Mining is the most basic, and ancient way of making money in EVE. It basicly means getting a frigate, cruiser or battleship and fitting mining lasers on them. Mining is done frequently by havign a few miners in asteroid belts (which are found in nearly every system) fill up cans, and then have industrial class ships pick up the ore left in the “jetison cans”, this can also be done in secure cans, however they only anchor in less secure systems. The reason secure cans are being used is because of the fear of ore thieves! They’re people in industrial ships that will come to your cans and take the stuff in them, they cannot be shot or they will trigger concord (=police) responce. Usually the best mining ships are the ships with most gun slots (=most miners).
Frigates: The race here doesnt matter, usually frigate pilots will mine solo, therefore cargohold would be nice to have. for example, bantam, probe, imicus.
Cruiser: If you have time and money to spare for the skill i’d recommend getting the thorax, this ships got 2000 m3 drone space and 5 turret slots, so defence and mining capability are at its best with drones and 5 lasers here, a vexor or maller would be second choise, below that most ships will have near equal mining ability.
Battleships: most battleships have enough turret slots to be a pretty good miner (tempest and domi = 6, arma and mega = 7, apoc = 8 ) drone bays on these ships are all enough to keep defence at nominal levels. The best ship is offcourse the apoc, but the 1 or 2 more slots its got only insure a 12.5 or 25% higher yield, which with skills isnt that much of a diffrence (especially if its the first battleship id recommend the armageddon since its half the price).
Mining can of course be done in diffrent areas, between: 1.0 – 0.9, 0.8 – 0.5, 0.4 – 0.1, 0.0. Of course different locations have different minerals available, but as a general overview(One or 2 minerals will be missing in each area because of the location/region the belt is located – Profits are considering 1 indy and 1 battleship, solo):
1.0 – 0.9: These are some of the worst areas to mine in, these are often very close to general traveling routes and will be mine by hordes of people and stripmined by mega corperations. They will contain scordite and veldspar most of the time. also there are no pirates. Expect serveral millions per hour.
0.8 – 0.5: These belts are often mined out unless you find one out of the normal routes people have, I found a few totally unmined, this can be profitable. Common minerals are veldspar, pyrox, scordite, plagio, and in the lower security levels also omber (0.7) and kernite (0.5). Expect a few frigate pirates, but nothing drones cant handle. Also player pirates are not to be found in these sectors. Profits are again serveral millions per hour, yet more then 0.9 and 1.0, but at a slightly higher risk.
0.4 – 0.1: STAY OUT OF HERE unless in rather large groups, in my opinion this is the domain of the real player pirates, expect to find decent ore, cruiser NPC pirates, but worst of all player pirates, these are people usually working in groups of 3 or more, they will first come in with one of them, he will scan you, by this time you should already be at a station or even docked! If you plan to mine here, in any kind of group smaller than your whole corperation watch local with your life. Profit can be around 2 – 3 mil per hour per person if its mined correctly. However against the risks I suggest going back to 0.5 – 0.8 for more profit. If you know how to escape properly you can stay here. There are however sentry guns at the stations so you’re safe there.
0.0: lawless space, no sentrys, a players will is the law here. You can be killed without any security hit. However in my experience as long as the refinery and your mining spot are close to eachother there is not that much risk from players compared to immense rewards. Expect 10 – 20 million per hour or sometimes even more. The NPC’s are very powerfull and 1 or 2 battleship sized defenders are a must (or park your own tanked battleship in a safespot).
If you’re on your own i’d reccoment ninja mining, which basicly means, get a ship that can run properly. Park an indy at a safespot in the system, and mine in the ship untill you see pirates. Once you see them, run to a moon or your safespot. Wait for about 10 minutes till your scanners clear and go back. Once the can contains about the amount your indy can carry get ur indy out of its safespot and make it grab the stuff also bookmarking your mining roid is a good idea so you wont have to travel much.
My own favorite: 0.0 space, if you’re in a good allience, have a good group and dont have 2 many player pirates around this is the number one way to make money, however its only for the people with nerves of steel and people that live with the knowledge they could lose a ship daily.
For anyone that does not have this and people that are simply not ready for it yet i’d recommend 0.8 – 0.5, that is if you can find a descent system.