Let's talk about resource gathering in EVE.
First off, I'm talking about resources that are spawned by the game system and not created through recycling, microtransactions, or rewards. Things like Ore, Gas, Moon Materials, Research Components, etc.
There methods for gathering resources can be broken down into two broad categories: active and passive. Active is where the pilot has to be online and at keyboard taking actions to facilitate the gathering of resources, whether it be hacking a container in an exploration site or shooting an NPC to get a loot drop. Passive is where the resource gathering occurs regardless of the presence of the pilot engaged in the activity, such as Planetary extractors or moon mining.
There are advantages to both methods in terms of game play mechanics. Active resource gathering rewards players being logged in and in space doing something but takes the entire focus of the player and leaves nothing for enemies to attack when they are offline (unless they use a POS/Citadel as part of their operation). Passive resource gathering can happen even when the player is offline, but doesn't take the player from other activities (like PvP) and leave something in space for people to attack (like a POCO or a POS).
Which brings us to Asteroid and Ice Mining.
Mining an asteroid or ice block is supposedly active resource gathering in that the player has to be there in a ship with the proper tools, but the reality is that it requires so little active player involvement that the activity is associated with passive gameplay or botting.
There have been suggestions in the past to change the gameplay to increase stimulation for players but I think they all miss the point. God-like capsuleers firing lasers at space rocks is not the vision I want to pursue. I'd rather we consider a radical departure and move asteroid/ice mining to a passive mechanic using deployable structures that players place in belts to do the extraction for them, freeing them up to do other more engaging activities AND provide static targets for other players to consider attacking.
This could be done while still leaving the current mining mechanics in place and could even produce ore at a rate lower than an efficient mining operation using pilots and mining ships, but the result of freeing pilots for other activities I think would persuade many miners to switch.