Mining can be a relaxing and profitable activity in Elite.
- Mining Laser(s)
- Prospector Limpet Controller
- Collector Limpet Controller
- 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 ) 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.
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.
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.
- Pick an asteroid
- Point your ship at it
- Fire a prospector limpet at it
- As the prospector limpet is flying toward the asteroid, target it
- Check to see if the resources that are available in the asteroid are worth mining (see “Resources” below)
- If not, return to #1
- Move close, but not too close
- Target a location as close as possible to the asteroid’s axis of rotation
- If necessary, launch collector limpets
- Open your cargo hatch
- Fire your mining lasers at the asteroid
- Let your collector limpets do most of the work
- 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
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|
|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|
|Lepidolite||544||Metal Rich, Rocky|
|Metals||Galactic Average (Credits per ton)||Available in ring type|
|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|
|Chemicals||Galactic Average (Credits per ton)||Available in ring type|
Information from the Elite Dangerous Wiki