# I'm having a problem with the asteroid belt mining rules

Yay!

E4MC said:
Okay. So I started over from the beginning and found a 1,000,000 Ton asteroid composed of Dense Materials (including metals). The Yield is 32%, so 1,000,000 Tons x 32% = 320,000 Tons. I'm assuming Type D material is Dense Metals on the commodity table (I'm not really sure because the rules don't really explain it.) worth Cr50,000 per ton. So the value of the yield is 320,000 Tons x Cr50,000 = Cr16,000,000,000. But because it is unrefined ore, the value of the claim is only 10% of that, or Cr1,600,000,000. So I open a channel with a corporation and they offer 14% of the value. I'm assuming that's 14% of the value of the unrefined ore and not the value of the yield (The rules aren't clear on this) for an immediate cash offer of Cr1,600,000,000 x 14% = Cr224,000,000. Did I do this right or am I missing something?

The problem is that the entire asteroid is NOT going to be Dense Materials. All asteroids are composites, even if they are classified as Metallic or Icy or Carbonaceous. Only a small percentage of the total mass will actually be worth anything. The rules are broken for anything larger than a about 10000 tons.

Interestingly enough, there may soon be a 3rd party publisher putting out something that will address these issues.

Also, SHAMELESS PLUG, there are some better belting rules (based on MGT1) in System Book 1: Katringa, by Spica Publishing. Available for a reasonable price on DriveThruRPG.com

Most of a Metallic asteroid should be nickel iron worth 400 a ton, with a small percentage worth the 50 000 Credits of Dense.

There also needs to be a cahrt for Crystals and radioactives yield.
And then the confusion between the asteroid yield results and the processing results from a metal refinery in the station chapter.

The yield needs to also include waste. A vein of ore running at 10% purity would be considered pretty valuable. So to get 100 Dtons of ore you should have to crush 1,000 Dtons. Radioactives should probably be around 1-2%, if that. And crystals even less.

If you jigger the numbers to provide a lot more wastage like they have to do today then the numbers come down and it makes more sense to keep the prices as they are today.

The classic traveller module Beltstrike, which has a better set of mining rules that you can simply lift into MgT, is also available on Drivethru RPG, as is the Beltstrike adventure for MgT 1e - although I prefer the Classic Traveller Module's mining rules for a party of PCs.

J

Yatima said:
The classic traveller module Beltstrike, which has a better set of mining rules that you can simply lift into MgT, is also available on Drivethru RPG, as is the Beltstrike adventure for MgT 1e - although I prefer the Classic Traveller Module's mining rules for a party of PCs.

J

I have Classic Traveller's Beltstrike and I agree, the rules are much better. In fact, looking at Beltstrike's rules, I see why Mongoose's rules don't work:

On Page 12 of Classic Traveller's Beltstrike, there is a Asteroid Size/Deposit Extent Table. The Table says to roll 2D to determine the Asteroid Size and then roll 1D and subtract it from the Asteroid Size to determine the Extent of the Deposit. A result of 7 on the Table is 1,000,000 tons, and the Table says a result greater than 7 on the Extent of Deposit roll equals 7. This means the Extent of the Deposit will never be more than 1,000,000 tons.

On Page 77 of Mongoose Traveller's High Guard, there is essentially the same table. You still roll 2D to determine Asteroid SIze. But instead of rolling another 1D and subtracting it from the Asteroid Size to determine the Extent of the Deposit, Mongoose has added another column to the table called Resource Yield. You roll a number of dice listed in the column as a percentage and then multiple the Asteroid Size by the percentage to get the Resource Yield (Classic Traveller's Extent of Deposit). Unfortunately, Mongoose screwed the pooch when they revamped the table as well as the rules for how to use it. This is because any roll higher than 7 for Asteroid Size gives a result of planetoid but the Table doesn't list a weight in tons for a planetoid so there is no way to calculate the resource yield for a planetoid.

Mongoose should have left in the extra 1D roll and subtraction from the Asteroid Size, with a result of 7 equaling 7, to determine the Extent of the Deposit. Then after getting that result, use the Resource Yield column to determine a percentage and multiply the Extent of Deposit by that percentage to get a Resource Yield. That would actually be an improvement to Classic Traveller's rules that would result in less of a windfall to the Travellers.

One point about asteroid mining in general is that in any viable asteroid belt, if asteroid mining is technologically workable, there will be at least one asteroid that is rich enough to wipe out the entire system's mineral markets for a multitude of mineral classes.

The only thing that would allow asteroid prospecting to remain profitable would be a market for other minerals that hasn't collapsed to the cost of refining, the always wished-for possibility of an Ancients artifact, and a megastructure project that demands vast quantities of raw materials.

Digression:
The most extreme megastructures are ringworlds -- and they are so huge that they would not only devour every asteroid and terrestrial planet in a system, they'd require consuming entire gas giants, using some of the hydrogen for construction energy, releasing most volatiles to be driven into interstellar space by the stellar wind, and carrying away the solids in the core for megastructure construction.

I think Ringworlds have been removed from Traveller. The existence of a Niven sized ringworld, with its 3 million worlds worth of area distorts the game.

Your point about a single asteroid supplying everything a planet might need. This is true. Asteroids provide a massive amount of raw materials. This is where players might be able to pick up materials for a cheaper price in spec trading.

A single asteroid could also provide clandestine supplies of raw materials for black market production of illegal weapons, pirate ships and everything else you can think of. (Theev is a good example.)

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