Newcomer / Intro Mining and you.

Hi everyone.
Welcome to the necro'd mining thread from 2015, now updated June 2016.

Due to the changes implemented with the 2.1 Engineers patch, you more than likely(
WILL) need to go mining, yes... Love it or hate it, mining can make you cash and materials, if you want to unlock some of the engineers and provide "stuff" for the upgrades.
Having done a fair bit of mining since the new updates, I thought i`d put down a few thoughts.

Mining can be a "spare time filler" when you don't want to do trading/ combat. Or it can be your main source of income when your don't have access to the more expensive ships.

Its fairly quiet, and you usually do not see any enemy ships / police when you're out there mining in a ordinary Resource Extraction Site (depending upon location) or just drop into the rings and do it - read on.
There is something satisfying about blasting rocks out of the void and making a healthy profit from it at the same time.
Of course there exceptions to this, if you decide to be brave and drop into the RES sites such as a High, Med, Low and now Hazardous(death awaits)

What are the benefits of the RES site?
There is a greater abundance of the "rare" ores, such as gold, silver, palladium etc...And the percentage of mineral value is higher, based upon RES difficulty. Just how much it is, i do not know, but there is more- Risk Vs Reward and all that..
As you are in a res asteroid field as opposed to an asteroid belt, there are loads of rocks for you to point your lasers at. Which in turn makes it much quicker to fill up your cargo hold.
The same goes for dropping into the asteroids field itself- LOT OF ROCKS, little hassle, easy money

Are there any drawbacks to a RES?
There is all that ore just lying there to be blasted out of the rock, and the pirates know it!
If you drop into a RES, the level of the RES will dictate the level of skill + ship required to kill the pirates, Low, Med, High.

Hazardous - You have a death wish, don't you... WEll THEN, WE PIRATES CAN HELP YE OUT LADDIO! YHAAAR!

You can just as easily drop into the rings of a planet or into an ordinary RES, and not be too bothered about being attacked by pirates, remember risk vs reward.
Yes they "may" appear, but the level of the pirate "usually" is very low - WAS - They are now based upon your combat rank! But if you drop into a populated RES, the level of it will dictate the level of pirates, and numbers also.
Thus the higher the level of the RES, the harder the pirates are and the size of their wings also.
Simply put - expect pirate company, and BE PREPARED for the worst case scenarios...

Defensive tips
Have some chaff on your ship, this will help a lot, you can have more than one, but 3 will usually allow you to unleash a "chaff storm"chaff 1, chaff 2, chaff 3- one after another. But remember that the AI use fixed weapons also...and can hit a gnat on a spinning coin at 3000m...
Take a look at THIS VIDEO About how to low & high wake out of situations- yes it is mainly on interdiction's, but the same principles apply, other than having to stow you mining lasers.

Be prepared to jump away(High wake)
If you plan a jump to a system next to you, this will enable you to "HIGH WAKE" away from enemy ships- without their mass lock effecting you- remember to stow weapons(yes mining lasers are GUNS) and to break mass lock of the asteroids- jump out with your chaff storm trailing behind you.

Stand up and fight!
Well.. if you think you can beat the pirate(s) until it is dead, then go for it..
if in any doubt- LEG IT- IT IS YOUR CHOICE.
Remember you may have bounties, explorations data and the cargo, along with the cost of the rebuy of your ship.
Remember that is is YOUR CHOICE.

What ship do i need to go mining?
There are now quite a few ships out there, which means you can have a vast degree of freedom when outfitting your ship.
I would state for the record, that the amount of disposable cash will dictate the type of mining ship you can get. Basically the more cash you have, the better mining ship you will have.
You can spend a LOT of cash on your desired mining ship, but you can also spend a "reasonable" amount. I know this, i have tried several configurations out and field tested them.
The basic rule of thumb is, you need a ship with "cobra like slots" or better, this will usually rule out small ships. Medium or larger will give you a lot of scope and freedom to mine with. But they will cost a LOT more.

Is there any money to be made from mining?
The short answer is yes.. but there is more...
The but is being at the right place at the right time. As you can pick up a mission or several from the station, asking you to find 1,2 4 tons of palladium, or Osmium, etc for which they will typically offer 10-14 times the base price for the mineral! Thus 1 ton of palladium usually sells for 10-14k, and they will offer you 100-140k for it!
Remember to look before you leave, and when you come back(it may be several hours, right).

The caveat in this is certain types of ore can only be sourced by mining(painite, platinum, osmium, and more.
Thus if you get a request to find 1,2 4 tons of these, it means you have to go mining. Bare in mind Osmium sells for 7k, Platinum 21k and Painite for 33k per ton. So any request for these means that the payoff is going to be HUGE!
Even better is the Background simulator can change the price of the ore by up to 100% or -50%... watch the markets.

Example of missions and what they want- updated for 2.1
Old mission board type

New mission board- remember the more stuff(exp data + trade stuff) you sell and missions that you complete for the local factions the better your rep will be...Meaning you will(should) get better missions and prices, your trade, exploration and combat ranks effect this also.:)


What ship is "best" for mining?
Well ... there is a huge amount of variables to deal with, but Put simply- you will want a ship that has a decent amount of cargo, some guns for fend off a pirate or 2 and has collector / prospector limpets.

I will state that the following ship examples are BASE MODELS as there is a huge amount of variables to work with. And as such, it will be down to YOUR personal preference, the availability of spare funds and combat ability as well as the location.
You buy a mining ship and park it at a mining area, which means that your jump drive can be class, but remember that you may have to haul this cargo to an engineer to help unlock him/her, think about it...

Basic entry miner This little starter will set you back 160k,H7...c,05U0aa7OW5Py

Modest cobra miner This one will set you back just over 1 million creds.,5R...727Re0Yi03w5PU

MK4 Cobra Miner for 2.6 Million creds

Type 6 miner 2.25 million for a unarmed collector.,H7...725Sm7Pc0Yi03w
I would not usually recommend that you use a cargo ship as a miner, due to their inability to fight off the easiest opponent without getting beat up. But if you take along a friend or three, then things become much easier.

Federal Dropship miner This beast will set you back a serious amount of creds(25 million), and think twice about if you really need to! But its damn tough and can take care of itself easily vs vipers, cobras and eagles. Only similar or larger ships give it any hassle, such as pythons with friends or the Anaconda...,mp...8c7RA0a65Sw03w

Beastly miner (Expensive and fun - also my mining ship)

As you can see, the price range is pretty hefty in order to get a decent mining ship. But if you start out with a Cobra, and work at it you can make a huge return on your investment, more so if you get the request missions to find the ore.
And you can always go bigger and have a Python, Anaconda or a Corvette(my mining ship of choice) or even the Cutter- but its large size and speed does give it a disadvantage in the close quarters of the asteroid field- just ensure you have a beefy shield + some shield boosters- as the rocks are not forgiving if you ram them.

Basic rules of your mining ship
1. You need a mining laser (DOH!).
2. The bigger the mining laser, the more power it needs- pay attention to this. As your ship may quickly deplete its weapons capacitor making the laser ineffective.
3. You can have 2+ mining lasers on your ship, but look at rule 2.
4. You need a refinery, to convert the ore into minerals.
5. The larger (class) of the refinery and the rating of it will dictate the number of "bins" that the refinery has. Up to a class 4A refinery, which has 10 bins (max available).
6. Rule 5 means the bigger class and rating of your refinery will dictate the price, up to about 4.5million creds for a 4A refinery!
7. You can only have one refinery, so no cheating by getting 2 low class ones.
8. Collection drones are optional, but they save a VAST amount of time(Recommended). You can have more than one, and can use several active at once for strip mining fast- just remember that your hopper will be the stopping point if you pick up lots(10+) types of ore.
9. Think of some weapons for your ship, assume that the pirates are all out to get you and you won't be far wrong...
10. If you have weapons, obey rule 2, as your weapons and mining laser(s) all consume power.
11. You need to assign fire groups to your mining laser(s) and collector / prospector drones.
Collector + Prospector Limpets- If you have a limpet controller, you are going to need some ammo for them. DO NOT fill up your entire cargo with them, leave at least 1/3rd of your total cargo space empty. For my mining python (204 tons) i usually take 160 tons of limpets., and usually jettison some at the end of the mining shift.

Research and Prospecting
Its all fine and well having a mining ship, but knowing where to go will lead to higher profits.
You can mine in Asteroid belts and in Planetary Rings, both can be seen in the System Map. Look for the following classifications written in their descriptions:
Look on the left side of you System map, and click a planet with rings (rocks be there)and look for the Reserves & Ring type.

Updated for 2.1

Reserves: Type:
Pristine (highest contents) Metallic (best)
Major (good) Metal-Rich (mixed)
Common (mediocre) Rocky (Minerals)
Low (low contents) Ice (Crap materials, but you need stuff from here- read on)
Depleted (empty)

Thus the small table above means to get the best ore you will need to find a PRISTINE METALLIC system, google is your friend here and i'm not going to tell you where to start looking... but a hint is Do your own research!(also look at the pics)

Where to mine
Asteroid belts- you can find these under your contact and are labeled as "system" Belt cluster 1, 2 ,3 etc.
They will usually contain several rocks and have a higher than average ore content, but there are not many of them, so if you don't have long to play, or kill some time these are ok.

Planetary rings, loads of rock but the reserves will dictate the type of minerals you will find- pay attention to this.
Resource Extraction Site (RES) These are a natural habitat for miners, and pirates know that they are there, and they want easy money! EXPECT TO DIE...

The 2.1 patch
We now have additional things to pick up in the asteroid fields.
Things like extra mineral types, which is both a good and bad thing.
Good because they are worth picking up(7k+ a ton) and bad because you now have to babysit the refinery, because of of the many mineral types- PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR HOPPER NOW. As if you do not you will get a message saying "Unable to refine material"... aka your hopper is full, vent some crap mate.
The BASE VALUE of the ore is listed in your ships cargo- not the hopper.
In addition to the minerals we can also find materials for the engineers plans + synthesis, there is a limit of 1000, so you will want to keep an eye on what is in your cargo materials as it is shared with the manufactured materials also.

Populated RES- High, Med, Low + HAZ res and ICE rings now
As discussed earlier, these offer higher quality materials(and percentage per ore chunk) as rewards and higher risk involved in getting the materials. Be prepared to defend your very life if you go into one of these! Or even better take a friend or 3 and be armed with a KWS to make some extra bounties!
You can make a serious amount of cash off killing alone- i took my Anaconda in and killed the pirates for a few hours and walked away with about 12 million creds + various system bounties from a Hi RES- remember to have turn on crimes against me(meaning the police will help you when you get shot at- do not be wanted or they will shoot you too!) SCAN DETECTED- AARRGHH!

Note the
HAZ RES have no police presence, and as such you will only find miners and pirates(usually LOTS of them) you have been warned- PREPARE TO DIE!

Ice Rings
These are now essential for the 2.1 Engineers patch.
The reason why is because some of the engineers require materials from the ice rings, such as Low Temperature Diamonds(VERY RARE), Methane Clathrate, and Lithium Hydroxide, which are only available at ice rings.
The value of most of the other materials found here is fairly low in value, and y
ou will find a lot of low value ore here. But like i state above that there are materials which are essential for the engineers, and yes it is a pain to be forced to go here to "unlock" the engineers..but we.. will do it.. grumbles...dammit!

Bonus level
You can go into the populated RES alone, BUT...
DO NOT go within 20k -25k of the RES Point. This should ensure that you will benefit from the extra resources without the annoying pirates beating on you.
The closer to the RES Point you get, the more combat you will be expected to see.. and NPC miners(Bait for the pirates) and pirates...
Or you can simply drop into the metal rich rings at any point, and start mining there. You may encounter the odd pirate out in the rings, but usually not many. But be prepared for the worst case scenario, as in a wing of 5 Anaconda pirates wanting your "stuff" and more than willing to use force to make you drop the "valuable cargo"....
Remember that the INNER RINGS are the valuable ones(usually)- check before you drop.

How to mine
Assuming you have a ship fitted out for mining, then all things are good.
Find your planet with rings around it(you did some research, yes?), select a suitable place to drop out in the rings, and drop out of super cruise.
Once into normal space depending upon where you are there may be several, or several hundred rocks floating about. Belts vs rings.

Prospectors are discussed below

Deploy hard points and seek the rock you want to shoot at, ensure that your mining laser(s) is assigned a group by itself, and the same for the drones.
I usually make a new fire group up for this (weapon slots have their own group) and i usually assign 1 for drone, 2 for laser.
Approach you rock, and slow down, as if you ram it, it is going to hurt- a LOT. I usually run with 4 pips to shields and 2 to weapons.
Depending upon size of laser (class 1/2) will dictate the range and time required to blast off a chunk of rock.You can see the chunks of rock visually float off (brown targets) and also see them under contacts.

The Mining Laser
The mining laser is in essence a short range beam laser, and as such this requires continuous fire in order to work. Short pulses of the laser just tickle the rock, long beam "strokes" work. This is where rule 2 comes into play.
A small laser usually takes 8 seconds or so of fire to blast off a chunk of ore, class 2 takes about 5 seconds. If you choose to double up lasers, you can blast off loads (10+) in a very short time, but remember that they will decay, and eventually "die", and your collectors only work so fast..

Collector + Prospector limpets
These share the same type of ammo, so there are no different "ammo types" Just the computer part used to "program them"

Prospector limpets do exactly what they say, they prospect...
To use them,
assign them to a fire group and have some limpets as ammo. Then select a rock to shoot one at and pull the trigger.
The limpet will fly off, smack into the rock and tell you what is in it.
Note - it can only be used once and if you miss the rock(don't laugh you will) it will keep flying off until it hit something else or reached max range and die.

Collector limpets do exactly what they say on the tin, they collect.
You can have more than one collector unit, in fact a lot of us miners use 3+ for fast collecting(as in 9 limpets up at once).
To use them you will need to assign them to a fire group, and some limpets from the restock part of the station(no limpets = no ammo).
To collect can either target the thing you want to pick up(such a canister of goods) fire one off and it will pick the item up, and you will need to deploy your cargo hatch to get it back in the ship and die.
NOTE- by doing it this way the limpet will only pick up 1 item, and then die.
If you want to pick up lots of stuff(like ore), simply target nothing or a wing man and fire off the max limpets. Once in range of "stuff" they will go and fetch - remember to deploy your cargo hatch.

Additional information
Limpet control modules are only available in odd sizes, such as 1,3, 5, and 7. This is important because you will not(currently) find a even size module, and if you have a larger module(such as class 4, 6, 8) you will have to use a smaller odd size module in it.

Prospector limpets now give you +100% ore from the rocks so they are pretty much essential items now
If you have more than 1 prospector limpet(say a class 3 module or larger[if you are a Spotter]) then the 1st limpet will die when you launch a new one. Pay attention to this if you are a spotter.

What to collect
If you have a small ship, and limited cargo, you HAVE to be picky about what you collect.
So either shoot a prospector limpet into the rock and it will tell you what is in it or blast off a chunk, and click on it as a target (under contacts) this will tell you the composition of the chunk. It is common for the chunk to contain 2 minerals with a varying degree of content- this is displayed as Cobalt 9.2% Rutile 9%, etc, etc.
Small rocks often contain goodies, so don't just avoid them, you may just find Osmium or Painite!

What next?
So you have uses a prospector or blasted off a chunk of rock, and are happy with what you have found.

However if you do have a limpet controller(WELL DONE), this is what to do...
Remove your target, otherwise the limpet will die after 1 collection (deliberate design flaw), drop your cargo hatch and then fire off a limpet(or 10), and it will zoom about and grab anything in range (better class =larger range, and size = no. of active drones)and return to your ship- ensure your cargo hatch is down, or it will just sit there like a dog outside your house until you let it in...

This will then deposit it into the refinery- and you may have to manually accept/ reject the ore(s) if the refinery is full (thus a 4A is best choice, but expensive).
To manually reject ore press no.4 (right hand menu) - go to CARGO and your refinery will display what is currently in the hopper which is awaiting your orders in the top left box[ ], the hopper can hold 2 types of ore at this point. If you hopper is full then any collector limpets will simply wait outside your ship until you decide what to do.
You can click it to accept the ore, or Vent- this will dispose of it.

After several collections (depending upon purity percentage of the ore) you will have 1 ton of cargo that will be put into your cargo hold /CHEER. Just rinse and repeat this process and make a fairly decent amount of cash, more so if the station want that ore. Basically 5 x 20% ore will give you 1 ton of material.
Thus hunt for HIGH ore percentages to make more tons of ore faster.

If you don't have a limpet controller on your ship (DOH!), then you are going to have to scoop each bit of ore, one.... at... a...time... Drop your cargo hatch, and play the find the rock game on your left contact mini box... this is VERY TIME CONSUMING!

This video explains a lot about limpet control modules, as in what to do, and how to do it.

What to keep / Dispose
Due to the new background simulator in Elite, the prices of the metals & minerals can vastly change, you will need to keep an eye upon this.
You will need to look for systems that are HI TECH and in BOOM to max your profit margin. This should give you a price bonus of up to +100%(if you get lucky).
But beware of using online tools(like EDDB) as these are instantly out of date, unless someone updates it when you look.
Several of my friends have used these and traveled to the system that is paying a lot, only to discover the price is LOWER than the AVERAGE.. You have been warned.

It is better to use the in game system map- STATE filter click BOOM, as this is LIVE data and will help you make a lot more money

Metal Prices &
Minerals - base value
Minerals - base value


Venting ore
By venting for a higher value ore, it means when your cargo hold is getting full, and you can use this information to make an informed choice about what to keep and what to dispose of.
2.1 gives the base value of the items in your hold, allowing you to make an informed decision.
Simply put you will want to mine for Painite, Platinum, Palladium, praseodymium and Osmium and few more of the new materials also.. pay attention to the prices.

Getting rid of unwanted cargo
As you mine you will pick up several tons of low value junk ore, and naturally you will want to get rid of it and free up valuable cargo space. There are several ways to get rid of the "junk", but remember if you have collector limpets out, they will grab it and fetch it back like a mad dog with a stick...throw it out again, i dare you, i double dare you...


1. Close the cargo hatch and boost away, dumping cargo as you boost- this will limit the amount of cargo that you limpets will pick up- to the number of limpets you have out- so 5 active limpets will grab 5 items, but can not deliver because you cargo bay is closed and you can either wait for them to die or let them bring the cargo in.

2. Turn off the limpet controller module(s) and this will kill any active limpets, and enable you to dump the unwanted cargo, remember to fly away from this- or any new limpets will grab it.

3. Close the cargo hatch to prevent any collectors entering- better if they have ore in their claws(if the claws are full, they can't collect). Dump any unwanted cargo and thrust down at full speed. This will make your ship ram into the cargo and destroy it as you are moving faster than 15m/s, and you get the satisfaction of hearing them go BOOM, BOOM BOOM as you smash them to pieces.

If you are in a wing of mining ships you can all share the same rock as your wing man.
Thus if i found a 40% painite rock, i could mine it and i`d stay there until my wing mates fly over and can target my rock, I would then move away(as my collectors will grab your ore). And you can then mine my rock and grab the ore, even though its depleted for me. This is due to the "individual rocks per instance" for players mechanic.
Or you can "Blitz mine", where you descend onto said rock like a pack of starving vultures, mine the hell out of it and let the collectors do their thing- fast, dirty and efficient :p

By forming wings you have more protection from both aggressive npc's and players, and make more creds for forming a wing when you cash in- trade dividends baby!
You can also just sit next to each other and nuke it from orbit, stripping out the ore as fast as you can, and collect it all together- sharing profits.

Spotters / Prospectors
Some of the more "focused miners" have a spotter, who they pay for(with cargo & trade dividends) and this person simply flies about, firing off prospector limpets until they find a high value rock, then the wing descends and mines that rock.
FYI a decent spotter will be paid about 1Million creds per hour(per wing man) as a basic rule, so the new pilots can get some experience of working in a wing and flying together, while getting well paid for a simple, but essential task. The larger collector ship usually has a lot of limpets, so you can ask them to drop you some as a spotter(for free), which means the wing can stay out longer, and earn more creds.
Spotters can also equip mining lasers to help the wing out- but will need more protection from the AI if they do.

Spotter ship Examples

As always the amount of disposable cash will dictate your ship + load out, feel free to change everything.

I hope this guide helps you and remember to Fly safe


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Indeed it is! Helped me out for sure :) testing a few things tonight! Should be with the guides tough!

+ rep!
Collector drones are only single use if you have a fragment targeted when you launch it.
If you have nothing targeted when you launch it, it will go off again and again picking up fragment after fragment. It only stops when you have nothing left to collect, it hits a rock, or it expires it's time limit.

But yes. Tried my hands on mining few nights ago. OMG. It's so complex compared to other games, but weirdly satisfying lol

Little tip: if u got attacked in a RES, go find the green/security/police ships. Go closer to them and they'll help you take care of the pirate.
Nice necro, guys. Where did you dig it out? :D

But it deserves to be seen, again, I guess. Lots of good info in there and it might as well inspire someone.
Collector drones are only single use if you have a fragment targeted when you launch it.
If you have nothing targeted when you launch it, it will go off again and again picking up fragment after fragment. It only stops when you have nothing left to collect, it hits a rock, or it expires it's time limit.

The reason for this is simple.

You may want to use the collector drone in a 'snatch and dash' situation. You can target anything with a collector.. not just mining fragments.

The speed at which the limpet goes from your cargo hatch, to the target and back, is increased to help with the speedy snatch.

In the mining field, most drones operate in 'Automatic Retrieval' (no close target set).

Very nice beginner's guide!
+ REP!

One other possible suggestion is a small section on survivability in hostile situations... Maybe some mention of defensive configurations or behavior. I'm not a veteran miner, myself (only when I want to do something different)... so others with more experience may give better defense tips than I.

A few tips-

-High Wake (Jump to a nearby system) if you get attacked and need to get away quick. The dreaded mass-lock situation. Those big asteroid fields mass-lock you. There is nothing worse than getting attacked by a wing of pirates while mining in a slow/defenseless ship, to get blown up while trying to crawl out of mass lock. I lost an A-spec mining Python once with a chunky rebuy cost due to 'freezing' at the sight of a wing of three pummeling me. I could have gotten away.. my own silly fault ;P
Yes, It's actually advisable to select a nearby star system the moment one enters the zone. That way you can re-select it by a single push of the button and be away before one says "What are you hauling".

It's also a good idea to use a reasonably fast ship. Cobra is the most obvious choice, but few people know that T6, when outfitted correctly, can hit a 400m/s in boost, which means she can run away from Vultures and FdLs really easily.
Other than that, all Imperial ships make good miners, if you want both speed and actual survivability in combat.
wait wait wait wait wait.................

hold the goddamn phone.

are you saying if i try to jump to another system (instead of a location in the same system), it ignores "mass-locked" status???????????????
wait wait wait wait wait.................

hold the goddamn phone.

are you saying if i try to jump to another system (instead of a location in the same system), it ignores "mass-locked" status???????????????

"Mass disrupted" status. Mass lock from stations and asteroid fields you can't escape from. But yes, if you do a high wake (jump to another system) you will not be mass disrupted by bigger ships, so your FSD drive will charge at the regular speed.

Very useful for pulling the Sir Robin.
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"Mass disrupted" status. Mass lock from stations and asteroid fields you can't escape from. But yes, if you do a high wake (jump to another system) you will not be mass disrupted by bigger ships, so your FSD drive will charge at the regular speed.

Very useful for pulling the Sir Robin.
OK not quite what I thought. BUT STILL. THATS AWESOME INFO.

Need to test it immediately.

oh god. the millions I could've saved. The deaths over slow FSD charges.........
FYI, a mining cg starts tomorrow pm in varati. It's a bit of a trek out there, but should be a good experience for a starting it otherwise miner. Details of where to mine and kit out can be found in the dangerous discussion section
I'm glad this got bounced. Only one remark and if the OP is still around it would be great if he could modify the starter post. Nowadays we have the prospector limpits as well, they are a very important part of the mining equation.
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