Mint class Mining Drone
|Mint class Mining Drone|
Mining: difficult + dangerous + dreary = drone
|Type: UDG Mining Vessel|
|Also see||Industrial Vessel - Mining Drone|
|Canon||No. Unpublished, non-canon fan smallcraft design.|
|Cost||MCr11.9655. MCr10.76895 in quantity.|
|EOS||Examples still operate post-Collapse|
|Passengers||0 High/Med 0 Low|
|Reference||EXTERNAL LINK: MGT Forums|
|Designed with Mongoose Traveller High Guard rules, but portable to other versions.|
The Mint class Mining Drone is a Mining Vessel.
- It is a civilian ship and a drone.
- It is commonly found in a swarm with examples of the Fuelbag, Icepick, Quarter Hammer, System Defense Brick, and Zip drone classes.
Mints are simple automated mining drones. Given a large enough surveyed planetoid, a Mint extracts an average of 18 tons of ore per day using its laser drill, of which it refines 1 ton into a half of raw materials suitable for constructing more drones (or other structures, such as fuel depots). They are often deployed in swarms, but even one is enough to get depot construction started. It is capable of repairing itself and other drones in its swarm, so long as it has design files. Fully half of a Mint is its refinery; sometimes they just refine what they have mined for long stretches, to enable repairs or construction.
The claw-equipped tow cable is most often used as a frog-like tongue, launched at a small chunk of ore the laser drill has blasted free, latching on, retracting, and depositing the nugget in the smelter, to be processed or just to be quickly cleaned of impurities. There is not much cargo room on board, so ore and finished raw materials are typically stored externally (that is: left to float near the Mint, for some other drone or ship to pick up). Actually towing large bodies is usually reserved for sending fused-together caches of raw ore or materials into an unpowered transfer orbit near (but never on a direct intercept course with) a local inhabited planet, which will have boats capable of intercepting and deorbiting the bounty. Alternately, some Mints arrange their output for direct pickup by merchant ships who either broadcast a pre-approved identifier to, or arrange payment via, the swarm's System Defense Bricks. Payment is often at a discount given the volume of output and the distance from an inhabited world, though regular discounts on millions of tons of ore and raw materials draws the concern - sometimes expressed as legal or marketing pressure, sometimes as pirates - of competing mining interests.
The average output reflects the Mint's average ability to operate (and, when necessary, repair) itself. Perfect operation of its laser drill would yield an average of 28 tons per day, but Mints are no more able to achieve this than sophont operators have been able to. It has been noted that, from a pure output point of view, a Mint is roughly the equivalent of eight ordinary mining drones plus an operator and the ability to stay on station without break.
Not available at this time.
General Description & Deck Plans
- Deck Plans for this vessel.
Basic Ship Characteristics
|Basic Ship Characteristics |
|1.||Tonnage / Hull|| Tonnage: 10 tons (standard). 140 cubic meters. Planetoid Hull.
|2.||Crew||Crew: no sophonts. Software provides virtual Pilot and virtual Gunner.|
|3.||Performance|| Acceleration: 1-G maneuver drive installed.
|5.||Hardpoints||Too small for hardpoints. 1 firmpoint.|
|6.||Armament||1 laser drill, not recommended for combat.|
|7.||Defenses||None. Usually reliant on other drones in the swarm, or working so remotely that no pirate finds it.|
|8.||Craft||None (besides itself). With no crew, vacc suits and Rescue Balls are not normally carried.|
|9.||Fuel Treatment||It is not equipped with a fuel purification plant or fuel scoops.|
|10.||Cost||MCr11.9655. MCr10.76895 in quantity. (The architect's fees were amortized long ago.) Known to high precision after extensive manufacture by Quarter Hammers.|
|11.||Construction Time||12 days standard, 9 in quantity. Quarter Hammers (which construct the majority of this type) build one at a time, and thus use the standard rate.|
|12.||Remarks||A classic self-running mining drone.|
See Quarter Hammer class Construction Drone, which Mints were created to assist.
While the Quarter Hammer project has seen limited use over the centuries, small scale automated belt mining exists in locations across Charted Space, particularly where there is a colony in the same system where the products can be sold or used so there is no need for jump drive, especially if the system can produce smallcraft locally. (There have been several cases of this being how a Class B Starport, Class C Starport, or sometimes even Class D Starport gathered the materials to upgrade itself to the next classification.) Several of these efforts use either Mints or designs virtually identical to it. Most large scale belt mining efforts, as well as almost all where jump drive is involved (such as to obtain rare minerals not available in nearby populated systems), use sophont crewed ships instead.
There are some mining concerns - particularly those poaching claimed asteroids - that take an armed trader and add docking space for a few Mints. The usual operation is to jump in, obtain unprocessed fuel, head to the target asteroid, deploy the Mints, guard them as they mine (processing the fuel in the mean time), collect the Mints and their products, and jump out. Claim jumpers will bring about 20 tons cargo space per Mint, mine for a day, target asteroids where it is believed there will be no response from the authorities for a day, and prioritize high value ores such as radioactives. More legitimate operations - but ones worried about pirates, thus the need for a guard and limited exposure - will bring more cargo space and mine for a week or two so as to get more profit per time, and can often afford to target common ores.
Many different models of Mints have been produced over time. The version listed in this article is the most commonly encountered version in the Third Imperium.
Class Naming Practice/s & Peculiarities
Mints are almost always known by numerical identifiers. Most are never individually addressed by anything other than the computer coordinating their drone swarm, and thus only nominally even have an identifier in any sophont language.
Selected Variant Types & Classes
- Type UDG class Industrial Smallcraft
- Mint class Mining Drone
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