Deep drill

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Deep drill

Deep drill

A deep-crust drilling rig for extracting minerals from deep under the surface. Use a ground-penetrating scanner to detect the resources. This drill will yield stone chunks if no resources are present. Can be repositioned freely.

Base Stats

Market Value
290 Silver [Note]
35 kg
Path Cost


1 ˣ 1
pass through only
Cover Effectiveness
Terrain Affordance
-200 W


Required Research
Deep drilling
Skill Required
Construction 4
Work To Make
10,000 ticks (2.78 mins)
Resources to make
Steel 100 + Component 2
Deconstruct yield
Steel 50 + Component 1
Destroy yield
Steel 25 + Component 0 - 1

A deep drill extracts resources, such as metals or rock chunks, from underground deposits.


Deep drills can be constructed once the Deep drilling research project has been completed. They require Steel 100 Steel, Component 2 Component and 10,000 ticks (2.78 mins) of work.


A deep drill takes 200 W of power and occupies a 1x2 cell space, 1 for the drill and 1 for the interaction spot. Deep drills can be uninstalled freely.

A deep drill can mine ore deposits found in by ground-penetrating scanner. Otherwise, drills default to producing stone chunks from the map's available stone types. Drills placed on ice, predominantly found in the ice sheet and sea ice biomes, will not produce stone chunks, though ore deposits can be scanned, accessed, and mined as usual.

Operation requires a pawn capable of mining. Each extraction cycle requires 14,000 ticks (3.89 mins) of work to finish, modified by the colonist's Deep Drilling Speed stat, and unaffected by the resource type being mined. Tunneler mechanoidsContent added by the Biotech DLC are unable to use a Deep Drill.


A ground-penetrating scanner can be used to create ore deposits. Deep drills will mine ore deposits in a 2-tile radius, or 5-tile diameter. While drills can't be placed in water, walls, or other invalid terrain, a nearby drill can still mine ores within those tiles.

Resource Deposit Size Deposit Mean Commonality Resources per cycle
Steel Steel 20 - 40 ~ 30 4 35
Silver Silver 7 - 20 ~ 14 0.5 40
Plasteel Plasteel 2 - 10 ~ 7 1 7
Jade Jade
Gold.png Gold
1 - 5 ~ 3 0.5 10
Uranium Uranium 4 - 10 ~ 7 1 10

The drill's inspection pane shows what resource is below (gold, plasteel, silver, steel, uranium, or jade). Cells will turn from green to yellow and then blank as they are depleted. Each cell contains a total of 300 resources, but the actual number obtained depends on the miner's mining yield, so the values may be slightly lower. When the drill runs out of ores, the building is automatically forbidden, though you can unforbid it to mine stone chunks as usual.


Manned drills are capable of drilling into underground insect hives, activating the event Too Deep: Infestation and bringing several insects to the surface. There will be a short delay between the alert and their appearance, giving your miner time to get away.


Deep drills are a large and valuable source of metals, which often limits a colony when it comes to ship building or general advancement. A ground-penetrating scanner can find an infinite amount of veins over time, meaning you don't have to rely on trading to get them.

As the colonist will spend long times drilling in a place far away from the base, their Mood will suffer because of the lack of beauty and comfort. A room can be constructed around the drill to mitigate the debuffs, using Chairs[Verify] and sculptures to increase Room Quality.


A deep drill requires power to operate, but ore deposits may be far from your main power grid. A vanometric power cell can power up to 5 drills with no input required. Although it is quite explosive, an unstable power cellContent added by the Royalty DLC is easier to get, and can power 2 drills. A fully charged battery can be re-installed near the drill, providing a little less than 3 days worth of power.

Comparison to long-range scanners

The long-range mineral scanner can find readily mineable ores on the world map. The first constraint of the long-range scanner is weight; a caravan must be created to mine its ores. It's often impractical to carry so much without a herd of pack animals.

A ground-penetrating scanner can find an ore deposit roughly 60,000 ticks (16.67 mins) faster, i.e. 24 less hours of work, than the long-range scanner. In addition, each ground deposit contains more material than what's found outside. However, the long-range scanner can be tuned to find a specific ore, and its ore is mined much faster than a drill.

The long-ranged scanner costs the same research as Deep Drill + Ground Scanner combination. However, the former's research is required to get Starflight Sensors, itself required to launching the ship.

Version history

  • Beta 19 - Chemfuel can no longer be acquired by drilling.
  • Beta 19/ 1.0 - Now costs more and mines slower.
  • 1.0 - it is now possible to drill into insectoid hives.
  • 1.1.2624 - the area of deep drills has been expanded to become 21 tiles large (5x5 square minus the corners), as opposed to 9 tiles (3x3 square). Its power consumption has also been reduced (300 -> 200W).