Moon mining

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This page is a work in progress. Notes: CCP made changes to the Moon Ore distribution that still need research. Changes went live on 3/30/2020.
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Background and History

The Lifeblood expansion was released on October 24, 2017, and brought with it substantial changes to the process of moon mining. Previously moon mining was completed using player-owned starbases, but the Lifeblood expansion introduced a new class of Upwell structures called refineries, which are anchored in 0.5 space or below near a moon mining beacon and then used to extract a chunk of the moon for mining.

Moon Scanning

Moons may be scanned with survey probes along with a survey probe launcher.

Moon scans return details on the average output of a moon, and allow would-be moon miners to understand what the value of the moon might be so that the best available moon can be selected. An example of a moon scan result is shown below.

AccretionDisk.png

Moon scanning is different than probe scanning from exploration, in two critical ways. First, Survey probes are consumed when they are launched, and cannot be recalled to the ship. Second, the ship must be pointed directly at the target moon when the probe is launched. If the ship is not facing the moon when a survey probe is launched, the probe may 'miss' the moon and return no results. The probe is still consumed when this happens.

Equipment

Survey Probes

There are three types of Survey probes. They differ in skill requirement, size, and the "maximum flight time" which is the measure used for how long it will take to return data. The data returned by each type of probe will always be the same, so the primary considerations are how many a ship can carry (if probing a system with lots of moons, or many systems) and how long it takes to get the results.

Survey Probe Type Skill Requirement Volume Flight Time
Quest Survey Probe I Survey III, Astrometrics III 5m3 1200s (20 minutes)
Discovery Survey Probe I Survey III, Astrometrics III 10m3 300s (5 minutes)
Gaze Survey Probe I Omega.png Survey V, Astrometrics V 5m3 150s (2.5 minutes)

There is no T2 Survey probe, although the Gaze Survey Probe is restricted to Omega-only.

Survey Probe Launchers

The Survey Probe Launcher fits in a high slot, but does not require a turret or launcher hardpoint. This allows it to be used on a wide variety of hulls. Unlike the probes themselves, there is a T2 variant of the launcher, which grants a 10% reduction to the probe's scan time. Only one survey probe launcher of either variant can be fitted to a ship at a time.

Performing the Activity

Survey Probes must be launched directly at the target moon, from within 100,000km of it. This means you must physically align your ship to the moon, as the probe is launched in a straight line along your path of travel. Once in range and aligned, cycle the Survey Probe Launcher to launch a probe. It does not auto-repeat, but it will auto-reload if emptied and additional probes are available in the cargohold.

Upon launching a probe, a new window will be displayed showing the remaining time for the probe to return its results. The ship must stay in-system and undocked until the results are sent back from the probe, and the results will appear in the bottom half of the same window. The window will keep these results until the user logs out of the game, even if they move to another system. Individual results can be cleared by right clicking on the moon name and selecting Delete.

Moon probing screen.png

The probe results window does not allow copying to clipboard via typical keyboard commands such as Ctrl+C, however there is a "Copy to Clipboard" button which will copy the entire list of probe results into a tab-delimited format that can easily be pasted into another program:

Moon Moon Product Quantity Ore TypeID SolarSystemID PlanetID MoonID

Mesybier II - Moon 1 Glossy Scordite 0.300030559301 46687 30004975 40315069 40315070 Immaculate Jaspet 0.328855156898 46682 30004975 40315069 40315070 Pellucid Crokite 0.287893354893 46677 30004975 40315069 40315070 Sylvite 0.083220936358 45491 30004975 40315069 40315070 Mesybier V - Moon 1 Dazzling Spodumain 0.397311687469 46688 30004975 40315073 40315074 Immaculate Jaspet 0.412641495466 46682 30004975 40315073 40315074 Sylvite 0.190046817064 45491 30004975 40315073 40315074

The values listed in this export are the Ore name, the Quantity (as a percentage, on a 0-1 scale), the TypeID of the ore, and the ID's for the Solar System, Planet and Moon. Much of this data is redundant, but it makes for good error-checking if the results are to be run through a script or stored in a database.

Converted into a more legible table format:

Moon
Moon Product Quantity (%) Ore TypeID SolarSystemID PlanetID MoonID
Mesybier II - Moon 1
Glossy Scordite 0.300030559301 46687 30004975 40315069 40315070
Immaculate Jaspet 0.328855156898 46682 30004975 40315069 40315070
Pellucid Crokite 0.287893354893 46677 30004975 40315069 40315070
Sylvite 0.083220936358 45491 30004975 40315069 40315070

There is no known limit to how many probes a player may have active at any given time, only a practical limit on how many one can launch while moving between moons to launch more, before the results start to return and clear their respective probes from the list. There is also no reason to launch additional probes at the same moon - the results are always accurate regardless of the probe type used, and will never change even after moon extractions have begun.

Moon Ore Extraction

Once a moon has been identified as a good candidate, a refinery is anchored near the moon mining beacon and then the refinery must be equipped with a moon mining drill service module. The moon mining drill can then be activated to extract a chunk of the moon over a period of 6 to 56 days, slowly pulling the chunk closer to the refinery. The length of extraction is directly related to the amount which will be extracted, calculated with 20.000 m³ per hour of preparation. After the extraction period has passed, the refinery owner has a period of time to detonate the moon ore chunk into a mineable asteroid field which includes both normal ores and moon-specific ores. If the chunk is not detonated manually, it will automatically detonate after approximately three hours, modifiable with rigs.

Moon Ore Mining

Once a moon chunk has been extracted using a Refinery, it exists as an asteroid field which contains special moon-specific ores. After extraction, the mining is performed using the same mining equipment and processes used for asteroid Mining. Mining crystals are available for each class of moon ore to improve efficiency of Tech 2 mining lasers, provided the player trains the appropriate moon ore reprocessing skill.

Ore Types

Asteroid Ore

Moon-specific Ore

In addition to the classic minerals that other ores provide, some materials required for T2 construction can only be found in moon ores. Like the normal asteroid ores, moon ores also have basic, improved, and excellent quality types. However, moon ore quality more strongly affects the reprocessed minerals received. The improved ores yield a 15% bonus, while the excellent ores provide a 100% bonus on minerals received through reprocessing.

There are 5 classes of moon ore, as shown in the table below. All classes are available in low and null-sec systems, but High sec and Wormhole systems may only have R4 (Ubiquitous) ores. In addition, as a result of the changes made on 3/30/2020, it appears that Nullsec moons are not guaranteed to have their distributions add up to 100%. At this time, it is presumed that this implies that a moon pull on those moons will not yield a full 20,000 m3 of ore per hour, as others do.

Ubiquitous Common Uncommon Rare Exceptional
R4 R8 R16 R32 R64
High Sec
Low Sec
Null Sec
Wormhole

Moon-specific ores are often of mixed quality, with the same moon pull containing both regular and improved quality of the same ore. However there is a chance that, at the time of detonating a moon chunk to create the asteroid field, that there will be a bright blue flash - this has come to be known as a "jackpot" and indicates that the moon ores for that particular extraction will all be of the excellent quality instead.

Moon Ore Refining

The following table shows the minerals and special materials present in 1000 m3 of each moon ore:

Moon Ore Mineral from 100%-yield reprocessing
Pye Mex Hyd Sil Eva Atm Cob Sca Tun Tit Chr Cad Pla Van Tec Mer Cae Haf Pro Neo Dys Thu

Ubiquitous (R4)

Pye Mex Hyd Sil Eva Atm Cob Sca Tun Tit Chr Cad Pla Van Tec Mer Cae Haf Pro Neo Dys Thu
Bitumens 6000 400 65 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Brimful Bitumens (+15%) 6900 460 75 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Glistening Bitumens (+100%) 12000 800 130 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Coesite 200 400 - 65 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Brimful Coesite (+15%) 2300 460 - 75 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Glistening Coesite (+100%) 4000 800 - 130 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Sylvite 4000 400 - - 65 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Brimful Sylvite (+15%) 4600 460 - - 75 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Glistening Sylvite (+100%) 8000 800 - - 130 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Zeolites 8000 400 - - - 65 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Brimful Zeolites (+15%) 9200 460 - - - 75 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Glistening Zeolites (+100%) 16000 800 - - - 130 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Common (R8)

Pye Mex Hyd Sil Eva Atm Cob Sca Tun Tit Chr Cad Pla Van Tec Mer Cae Haf Pro Neo Dys Thu
Cobaltite - - - - - - 40 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Copious Cobaltite (+15%) - - - - - - 46 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Twinkling Cobaltite (+100%) - - - - - - 80 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Euxenite - - - - - - - 40 - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Copious Euxenite (+15%) - - - - - - - 46 - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Twinkling Euxenite (+100%) - - - - - - - 80 - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Scheelite - - - - - - - - 40 - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Copious Scheelite (+15%) - - - - - - - - 46 - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Twinkling Scheelite (+100%) - - - - - - - - 80 - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Titanite - - - - - - - - - 40 - - - - - - - - - - - -
Copious Titanite (+15%) - - - - - - - - - 46 - - - - - - - - - - - -
Twinkling Titanite (+100%) - - - - - - - - - 80 - - - - - - - - - - - -

Uncommon (R16)

Pye Mex Hyd Sil Eva Atm Cob Sca Tun Tit Chr Cad Pla Van Tec Mer Cae Haf Pro Neo Dys Thu
Chromite - - 10 - - - - - - - 40 - - - - - - - - - - -
Lavish Chromite (+15%) - - 12 - - - - - - - 46 - - - - - - - - - - -
Shimmering Chromite (+100%) - - 20 - - - - - - - 80 - - - - - - - - - - -
Otavite - - - - - 10 - - - - - 40 - - - - - - - - - -
Lavish Otavite (+15%) - - - - - 12 - - - - - 46 - - - - - - - - - -
Shimmering Otavite (+100%) - - - - - 20 - - - - - 80 - - - - - - - - - -
Sperrylite - - - - 10 - - - - - - - 40 - - - - - - - - -
Lavish Sperrylite (+15%) - - - - 12 - - - - - - - 46 - - - - - - - - -
Shimmering Sperrylite (+100%) - - - - 20 - - - - - - - 80 - - - - - - - - -
Vanadinite - - - 10 - - - - - - - - - 40 - - - - - - - -
Lavish Vanadinite (+15%) - - - 12 - - - - - - - - - 46 - - - - - - - -
Shimmering Vanadinite (+100%) - - - 20 - - - - - - - - - 80 - - - - - - - -

Rare (R32)

Pye Mex Hyd Sil Eva Atm Cob Sca Tun Tit Chr Cad Pla Van Tec Mer Cae Haf Pro Neo Dys Thu
Carnotite - - - - - 15 10 - - - - - - - 50 - - - - - - -
Replete Carnotite (+15%) - - - - - 17 12 - - - - - - - 58 - - - - - - -
Glowing Carnotite (+100%) - - - - - 30 20 - - - - - - - 100 - - - - - - -
Cinnabar - - - - 15 - - - 10 - - - - - - 50 - - - - - -
Replete Cinnabar (+15%) - - - - 17 - - - 12 - - - - - - 58 - - - - - -
Glowing Cinnabar (+100%) - - - - 30 - - - 20 - - - - - - 100 - - - - - -
Pollucite - - 15 - - - - 10 - - - - - - - - 50 - - - - -
Replete Pollucite (+15%) - - 17 - - - - 12 - - - - - - - - 58 - - - - -
Glowing Pollucite (+100%) - - 30 - - - - 20 - - - - - - - - 100 - - - - -
Zircon - - - 15 - - - - - 10 - - - - - - - 50 - - - -
Replete Zircon (+15%) - - - 17 - - - - - 12 - - - - - - - 58 - - - -
Glowing Zircon (+100%) - - - 30 - - - - - 20 - - - - - - - 100 - - - -

Exceptional (R64)

Pye Mex Hyd Sil Eva Atm Cob Sca Tun Tit Chr Cad Pla Van Tec Mer Cae Haf Pro Neo Dys Thu
Loparite - - 20 - - - - 20 - - - - 10 - - - - - 22 - - -
Bountiful Loparite (+15%) - - 23 - - - - 23 - - - - 12 - - - - - 25 - - -
Shining Loparite (+100%) - - 40 - - - - 40 - - - - 20 - - - - - 44 - - -
Monazite - - - - 20 - - - 20 - 10 - - - - - - - - 22 - -
Bountiful Monazite (+15%) - - - - 23 - - - 23 - 12 - - - - - - - - 25 - -
Shining Monazite (+100%) - - - - 40 - - - 40 - 20 - - - - - - - - 44 - -
Xenotime - - - - - 20 20 - - - - - - 10 - - - - - - 22 -
Bountiful Xenotime (+15%) - - - - - 23 23 - - - - - - 12 - - - - - - 25 -
Shining Xenotime (+100%) - - - - - 40 40 - - - - - - 20 - - - - - - 44 -
Ytterbite - - - 20 - - - - - 20 - 10 - - - - - - - - - 22
Bountiful Ytterbite (+15%) - - - 23 - - - - - 23 - 12 - - - - - - - - - 25
Shining Ytterbite (+100%) - - - 40 - - - - - 40 - 20 - - - - - - - - - 44
Moon Ore Pye Mex Hyd Sil Eva Atm Cob Sca Tun Tit Chr Cad Pla Van Tec Mer Cae Haf Pro Neo Dys Thu
Mineral from 100%-yield reprocessing

Again, those numbers above are for 1000 m3 of ore, which is what the game displays but is not possible to attain. The materials listed in the above table are abbreviated as follows:

Normal minerals   R4+ moon goo   R8+ moon goo   R16+ moon goo   R32+ moon goo   R64+ moon goo
Pye = Pyerite   Hyd = Hydrocarbons   Cob = Cobalt   Chr = Chromium   Tec = Technetium   Pro = Promethium
Mex = Mexallon   Sil = Silicates   Sca = Scandium   Cad = Cadmium   Mer = Mercury   Neo = Neodymium
  Eva = Evaporite Deposits   Tun = Tungsten   Pla = Platinum   Cae = Caesium   Dys = Dysprosium
  Atm = Atmospheric Gases   Tit = Titanium   Van = Vanadium   Haf = Hafnium   Thu = Thulium