There are currently 2 systems with asteroids orbiting a planet, Vulcan and Veritas.
Asteroid mining can be very productive. When mining minerals it is a good idea to dock at the local space station, and offload your cargo into the item warehouse. This will allow you to mine with little interruptions, and once you have enough materials stored up, you can fly them around to contracts or sell them on the Galactic market. *Note, only 100,000 tons of total materials can be stored in a NPC space station’s Item hanger.
Mining is more useful once you have a ship that can hold enough minerals to mine several asteroids in one trip. A Falcon (160 base cargo) or bigger is recommended for mining. *It is common practice to remove the armor from ships above class 1, and replace it with class 1 armor from a turtle or hornet; downgrading the armor class will create more cargo space on the ship.
In order to mine an asteroid a player must fly to a distance of 5,000m or closer, and maintain that proximity. Turning the gravity anchor on and off to slow down or speed up will help maintain a proper speed. It is best to try and match the speed and direction of the asteroid. *Note, only named asteroids can be mined.
When targeting the asteroid, use the left mouse button to activate your mining beam. Continue holding the mouse button until the asteroid reaches the proper temperature for mining. An ideal temperature for asteroid mining is 2200K. Temperature is judged by the color that the mining beam creates on the asteroid. The color for an ideal mining temperature is Blue. Once the asteroid is heated to the desired temperature, release the mouse button to mine it.
Your ship comes with a class 1 mining beam; a larger one may be built at your space station shipyard or purchased from other players to get a higher yield from mining. Each mining beam produces yields of its class times 10%. So a class 3 mining beam will produce 30% more than a class 1, and a class 4 will produce 40% more than a class 1 from the base yield.
As you mine Asteroids, your 'Asteroid Mining Skill' will go up and increase your yield.
Several new minerals are available for use in research on your space station or sale at the contract boards.
Silicon - needed for your Electronics Factory or sold on the contracts board.
Magnesium - ship yard item construction and can be sold on the contracts board.
Uranium - land and ship based reactors, can be sold on the contracts board.
Tin - Used in ship yard item construction and can be sold on contracts board.
Niobium - Used in ship yard item construction and can be sold on contracts board.
-It is recommended to sell Tin and Niobium to other players, they will pay significantly more than contracts.
Other minerals such as Iron, Carbon, Titanium and Aluminum are got from various asteroids as well. Mineable asteroids and their content (+/- 2%) are....
Kamacite - Iron - 100%
Siderolite - Iron - 33% and Silicon - 67%.
Ureilite - Iron - 23.4%, Carbon - 7%, Silicon - 46.6% and Magnesium - 23%.
Angrite - Iron - 15.2%, Aluminium - 22.8%, Silicon 24.3%, Magnesium - 18%, Tin - 3% and Titanium - 16.7%.
Chrondrite - Iron - 24%, Aluminium - 12%, Carbon - 9.5%, Silicon - 48% and Magnesium - 6.5%.
Autunite - Uranium - 60% and Silicon - 40%.
Colombite - Silicon - 88.2%, Iron - 5.9% and Niobium - 5.9%.
Promethicite - Silicon - 80%, Uranium - 10% and Promethium - 10%. Is a rare spawn, found in locations where Colombite, Angrite, and Autunite are.
Achibot-82 - Colombite, Angrite
Achibot-74 - Colombite, Autunite
Achibot-141 - Colombite, Angrite
Sinstrite-44 - Colombite, Angrite
Sinstrite-63 - Colombite, Angrite
Sinstrite-169 - Colombite Angrite, Kamacite
Sinstrite-188 - Colombite, Angrite
vagabond-21 - Colombite, Angrite, Autunite, Siderolite, Chrondrite
Zyriel-5 - Autunite
Zyriel-38 - Angrite, Siderolite
Zyriel-40 - Colombite, Siderolite
Haven - Colombite, Angrite
seikatsukira-7 - Angrite
seikatsukira-44 - Angrite