Any Refinery that is deployed at an Upwell Moon Mining Beacon can install a Standup Moon Drill in order to rip large chunks out of the nearby moon and then lift them up to fracture them into smaller asteroids that can be mined by capsuleers. This process is also called "Moon Mining".
The Upwell Moon Mining Beacon becomes visible after warping to a moon.
Once a Standup Moon Drill is set up on such a Refinery and turned online, an Extraction Schedule can be set while taking control of the structure, using the respective buttons on the right hand side of the structure controls.
The longer the time frame for an extraction is, the larger the chunk that is being pulled up by the Moon Drill can be. The length of the extraction cycle can be set to any value between 6 and 56 Days. Below the slider to set the extraction length, the days before and after the end of the chosen extraction cycle are shown, along with indicators for the current vulnerability window schedule of the structure around the end of the extraction cycle. This preview assumes that the vulnerability windows are not changed before the extraction cycle completes.
Further below, the expected volume and ore types of the chunk that currently is or is about to be extracted are listed as well.
Starting an extraction will then cause the Moon Drill to shoot at the moon and drag the resulting chunk up to the refinery over the course of the planned extraction cycle. Any character who is able to take control of the refinery will be able to start an extraction, but only the CEO, Directors or a member with the Station Manager role of the corporation owning the refinery may cancel an ongoing extraction cycle.
After the extraction cycle completed, the moon chunk will be ready outside of the Refinery, waiting for the moon drill to fire at it again in order to break it apart into smaller asteroids that can then be mined by capsuleers using a mining laser, much like a normal ore asteroid. The completion of the extraction cycle is also indicated to any visitors of the structure by the Tractor Beam of the Moon Drill turning yellow. If an extracted moon chunk has not been destroyed within three hours of the end of the extraction, the Moon Drill will fire on it automatically. This time until automatic fracture can be extended by a rig on the Refinery. Once a chunk has been destroyed, a new extraction cycle can be planned and started immediately, and the asteroids of a destroyed chunk will remain around for a few days if they are not mined away earlier. The length of time that the asteroids will stay around can also be extended through the use of a rig on the refinery.
The refinery will track the mining activity of any character doing any mining among the asteroids resulting from one of its moon chunks in the Corporation Moon Mining Ledger, which is available to the corporation that owns the refinery.
The following ores are only obtainable through Moon Mining, and they can be reprocessed more efficiently with the following skills:
- Ubiquitous Moon Ore Processing: Zeolites, Sylvite, Bitumens, and Coesite
- Common Moon Ore Processing: Cobaltite, Euxenite, Titanite, and Scheelite
- Uncommon Moon Ore Processing: Otavite, Sperrylite, Vanadinite, and Chromite
- Rare Moon Ore Processing: Carnotite, Zircon, Pollucite, and Cinnabar
- Exceptional Moon Ore Processing: Xenotime, Monazite, Loparite, and Ytterbite
When anchoring a refinery near a Moon Mining Beacon, it should be noted that deployable structures, such as Mobile Depots, can not be deployed within 75km from the moon mining beacon. This should be taken into consideration when choosing the spot for the refinery to avoid the situation where the asteroids from a chunk would appear too close the beacon itself, preventing the deployable structures from being placed near the belt.
This Dev Blog introducing the Refineries contains more information on Moon Mining and Refineries.
Moon Mining Beacons are available in all systems with a security rating of 0.5 or lower.