I really don't advise anyone doing this yet. But, hey, freedom and stuff.
Mining is really, really slow.
First. Get a mining laser. Class one is cheap, class two blows asteroids up faster.
Second. Get a refinery module. This processes said chunks of asteroid. DO NOT GET A REFINERY UNTIL IT CAN HOLD AT LEAST 3 SPOTS. Seriously. You blast an asteroid, rocks come out. The rocks will be of various types. The refinery breaks them down, but can only hold so many types. If you have three slots in your hopper, and you get a fourth mineral type, you will have to manually eject that stuff. It's super annoying.
The other thing about mining. This isn't explained anywhere official (surprise!), but to mine you actually fly to a ringed planet. It's pretty cool...you seriously just fly so close you feel you're gonna crash, then the rings update textures to little rocks. Then you disengage from supercruise.
There are "extraction points", but IT'S A TRAP! Tons of enemy npcs waiting there. Flying to a ringed planet, you are actually completely safe from anyone fucking with you.
Next stage, or, actually, the first...is finding a planet to mine. System view, my friends. So...89 Draconis (or 68, I'm terrible with the numbered systems) is the gold rush atm. What you want to find is a ringed planet. Then upon selecting it, you can see its level, from "depleted" to "pristine". Guess which is better.
The other thing you want is the type of stuff to mine. The rings can be "rocky" which yields minerals (not worth it), icy (completely useless), and "metallic"...yes! There's also "metal rich" which sometimes yields metal, but usually is minerals.
Mining is extremely time consuming. So bypass as much bullshit as you can. You will be pissed off blasting rocks, scooping them up, then selling them for a grand total of $2k credits.
Don't mine anything less than silver. Silver, gold, palladium, platinum.
A few tips. You warp out and there are millions of asteroids. To keep you from wasting time, always aim at the planet and move forward. No need to mine the same asteroid twice. Next, blast one asteroid until something comes out. If it's indite or something dumb, move on. If it's silver...hit that. Last, you can save on scooping problems by mining from the asteroid's pivot. You shoot in the middle of it's spinning rotation, the ejecta will shoot out in a straight line. You just start lancing that thing where ever, it will shoot out all over, collide with asteroids, and generally add 10 minutes to your collection time. Oh, and they blow up after a few minutes anyway.
Long story short...mining is kinda cool, in an X-universe way, but is probably the most underdeveloped gameplay mechanism in the game.
However! If you happen to find a silver and above pristine system! Stop what you're doing and mine the fuck out of it. You can make 200K/hour. When exploring, always check the ringed planets of whatever system you pass through.
Phew. I kinda feel like mining now.
It takes about an hour. Your refinery takes little chunks of rocks and starts turning them into full on cargo. It is around 10 to 1. So, scooping your first batch of rocks isn't even going to net you 1 cargo of whatever metal/mineral you're collecting.
Spending an hour collecting indite will net you maybe several thousand credits. Meanwhile, you can make twenty times that doing missions. That's why I suggest only doing high value metals.
And, you don't really know what you're gonna get. If you find a planet that says "metallic" and "pristine", you still don't know what metal you will find, though I'd check it out because that is rare.
This comment was edited on Dec 11, 2014, 19:04.