Posted Wed, May 09, 2012 by Space Junkie
With the recent resurgence of mining as one of EVE Online's most profitable professions, it is important that new players understand how to get the most ISK from their refined asteroids.
The Basics Of Refining Asteroid Ore
Stripped of frills, mining is essentially the art of moving ore from an asteroid belt to a station, then refining it into usable minerals. There are many ways to get more out of each step of this process, but for this guide we will just be focusing on the refining stage.
Refining is simple enough. Right click on your stack of ore and select 'Reprocess' and you will receive an estimate of waste and taxes, which depend on your refining-related skills, the quality of the refining facilities at that station, and your standings with the NPC corporation that owns that station. If the station is player-owned, the taxes on mineral refines are instead determined by the leaders of the corporation that owns it.
Finding A Reprocessing Station
Not every station has the facilities necessary for refining ore. It is important to plan your mining around this limitation by either mining inside a solar system with a suitable station, or else planning some way to transport your ore to such a place. Keep in mind that ore is volumetrically quite large, and a successful miner will certainly fill up more than one industrial vessel's cargo hold, necessitating numerous trips. It's generally best to just mine in the same solar system as your reprocessing plant, or else have some way to transport the ore en masse, such as a freighter.
To find reprocessing stations, you can use either the Dotlan web site or the in-game map (under display settings). Refining stations are plentiful in high-sec and low-sec, but somewhat sparse in null-sec, where player-built outposts usually specialize in a single activity. Out there, reprocessing plants are most often found in pairs with manufacturing stations due to the inherent synergy involved.
Special Note: Starbase Refineries
The various starbase structures that deal with refining are, in a word, terrible. They have horribly poor refine rates, can only refine one substance at once, take forever to finish refining, and take up much-needed fitting space on the starbase. They may make sense in one of two cases: in the first, when a pilot desires to locally source the ice component of fuel (ice is always refined at 100%); in the second, when a pilot lives deep in wormhole space and wants to locally source minerals for making ammunition and thus reduce dependence on imports.