You have it slightly wrong. Being large enough a group to support the activity needed to operate this new moon mining is the new paradigm.- Comment by Vince Snetterton on post "Rewards Drive Activity"
Small groups, individual players, need not apply.
How many small groups or individual players participate in moon mining? This is a fundamental question to responding to Vince's comment I pasted above.
My gut feel is that the number is low compared to the overall population of EVE because any valuable moons (i.e. R64 and R32 moons) are typically identified and claimed by the various "super powers" who then use their military might to protect the POS on the moon while the extraction process is run by a small handful in the organization.
Still, there is a large number of less valuable moons still necessary to the reaction process to make the Tech II advanced materials, and I have no feeling for who runs those. An individual might do so but my understanding is that the cost of POS fuel to extract is more expensive than the value of the goo extracted, but POS can do more than one activity so perhaps it is supplemental income.
On the other hand, far more small groups / individuals are involved in the reaction process. The moon owners tend to avoid running the reaction farms to take the raw moon materials to advanced moon materials and instead sell the raw materials on the market where secondary producers purchase the matierals required to run the reactions to refine it. This can be done in any POS farm setup with silos and reactors and does not require access to the valuable moons. They markup the finished product to make a profit and pass along the reaction cost to the Tech 2 module/ship producers. Therefore a single moon mining operation run by a small number of pilots feeds into a lot more pilots running reactions.
In the Refinery structure future, reactions will be industry job based and thus limited by number of pilots, not number of POSes. This still lends itself to a large number of pilots running reactions, but since a reaction farm can be replaced by a single Refinery, large organizations might keep the reactions internal rather than selling to a secondary production market.
TOO LONG; DIDN'T READ
Yes, running a moon mining operation by a small group or individual will be next to impossible in the Refinery paradigm. However, I think that impacts a small number of players.
I suspect that the far larger impact will be on small groups running reaction farms who may face competition as Refineries will make such operations easier for the moon extractors to keep internally.