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The Complete Miner's Guide by Halada

Version 2.2

9. Ice Mining

Ice Mining follows a different patent. Instead of training skills or fitting modules to increase your yield, they will lower your cycle time, which means more cycles per hour, which means more ice units per hour.

The only mining lasers capable of harvesting ice are the T1 Ice Harvester strips, and their T2 counterparts, which means ice can only be mined by mining barges or exhumers.

As I said cycle time is what counts when mining ice, and the different between Ice Harvesters I and II is noticeable:

Laser Cycle (in sec)
Ice Harvester I 600
Ice Harvester II 500

Every time your Ice Harvester completes a cycle, you will get 1 unit of ice. The exception to this rule lies with the Mackinaw, which has a built-in bonus of 100% ice mining yield... which means for every cycle, you will get 2 units of ice instead of 1. This table summarizes this well:

Ship Ice units (per strip/cycle)
Mackinaw 2
Other barges & exhumers 1


There is only one skill that affects ice mining, which is Ice Harvesting, which reduces your cycle time by 5% per level. Although Mining 4 is required to use Ice Harvesters II, it does not change anything in the cycle time or yield of your harvesters. The equivalent of the MLU, called the Ice Harvester Upgrade (IHU) reduces the cycle time by 5% for each of your Ice Harvesters.

Skills you will need: Ice Harvesting 5

The logical choice for mining ice is to get a Mackinaw, as no other ship will outmine it. Plus, they are very affordable.

9.1 Figuring your Cycle Time

Before we go any further, you must know that unlike "regular" ore mining, unless your full cycle is completed, you will NOT get any ice unit. Again an exception lies with the Mackinaw, which will still give you 1 ice unit if you completed more than 50% of your cycle time.

You will notice the Mackinaw has a 25% penalty to cycle time, but gives a 5% reduction in cycle time per level. So if you have Exhumer trained at level 5, and using Ice Harvesters II, you will get the following cycle time:

500 sec * 1.25 * 0.75 * 0.75 * 0.95^2 = 317.28 sec

Concretely, it means every 317.28 seconds, you will receive 2 units of ice per ice harvester. Since you can fit two ice harvesters per Mackinaw, it means you will harvest 4 units of ice every 317.28 seconds.

To know how much this translates per hour, you need to figure out how many cycles you will complete per hour. An hour has 3600 seconds, so 3600/317.28 = 11.34 cycles per hour. Roughly, if you bring it down to 11 cycles per hour, it means you will get 44 units of ice per hour.