This guide describes what to expect in the typical mining operation run by Eve University mining fleet commanders, and how to fit in smoothly.
This is a companion guide to Running a Mining Op.
Types of Mining Ops
There are several kinds of mining operations. However, most Uni ops - scheduled or pick up - are one of these types:
- Shared Can: This is a JetCan mining operation where the miners place their proceeds into a JetCan (which was jettisoned by someone and named so it will last two hours), and a hauler regularly takes the ore out of the can and, when full, brings it to an in-system station for later processing.
- Orca: In this operation, the miners place their ore directly into an Orca's designated Corporation Hangar (see #How to Use an Orca below). If there is no additional hauler (or another Orca), then while the Orca is dropping the ore off at a station, a JetCan will be used to hold the ore until the Orca returns.
- Boost only: This is not really a "mining operation" and hence won't be covered in this guide. This is a fleet you can join to get "boosts" from the fleet commander while in the same system. This is typically an Orca pilot with a few spare fleet spots that he lets others use. There is no shared ore or profit.
The mining operation fleet commander will inform the fleet members what sort of operation is being run and, hence, how the miners should handle their ore.
(More details, which are not particularly understandable to newer players, can be found at the slightly out of date Cooperative Mining Guide.)
Finding a Mining Op
- Look in Fleet Finder: Check the "Fleets" button in the NeoCom, then look at the "Fleet Finder" tab. From there, select "My Corporation" or "My Alliance" and search for fleets.
- Ask in the "Industry.E-UNI" chat channel if there is a mining op. Alternatively (or in addition), you can also ask in the "Loo Operations" chat channel. Finally, you can ask in the "Chat.E-UNI" channel. Additionally, check the same channels in TeamSpeak.
- You can also start your own fleet! See Running a Mining Op.
There are many ways to participate in a mining operation. Most newer players will, of course, be mining in a mining frigate or cruiser. Newer players can also be effective haulers once they have a reasonably fitted industrial ([Creating an Alt Hauler#Reference|this shows] how much common, unrigged industrial ships carry).
Participating as a miner is very simple. Essentially, after joining the fleet, you'll warp to one of the fleet members, target your asteroids, and activate your miners. The ore will be placed in a specified JetCan or a specified Orca Corporation Hangar.
Participating as a hauler is also very straight-forward. You will take the ore from the designated JetCan or Orca Hangar and, when your hauler is full, drop it off at a designated station.
At the end of the operation, or when you're leaving the op, you should either give the ore to the commander at the designated station, or contract it to him at that station. (Please "stack all" the ore before contracting it!)
Participating as an Orca pilot is an advanced subject and beyond the scope of this guide. Almost all ops can benefit from one Orca and larger ones can benefit from two or more.
After an op is complete, the ore still needs to be refined, the minerals transported and sold, and the shares distributed. If you are willing and able to assist with any of these things, let the fleet commander know and he may just take you up on them. These details are beyond the scope of this guide.
Participating in a Mining Op
- Join the fleet you've located using the techniques above.
- Get to the appropriate system, then warp to the fleet, typically by warping to one of the other miners using the fleet window.
- In fleet chat, clearly state the time your mining (or participation) is over
- For example, "<---- Lasers ON at 22:34 -- Callin Vandylx"
- If you have to take a break or go AFK for more than a short time (defined as however long it takes your lasers to typically fill your cargo hold, or whatever time your hauling interval usually is), inform the fleet and clock out when you leave and back in when you return.
- Mine in to the JetCan or Orca, haul, or do whatever the fleet commander has assigned to you for your responsibilities.
- Warp to different belts, or jump to different systems, as the operation moves, per the fleet commander's orders.
Notes on Mining
- Try to mine the farthest asteroids you can reach with your lasers first. (Check your range as they may be boosted from an Orca.)
- Drones, obviously, should target the closest asteroids for best yield.
- If you are following a moving Orca, watch your targets to ensure they don't get out of range; you'll lose the yield from your cycle if they do.
- Check the Aldrat: Current Ore Prices thread to see what the most valuable ores are and mine those first. Many ops will just strip an entire asteroid field so sometimes this won't matter.
- Try not to mine the same exact rock someone else is mining. This requires looking at what you're doing when switching rocks.
- When the rocks are fewer in number than the fleet's mining laser count, short cycle your lasers. This means, cut off their cycles part-way through (capacitor permitting!) so that you won't lose a full cycle on an almost empty asteroid.
- If you have a scanner fitted, feel free to use it to target the biggest asteroids first, and know when to short-cycle your lasers (or send drones to finish off an asteroid).
How to Use an Orca
An Orca is a special ship that has a few features that makes it ideally suited for mining. For our purposes, however, the main use is the ability to transfer ore into it and out of it, without going through an intermediary JetCan.
The first thing you should do when you get to an operation with Orca support is target the Orca, get to within 2,500 meters of it (I usually aim for about 1,500-2,000), and use the "Keep at Distance" option to automatically stay close to it as it moves. Orca pilots will often move slowly through the asteroid belt allowing the miners to mine all the asteroids without having to drive themselves.
The next thing you should do is open the Orca's Corporation Hangars by right-clicking the Orca (either in the 3D view or the Overview) and saying "Open Corporation Hanagars." You need to be within 2,500 meters for this to work. This will pop up a loot window that looks exactly like the one at Aldrat HQ where you can get ships, modules and such. There will be two rows of tabs, one with three tabs and one with four tabs. The labels on these tabs will be different for each member of the fleet depending on what corporation that fleet member is in! Hence, the Orca pilot will typically designate the tab to use by saying "Second tab from the right on the row with three tabs" or something like that. Select the specified tab; you may not be able to see its contents. When your hold is getting close to full, drag the ore from your hold to the specified tab. You might get a warning that you can't take the ore back; just dismiss the error. If you get a "full" error, remind the Orca pilot that he needs to empty the Hangar (or drop off a load at a station). Most Orcas can hold over 150,000 m^3 of ore (assuming the Orca pilot is managing it properly) before having to drop it off.
When you are mining with an Orca, check your laser cycle times and ranges. Often, the Orca pilot will be "boosting" these so your lasers cycle faster and reach farther.
Leaving the Mining Op
- Turn off your lasers and recall your mining drones
- Empty your ore into the JetCan/Orca one final time
- In fleet chat, clearly state the time your mining (or participation) is over
- For example, "<---- Lasers OFF at 23:57 -- Callin Vandylx"
- If you have been hauling, trade the ore at the designated station to the fleet commander, or contract it.
- Remember to thank the fleet commander, who will typically have some logistics to do after the fleet is over in order to turn your time into ISK for your wallet!
- Say bye to your fleetmates.
Please see the standard method of distributing shares for Uni mining ops at the Running a Mining Op page.
Please see the references at the Running a Mining Op page.