Welcome to our Mining Guide. In this document, we hope to teach you how to mine ore, how to haul it, how to jet-mine in groups, the basics of miner security and aggression rights, the values of various ores, and how to refine ore for profit, along with the basics of mining ships and haulers. If you haven't already, a good thing to do would be to read the List of Common Eve Terms. We would strongly suggest that you also read our guide to miner safety here.
A good guide to what ores contain what minerals:
Know that in general, the higher in the alphabet the first letter of the ore name is the more valuable it is(for example Kernite is better than Veldspar--but ignore the variety, such as the F in Fiery Kernite--just look at the basic ore, the variations of it are only slightly more valuable). Some ores can only be found in certain areas of space, or in only low-security space, for example. A more detailed list of the above guide can be found here:
Eve-Offline's Ore Guide
and the same site's guide on mineral and ore values:
Eve-Offline's Mineral Guide
Instead of listing all the mining ships and haulers, we will instead give you a piece of valuable advice, as ships in Eve change with each new version. Mining ships come in every size; for each race there is a mining frigate and cruiser, as well as mining-specific ships such as mining barges and Exhumers. To find it, simply look at the Bonuses for each ship in your race. For example, let's say you're a Caldari looking for a frigate to mine in. You'd go to Market, go to the Browse tab, and look at the Caldari Frigates under Ships. Click the blue "i" for the ship, and look at the Description: you'll see that the Bantam has a 5% bonus to cargo capacity and a 20% bonus to mining laser yield per skill level, as well as a -60% mining laser capacitor use. That's your race's mining frigate. You'll want to use the mining ship specifically because it will have those bonuses, making mining easier and more profitable; the ships with mining bonuses were designed for mining. Later, when you're more advanced, you can actually look under the ship type Mining Barge, and under Industrial for haulers.
You have two choices with solo mining. First, know that Concord (the Eve police agency) does not attack people for stealing ore. You, however, get the right to fire upon them--but then they can shoot back. Therefore it's best to prevent ore theft in the first place by not leaving a lot of ore to be stolen. You have two choices: you can haul (or have a corpmate haul for you; its a bad idea to trust others to haul for you, as they can just fly away with your stash) your own ore after you've mined your share, or you can just go back and forth to dock with each load. The first is difficult, and rather silly if you don't already fly a hauler as well--haulers are designed to haul ore and thus have large cargo holds. If you are just flying a mining frigate, it's best to fly back and forth with each load--after all, you'll have to do that in the end anyway, and it's best not to leave ore open to thieves by filling up a can. On the other hand, flying back and forth can be time-consuming, so if you can fly a hauler, you can fill a can partway and then bring the hauler out to take the ore to the station. If you leave a can out, and come back with a hauler, it's a good idea to make a bookmark directly to the can to save time; just right-click your can and pick Bookmark, or open your Places (in People & Places tab) and create a new bookmark. This way you won't have to "slowboat" through the asteroid belt for each trip.
To begin solo mining, equip your mining ship with a mining laser or two or three or whatever you can fit--consider leaving a slot or two open to place a gun if you'll be hauling later, so that you can fight the npc pirates rather than running away. For that you'll also want a shield booster or armor repairer; equip the rest of the ship how you like. Some people like using an asteroid scanner while they mine, but it isn't much help to a new player (because the amount of ore won't change much as you mine). If you're going to mine just a cargohold full at a time and fly back and forth from station to belt, you don't need a gun. The more mining lasers, the faster you mine.
Fly out to an empty asteroid belt (it's sometimes considered rude to mine where there's other miners, except in very crowded systems where there aren't any "free belts") and select the best asteroid. If you see the rocks in space but not on your Overview, right-click on Overview and choose Standard Mining. You can then customize this setting how you like, for example to show only good ore by removing Veldspar and whatnot. All ore will sell, and usually very well, but the better ores are more unusual and thus often more costly--and thus more profitable to mine.
Get close to your chosen asteroid. Lock the asteroid. Click on your lasers, and they will activate, and you'll be mining! Now just wait. After one Laser cycle (right-click and show info on your lasers, and under Attributes you can see how long one cycle is) a certain amount of ore will be deposited into your cargo hold. If you're hauling as you mine, wait until you're full and then dock at your station. Put the ore in your Items and go back out and mine some more. If you're going to mine a lot and then haul later, see Jettison Mining below for more information. Once you're done hauling for the day, open up your Items and look at your nice ore stash. You can now do one of two things: you can either sell the ore "whole" or you can refine it. To refine it, just right-click it and select Refine. You'll get a window telling you how much of each type of mineral you will get as a result.
Note: each ore type needs a different amount of ore before you can refine it; right-click the ore and look at the "Needed For Refining:" to see.
Note that you can increase your refining yield (get more minerals per ore unit) as your standings go up with the owners of the dock you are using; you can also train up your Refining skill to make it better. You may want to consider selling ore whole until your refining skills have improved; you may make more isk this way.
Once you've refined it, sell it; you may want to check market details in your area to see if it will sell for more isk elsewhere. Be careful you don't bring a cargo hold full of minerals into low-security space, though! If you don't know about security, it's best to read through the other guides on this site before traveling.
Mining In Groups; Jet-Mining
When mining in a group (a corporation mining operation--don't trust strangers with your ore) or mining with a hauler waiting, you'll want to do what is known as Jet-Mining, also known as jettison-can mining. Basically, you begin mining. Once the first cycle of ore enters your cargo hold, right-click it and select Jettison. Then, each following ore cycle goes into that same can. The can will fill with ore slowly, to be either hauled later or hauled by someone else as you mine.
IMPORTANT: Jettison cans are "flimsy cargo" cans, and "expire" after one hour, or after two hours if you assign a name to it. So first off, name the can: right-click it and choose Select Name. Many mining corporations suggest placing your name and then the Eve time that the can was jettisoned on the can--so if you are Jeff, and you ejected the ore into the can at 16:37, you'd name it Jeff: 16:37. However, this is something that ore thieves now look for. Unless your corporation has a good security force protecting the miners, you'd be better off using a code. Ask the corp if they have one; if not, and if you are allowed to, name the can something else--it doesn't matter what--without a name or timestamp. Then make a new Notepad file noting down the time that can was created. (To make a notepad file simply open the far-left tab under your Mail tab that looks like a yellow sticky pad, then click New File and name it Can Times or something.) Use this notepad file whenever you mine, and keep an eye on it--and never allow a can to expire; when it does, it will burst, and all in it will be lost forever. So name it Greedy, for example, then put on the notepad file Greedy--16:37. At 18:30 you'll then want to jettison your next cycle of ore into a NEW can, and then pull (just drag and drop) your ore from Greedy into the new can. Don't forget to name the can and note down the new time!
Note: in Corp mining ops, you'll often get only a share of what you mine. If the corp provides a hauler, though (which greatly saves time and reduces the security risk of having ore in the asteroid belt in a can), and especially if they provide security, it's usually very much worth it, assuming you get a decent cut for your time (this may be 50% of what you mined, or a split by how many people mined, etc; each corp works different so ask in advance). Also, if you're a new player mining in a frigate, and your corporation splits ore evenly between everyone, you may actually get MORE than you mined!
Security Rights of Miners and Haulers:
For a detailed synopsis on miner security click here. Here we'll just give you a general idea.
Your security is only as good as your (or your corp's) fighting ability. Concord will not protect your ore, so if someone steals from a cargo can, even if they're flashing red, don't shoot unless you know you can win--if you shoot, the thief can shoot back. In fact, sometimes people will steal ore from rookie miners just to see if they'll shoot back, then kill them--for fun.
If someone steals from your can, you and your corp are -allowed- to shoot at them without Concord shooting you. You'll note they'll start flashing red on your overview the minute they steal. Once they do that you can shoot, if you like, but never forget, they can shoot back. They will flash red and you will see the Aggression Timer on the top of your screen. This lasts for fifteen minutes, and at the end of this time the person should stop blinking red, unless you've been fighting in the interim and renewing the aggression countdown. If you intend to switch to another ship to fight him, or to summon corp fighters, be sure to do so before this time is up; after fifteen minutes you can no longer legally retaliate--Concord will attack you.