Rafineries and moon mining vs Alpha pilots

Hello good people.

I have semi-alpha account (~9mil sp, it was plexed in the past but I don’t intend to do it agin any time soon).
I play solo (I like it that way).
I want to try something new so I got interested in Rafineries and moon ore extraction.
If my research serves me well alpha pilots can use all the equipment like Rafineries, moon drills, survey probes ect. to make asteroid belt and extract moon ore in High Sec.

The cost of such endevour would be around 1.5 bil (1 500 000 000 isk) - Rafinery(medium): 900 mil, fuel: 200 mil, moondrill ~90 mil, other equipment: ~200 - 300 mil.

Let just say I can actually pull that kind of cash even as an solo - alpha pilot. Lets say I have all skills necessary for “efficient” mining (available for alphas) - yea I know that there is no such thing like “efficient” mining as alpha but plz bare with me. (Rokh miner ftw! :>)

My question is:
How would You do that as an experienced player?

  1. where to set it up (how to choose system ).
  2. what are the odds of someone destroying it (i read that sych structure become vaulnerable at certain times), does it happen frequently ?.
  3. how to transport something worth > 900 mil from Jita to destination without getting ganked.
  4. I don’t mind if some random players come and mine that ore with or without me. I even think to make it a public “event” available for other players who normally don’t have access to such things.
  5. general advice, direction, know-how.

I know that this may ba a bad idea and could easily end in trainwreck -> the moment I set it up I can loose 1,5 bil just like that which would be a game over for me …
Nevertheless I would like to give it a shot and with advice from someone more experienced than me, maybe just maybe I can make it happen :slight_smile:

Discussion begins now: …

Well the first thing yo do to improve the survivability of your stuff is to get the heck away from Jita entirely.

Look for isolated systems 10 or so jumps away from the trade hubs and get yourstlf a survey probe launcher and survey probes and find a moon with decent quality ore without a refinery or anything else parked on the mining point.

Once you get set up remain paranoid about local and dscan in case of bored gankers.

Or forget about the cost of owning and operating a station and just ninja mine someone elses public ore, much more profit in your pocket as an alpha that way

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  1. yes, a few times a day even in hisec. See https://zkillboard.com/ship/35835/losses/
  2. safest is probably an indy with cloak and MWD trick - DST is preferred, but a T1 indy should be fine too if flown well and you don’t announce your intent before… not buying at a major tradhub station but in the surrounding citadels is preferred unless you have bulletproof dockoff bookmarks.
  3. this is good, as you cannot hinder anybody mining your ore in hisec.


Kudos on looking to try something new, and this is definitely ambitious, and you have a great attitude about it going in.

One thing to be aware of is that you are going to have a heck of a time mining everything by yourself in a Rohk before the belt despawns after extraction.

The other thing to consider is that you are going to have to keep the thing fueled, and since you can’t mine ice as an alpha, that is going to get really expensive really fast.

Not trying to be negative here, just wanted to point those things out and hopefully keep you from getting locked in to an expensive and miserable grind to keep things going.

  1. The system really doesn’t matter as long as it is 0.5 or lower. The ore you get is not regionally defined like belt ore is. Try to stay in quieter systems.
  2. If you dont rig it, it’s not a huge loss. I regularly check refineries in my area and have yet to see one forcefully removed even under war decs.
  3. Have a courier service haul it from a trade hub to a nearby station. Based on alpha restrictions, I dont know if you have access to a large enough ship to deploy. I would double check that if I were you.
  4. As long as you can clear enough ore to fuel, or collect good faith taxes from the public miners, you should be fine to operate.
  5. Either add a refinery or find one nearby and compress the ore you mine. It makes it easier to move. As an alpha, rely on couriers to haul supplies to and from trade hubs. Keep an eye on your schedule, if you miss a key day you can throw off your mining slot. A weeks extraction gives you about 3.5m me of ore to mine in 2 days, so in a rokh you will probably lose a lot of ore, focus on higher value ore.

@ Ashala Arcsylver, @ Zoltan Irvam, @ Leah Crowleymass, @ Lugues Slive
Thank You all for usefull information. Certainly something to think through.

@ Zoltan Irvam - what is a “bulletproof dockoff bookmark” ?

@ Ashala Arcsylver - I considered trying to ninja mine moon belt created by someone else, but it is hard to pinpoint such belt and ppl tend to get butthurt about it and I’m not that kind of guy who finds other ppl a$$pain amusing. If there were some public player driven moon mining events for alphas like me, I would certainly try it out, but I have no knowledge about any -> You are welcome to correct me if I’m wrong, preferebly with a link :wink:

@ Lugues Slive - can You define a “quiet system” for me ? What does “quiet system” looks like? How do I find one?
@ Lugues Slive - hmmm that is a LOT of ore and You are right, there is no way for a solo-me to mine it all. That is why inviting other ppl would be a good idea, I won’t mine it anyway. (or very bad idea, depends on ppl ). As for the costs… I never tought about it as an investment. More like a new thing to check out and have fun. If costs of running such Rafinery would get out hand maybe ppl who take part in mining would chip in with some excess stuff I could sell to support the mining effort or maybe some fuel, isk? as an non obligatory donation to keep the dream alive :smiley:

https://zkillboard.com/ship/35835/losses/ - this looks kinda disturbing.
Is there a way to somehow make Rafinery less appealing for not-so-good ppl to destroy? During my survey I saw some missle/turret/EWAR/Nosferatu/Web batteries anchored here and there. Maybe deploying few of these would help? I know that there is no way for a solo player to defend aginst coordinated strike but maybe at least I can make it a moderate effort not just another free kill on killboard?

PS. wtf is wrong (or right) with Arvasaras system !? For past 20 days there were 8< Raf kills in that system alone. That is one system not to go with my rafinery.

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Assuming you are aiming for a 0.5 system, a quiet one would be a pocket of 0.5 systems that dont lead to LS, 10+ jumps from any trade hub, outside of FW areas.

As for investment, I am only talking fuel costs. A poor moon can still yield 500m isk in ore a week or 2b isk a month. Fuel costs maybe 100m a month. So you only need to collect a fraction of its value to pay for fuel.

Arvasaras is an ice system 5 jumps from Jita and it looks like a lot of the refineries died to CODE. Those guys set themselves up for failure.

@Marchewa Niszczyciel

Feel free to message me in game sometime if you like and we can discuss things further, I am always willing to help out folks who are looking to learn stuff and I can give you some tips regarding friendly mining etiquette and such. depending on where you are flying I might have a suggestion for a decent system to relocate to that might give you an idea about quiet systems that might better suit your needs while you learn and grow as a pilot.

@Marchewa_Niszczyciel The corp I’m in has access to some moons to mine at if you want mail me in game and might be able to set you up with a place to mine with out having to out lay the cost your self


please see https://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Bookmarks#Instant_warp-out


@ Ashala Arcsylver, @ Pumbler unknown - thank You for Your initiative.

@ Ashala Arcsylver - I will, I will :slight_smile:
@ Pumbler unknown - thank You for Your and Your corp offer. I maybe I will try it out with You, but I can’t promise that cause that all idea of my own Rafinery in the skies of New Eden got me fired up! :smiley:

I as well have access to a few moons in .5 space that I actually asked permission to mine, I do it more for the corp profits, but anybody else from my corp I give them isk for helping. I’m all about solo play, and sometimes group play. And my corp can help you get to a maxed alpha state if you wish as far as other skills you would like.

Thank You all for valuable info.

One more question.

What can You tell me about deployable weapon batteries? Most of them are available for alpha clones.
I couldn’t find any reliable guide/tutorial exept raw data provided by wiki.
As far as I understand such structures can be deployed anywhere. They need Control Tower to operate (Powergrid + CPU). Controll Towers require fuel and some other stuff (“controll charts” ???). I assume that when Control Tower goes down everything goes offline.

Does it make any kind of sense to invest in such defensive structures ? I know that they won’t stop any organised group but maybe at least make destruction of my Rafinery any kind of effort?
If there is any sense in this are there any meta-strategies when it comes to efective defence of Rafineries aginst hostile players and rats in HiSec?

Forget they exist.

They are part of the old POS system (player-owned strarbases) and are being phased out, possibly as soon as next winter (the new Upwell structures are replacing them). You can’t deploy POSes or their weapon batteries near Refineries or Moon Ore Belts in any case, so they are relatively useless for your purposes.

Destruction of a powered Refinery is enough of a grind no one is likely to do it lightly. Like anywhere in Eve, someone may pick a fight with you, but if you don’t go out of your way to make enemies, it seems very unlikely anyone will bother.

If you want, you can fit weapons on your Refinery and be around to harass someone attacking you and force them to bring more, but as you say they are likely to be able to bring enough to overwhelm the solo defence of an Upwell Structure. Your best bet in my opinion is just don’t fit any modules at all (other than the moon laser and refinery) so there is less potential drops and therefore reason to choose you over the Refinery the next moon over that has a more profitable potential drop. Also this way you can choose a reinforcement in an unpopular time zone (which will deter many attacker ) since you won’t be actively defending it.

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wait wait…
If someone isn’t actively defending Rafinery, it can’t be attacked ? (or I’m understanding it wrong).

Well no.

Upwell structures can only be attacked during a small time window set by the owner. It’s a little complicated (see here for an explanation: https://support.eveonline.com/hc/en-us/articles/208289385-Upwell-Structures-Vulnerability-States) but basically if you have fuelled a service module active ina structure, it takes three attacks to destroy that structure by an attacker. The first one can be anytime, but the second vulnerability or reinforcement window as they sometimes call it, is on the hour you as the owner get to set, a few days after the first attack. The final window is on the time and date of the week you get to set, so if you set it in the middle of a weeknight for most players, that means an attacker would have to wake up and shoot it then reducing the pool of attackers greatly.

So if you aren’t planning to actively defend it, then setting it in the middle of night for EU and US players makes it less likely to be attacked. This is known as time zone tanking. If you are planning to actively defend, you can’t do this, or at least you will be waking up also in the middle of the night (or when at work) so it isn’t a viable strategy.

Now, you might still be attacked by a bunch of bloodthirsty Australians, but statistically there are way less of them then the other time zones.

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What about rats ? I saw some videos on YT where rat npc’s attack Rafineries.
Can rats kill Rafinery ? Can rats kill Rafinery while player is logged off?
Can Rafinery defend itself aginst rats when player is online/logged off ?
How one knows that his/hers Rafinery is under attack from rats/players?


The rats from a forward operating base (FOB) can attack structures, including refineries.

Yes. At least, I believe so, but only in low sec.

Anything that can kill a refinery can do so when you are logged off.

When online you can use a ship or you can use refinery defenses, if you have fitted them. From my experience you need a lot of missiles and the rat just warps out and then back - much better to use a ship. But no, you cannot do any of this if looged off.

You get a message in your notification feed that your refinery is under attack.