Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Here's one for you casual, occasional miners out there.  The pro miners already know this information.  Hell, they might even get annoyed with me for talking about it.  ;-)

Quick: other than Mercoxit, what are the three most valuable ores in New Eden?

Arkonor?  Yep, absolutely.  Bistot?  Aye, say thankya, you speak true.  And of course, Crok--Yeah, not so fast.

After quickly jumping from 300 ISK per unit to 500 ISK per unit in 4Q2010, and increasing to 550 at the end of 1Q2011, the price of Nocxium actually dipped down to 400 or so over the summer.  It's been coming back up again and is now where it started last year, at 500.  Nocxium is found in seven different drone alloys in different concentrations.  When I last wrote about noc a year ago, I recommended that miners seriously consider training the skills for Hedbergite and Hemorphite Tech2 crystals...

Megacyte and Morphite have similar curves to noc: aside from some mid-year fluctuations, they've been pretty stable.  Zydrine has actually lost about 25% of its value this past year.  However, drone alloys are not big factors in the production of these three minerals.

But then there are the high-sec minerals... you know... the ones that are big factors in drone alloys.

Here's Tritanium, up almost 33% since the start of the DRF civil war, volume steady (dropped in only five drone alloys):

Here's Pyerite, up about 20% in the same period, volume steady (also dropped in five drone alloys):

Mexallon, up 65% and still rising (ditto):

And finally Isogen, up about 13%... but like Nocxium, fully seven types of drone alloys contain Isogen, so the fact that it's less affected is easier to understand:

What's the net result?  Here's the money chart:

Prices along the top are based on Jita highest Buy orders as of 00:00 on 22 February 2012.  The ISK/hour figure is the one you should look at.(1)  Put Mercoxit aside since it's kind of a special case, and the top three ores in New Eden today are Arkonor, Bistot... and Hemorphite.  Crokite is now sixth, just barely ahead of Pyroxeres, which is a high-sec ore!

I can't recall that happening... pretty much ever during my time in New Eden to date.

Now, without QENs and without data on the sources of minerals over the last year and change, we have no way of knowing for sure that the DRF civil war is behind these increases.  But the timing is sure coincidental, ain't it?

In the meantime, if you have any interest in mining at all, now might be the time to dust off the old Hulks.  At least until Hulkageddon V gets rolling, that is.(2)  Still no date on that that I've heard.

(1) I assume 1900m3 per minute of mining, which is easy to hit in an unbonused Hulk with decent skills.  Your values might be even higher.
(2) For reference, high-sec ice is back down to the 10-11 million ISK/hour range.  Yes, even Blue Ice.


  1. The isk per hour confuses me a bit. Obviously, it's not 14 so what do I have to multiple that by? :) Thanks!

    1. Sorry, should have specified. Those numbers are in millions. Mining Veldspar is currently worth just under 15 million ISK/hour for a decent-skilled Hulk pilot.

  2. ISK/m3 is the simplest measure, and applies evenly across all mining ships regardless of whether it's a rookie frigate or all-5s, fleet-bonused Hulk. Not to mention, it saves an extra column so you can make that spreadsheet more compact for those multiple-window screens.

    Pyrox has been the most valuable hisec ore for quite some time, Omber the least valuable since … well, since the drone regions came to exist, if my memory serves. And for the first time in a long time, hisec grav sites are actually more profitable than Veldspar (profitable enough to mine them when you find them, but not profitable enough to warrant looking for them).

    But according to the forums, the cause of all this inflation is PLEX, not some silly war in the drone regions. After all, PLEX are in the station I'm sitting in, and drone regions are all the way over there! How could the drone regions possibly affect the price of tritanium?

    And of course, those looking for Pyrox will find it in Amarr space. But mining it involves mining.

    1. Supply and demand affect mineral prices. If you're going to use the minerals from drone alloys to build ships... super carriers, say, when you're done, you'll have an overstock of the four minerals I mention. Put another way, you'll be left with a surplus of Tritanium, Pyerite, Isogen, and Mexallon after the other minerals are consumed.

      Presumably you'd sell the surplus in Jita.

      Without this surplus currently going to Jita, my theory is that the supply is reduced, resulting in a greater demand for what remains, resulting in higher prices for those four minerals.

      If PLEXes (the age-old whipping boy) were the cause, we'd see ALL the minerals increasing in price. And were it PLEXes, it wouldn't have happened, all at once, in December.

  3. "I can't recall that happening... pretty much ever during my time in New Eden to date."

    I'm pretty sure veldspar was high on the list for some time a few years ago, until the devs made an unannounced spawn increase in veldspar asteroids.

  4. Neat, thanks! Veldspar is always good, but it is nice to see that some of the more rare asteroids now surpass it. Seems difficult to justify the risk of low-sec mining.

  5. I'll give you one more factor to consider. Crucible also gave a big boost to certain ores in nullsec grav sites. I used to mine twice as much Spodumain as any other ore. Now I mine six times more Bistot than any other ore. In fact, during more casual playtimes, I may exclusively mine Bistot, Mercoxit, and Arkonor and never touch anything else. I used to import 69% of lowends, but now import almost ALL of my Trit, Pyerite and Mex from hisec for shipbuilding. It would be interesting to see QEN numbers of mineral compression now.

  6. 1900 m3 per HOUR in the footnote ????

    That's more like PART of a CYCLE........

  7. I can confirm that at least in the case of Isogen and Megacyte many of these mineral price changes are due to manipulations. While the prices may rise naturally due to the causes you mentioned, the increase is exaggerated and has been quickly accelerated by the efforts of manipulators.

    When I first started noticing prices rise in the main hubs it was only a few hours later that ALL of my Isogen stocks in the region I trade in were bought up, by a single person. While the initial thought would be that its simply arbitrage or someone desperate for cheap minerals, it wasn't just the large stockpiles that were bought up. In fact, many of my stocks I had for sale are scattered across lowsecs and highsec pockets in small to large quantities that would be impractical to go around picking up by a single person. The fact that they were relisted a few hours later confirmed this.

    A few days later, the same thing happened with megacyte.

    I'm sure that supply is playing a role, but its only half of the picture in the big scheme of things and its manipulations that take advantage of the public's perception of what mineral prices should be based on what they think are the reasons for their increase that are really driving things.

  8. Isk per hour is a very important number to consider as far as I am concerned. I mean people need a way to compare the various activities when deciding what to do in game.

    I feel a need to point out something too often overlooked. In high sec there are a lot of small rocks. A really good hulk pilot can at very best do 90% of ideal m3 per hour and it is usually not that good. On the other hand wormhole and null sec grav sites with huge rocks that you can sit on for hours without shutting off your lazors can give close to 100% of the theoretical maximum. The difference between the two can be 20% or more if you are not paying very close attention.

  9. How do you get 1900 m3/min on an "unbonused" hulk? With 3 strip miner II (with t2 crystals) and two mining upgrade II even max skills only gives 1547 m3/min. A perfect squad commander only boosts that to 1701 m3/min. You'll need a gang booster with field enhancement link to ever reach 1900 m3/min.

  10. I wonder whether the rise in mineral prices has anything to do with this:


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.