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So, I'm building up a mining colony at Minmus, but I'm trying to make it as efficient as possible.

I am using Kerbal Attachment System mod, just for reference.

Would it be more efficient for me to process minerals on minmus and then ship it to orbit, or to ship minerals to orbit and process it there?

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Refining on site tend to be better. 
Now if you bring fuel down to low kerbin orbit you might want ore or at least in part ore simply as you will use more fuel than oxidizer because of nuclear engines and bringing ore to refine in low kerbin orbit let you get the mix you need rather having to wait for tanker to return. 

Without KAS is a bit hard to transfer ore on the ground but with kas this is easy. Minmus is also easy to land on and you can use an tanker with heat shield both to refuel ships in Minmus orbit or fill up fuel depots in low kerbin orbit. 

My minus base 
ihfsn4tl.png
An mobil base for use on the Mun is visiting, also has two tankers and an passenger ship landed One of the tankers is mixed ore and fuel / oxidizer. 

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6 hours ago, HeyThisIsntFallout said:

Raw material probably loses weight after refinement, meaning that's less weight to launch back into orbit.

If what you're refining is LFO or LF, and assuming that you're using the big ISRU, then this is not the case. One ton of ore will produce one ton of LFO (or LF).

If you're refining monopropellant, then IIRC there's a bit of mass loss. And if you're using the small ISRU, then there's a huge mass loss, like 90%+; the small one is extremely inefficient.

Personally,  my own Minmus mining preference is to not have any permanent surface base at all. I have a combination mining / refining / lifter ship that does the whole job. It consists of a huge fuel tank, an ISRU, drilling equipment, and a tiny bit of ore tankage, with an appropriate amount of engine power for lifting off Minmus with a full load.

It lands, then mines and refines until it's full. Then it lifts off to Minmus orbit where it can transfer its load to an orbiting depot before landing again and repeating the cycle.

I find this system to be by far the most efficient... where my personal definition of "efficiency" is measured in tons of fuel per minute of my play time. Yes, there is a bit of "inefficiency" in the sense that it's schlepping the ISRU and drilling equipment to orbit and back again on each cycle.  But that's only a small amount, due to 1. the relatively tiny amount of dV needed to get to Minmus orbit from its surface,  and 2. using massive fuel tankage, so that the ISRU and drills are only a fairly small percentage of total ship mass. And, for me, the small "loss" which that incurs is more than offset by all the stuff I don't have to do, such as landing precisely next to a surface base, tinkering with EVA kerbals, etc. And making the miner's tanks as big as I can possibly get away with minimizes the number of round trips I need to make.

In short, maximum fuel tonnage for minimum hassle. Which is what I'm after.  :)

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11 minutes ago, Snark said:

And, for me, the small "loss" which that incurs is more than offset by all the stuff I don't have to do, such as landing precisely next to a surface base, tinkering with EVA kerbals, etc. And making the miner's tanks as big as I can possibly get away with minimizes the number of round trips I need to make.

See I fix that by cutting out the entire system once I've set it up.

I land the mining base, make sure it works and gets fuel in a reasonable time frame. Then I put a huge orbital fuel depot up that can old as much fuel as I'll ever need in a ship. Then I get a fuel shuttle that can land and get back to the station. I make sure to field-test all of these things.

Then any ship that gets into orbit of Minmus and has an open docking port gets to fill up their tanks for free with Hyperedit.

Edited by 5thHorseman
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