Reprocessing skills vs Exhumer

So I’ve been wondering, is it worth getting reprocessing skills before I get into a mining barge to maximize ivalue per hold? Or do I get into a barge first to maximize the sheer volume of ore coming? Not sure which I do.

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If you max exhumer first you will get a lot of ore which you will translate into high minerals, with no/low refine skills.

If you max refine skills first, you will get meh amount of ore, which you will translate to meh amount of minerals even with high refine skills.

If you are looking for the exact math, know this: best ore refine possible is refine 15% plus refining efficiency (10%) plus ore based refine skill, which is another 10%; Now exhumer incoming ore per skill is over 50% bonus (depending on hull and some other factors). So if you grab an ore and refine it, you get around 70% of that ore in minerals; but mining 50% more ore means you have 150% the refining bonuses, so even at its lowest, refine goes 50% (base) x150% which is 75% minerals out of the ore.

Another simple factor here is that the total training time of the basic ore reprocessing skills is in total, way higher than the exhumers skill alone.

tl;dr Max exhumers first.

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It depends!

If you’re only mining for the purpose of selling the Ore, then you aim for Exhumer skill. On the other hand if your goal is to Reprocess the ore you mine and either selling or using the minerals to manufacture items, I’d recommend you at least level your Reprocessing skills to IV, then train Exhumer skill.

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Your math seems abit off to me…

Reprocessing ore in a NPC station with the following skill levels: Reprocessing V (15% | 3% per level), Reprocessing Efficiency V (10% | 2% per level) and [Relevant] Ore Processing IV (8% | 2% per level), you will get 68.31% yield. If adding in the 4% Implant you get 71.04% yield instead.

Assuming only difference is Exhumer skill and Covetor vs Hulk (max yield, no drones), best case over the span of 1 hour with no down time or wasted cycles:
[Covetor /w 0 skills] 89’280m³ = 892’800 x 0.5 = 446’400 Tritanium.
[Covetor /w L5/4 skills] 89’280m³ = 892’800 x 0.6831 = 609’871 Tritanium.
[Hulk /w 0 skills] 120’240m³ = 1’202’400 x 0.5 = 601’200 Tritanium.
[Hulk /w L5/4 skills] 120’240m³ = 1’202’400 x 0.6831 = 821’359 Tritanium.

As you can see from the above numbers training reprocessing skills does have a marginally (+1.4%) better yield compared to prioritizing Exhumer skill first. Now there may be a Training Time benefit to getting Exhumer skill first. With the baseline being Covetor with Mining Barge V, and an attribute points distribution of 21 (per), 29 (mem), 21 (wil), 27 (int), 18 (cha).

Mining Barge V (Covetor) takes around 29D 1H to train.
Exhumer V (Hulk) takes an additional 41D 16H to train.
Reprocessing V, Efficiency V, [Relevant] Ore Processing IV takes 19D 14H to train.

So, to put it simply Training Exhumer V (Hulk) takes 70D 17H to train, whereas Mining Barge V (Covetor) + Reprocessing skills only takes 48D 15H. Training time for Reprocessing skills may differ a little or a lot depending on if you train 2 or more of the Ore specific reprocessing skills.

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So in the long run, which gives more ISK, the Exhumer skill first or the repro skill first? I’m going to do both regardless, just trying to do some thinking here.

The repro skill will benefit you only if you can access a max refine rigged refinery in null or at least lowsec. In all other cases selling the compressed ore gives more profit, means, refining the ore will lose you ISK.


What about possibly corporate refinerys in HS? Would that help at all?

I would suggest you train up the skills needed for the Mining Barge of your choice, then work on reprocessing skills while only getting the ore specific processing you need to Lv.4 and then switch to training Exhumer up. Then if you really want to you can train the specific ore processing skills to V after that.

Again it really depends on what you want to do with the ore you mine. If you do not reprocess the ore then there is no need for you to have reprocessing skills.

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It depends on if you can store the ore: You don’t have to refine immediately, but you can wait for a while, but in this case of course it’s idle capital in your balance.
Most miners I know have multiple mining chars, but only one main reprocessing char and a main hauling and trading char. There’s more than just mining, transport and sale can be expensive, too.

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You need to do the math, if reprocessing is worth it. You can simulate the outcome if your are docked in the structure. Also minerals are bulky to transport, compressed ore is not.

How do you simulate it? Just open the reprocessing window and see what it comes up as?


As a thought, the advantage of one way or another only applies during the period you are training - you end up at the same stage regardless of “train exhumers first” or “train reprocessing first”.

Assuming you are into mining for the long-haul, this period becomes an increasingly small fraction of your total mining time. Given the quick read-through the above, then there’s a fairly small difference which order you go for.

Basically: don’t spend too much time worrying about it and trying to optimise for the n-th degree. It doesn’t really matter in the long run. To be honest, I’ve got good skills at both and used to mine. I rarely do so now a days. I moved on to other things that are more interesting to me (and more profitable).
I buy minerals from little people, rather than wasting my own time.

As an aside though: look at the skills needed for the various mining crystals - they improve the rate at which you can rip ore out of the rock (at a cost of not getting 100% of the rock, but are you really planning on taking the whole belt solo?). They are, as I recall, the same skills as reprocessing. It quite possibly isn’t going to be one or the other, but build in parallel.

So in the short run, getting into exhumers sounds like the best bet, but in the long run it really doesn’t matter?

That’s how I did it.
But as I said, I used to mine - mining has a substantial Opportunity Cost associated with it.

What do you do now, just out of curiosity?

also one minor point: eve is a social game.
What about maximizing your exhumer skills and ask a corpmate who has good reprocessing skills to reprocess your ore?
You don’t need to do everything yourself

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Could be because I want to become that repro guy. Someone has got to do it, why not me?

Then the choice is easy: Go for reprocessing. You should also check implants.

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Train both to level 4. I tend to alternate when training a new character - both to level 1 then both to level 2 etc… Notice that training time for each additional level is logorithmic but benefit from each additional level is linear. Level 5 should be trained when you have nothing better to do.