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.

1 ˣ 1
- 250W
Steel 200 + Component 4
Steel 75 + Component 2

A deep drill extracts resources from underground deposits.

These deposits are discovered by constructing a ground-penetrating scanner and connecting it to power. Clicking the scanner reveals all deposits (cells highlighted green) on the map, but does not reveal the exact contents of each deposit. Constructing or clicking any deep drill also displays all deposits, if a scanner is in place and powered. Clicking a drill (powered or unpowered) will reveal exactly which resource is in the deposit at that location.


When placing a deep drill it can fit in as little as a 1x2 space - one cell for the drill, and one cell for the interaction spot. The 3x3 outline does not restrict placement in any way. It only shows the drill's 3x3 extraction zone and it can overlap walls, mountains, water, buildings, and even some of the maps border's exclusion zone but not the second tile away. Most deposits are in open space, but in tight spots, the drill can be rotated (keys: Q\E) to position the interaction spot.

A drill only extracts resources within its 3x3 extraction zone, so it should be placed to cover as much as possible. Drills can be moved, allowing the drill to be reused once resources are exhausted. If building a drill is blocked by terrain like mud or shallow water, the drill can be installed on a bridge. Resources detected in deep water or deep ocean water beyond the 3x3 overlap zone cannot be extracted.


A drill is operated by miners. Unlike crafting stations, the colonist cannot make use of a chair while operating the drill. The drill's inspection pane shows what resource is below (gold, plasteel, silver, steel, uranium, chemfuel or jade). Cells will turn from green to yellow and then blank as they are depleted. Each cell contains a total of 150 resources; if all 9 cells of a 3x3 grid are mined, that is a maximum of 1,350 resources. The actual number obtained however dependent on the miner's mining yield, so the values may be slightly lower. Drill operation can be suspended by marking the drill as forbidden or turning off its power.

Drills will produce stone chunks if there are no other materials below them. Only one type of stone chunk is produced on each map. To prevent pawns from continuing to drill stone undesirably, a drill that has exhausted all other resources will automatically be marked "forbidden" with a notification to the player.

Each extraction cycle takes a base of 14,000 ticks (233.33 secs) of work to finish, modified according to the colonist's Mining Speed stat. Although this time is the same for all materials, the amount per cycle varies. For example, plasteel yields 7 units per cycle, making it effectively 5 times slower to mine than steel, which yields 35.

Note that resource fields may be adjacent to each other, sometimes with different types of resources. If a drill is placed such that it overlaps both zones, it will mine all of the resources from one type before switching to the other field. In which case, the infobox will display which resource the drill is currently extracting.


A deep drill requires power to operate. Besides connecting to the main power grid, relocating charged batteries can provide power for a while. This can eliminate running power lines to remote areas, however a roof is needed to protect the batteries from rain. Alternatively, a vanometric power cell works to power up to 3 nearby drills constantly.

Once a drill has completely mined all resources in its 3x3 zone, it will continue to draw power until it is turned off, disconnected from the grid or deconstructed.


The resources contained in a deposit correlates with the size of the deposit. Below is an estimate of the different deposit sizes:

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

Note that it is also possible (but uncommon) for deposits to directly touch each other which can make identification harder.

Alternative table:

Resource 1-5 6-10 11-15 16-20 21-30 31-40
Steel.png Steel - - - - Check.png Check.png
Silver.png Silver - Check.png Check.png Check.png - -
Jade.png Jade Check.png - - - - -
Gold.png Gold Check.png - - - - -
Uranium.png Uranium Check.png Check.png - - - -
Plasteel.png Plasteel Check.png Check.png - - - -


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

Version history

Prior to version B19, Chemfuel could be acquired by drilling.

Starting in 1.0, it's possible to drill into insectoid hives.