Founding and Domain:
Unlike the other members of the Big Eight, the Mining Conglomerate is not a single entity: it is an alliance of many smaller companies which have an agreed management. They have been working together under this combined leadership structure since Captain Rogers of the Kurmaja originally combined all of the mining companies in 10CE, not long after his exile. The focus of this company is mining asteroids, comets and planets for valuable minerals.
They maintain a large fleet of unarmed Scout Ships and a number of huge Mining Vessels. The Scouts
search for useful ores in the areas around the mining vessels, which move to areas of maximum resource density. Once they have located an asteroid with useful resources, they will tow the asteroid to the ship. As the ships can only process a maximum diameter of rock, many of the asteroids are blasted apart to that size before being processed. It takes roughly 6 months to deplete an average asteroid in
this manner, and each modern Mining Vessel has two mining teams which work simultaneously.
As these ships go where the minerals are, they are often located in remote areas. However, they are heavily armed, and the Mining Conglomerate therefore has very little interaction with pirates. Hardcastle Haulage freighters meet the vessels and transport the minerals to onplanet facilities.
Unlike the other Big Eight companies, the CEO position is an open election amongst a “parliament” of the CEOs of each company that makes up the conglomerate. This sometimes leads to a lack of trust on behalf of the other companies for the Mining Conglomerate, because the CEO changes every 10 years, and the secrets that this person discovers are carried with him. Disappearing under suspicious circumstances not long after retiring from the Big Eight position is not terribly unusual for Mining Conglomerate CEOs. The Parliament convenes on Abnoab (as neutral territory) at set intervals, after which each CEO returns to their own individual head office location, many of which are inside the Mining Conglomerate Headquarters tower on Taranis.
Hardcastle Haulage have a long-standing good relationship with the Mining Conglomerate, as they both operate out in the deep reaches of space, and the transportation of ores was one of the factors which originally allowed the transportation company to achieve dominance in the Consortium – they still contract them to transport most of the raw ores produced to their facilities on Verbeia for processing.
They also have a close relationship with C&C: Colonisation and Construction, with whom they share similar goals, and have for the past 400 years.
The Big Eight see the Mining Conglomerate as expansionist, interested in exploring and discovering new mineral sources without regard to what others in their group wish.