Mining Profit: Where does it come from?

I want to start this topic off by very clearly stating that I LOVE mining in EVE in particular because it’s the most direct way to add value to the universe (and yes that’s EXACTLY what I want from this game). I couple mining with industry (of course) and make some BPs as they become necessary.

However. It is abundantly clear to me that mining is perhaps one of (if not the) least profitable enterprises in the game, even when tied to industry (at least, early industry, such as Megathron).

I remember talking with my mining fleet earlier today about how the most “acceptable” profit income I had noticed from mining/industry up until this point was coming from a Megathron build and sell, with an acceptable margin of risk being restricted to 0.6 sec and above (this allows for the most expensive portions of the build to be completed by myself. Tritanium, Pyrite, Mexallon, and Isogen. The rest would be bought from the market. This would result in an ultimate 125mil profit, not bad all things considered.

That said. It would be well over 4 days of mining just to mine the required minerals. That’s 31.25mil/day. When compared with L4 mission running, this seems to be… unacceptably low.

That said. I DO like those numbers when it’s going to be my megathron, that is to say when I need a replacement for one lost during missions. Which brings me to the ultimate question.

Is mining and industry supposed to be a cult activity whose members just do it because they’re like me and enjoy directly adding to New Edens resources, or is there something I’m missing about profit here where the 31.25m/d turns into 100m/d?


First of all, ISK/day is not that great of a metric unless you’re mining 24/7, in which case either get some sleep or stop botting. ISK/hour is much better.

Second of all, how are you mining? Solo mining in a Venture is very different from mining in a Rorqual. Rorqs can easily make 100m/hour, much less 100m/day, but a venture will struggle quite a bit to mine what you need.

Third of all, this:

makes me suspect you are doing industry wrong. “The minerals I mine are free” is a mistake many players make. The ore/minerals are worth how much you can sell them for. If you turn them into something else that isn’t worth as much, your profit is negative, even if your balance increased from the sale. A good way to do industry is to “buy” the stuff you mine from yourself. For example, if you mine a bunch of Veldspar that’s worth 10m, instead of subtracting 10m from your material costs you enjoy your 10m in mining profit and consider that 10m spent on materials as though someone else had mined it. if you can’t turn a profit this way, then consider other ways to reduce your costs such as building in a system with lower indexes or finding cheaper shipping.

TL;DR: get a bigger mining ship or more accounts and remember the minerals you mine are not free.

P.S.: It’s OK to do things “wrong” if that makes you happy. Fun/hour is the most important part of Eve.


This is perhaps one of the more important lessons I’ve learned about industry thus far, so thanks for that.

However I think I’m missing the ultimate answer. Is the final, determining factor in mining just about the biggest ship you can get? Whereas my Procurer may rake in 10mil an hour, an Orca may bring in 50? And then the Rorq 100? There’s not some method to the madness I’ve thus far missed? What then is the average profit from mining per hour?

Orcas bring in about the same as a barge, sorry to confuse you. Rorquals are the broken capital ship miners. I can’t really speak to average profits because it depends on what you have access to such as ice/r64 moons/ore anoms.

For the most part, figuring out where your profits comes from is easy. Its just your yield rate (m3/hr) times your sell value.

For example, I know I can sell what I mine at 222 isk/m3 and I know that, in a perfect world, I mine about 85k m3/hr. So I make about 19m isk/hr. I am mining for fun and not for profit, so I dont mind that this is way less than I could make blitzing lvl 4’s or running even low tier Abyssal sites.

Your two options for making more are either increasing your isk/m3 by mining more valuable ore or increasing your m3/hr by skilling up, changing ship/fit, finding a fleet to boost you, etc.

If you want to do industry but don’t care about mining, just buy minerals from the market with the profits from whatever else you enjoy doing.

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So, there’s a few things you can do to increase your mining yield, other than “getting a bigger ship”, but keep in mind, some of those things have trade offs:

  1. Skill points- there’s a number of skills that increase your mining yield
  2. mining barge type- for about the same cost, you can choose from a few different mining barges. The Procurer will keep you fairly safe from getting ganked, while others will have a higher yield/ore hold
  3. if you’re willing to mine outside of high sec, there are rare ores/ice available to you- along with a higher risk of ship loss
  4. expensive mining equipment will give you higher yield, but at a significantly higher cost (also making you a bigger gank target)
  5. Team up- if you can fleet up with a friendly Orca/Porpoise in high sec, they may be willing to provide boosts to you. Even bigger win if they’re willing to hold your ore. And a super big win if they buy the ore in belt from you at a reasonable rate.

The big advantage of mining is how easily it scales up.

You were talking about L4 running in your opening post, so we will use this as a benchmark.

A single highsec mission runners who knows what he is doing makes 200m-250m ISK/h.
A single miner makes maybe 30m ISK/h.

Two multiboxed highsec mission runners make 350m-400m ISK/h.
Two multiboxed miners make 60m ISK/h.

Three multiboxed highsec mission runners make 400m-450m ISK/h.
Three multiboxed miners make 90m ISK/h.

Mining really begins to shine once you have 5, 10 or 20 accounts online.

Which is in itself a design flaw, because if multiboxxing were not allowed, mining would be so much more valueable :smiley:
So the miners that go for efficiency with multiboxing have kind of shot themselfes in the foot a long time ago. It’s an arms race and only CCP benefits from it @_@

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That may be good design then, depending on our chosen perspective. Might have been unintended though.
EVE is a kind of miracle that somehow works since the dawn of MMOs, while consisting of a lot of broken stuff glued together.

It’s a bit late to worry about multi-boxing now. CCP can’t encourage players to put omega on multiple accounts for years and later take those accounts away.
The devs are already overly brave, messing with variables and unknown consequences through scarcity and industry updates, but I doubt they’ll ever become that foolhardy.
So multi-boxing is a feature everyone has to live with till the end of eve days.

Also look on the bright side here: the glut makes revenue per account worse for miners, but it makes life better for other players who just want lower prices on everything made out of minerals and moon goo.

If you’re mining in high sec (and even avoiding .5 for some reason) you shouldn’t be worrying about how much isk you’re making. It is one of if not the least profitable activities in the game.

If you’re looking to mine for profit, it’s generally best to sell compressed ore rather than refine it yourself and build.

If you want to do manufacturing, make sure that you have a friend who already has reprocessing skills trained if you want to refine anything because it’s not worth prioritizing on dedicated mining/industry alts unless you’ve trained other things already.

even then its hard to justify the cost when compared to selling compressed ore and buying the minerals unless you have a structure at least in LS to reprocess from

And? CCP needs to keep the lights on? This is what drives revenue and it’s pretty clever. How people can go omega with just hard work in EVE rather then paying $$$ out of your own pocket. It’s really why I play EVE because of this clever business model.

also think of doing moon mining, ice mining, mercoxit mining, ninja gas huffing…

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I had never heard such a thing.

Honestly thinking about it 40hrs too make back an investment seems kinda trash.


If multiboxing weren’t allowed there would be a riot. Imagine having to trust rando linemember #3546 with your 15b JF multiple times a day.

Wait… now I know why all my corpmates tell me just to buy some stuff instead of making “free” *(OK, technically there is a cost to industry, but I counted the Ore free) ships and ammunition. I’ve basically been cutting my mining profits by 7/8s this whole time, which is almost all of it. Unless I happened to like industry in which case it’s a lot of fun/hour and it would be a gain, but industry isn’t something I really like. I mean there are plenty of things I do for fun in game (and out) that have little or no profit, but industry isn’t one of them.

I think a t1 retreiever pays for it self in about 5hrs. (30mins a load t1 strip miners) Load is worth about 3mil? Give or take 500k Your numbers are quite off…

that is why i have implemented a limit for myself, i currently mainly mine solo in a Orca in null but i do have one alt which i could use (not omega atm)