|Marshal Building Materials|
My current system has all the requirements I look for in a low sec mining system. Either a single station, or combination of stations, that provide a base 50% refining efficiency as well as a factory to build items with the refined ore. With high enough standings, NPCs don’t charge for refining ore and manufacturing costs are greatly reduced. Factor in the lower system cost indexes typically found in low sec versus those found in high security space and I much prefer building things in low.
I prefer to mine in a system with a 0.1 or 0.2 security status as the ore is much better, especially in Minmatar and Caldari space. Part of my rationale for mining in low sec is the availability of ore in the asteroid belts that provides nocxium and zydrene. In Minmatar and Caldari space, the ore providing those minerals is hedbergite, which I prefer over the hemorphite found in Amar and Gallente systems due to the higher concentration of isogen found in the ore. But don’t feel sorry for the largest two NPC empires as 0.3 and 0.4 systems in Amar and Gallente space contain jaspet. As a Minmatar loyalist, I get irritated sometimes when I think about how kernite, the ore added to Minmatar 0.3 and 0.4 systems to make them more valuable, appears in Amar 0.5-0.7 high sec systems. Grrr CCP!
The reason for looking for a second low sec mining system is the real reason I should say, “Grrr CCP!” The same NPC factions I maintain good standings with to use their manufacturing and refining facilities also happen to send out mining fleets. The NPCs like to mine around their stations, especially the ones containing factories. The fact they do makes total sense as I also like to mine around their factory stations. Unfortunately for me, the NPCs operate in the EU time zone and I live in the US. When I go out every so often to check to see if the NPCs saved me some rocks, I often see the Angel Cartel sitting in space with nothing else around except the warp-in beacon. Without the backdrop of an asteroid belt, the NPC pirates look a little silly.
Using Dotlan helps to find suitable systems. The in-game map might work, but after 8 ½ years of playing EVE, I still don’t know how to use CCP’s product. Besides, after CCP nerfed the agent finder functionality, Dotlan is a much more reliable source of finding agents in a distant region. I narrowed down my areas of interest down to four systems based on my criteria along with additional information like the traffic flowing through the systems. New Eden has many more, but I already had some familiarly with the systems so had some idea of the geography.
I woke up a couple hours before downtime Tuesday morning and did a little sightseeing. I made sure I had a few options for refining, both from NPC stations and some local refineries who might take in a wandering stranger for a little bit of ISK. I checked on basic items like the distance of the asteroid belts to stargates. Citadels make the terrain potentially a little more hazardous, but no risk, no reward.
Out of the four systems, I had a mining ship and some gear in two of them. So of course, I chose one where I had no presence, not even a fedo. I once thought about establishing some planetary interaction colonies in the area, so that option is also available if I decide I hate myself that much. And if I’m feeling lazy, I might even do some ninja mining in the local wormholes.
I will need to set up a second low sec factory station. My existing base is conveniently located close to a lot of things besides asteroids, so moving out still doesn’t make much sense. Or maybe I’m just lazy and don’t want to move a massive amount of minerals. I still have a few details to work out, but for now I think I will find myself spending a lot more time in low sec, especially after I return from Fanfest.