The foundations of a strong empire are its mining and freight network. Without a reliable supply of resources, growth will always be an uphill struggle.
There are five natural resources that can be mined: beron, farsu, limbalt, olzine and ziryl. Each of these resources is used for a different purpose, so strategic priorities will determine which should be mined for and how aggressively.
- Beron: required for the construction of buildings and structures e.g. mines, farms, power stations, laboratories, etc. No colony structures can be built without it. It’s a fairly common mineral found in large deposit sizes.
- Farsu: the base material used in the construction of ship hulls and parts. Without farsu, shipyards can’t produce any ships!
- Limbalt: used to produce ordnance for ordnance-based weapons (energy weapons do not need limbalt as they are powered entirely by a ship’s internal power supply).
- Ziryl: required for the production of energy-based ship parts e.g. plasma cannons, shields, and beam turrets. Some structures also require ziryl for their construction (only laboratories at the moment). Ziryl is a rare resource and deposit sizes are small.
- Olzine: is used as ship fuel. All ship engines can travel at at least warp one without needing fuel (free warp), however, much faster travel is possible when olzine is available.
At the start of the game, beron and farsu mine construction technology is already available. Limbalt, ziryl, and olzine mining technology need to be researched first before these mines can be built.
Mines are undesirable structures. Each mine constructed on a colony contributes negatively towards colony happiness (for civilizations affected by happiness). To offset their negative affect, other structures that contribute positively to colony happiness should be constructed e.g. entertainment centers and military camps.
Types of mines
The first type of mine that can be researched and constructed are standard mines. Standard mines can be used to extract a resource deposit from a planet. The rate at which a standard mine will produce depends on the density of the deposit. One mine working on a RICH deposit, could produce the same amount of resource as four mines working on a POOR deposit, so POOR deposits are best avoided if possible.
Once deep mining technology has been researched, standard mines can be upgraded to deep mines.
If a resource deposit exists, a deep mine will work like a standard mine. However, if there is no resource deposit (indicated by DEEP on the planet resource info), or the original deposit has been exhausted, a deep mine will work in deep mining mode and produce the related resource at the fixed rate of 2.16 resource units per hour.
Small mines work in the same way as standard mines. They can be researched and then constructed after the standard version of the same mine has been researched (there are no small mines for beron or farsu).
Their main advantage is that they require less personnel to operate, so are ideal for smaller colonies. Their disadvantage is that they cannot be upgraded to deep mines, so are best dismantled once the resource deposit they are working is empty.
To view a full performance and cost comparison of the types of mines listed above, visit the wiki page on mining.
The image above shows the resource deposits for a planet.
- Standard and small mines can be used to extract the beron (16,675 RICH) and limbalt (7,849 POOR). One beron mine will produce more beron per hour than one limbalt mine due to the differences in density (RICH and POOR).
- Deep mines can be used to produce farsu, limbalt, or ziryl as there are no deposits of these resources (0 DEEP).
- If the beron and limbalt deposits were mined to zero, beron and limbalt could continue to be produced by upgrading standard mines to deep mines.
Upgrading a standard mine to a deep mine
The above image on the left shows that two standard beron mines have been constructed (for a Syntis civilization). Clicking the icon opens the menu options shown on the right. The upgrade option is only available because deep mining research for beron has been completed and this is a standard mine (small and deep mines can’t be upgraded at the moment). The dismantle option is available for most constructed buildings (dismantling takes time, but returns 80% of the original resources used in the building’s construction).
This image shows the upgrade screen. There are two standard beron mines (left) and zero deep mines built (right) on this colony. Both mines could be upgraded with the same command, or if there aren’t enough colony resources, one could be upgraded now and the other later. Once an upgrade has been ordered, the mine will remain offline until the upgrade has been completed.