While I'm a low sec carebear, I'm not a hard core industrialist so I can't say all the effects the upcoming refining/reprocessing changes will have on low sec. I hear that the change to reprocessing as first published is a nerf to alchemy, which I guess would benefit those who hold onto the good R32/R64 moons. I also hear that the changes will negatively affect low sec capital construction. I didn't quite follow the argument, but I think the maximum refining difference between a low sec POS (78.1%) and a null sec station (86.8%) has something to do with the calculation. But as I've never done either, I don't know.
What I do know is how the change could affect the way I mine in low sec. Wait, how is refining going to change the way I mine? A lot of people tell me that mining and refining ore are two completely different things. Maybe from a manufacturers point of view. A manufacturer gets his minerals, either as minerals off the market, ore which he refines, or as items that he reprocesses. But I will guess that currently he doesn't try to move the ore around as is.
Have these people ever tried moving ore around in low sec? Let me give you an example using something I've mined a lot of lately, condensed scordite.
One Procurer can hold 80,000 units of condensed scordite. That's 12,000 m3. Prorators and Viators can carry that much, but they have to swap out their warp speed rigs for cargo rigs and use cargo containers to do so. With the current refining rules in place, I can refine that down to 104,984 pyerite and 210,210 tritanium, which is 3,151.9 m3. I can carry over 2.5 Procurer ore holds worth of minerals even in my Prowler when I use cargo containers. Double that for the Prorator and Viator. Big difference in the ease of transport, right?
What about just setting up a POS and compressing the ore, which is what the big industrialists will want us to do? Sure. That's assuming a gang won't see your POS and decide to have some fun. Also, relying on a POS kind of anchors a minor to that system or adjoining system. Currently, I'll take a Prowler and carry around a Procurer in a cargo container, find a quiet system with a nice ore site and a station I have perfect refine in, and start mining. I then refine the ore and massively reduce the amount of trips back to my home system I need to make. I roam several constellations doing this.
Thankfully, I'm not a dedicated miner and what I mine is for my own personal manufacturing use. If I mined for sale on the markets, I would have to switch over to either a deep space transport or a tech 1 industrial hauler to keep the travel costs the same. That option, while good for PvPers kill boards, introduces unintended waste in the whole process. But for those miners who brave the perils of low sec to mine intending to sell their product on the market, life's about to get a little more costly, either in time, losses, or payments to Black Frog.