing their ore. Compression is a method of taking your ore and reducing the total m3 it fills. When at a Player Owned Station (POS) or a Citadel, unload the ore from your ship's cargo bay into either the Compression Array or Item Hangar respectively. Then, right click the ore and select compress.* Then, once compressed, you are either going to deliver it to a new location at which you desire to store it by selecting the compressed ore and putting it back into your ship's cargo bay, or you may leave it if you are content with its current location. If you don't want to compress your ore, you just need to drop it off at the desired location.
- Not all POS or Citadels have the ability to compress ore.