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Mining - an NMTC guide to efficiency

A guide by Henfether
Created 2017-11-23 20:16:51. Last edited 2018-02-12 22:09:30

Keywords: Trade rank Mining

Summary: A guideline to mining efficiency. Tips and tricks of the trade. Everything you need know when starting a carreer as a miner with NMTC.

Mining - an NMTC guide to efficiency

Welcome to the magical world of mining ;-).

Whether you like it or not, mining is something inevitable for any commander aspiring to unlock two of the most essential engineers. It might as well be done with elegance and precision. In the essence of mining is solitude and breathtaking views combined with trade that is easy to learn but difficult to master. It can provide a steady income and always helps to maintain a solid material store for basic needs.


1. About mining modules

Cargo hold 1.2

Refinery 1.3

Mining laser                                   1.4

Collector limpet controller 1.5

Prospecting limpet controller 1.6

Limpets (easy to forget!) 1.7

2. Mineral and metals guide

3. Optimal ship specific loadouts

Python 3.1

Federal Corvette 3.2

4. Where to mine - sites

Asteroid fields 4.1

Planetary (and sun) Ring types 4.2

About Res sites 4.3

5. Methods for efficiency

Orientation (Navigation in site) 5.1

Positioning with rock rotation (saving limpets) 5.2

Prospecting 5.3

Collecting 5.4

Ejecting and abandoning unwanted cargo/bin contents 5.5

Selecting what to mine for 5.6

How many limpets? 5.7

Engineering your mining loadout 5.8

Mining in a wing 5.9

Missions 5.10

Where to sell 5.11

Pitfalls 5.12

6. Is mining fun?

1. About mining modules

1.1 Cargo hold

As much as you can fit, but needs to be balanced against enough collector limpet controllers. You should be able to keep up with collecting the rate of fragments that your lasers produce. As efficiency is top priority it is a bad
idea to stay parked in front of a rock long after its depleted waiting for limpets to fetch all fragments before you can get to the next one. The longer it takes, the more scattered they get and it takes even longer.

1.2 Refinery

The bigger - the more bins. More bins, less bins management and less purging of metals. 4A is the benchmark of efficiency.

1.3 Mining laser

What you can power is a limiting factor, what you can collect is another. Generally the more and bigger the better (see the python loadout below). Don’t underestimate the magnificent feeling of 5 lasers blasting away under the trigger finger. The poor rock won’t stand a chance.

1.4 Collector limpet controller

Get as many as you can, but balance with cargo capacity. (Again see the Python build below). You want to be able to stay out there for a while, for the scenery! Keep them A rated to make limpets live as long a possible.

1.5Prospecting limpet controller

One is enough but a bigger ship can make use of a 3A. An A class prospector limpet controller will keep prospector alive and has the longest range. Prospect while collecting but don't turn your ship around too much, make life easy for your active collector limpets.

1.6Limpets (easy to forget!)

Fill your cargo with 80% limpets. Sometimes you will get good yields fast and be forced to abandon some to make room for that lovely Painite, a pleasant problem. At other times you will need to prospect a lot to find the good rocks. Limpets are very cheap and can be wasted if cargo space is needed but must not run out until your cargo is full of metal.

2. Mineral and metals guide

It's really easy, Painite, Platinum, Palladium! These are the top three metals in a pristine metallic ring. Painite is the most valuable metal there is, almost 4 times as valuable as platinum which in turn is 70% more valuable than Palladium. The Maths is easy. If you see a 10% painite rock it is almost equivalent to a 40% Platinum rock in value. If you see painite above 40% - haleluja! The most I've seen is 48% painite. If you only mine for the top three there will be lots of prospecting as they are rare.


Painite 70k-80k (normal price is ~40 but find a station that pays above 70K) station).

Platinum 19k-23k

Palladium ~14k

3. Optimal ship specific loadout

3.1 Python



  • Shield Boosters as many as you can power...



  • 5x Mining Lasers (It's pretty watching them deplete a rock in seconds and its efficient, hence the big engineered power distributor)



  • Armour is optional but nice to have, mirrored are efficient against NPCs but expensive should you lose your ship.
  • 7A Power plant (Might want to engineer this overcharged a bit)
  • 6A Thrusters (DD5 engineered for efficiency in prospecting)
  • 5A Frame Shift Drive (G5 jump range engineered)
  • 4D Life support
  • 7A Power Distributor (Weapons focused or charge enhanced G5 engineered)
  • 6D Sensors




  • 4A refinery
  • 3A Collector Limpet Controller
  • 3A Collector Limpet Controller
  • 5A Collector Limpet Controller
  • 1A Prospector Limpet Controller
  • 6E Cargo Rack
  • 6E Cargo Rack
  • 5E Cargo Rack
  • 6A Shield Generator
  • 5C Fuel Tank

 About this Python build, I love it! 160 tons of cargo makes for ~1 hour of mining. Made me the bulk of my cash in the early days. Stil use it.


3.2 Federal Corvette



  • Shield Boosters as many as you can power...



  • 5x Mining Lasers (3x medium + 2x small) Engineered PD makes it possible to deplete rock in one charge without overheating.
  • 2x Huge defence (2x Large Turreted beams)



  • Armour is optional but nice to have, mirrored are efficient against NPCs but expensive should you lose your ship.
  • 8A Power plant (Might want to engineer this overcharged a bit but not too much you need to be heat efficient)
  • 7A Thrusters (DD5 engineered for efficiency in prospecting)
  • 6A Frame Shift Drive (G5 jump range engineered)
  • 5D Life support
  • 8A Power Distributor (Charge enhanced G5 engineered)
  • 8D Sensors
  • 5C Fuel Tank




  • 7A Shield Generator
  • 7E Cargo Rack (128 tons)
  • 7E Cargo Rack (128 tions)
  • 6D Fighter Hangar
  • 5A Collector Limpet Controller
  • 5A Collector Limpet Controller
  • 5A Fuel Scoop
  • 4A refinery
  • 3A Collector Limpet Controller
  • 3A Prospector Limpet Controller
  • 5A Shield Cell Bank (military slot)
  • 5A Shield Cell Bank (military slot)

 About this build: 256 tons of cargo makes for ~2,5 hour of mining. Heavy shields with cells and fighter makes it suitable for solo low-high rez mining.


4. Where to mine - sites

4.1 Asteroid fields

No sound miner visits these sites. Main reason is because they are not as pretty as rings and only host a handful of rocks.

4.2 Planetary (and sun) Ring types

You want pristine metallic rings. A list of them can be found here http://edtools.ddns.net/index.php. Normally they are the ones closest to the planet. Make sure to drop where they are at the densest. You waste a lot of time flying between rocks if they are scarce.


List of good mining sites in reach from PC system:


  • Delkar planet 7 (high res site is not dense enough) (haz res)
  • GCRV 1568 planet AB 1 (good dense high res site, very close to station with Large landing pad) (haz res)
  • HR 8514 planet 5
  • LFT 65 planet 4 (Good dense ring)
  • Bhare (The planet with pristine ring is hot and you will easily get overheated and not be as efficient as at a cool planet).

4.3 About Rez sites

A hazardous resource site within 20km from the center will give a lot more yield than diving into the ring in a random location. Mining in a haz res is really challenging though. You will have to deal with pirates constantly. Keep to the outskirts if you value your life and even there you will get attacked.

RADIUS from center with high yield:

Hazardous res 20km
High res 16km

Low res ?

5. Methods for efficiency

5.1 Orientation (Navigation in site)

Make sure you have a clear direction. Mine towards the planet or towards the sun. This helps avoiding prospecting the same rock twice. A really pretty way is to drop close to the shadow of the planet and then mine towards the sun with headlights on, both the sun and the planet will guide your way.

5.2 Positioning with rock rotation (saving limpets)

Study the rock. Mine it on the axis of rotation in a 45-80 deg angle. Make sure you or your limpets are not hit by the rotation or by other rocks. The rounder and smaller the rock the easier. Easiest is to go for the rock that have little or no rotation. Finding the axis of rotation is one of the trickiest part of mining but
very important. Do it wrong and lose all your limpets over and over again as they crash into the rock.

5.3 Prospecting

Cargo hatch down, fire towards the rock and target the prospector. Even before the prospector connects you should have aimed and gone for the next rock but don't fire until the first one have shown the yield unless you have a class 3A prospector (#A can keep two prospecting limpets alive concurrently). If it is worth it then turn back to the rock and mine it, if it was crap then you already have another one in your sights and are probably also close. Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency! The dirty drives and a fast ship helps a lot to get a good flow here.

5.4 Collecting

Stay as close to the rock as possible in a in a 45-80 deg angle. Have all of your your limpets deployed. Fire everything you've got with 4 pips to weapons. If you do this right the limpets will fly in a tight circle between your cargo hold and the fragments. After the rock is depleted, aim for the next rock and fire a prospector, but don't turn your ship over, i.e. just use yaw and only slightly pitch to protect the trajectories of your limpets -efficiency, efficiency, efficiency. Keeping your collecting limpets tight under your ship makes a huge difference in efficiency.

5.5 Ejecting and abandoning unwanted cargo/bin contents

Manage your refinery and eject unwanted minerals. This is especially important when your cargo hold is filling up and you want to use those extra 10 tons that a 4A refinery can hold. Just make sure you don’t accidentally eject the 98% painite bin, it's an easy and annoying mistake. Should any unwanted metals find their way into your cargo hold then make sure to eject them to but use abandon option or your limpets will soon pick them up again.

5.6 Selecting what to mine for

Either rares or missions or both. Always purge Bertrandite, Gallite, Indite and Silver. Also purge Praseodymium unless that's the only thing you find and you're almost out of limpets.

5.7 How many limpets?

80% of cargo capacity if you go for the rares. If you run out it is possible to synthesize new limpets. 10 Iron and 10 Nickel gives 4 limpets. Iron and nickel comes easy when mining.

5.8 Engineering your mining loadout

Because we are going for ridiculous efficiency the ship should be as fast as possible. General lightweight is good here but the dirty drives are essential, the dirtier the better. For blasting efficiency: Power Distributor, weapons focused or charge enhanced. Ideally you want to be able to deplete a rock in one capacitor and keep your limpets as busy as bees. Frame Shift drive: Long range FSD as most sites are a bit far away.

5.9 Mining in a wing

Mining in a wing is fun and makes prospecting more efficient. All rocks give separate yields to all players. You hear "-Hey, 30% painite over here!", and the wing flocks to that rock. Once you start mining though all fragments can be picked up by all commanders and there is no way of telling your limpets to only go for your mined fragments. If you mine it simultaneously from two sides, the limpets will soon start crashing into the rock trying to get to the fragments on the other side. Make sure to either take turns or mine
close together on one side. Wing mining will also give trade dividends when selling. If you all sell while all are in in system, that is.

5.10 Missions

Missions can be very profitable, stacking a few before going out is a good idea. As missions is normally for Osmium, Samarium (not counting ice mining) It will make it easier to find attractive targets for your prospector.

5.11 Where to sell

EDDB will give you price info https://eddb.io/trade/commodity. Never sell Painite under 70K!!


5.12 Pitfalls

Full material store. Because limpets pick up materials as part of the yield a full material store would stall any limpet currently holding material. It is not uncommon that you wonder why most of your limpets are not collecting just to find them waiting in line with materials. Free up room to let them drop their load.

Purging bins with high value material. If you are managing bins it is quite easy to purge the wrong one, be careful.

6. Is mining fun?

The ever increasing bank account is a side effect. Or as a legendary miner of the old days once said:

"- The monotony, the empty space, the rocks and solitude away from it all is what we seek - and find."