|Party time in a low sec ice belt - a Mackinaw stopped by to join in the fun|
First, let's take a look at the types of ice found and how much the refined product can fetch in Jita. Here is the high sec ice found in Gallente space and two flavors of low-sec ice.
One unit of Blue Ice, the only ice found in Gallente systems with a security status of .4 and above, refines into:
- Heavy Water - 50 units
- Liquid Ozone - 25 units
- Oxygen Isotopes - 300 units
- Strontium Clathrates - 1 unit
- Heavy Water - 1000 units
- Liquid Ozone - 500 units
- Strontium Clathrates - 25 units
- Heavy Water - 500 units
- Liquid Ozone - 1000 units
- Strontium Clathrates - 50 units
- Dark Glitter - 397,999 ISK
- Glare Crust - 254,552 ISK
- Blue Ice - 144,603 ISK
I put together two fits in EFT with Wandering Rose as the pilot. The first is a Mackinaw fit I saw on the forums designed for maximum yield.
|Mackinaw - Max Yield|
The second setup is one I came up with for a low sec ice mining Procurer. The use of the inertia stabilizer gets the align time under 7, which I like for getting out of a belt quickly. And the MWD gives the ship a top speed of 209 m/sec with Wandering Rose's current skills.
I just used Wandering Rose's skills with no implants and no fleet booster. So what is the verdict? If neither ship needs to travel to dock, the Mackinaw can mine 40.74 units of ice per hour and the Procurer can mine 32.7. So what does that look like for making money?
- Procurer - Dark Glitter: 13,014,567.30 ISK/hr
- Procurer - Glare Crust: 8,323,850.40 ISK/hr
- Mackinaw - High Sec: 5,891,151.89 ISK/hr
I was really surprised with my calculations. I then looked at the cost of the ships. Using the average price in The Forge from 4 February, a Procurer hull cost 6,980,000 ISK and a Mackinaw cost 168,739,999.98 ISK. The ratio of the disparity shrinks enormously once the cost of the fittings is included, but the Mackinaw is still worth 186,778,293.22 ISK compared to the Procurer's price is 20,910,289.29 ISK. This brings my last calculation: how long does a ship have to mine ice for in order to pay the purchase cost?
- Procurer - Dark Glitter: 1.6 hours
- Procurer - Glare Crust: 2.5 hours
- Mackinaw - High Sec: 31.7 hours
I'm not a hard core miner, but I would venture a guess that a lot of those miners we see in the ice belts are not trying to get rich off selling their products. No, I would guess the majority of those poor sods stuck mining are doing so in order to fuel a POS or do a few other activities. At this point if someone wants to go AFK mine in order to save someone the agony of ice mining, especially at the low rates you see in high sec, then I don't mind. AFK mining, like the activities of The New Order, does not violate the EULA or ToS. Well, I won't mind as long as they don't start crying on the forums about getting suicide ganked. Eve is a dangerous place, high sec included.