Notes about mining

Mining can be a relaxing and profitable activity in Elite.

Equipment Needed

  • Mining Laser(s)
  • Prospector Limpet Controller
  • Collector Limpet Controller
  • Refinery
  • Limpet drones - unlike other ammo, you have to manually choose how many limpets to carry since they take up space in your cargo bay
  • As much cargo capacity as possible

Limpet drones are generic ammo that is stored in your ship’s inventory (at 1t each :scream:) until launched by a limpet controller. The limpet controller programs the limpet for a specific task, launches it, and controls it while it is performing its job.

Some people recommend not including shields on a mining ship. While on the smaller ships that might be necessary, I find that even if you have to include a smaller-than-normal shield generator, having that extra buffer is helpful.

Miner Python build

Find a suitable mining site

Use this tool to find the nearest “pristine metallic”. A pristine metallic is a planetary ring (or possibly asteroid belt) that has a metallic composition and “pristine reserves”. This will get you the highest return on your time investment if you’re not looking for specific resources.

Keep in mind that some planets may have multiple rings (like Jura 7 above). The rings are counted from the inside out, so the A ring will be closest to the planet, the B ring will be the next further out, etc.

Getting there

Navigate to the target system as normal. When flying to the ring, fly as normal to the vicinity of the planet, 100% throttle until the timer is less than 30 seconds, then 75% throttle. Pick a location on the ring that isn’t a resource extraction site, unless you want to get jumped by pirates. Then when you’re getting close to the ring, slow wayyyyyyy down. You want to be going close to 0-2% throttle as you get close to the ring, then let proximity drop you out.

Note: The game will often spawn ships, sometimes pirate ships, near where you drop out. I recommend boosting away from your initial drop point before you start mining to avoid any pirate problems.


  1. Pick an asteroid
  2. Point your ship at it
  3. Fire a prospector limpet at it
  4. As the prospector limpet is flying toward the asteroid, target it
  5. Check to see if the resources that are available in the asteroid are worth mining (see “Resources” below)
    • If not, return to #1
  6. Move close, but not too close
  7. Target a location as close as possible to the asteroid’s axis of rotation
  8. If necessary, launch collector limpets
  9. Open your cargo hatch
  10. Fire your mining lasers at the asteroid
  11. Let your collector limpets do most of the work
  12. Rinse, repeat


As your collector limpets deliver unrefined asteroid chunks to your cargo bay, your refinery will refine them into the eventual resources that you are going to sell for credits. A particular chunk will consist of one or more of the asteroid’s available resources in some quantity. The refinery will split those resources into “bins”. When a bin fills up, 1t of that resource is deposited in your ship’s inventory.

If you don’t have enough bins to hold the various partial resources, you’ll get a warning saying that your refinery is full. At this point, you’ll have to choose whether to eject the contents of one of the bins or eject the incoming resource. That’s where the Resources table comes in handy :grinning:


Notice that all the expensive stuff (other than the exceedingly rare Low Temperature Diamonds) are available in metallic rings.

Minerals Galactic Average (Credits per ton) Available in ring type
Low Temperature Diamond 57,443 Icy
Painite 40,504 Metallic
Bromellite 8,530 Icy
Lithium Hydroxide 5,644 Icy
Bertrandite 2,375 Metallic, Metal Rich
Methanol Monohydrate Crystals 2,282 Icy
Indite 2,088 Metallic, Metal Rich, Rocky
Gallite 1,821 Metallic, Metal Rich, Rocky
Coltan 1,319 Metal Rich, Rocky
Uraninite 836 Metal Rich, Rocky
Methane Clathrate 629 Icy
Lepidolite 544 Metal Rich, Rocky
Rutile 299 Rocky
Bauxite 120 Rocky
Metals Galactic Average (Credits per ton) Available in ring type
Platinum 19,756 Metallic
Palladium 13,295 Metallic
Gold 9,401 Metallic, Metal Rich
Osmium 9,136 Metallic, Metal Rich
Praseodymium 8,604 Metallic, Metal Rich
Samarium 8,090 Metallic, Metal Rich
Silver 4,777 Metallic, Metal Rich
Cobalt 648 Rocky
Chemicals Galactic Average (Credits per ton) Available in ring type
Hydrogen Peroxide 917 Icy
Liquid Oxygen 263 Icy
Water 120 Icy

Information from the Elite Dangerous Wiki