Mine Control Tower
The Mine Control Tower, often referred to simply as a tower, is a building which enables the assignment of Mining Designations and vehicles to a mine. Successful mine setup consists of two parts: designation of a control area, creation of Mining Designations within that control area, and assignment of vehicles to the tower.
A control area is the region of land within which a tower's mining designations and vehicle assignments apply. A default control area is automatically created immediately in front of the tower in the direction the tower is facing when the tower is first built. The control area can be modified at will by clicking the tower to open its UI panel, clicking the
Edit Area button, and then left-click-dragging a new area. When the tower UI is open, the control area for the selected tower is drawn in yellow while the control area for all other towers is drawn in gray.
The maximum size of a control area is 49 designations (or 196 tiles) on either side. Depending on the player's camera angle and the slope the selected terrain, a control area may appear to be trapezoidal at first glance, however it is always rectangular and aligned with the map grid. The control area is not restricted to being placed in front of the tower and there is no maximum distance from the tower.
Vehicles are assigned by the player clicking the Mine Control Tower to open its UI panel, then clicking the plus symbol beside the desired vehicle type. The number displayed after the slash, e.g.,
/ 5, indicates the number of vehicles not already assigned to another Mine Control Tower, Fuel Station, or (with later research) being assigned exclusively to one building. A working mine will require at least one excavator and one truck with additional vehicles increasing mine output. Vehicles cannot be assigned to multiple towers at the same time. Additionally, trucks not assigned to the tower will never attempt to haul ore for excavators.
Trucks will return to the tower and idle if they are unable to unload their cargo when lacking a non-full Category:Storage facility, a non-full machine with truck importing enabled, and a suitable Designations. Excavators will likewise return to the tower when there are no more reachable Mining Designations within the control area and their trucks will accompany them.
Material mining priority
While there is no direct mechanism to prefer the mining of one material over another using the Mine Control Tower, a preference can be specified inside the UI of individual excavators.