Monday, August 27, 2012

My First Gravimetric Site

I finished running the Wildfire level 4 epic arc on Saturday and shifted my focus back on low sec armed with a set of 10 RSS Core Scanner Probes.  Of course, one doesn't just run out and do something in low sec.  Okay, I don't just run out and do something in low sec.  I spent the evening buying equipment and moving stuff into a nice out-of-the-way station that I picked out a couple of months ago.

Sunday morning came along and I hopped into a Cheetah and did a little exploring.  Yesterday was the first time I used probes in low sec and for a few minutes I thought I was in over my head.  The system only had one signature that I barely picked up and even when I reduced the search radius down to .5 AU I still was only able to identify the signature as a gravimetric site and then only with a signal strength of 47%.  I was only using 5 probes and thought I would have to go back to the station and get more, if not purchase implants, but when I reduced the radius to .25 AU I received 100% strength.

The result was a pleasant surprise: an average spodumain, crokite and dark ochre site.  A surprise because I didn't think I'd find a site containing spodumain so I hadn't trained spodumain processing past I.  D'oh!

To explain the excitement over the find, here is a list of what is refined from each ore:
Spodumain (per 250 units refined)
Megacyte: 140
Pyerite: 410
Tritanium: 3190

Crokite (per 250 units refined)
Nocxium: 331
Tritanium: 331
Zydrine: 663

Dark Ochre (per 400 units refined)
Nocxium: 500
Tritanium: 250
Zydrine: 250
That's right, lots of high-end minerals.  The challenge was to mine all of the minerals without losing a ship.

In the end, I didn't really have much of a problem.  The Procurer has two advantages that outweigh the ship's low mining yield.  The first is that the ship is cheap and I don't think too many pilots want to go out of their way to kill one.  The second is that the tank I put on it was sufficient to stand up to the pounding from an NPC battleship.

I also had one additional advantage: I was also sitting in the site in a Hound.  I think two pilots thought about going after my mining barge.  One of them stayed in the system for what seemed ten minutes before leaving.  The other had actually launched Sisters' probes and I think found the site but then moved on. 

He was actually quite pleasant to talk to.  He came back a few hours later.  He saw the mining barge but I think he was a bit nervous about engaging since he didn't know where my second pilot was.  I think he went around to all of the stations looking but he told me he was watching me mine.  He also told me that I needed to be more careful because he could have killed me anytime he wanted.

I'm not so sure about that.  If he didn't come in stealthed, then I could see him enter grid and I'd be able to warp off.  Procurers are that agile, especially when I fit mine with agility rigs and Nanofiber Internal Structure IIs.  And if he did come in stealthed, then I had a bomber of my own on overwatch to at least scare him off and let me escape.  And if the torpedoes didn't get him, the Hobgoblin IIs would have let him know he was in a fight even if I lost.

But we didn't come to blows and I was able to peacefully mine.  Well peacefully when the Angel Cartel wasn't trying to kill me.  But they never ran me off.  Instead I managed to collect over 4.5 million ISK in bounties and an estimated 6.4 million ISK in drops.  No salvage, though.  I didn't put a salvage mod on my bomber.

How about the mining?  The quick little mining excursion turned into an all day event.  While the cost of the minerals I gained wasn't anything to brag about, I now have a nice cache of high end minerals to build items with.  If I'm going to move to low sec, I probably need to have the capability to make some things for myself without having to run to high sec all the time.  Like tech 1 ships and ammunition?  Definitely ammunition.

I should close with what I came away with from my mining efforts since the Evelopedia currently does not have a list of what ore is located in an average spodumain, crokite and dark ochre site.

One day's mining
The only item missing is the 249 units of crystalline crokite I mined since 250 units are required for mining.

I don't think I would ever mine out a gravimetric site solo again.  Next time I'll cherry-pick the rarer ones and leave the rest for other people.  But for a first effort, I'm pretty happy about how the whole day turned out.


  1. What a lovely gravimetric. I think you've got the right idea holding onto the ore for production. There are some that argue time is money and you shouldn't do that. That is true, but it is still cheaper than Jita. Oh, and if he could have killed you any time, he would have. Anything else is just bluster.

  2. when zydrine was 3000 isk pu, back in 2008, it was fun =)

  3. Very nice. The grav sites often have delicious goodies. I'm not to proud to mine some ABC ore.

    I hoped you giggled at the mysterious watcher.