Need help for mining!

Hello there.

So, I’ve been flying my Caracal around for a little time, but I don’t really like NPC ratting & etc, so I would like to switch on a mining career. Venture is the first of the mining frigate to start my adventure and I’m actualling aiming to Mining Barge, don’t want to fly the big shiny exhumers that get the reputation to be real good in shield tanking, but gank magnet.

I’ll stay around High Sec space to mine and I would like to know : which skills should I train to get all the stuff working at maximal efficiency as a solo player ?

I got a friend covering me with a industrial ship to haul that rocky mess, so I don’t think I’ll have trouble with can flipping and cargo space.

Also, I would like to know the main differences between Procurer, Retriever and Covetor so I can pick the best for my needs.

Thanks you in advance, guys =)
Fly safe!

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There are several things to consider, depending on what you want to do and how you want to do it.

FIrst, that link that @Raleit provided is very helpful in understanding the different ships, but I would suggest looking at a Procurer for a barge and working towards a Skiff for an exhumer. Those have the strongest tank, something that is very helpful for a solo miner.

Now, the skills can become something of a rabbit hole, again depending on how far you want to go. With a barge or Exhumer, you will want to work towards T2 strip miners for better yields, but to make those effective, you will need to use crystals with them. There is a different crystal for each type of ore, and you need refining skills to use said crystals, so that queue can grow pretty quickly. On the positive side, they will also help with your refining yield.

The other thing that you will want to train is drone skills, both for defense and mining, and that actually brings me to an alternative approach- instead of mining with a barge or exhumer, consider a mining command ship like a Porpoise or Orca. After the recent changes to how those work with drones, with the right skills and right drones a solo ship can meet or exceed what an (unboosted) barge or even exhumer can bring in-plus you have the advantage of a stronger tank and much more hauler space when solo. If you are with a friend in a command ship who will boost and haul for you, that is less attractive, but if they are not around, training into the command ship is an interesting and potentially worthwhile path to take.

One important point about that- I am not at all advocating command ships as a way to mine AFK. You are always at some kind of risk from gankers or NPC rats (particularly if you are using expensive drones), so the cargo space is not to be considered an excuse to be lazy, but rather a way to maximize m3/hr as you will not have to unload as often if you don’t have a hauler. Stay by the keyboard, stay engaged, and pay attention :slight_smile:

Lastly, if you aren’t already, mining ships are shield tanked, so make sure your skills there are up to snuff as well.

Good luck!


Thanks for the link @Raleit =)

@Jenne_Wain, thanks you too for the answer. As I said I won’t really go for the Exhumers, so I won’t add the skills for the Skiff to the queue. Then, because I got a hauler with me, won’t it be better if I choose a Covetor for the yield bonuses ?

For the drones skills, I already got a part of them, which is nice. For the command ships, I don’t think I can. Orca is unreachable at my current level, and I don’t want to pay that much for something with a better use at group mining. Porpoise could be an option, but for now I need to stay on the mining barges.

As for the strip miners, I don’t really know what they are, but those crystals looks quite nice for me, could you please go deeper in your explenations about them ?

Short answer:

Procurer: excellent tank, offensive capabilities - useful in dangerous space
Retriever: large cargo hold - good for solo operations without hauler support
Covetor: best yield - highest potential for profit but really requires fleet support for defence/ore storage

The skills are the same for all of them so there is no need to worry about which to train for. You can use whatever ship is appropriate for the situation that day.

From what you said, if you have a friend and are paying attention, then the Covetor is probably what you want. If by yourself, go with the Procurer, or if a loss won’t hurt you financially or emotionally, the Retriever. Can flipping isn’t a danger anymore if you keep your safety setting on green, it is the ganking Catalysts that will show up and explode your ship if you are not paying attention. A Procurer is a much less attractive target to them than a Retriever is.

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@Black_Pedro summarized things nicely and I agree with those comments. For a deeper dive, here’s everything you wanted to know (and a lot that you didn’t) about mining, ships, skills, modules, and other things:

As for the TL;DR on mining crystals, these are used like ammo with Strip Miners. You use a crystal that is specific to the ore you are mining to increase your yield. Details are in the link about the specifics. This is good and bad, depending on how you mine as, unless you are going after a specific type of ore, you will need to carry a few different kinds. Not the end of the world, but something to pay attention to. And they do wear out, so they will need to be replaced occasionally.

As for the Command ships, yes, that is a completely different approach and not one for everybody. It’s an investment in both time and ISK. However, there are some interesting side benefits- with my Orca I pull a bit over 1500 m3/minute, don’t need to worry about crystals, have a pretty nifty hauler for moving around all of that ore (or other things, like ships, loot, etc.), and get the chance to make random miners’ days by boosting them in the belts :slight_smile:

I’m not pushing you in that direction, just mentioning it as an alternative approach. If I’m with people who can boost me, I usually pull out my Skiff or Procurer depending on what we are doing and where we’re going. If I’m alone, I’ll use the Orca on belts and the Porpoise on atoms (as it has more agility than the Orca).

More info than you probably needed, but hope it helps!

Looking that way, yes, it look quite nice ^^
But like I said I’ll have to wait a looong time before reaching the Orca.
Again, thanks for the answer and the link for my knowledge =)

But I have a question for you : I heard Orcas are one of the most loved targets of gankers, did you already met someone wanting to destroy your ship, or aren’t you affraid to replace something as expensive as an Orca ?

After the latest buff a little over a year ago, the Orca is one the least desirable target for gankers. If you fit one for mostly tank, it has so much EHP that it rivals freighters meaning it will take a dozen or two gankers to explode you. Unless you are using your Orca to haul very valuable things, it be ignored by criminals who if they have such a large fleet, will look for more profitable haulers to gank rather than a mining support Orca which they will lose a lot of ISK in ships exploding.

That said, Orcas are still vulnerable to bumping and/or having their drones scooped or ganked so don’t think you are completely immune. But even with that, they are still a very safe option for mining in highsec.

Orcas can definitely be targets in LS and NS, mainly because of their speed and maneuverability but it will take something pretty substantial to try to suicide gank it in HS. Mine has over 270k EHP (you can get more with the right fitting). I’m not saying it never happens or is impossible, but it is not the most common target in HS by a long shot. Plus, with the drone damage bonus, you can defend yourself pretty effectively in most cases.

Your drones are at potential risk, but again, paying attention mitigates that threat.

Again, it’s all about paying attention and not doing AFK mining.

As for loss, well, it’s just a fact in EVE that EVERYTHING will die eventually. The trick is to make more with it than you will lose, before you lose it, then consider it a win :slight_smile:


That said, don’t take one out during a war dec-LOL

Okay, I started the 7 days training for the basics skilsl of the barges, thanks for the answers everyone =)
I still need help for something : what supplementary skills should I train to do an even better job (like the ones with the crystals) ?
And how many levels of Mining Barge should I train ?

Thanks =)

Here is a list of skills that will support you in mining:

One note- pay attention to the Fitting, Tanking, and Drone skills as those will be applicable to many other ships and occupations. Those are “core skills” and I would recommend training those first.

As for the crystals, you will need to train some reprocessing (and other) skills to use them. For example, to use a T1 Veldspar crystal, you will need:

  • Veldspar Processing III
  • Reprocessing IV
  • Industry I
  • Science II
  • Mining I

Those skills will vary a bit depending on the type of crystal/ore you are looking at mining. Here is a list of reprocessing skills:

You will probably not need all of those, as many kinds of ores are not in HS.

As for how far to train, a good rule of thumb is to stop at IV, unless you need V to unlock another skill/module/ship, or if you really want the extra bonus that it gives you. Use the in-game tools to see what kind of requirements different skills and modules have, and that can help you plan.

I think I’ll gain more ISK selling refined minerals than ores.
Should I train Reprocessing Efficiency for that or no ?


I have “perfect” refining skills and I no longer refine anything, I use Freeport structures to compress my ore and sell it that way. No skills needed, no taxes, no standings grind. And in the end, some of that ore may wind up in stations that have better refining rates than I would ever get in HS.

That why I precised I can only mine in High Sec : I don’t have access to big infrastructure.

But if you find that a better way, I might choose it, but later in my career.

orca booster/miner shield tank


cost : bit less than 1B8, 1B being lost (hull+rigs), if you use a mobile depot you can put your dones in it too. you can make it cheaper and use T2 but your hardeners cost <200M so … well, up to you
ehp: 420k, 485 with boosters on, 630k overheated
mining boost : +67.8% yield


Well you need to have mining foreman V, shield command specialist V, industrial command ship to max possible, just to get in the ship and use the mindlink implant.
Then of course every skill that increases your tanks is a must have (besides tactical shield manipulation which help the lowest it is).
Finally drone skills are also needed.(until mining /ice drone spe IV I think)

[Orca, miner booster shield]
Damage Control II
Reinforced Bulkheads II

Gist X-Type EM Ward Field
Pith X-Type Thermal Dissipation Field
Pith X-Type Kinetic Deflection Field
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II

Mining Foreman Burst II
Shield Command Burst II
Shield Command Burst II
Medium Remote Shield Booster II
Small Remote Shield Booster II
Small Tractor Beam II

Large Drone Mining Augmentor II
Large Drone Mining Augmentor II
Large Drone Mining Augmentor I

Hornet EC-300 x5
'Augmented' Ice Harvesting Drone x1
'Augmented' Mining Drone x5
Hammerhead I x5

Shield Extension Charge x1031
Mining Laser Optimization Charge x1261
Shield Harmonizing Charge x1710

Okay, I have another question for you guys on the reprocessing topic.

I’m training my skills and I think I reached a pretty decent level, here they are :

  • Reprocessing IV
  • Reprocessing Efficiency I (training to III)
  • Plagioclase Processing IV
  • Veldspar Processing III (training to IV)

With that and inside the Caldari Navy Assembly Plant of Jita, I reach 60.8 % in yield. But the estimated price of the reprocessed minerals is still lower than the one of the rocks, do I have to change factory or are my skills still too low to get a good yield from reprocessing ?

Thanks =)

If you are near a major trade hub you are competing with people who have all those skills trained to level V.

Two answers.

Check around in Citadels or other Upwell structures that offers refining. Those will generally offer better reprocessing yields than NPC stations. And, of course, better reprocessing skills will certainly help.

Second, remember that the “estimated” value is just that. This is typically a bit higher than reality, so take it with a grain of salt.