See the page about mining for details be in summary, ships designated as "Mine" either carry Bulk or Liquid wares, and this defines what they may harvest:
- Bulk: Crystals, Ice, Nividium, Ore and Silicon (with Surface Miner URVs and an on-board Mining Laser*).
- Liquid: Hydrogen, Ions and Plasma (with Scoop Collector URVs).
As noted on the mining page,the Player Ship (Skunk) can mount a mining Laser so in practice, any "Trade" ship with an appropriate cargobay and drones may work as a Mining Ship. As is also noted, when Bulk Mining Ships are in "low attention" (essentially OOS), Mining Lasers are not even needed by the CPU-friendly code. That said, this page focuses on the ships that the game notionally intends to be used as Mining Ships.
The descriptions of some Mine Ships imply they have a specialisation with specific harvestable wares. This doesn't seem to have been confirmed in-game but it, and their names, are described on the mining page.
There are currently 7 Medium and 6 Large ships that are designated as "Mine", and 3 other ships designated as "Trade" that are aimed at mining. The Large ones being the Vulture (Bulk), which has a Mining Laser, and the Vulture (Liquid). The Extra Large one being the Scaldis, which has 3 Mining Lases and can harvest any resource.
Statistics for all of them can be found in the table below (based on ship data linked from here ).
Mine ship stats (click on heading to re-order)
(m3/ k Cr)
1. Full price estimated to be hull+SEs+crew+drones:
- Hull: Encyclopaedia base price (approximately equal to 2 x sum cost of all components at their base price).
- SE (Surface Elements): Sold by shipyards at approximately 2 x base costs (1 Capital Field Generator = 3 FFPs).
- Crew: 240 k Cr assumed for L/XL ships (65k Captain; 35k Engineer; 140k DO), or 30k for a Pilot.
- Drones: 3.0 M Cr assumed for L/XL ships (5 constructors, 20 Miner Mk I, 10 Cargo, and 5 Intie. Mk I), or 0.2M Cr for Medium ships.
2. In the case of Large and Extra Large ships, the listed cargo volume is the volume available for trading (10,000 m3 extra available for fuel).
3. The Scaldis has a split cargobay that holds 40 k m3 Bulk and 70 k m3 Liquid. Stats are based on 20 of each mining drone being used at once.
|20.02.2016||Improved hull cost estimates||Switched hull cost to encyclopaedia base price from 'cost of wares'|
|Corrected SE cost estimates||Shipyards sell SEs at 2x their base cost and now this table does too|
|18.04.2016||Added drone capacity||Added drone bay statistics to all ships. Should be useful.|
The Scaldis is notable for being the only "true" XL-class mining ship (equipped with mining lasers), though this distinction is only meaningful when used in-zone. (OOZ mining does not take mining lasers into account, and any ship with universal cargo bay can technically mine both ore and gas when equipped with the appropriate drones). The Scaldis' segregated storage is particularly useful in this role, since it won't fill up the entire cargo bay on just one ware type, ensuring that if it (and the station it works for) is full on one resource type, it can continue gathering the other type.
The Sequana stands out from the rest of the bulk-type miners with an exceptionally-high drone capacity. Since mining speed is determined by the number of mining drones, the Sequana is arguably the best ore miner, able to perform mining operations faster than any other ship.
The Hermod deserves a mention here as well. Even though technically of "Trade" specialization, the Hermod is actually the best gas miner available (keep in mind trade and mining ships can be used interchangeably, and a station manager will utilize a ship based on what type of drones are equipped). Like the Sequana, the Hermod has an exceptional 300-drone capacity, allowing it to gather resources much more quickly than any of the standard miners. Additionally, the Hermod has a whopping 240K storage capacity (and it is a true hybrid storage, so the entirety can be used for liquid wares) - this handily beats any other gas miner, all of whom are limited to 80K of storage. The combination of high drone capacity and hybrid storage (Bulk/Liquid) actually allows the Hermod to be a highly-effective universal miner when used OOZ, outperforming the Scaldis in this role due to the higher drone count.
The Onil is also note-worthy. It is among some of the fastest capital ships in the game, and handily the fastest in the "Mining" category. Like all Canteran ships, it is very compact and agile, allowing for fast docking and ware transfer.