- "I'm a doctor, not a coal miner."
- - Leonard McCoy on not mining
Mining is the process of extracting resources, usually mineral resources from objects like planets and asteroids. Mining operations were an important part of the economy of civilizations throughout the galaxy.
Earth and United Earth
United Earth operated off-world mining colonies, including Orpheus Mining Colony on the moon, which was a private business set up by John Frederick Paxton's father. Often these facilities would not have artificial gravity, as it was not practical. (ENT: "Demons"). In 2154 Starfleet briefly secured an alliance with Harrad-Sar for mining a planet rich in magnesite, but this proved to be a scam. (ENT: "Bound")
Mining in the Federation
By the 23rd century the Federation operated several large mining colonies. Some people even spent the majority of their lives underground in mines. For example, the mining operation on Janus VI discovered some of the richest deposits of many sought-after ores in all of the Federation, including Uranium, Sirium, Platinum and Pergium. (TOS: "The Empath", "The Devil in the Dark").
The Federation also mined non-member planets through concessions. In 2267, the Federation competed with the Klingon Empire for the right to mine recently discovered supplies of Topaline on Capella IV. In the end the mining rights went to the Federation. A request to mine the Halkan homeworld however was disapproved by the Halkans. (TOS: "Friday's Child", "Mirror, Mirror")
The Merchant Marine sometimes performed geological surveys for mining companies, for example on Alpha Carinae II. (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer"). Criminals could be sentenced to mining borite for the rest of their lives. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)
Despite the major role of mining in the Federation, founding member Vulcan had no mining interests in the 2360s. Mining disputes were a major factor in the admission of Coridan to the Federation. Vulcan ambassador Sarek accused the Tellarites of conducting illegal mining operations on the planet. (TOS: "Journey to Babel")
By the 24th century, Federation starships like the Template:ShipClass were often autonomous enough to extract materials they needed themselves. Nonetheless, mining continued to be important for the Federation. Amongst the diplomatic training scenarios on the USS Voyager was a mining dispute. (VOY: "Q2")
A mine on Dytallix B, exploited by the Dytallix Mining Company, was abandoned at some point before 2364. (TNG: "Conspiracy"). In 2364 an accident devastated a mining operation in the Sigma III system. (TNG: "Hide and Q"). In the 2370s sulfur mines existed on one of Jupiter's moons. (VOY: "Life Line").
Between the discovery of the Bajoran Wormhole and the beginning of the Dominion War, the Federation also started mining operations in the Gamma Quadrant. In early 2373, Captain Benjamin Sisko led a team to the Gamma Quadrant planet Torga IV to see if the cormaline was worth mining. It was a Vulcan expedition mining Bakrinium in the Gamma Quadrant that discovered remnants of the Hur'q civilization. (DS9: "The Ship", "The Sword of Kahless")
Klingons were known to employ morally questionable practices from time to time. In the 2150s a Unnamed Alpha and Beta Quadrant planets#Deuterium mining colony operated by an unknown species was intimidated by a Klingon crew into giving them part of its deuterium each year. (ENT: "Marauders"). In 2370, the Duras sisters illegally mined a rich magnesite deposit in the Kalla system, which was under Pakled control. (TNG: "Firstborn")
During the 24th century, Cardassian Union devolved into fascism after resources on Cardassia Prime were depleted, and decided to Occupy Bajor so that it could be intensively mined. They employed Strip mining and changed the course of the Glyrhond River to assist their mining operations. Also, a mining accident at Gallitep fostered an outbreak of Kalla-Nohra Syndrome on the planet. (DS9: "The Storyteller", "Duet", "Indiscretion")
After Bajor was abandoned, mining rights were a talking point in peace treaty negotiations between the Cardassian Union and Bajor in 2371.
Volan III, a Federation colony where mining occurred, was turned over to Cardassia under the Federation-Cardassian Treaty. The Cardassian who assumed Raymond Boone's identity operated a ladarium mining sluice on the planet. (DS9: "Tribunal")
Other mining operations
By the 22nd century the Tellarite Mining Consortium was engaged in mining fire salt. They operated freighters to transport the mineral. In 2153 the freighter Tezra was captured while hauling a load of fire salt near Klingon space. (ENT: "Bounty"). Vulcan had a mining agreement with Coridan in 2151. (ENT: "Shadows of P'Jem"). Also during the 22nd century an Andorian Mining Consortium may or may not have existed. (ENT: "Proving Ground")
By the 24th century the Romulan Star Empire was dependent on dilithium mining on Remus. (Star Trek Nemesis) They also used large mining vessels such as the Narada for spacefaring operations. (Star Trek)
There was mining operation on Koralis III that had been abandoned by 2375. (DS9: "Chimera"). The Tigan family ran a large Pergium mining operation in the Sapporo system. (DS9: "Prodigal Daughter"). Telfas Prime also had a mining community.
Countless mining colonies were operated by many species across the Delta Quadrant. Often trade with these colonies proved invaluable for the USS Voyager during its odyssey through the quadrant. For example, in 2374 Voyager acquired needed materials from a mining colony on Hemikek IV, the rights to which were owned by a consortium of non-aggressive people. (VOY: "Investigations")
The Talaxians were also active in mining. Neelix worked at a mining colony for some time. The Talaxians also operated a mining colony on Prema II. Additionally, a group of aliens targeted a Talaxian asteroid colony for mining in 2377, forcing the residents to fight them off. (VOY: "Blood Fever", "Basics, Part II", "Homestead")
A Garan Mining Colony was infected by macroviruses in 2373. (VOY: "Macrocosm"). A colony on Telsius Prime served as a bolomite mine. (VOY: "Live Fast and Prosper"). An unnamed class Y planet was governed by the Ord'mirit Mining Treaty. (VOY: "Course: Oblivion").
The Gammadan mining facility suffered an accident in 2377. (VOY: "Critical Care"). A Nuu'Bari mining consortium made use of holograms, which brought them into conflict with Iden and his followers. (VOY: "Flesh and Blood"). On the bronze age planet of the Takarians, trade in mining futures existed. (VOY: "False Profits")
- Fire salt
- Miner, person who works in the field of mining.
- Mining rights
- Mining colony
- Mines of Mercury
- Dytallix Mining Company
- Fractioning tower