Mining pristine rings in an unpopulated anarchy

Exploring LHS 2661

Exploring LHS 2661 In My DBX

The Location

My current chosen home world is Belobog. Have been mining Major reserve asteroid belts at Sango, this was pretty easy going and quite profitable. To step things up, I wanted to try a pristine reserve. The only pristine reserves I’d found during exploration were about 100Lyrs away, near Lave, and that was just a metal rich belt. So, to save time I found a list of close by systems with pristine reserves on – LHS 2661 was the closest, at around 40Lyrs. Being unpopulated and unexplored, it looked like just the kind of weird place I like! The round-trip from Belobog wouldn’t be that far being just 2 hops with my T6‘s 4A hyperdrive. Also, I don’t fit a scoop, so the round trip is well within a full tank (no station there to fill up). Target pristine system found!

Next, since the system was unexplored, I had no idea exactly what kind of pristine reserves were present on LHS 2661, as no system map was available. So I readied up my DBX and set off. The place seemed deceptively peaceful, I managed to scan all bodies without seeing a single other ship. The exploration was a success, revealing multiple metal rich belts and better a single pristine metallic ring on the further gas giant! The metallic ring is on the furthest planet (about 2500Ls away for the White Drawf you jump into too), but thats OK, it only takes a couple of minutes with nothing much to slow your supercruise.

Mining There

Compared to a populated system, there seem to be no ships flying around when in supercruise. Also there are no RES sites, you must manually drop into rings at low speed to avoid hull damage – I stay under 100Km/s, not sure how much faster you can go safely. In terms of the actual mining, it’s been way better than anything I’ve experienced so far. The concentrations much higher than in Major reserves (occasionally up to 55%, often 25-35%) and some nice mixes like 25% Osmium and 25% Platinum, plus a bit of Panite every so often. I probably won’t go back to non-pristine reserves after now.

Despite the system seeming devoid of ships, pirates show up within minutes of dropping in. Luckily, if you only have limpets in your hold, they just scan you, insult you and leave, never to hassle you again. However, if you happen to have anything else in your hold, things can turn bad very quickly! Even with my Asp Explorer, running seems to be the only option, as the type of pirates that have picked on me so far (always a wing, Viper/Cobra/Imperial Clipper/Asp Explorer/Federal Dropship) would be too tough to risk fighting in a mining setup (limited hardpoints, 3A shields and no armour). Also, you will be mass locked, meaning evasive action and boosting is necessary for a while before a jump is possible (got taken down to 55% hull once). So, the safe course of action if you want to mine in peace seems to be:

  1. Don’t carry anything but limpets
  2. Drop into the ring
  3. Fly close to it and start prospecting, but don’t mine anything yet
  4. When the pirates show up, let them scan you and leave
  5. Once they leave the area, they never seem to return
  6. Mine in peace and prosper!

Sometimes you also see other NPC miners, these seem to remain in the vicinity happily mining away. Once, after a pirate scanned me, they flew off and ‘lit up’ the poor NPC miner, causing him to run away under heavy fire!