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Clandestine Moon Mining in EVE Online (Part Two)

Updated Mon, Feb 08, 2010 by Space Junkie

This is the second half in a series of two articles dealing with "ninja mining" a moon without being a member of a mega-alliance. This half of the guide contains additional information about probing moons, shopping lists for getting started, the basics of setting up a mining POS, and lots of advice for making that process easier. The first half of this series deals with finding and evaluating moons, as well as a general overview of moon mining. If this seems complicated at first, it's because it is. Remember: if it was easy, everybody would be doing it.

More On Probing Moons

One of my readers has asked for a more in-depth description of how to probe moons. Once you have trained the skills, bought the probe launcher, bought survey probes, and fit the gear onto a ship, follow the simplified steps below.

Checking If The Moon Is Inhabited, The Easy Way

Once you are in the system in question and there aren't any other pilots around, eject from your ship at a planet or, if possible, in a station. Warp to the moon in question with your pod. POS weapons will not target a pod unless there is a pilot with the right skills directing them.

If there is already a POS there, there isn't much that a lone pilot can do about it. Even if you have a few friends to take the tower down with, there are good odds that the owner will bring a bunch of his buddies to defend it. Taking down towers is complicated, dangerous, and half of what being in alliance is about. It is better for ninja miners to find uninhabited moons to harvest.

Probing Part Deux

Warp to the moon once you are sure that it is uninhabited. Right click on space, select the planet that your moon orbits, select that moon, and select 'align to'. This will cause your ship to accelerate toward the moon at maximum speed. Once your ship has reached maximum speed, fire the expanded probe launcher that has your survey probes in it.

Press CONTROL + F11 to open your scanning window. Select the 'Moon Surveying' tab, and wait. How long you need to wait depends on what kind of probes you are using, as discussed in the previous article. Eventually, your moon will appear along with what materials, if any, that it contains.

Before CCP added the 'align to' option, pilots would have to aim their ships at moons manually, and the probes would often miss. Be thankful that you are spared that experience.

Okay, I Found A Moon!

Great. Now you need to buy a POS tower and fuel, mining and storage gear. Then you need to make several trips to your moon in order to drop them off get things set up.

There are a few other things that are required in order to set up a mining POS, aside from the actual gear. In order to actually anchor the structures, you will need to train the Anchoring I skill. Some POS structures require higher levels to be trained, but we won't be dealing with any of those.

Creating A Moon Mining Corp

The more significant impediment is that your character must be in a non-NPC corporation and have the 'starbase config' role. This means that unless you are very good friends with a CEO, you will need to create your own corporation. Don't worry, it's easy.

Train the Corporation Management skill to level I. Dock in a station that is near where you are going to be settling moons. Click on the 'corporation' tab on the main EVE sidebar, and press the 'Create New Corporation' button. You will be charged a small fee and have to fill out a few boxes. It is so straight-forward that I don't think any more needs to be said about it.

POS Shopping List

These are the parts needed for the actual mining itself. The prices below are for the modules seeded by NPCs

  • Gallente Control Tower Small: 100mil isk. This is the main building of your POS. It stores and uses fuel, and projects a force field to protect non-combat structures that are anchored near it, as well as any friendly ships that stay within its radius.
  • Moon Harvesting Array: 4.5mil isk. This harvests moon materials for you at a rate of 100 units per hour. Without a silo, however, the materials are wasted.
  • Silo: 13.5mil isk. When a moon harvester is connected to this properly, it will store the harvested material. It must be emptied periodically. Each silo can only contain one kind of material at a time.

Note that for carrying purposes the tower is 2,000m3, the harvester is 4,000m3, and the silo is 4,000m3.

POS Fuel Shopping List

The POS consumes fuel every hour. A Gallente Small can usually store up to about a month of fuel, but to start off you should just fill it with a week of fuel. That way, if it gets blown up within a day or two your losses will be more limited.

  • Enriched Uranium: 168.
  • Oxygen: 1176.
  • Mechanical Parts: 336.
  • Coolant: 336.
  • Robotics: 168.
  • Oxygen Isotopes: 18984.
  • Liquid Ozone: 504.
  • Heavy Water: 3864.

Note that total size of this fuel package will be 7282m3.

Conveying To And Fro

As mentioned in the first part of this series, blockade runners are the optimal ship for ninja mining because they are able to fit a large amount of goods in their cargo holds, and because they can warp while cloaked. This cloaking imparts a great deal of survivability, and as a result properly piloted blockade runners are almost impossible to kill.

For example: A prorator (the Amarr blockade runner) with four Expanded Cargohold II modules in its low slots, and two Medium Cargohold Optimization I rigs fit, can carry about 10,900m3. Note that the cargo of blockade runners is independent of pilot skill, so all prorator pilots will be able to fit the same amount. Other blockade runners will be able to carry similar amounts.

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