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Transport Method Cargo Holds
Cargo Size 25,000 tons
Pop Required 50,000
Total Cost (BP) 120
Duranium 60
Corundium 60
Automated Mine
Transport Method Cargo Holds
Cargo Size 25,000 tons
Pop Required 0
Total Cost (BP) 240
Duranium 120
Corundium 120
Convert Mine To Automated
Transport Method N/A
Total Cost (BP) 150
Duranium 75
Corundium 75

A Mine and Automated mine is a planetary installation and are the primary method of mineral extraction for use by your empire. Automated mines work just like normal mines except they require no population to operate and are twice as expensive.


Each mine extracts the racial mining rate per mineral year, modified by the planetary and sector governors mining bonuses and the availability of each mineral. Extracted minerals are placed in the colony stockpile.

Formula:  (Racial Mining Rate) * (Sector Governor Mining Bonus * 0.25) * (Planetary Governor Mining Bonus) * (Mineral Availability)

Mines can be mass-shutdown via the Civilian / Ind Status tab of the Economics screen. This will immediately shutdown all manned mining operations. Automated mines do not appear to be able to be shut down. Reactivation requires 6 months.



Current-tech TN mines are roughly 10-times more efficient than conventional mines (10 tonnes / year / mine for accessibility 1.0 minerals). Each massive mining complex, with its deep-core mining gantries and other supporting establishments, requires 50,000 workers to operate. Mines can be automated for a cost of 125% of a standard mine.

Automated mines

Automated mines utilized advances in TN computing, miniaturization, and robotics to allow a mining facility to work with no production staff. The annual mining output of an automated mine is the same as a traditional TN mine, but the construction cost is doubled. This makes automated mines less efficient than normal mines on a cost/output basis, but there are circumstances where standard mines are not feasible (unconscionable worlds, for example, or those with a prohibitively high colony cost).

Ship Alternatives

For distant asteroids and comets see Asteroid mining. Especially for distant bodies, the time saved moving the mining ships rather than sending freighters out to move the automated mines might offset the cost of the ships. The downside is that ships have much larger thermal signatures than an automated mining colony, making it easier to find. Of course, the constant stream of mass driver packets is rather visible as well. In either case, having a mass driver on the colony greatly simplifies recovery of the minerals.

For gas giants where mining is impossible, a task group equipped with Sorium Harvesters can automatically convert the otherwise inaccessible Sorium into fuel. While not raw sorium, it's better than nothing.