Remote Mining (SEIV)
Why remote mine?
Remote mining can be a very useful strategy:
- You can exploit uncolonised systems or systems where you have no spaceport.
- It allows you to save facility slots for other uses (spaceyards, research/ intel point production).
- Potentially, you could benefit from a trade partner's resource production while giving them back less in return (remote mining income is not included in trade income calculations), thus allowing you to gain an economic advantage over them.
The mechanics of remote mining
Remote mining in SEIV is pretty straightforward. You create a ship, base or satellite and place one or more robo-miner component on it. Then you park your miner in the same sector as an asteroid field or uninhabited planet and wait for the resources to start rolling in. You can mine more than one resource at a time, but the different mining components must be on the same ship, base or satellite stack. You can use up to 3 satellites in one sector, but only if they each mine a different resource. You can also multiply your income by mining one resource with multiple remote mining components, but only ships and bases can do this due to satellites having space for only one mining component.
If there is more than one mining ship/base/sat stack in a sector then only the first one placed will mine. If the sector contains more than one planet and/or asteroid field, the miner will extract resources from each of them, which can make remote mining much more profitable.
Each planet and/ or asteroid field mined degrades in value as it is mined- the loss will be one percentage point of each mined resource type per turn. Once the value falls to zero, your income in that resource will dry up. You can place more than one miner of a given resource on a hull and so multiply your income in that resource, but the planet/ asteroid's value will still only be reduced by one percent per turn.
The income from remote mining is treated differently to normal resource production:
- Remote miners do not require a spaceport to send their spoils back to your empire.
- Income from remote mining is not shared with your trade partners.
- Remote mining is not affected by your racial resource production modifiers.
- System robotoid factories and other system-wide production modifers have no effect on remote miners.
Remote mining depletes supplies, but you can continue mining when you are out of supplies. Satellites have infinite supply capacity, as do bases (except in certain mods and older versions of the game) so this issue really only affects mining ships.
Getting the most out of remote mining
Be aware that you must pay maintenance on ships and bases (and there is also the cost of building them in the first place) and even satellites come with overheads (cost to build, means of deployment) so you must make sure your venture will be profitable.
The fact that multiple mining components deplete planet/ asteroid values at the same rate as single ones means that larger hulls with multiple miners aboard tend to give better return than smaller ones with just a single miner, and that it is better to focus on one resource in each sector rather than mining more than one resource at a time. As each resource is depleted, you can retrofit to mine another one.
Remember, once the planet or asteroid field you are mining reaches zero value, your income from it will disappear. This means you will start losing resources on bases or ships if you continue to pay maintenance, so you would be wise to move, scrap, retrofit or destroy them.
The small size of satellite hulls, combined with their inability to exploit a single resource with more than one component means that they are not the most effective option. However they can be built and deployed quickly and cheaply, and they don't require maintenance so they can be useful if you need to boost your income in a hurry, or if you wish to squeeze a few resources out of a system you know you can't hold for long. Ship hulls have the advantage of being mobile, but their high maintenance costs means they rarely break even. Bases seem to be the most popular option, since they offer both low maintenance and ample hull space, however you must bear in mind the cost of getting a spaceyard in place to build them.
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