“Good morning everyone” Commander Dickerson began “We are starting the mining operation on asteroid AX194-2525. We will be on station in approximately 3 hours. The mining rights have been worked out and the boundaries will be strictly enforced. There will be no chasing veins across boundary lines like last time.”
The holographic display in the center of the table showed the asteroid with the mining rights boundaries and, locations of detected deposits color coded by mineral and recommended base locations.
“What will the scheduling for material transports look like this time?” George Calvin of the African Alliance asked from the far end of the table “I had to stop mining operations because we couldn’t get a transport too many times on the last couple of operations.”
“Your complaints have been duly noted, cataloged, indexed, cross referenced, and given their own filing system, George”
Most present in the room chuckle.
“But seriously, as soon as you start reporting mining mineral deposits we will start a circuit of transports in a traffic flow around the asteroid. This one is unusually uniform, and the rights regions are equally uniform, so we should be able to have a stream of transports that are less than 30 minutes from any extraction point.”
“Are you going to prioritize by mineral content?” Chen Zhou of the Chinese Consortium asked.
“We will not transport any iron or phosphorus on this operation.”
“But our consortium is in need of iron and phosphorous, and we will pay for transport.”
“Your region shows several deposits of uranium, platinum, cobalt and yttrium. Those should prove to be much more profitable than iron or phosphorous or even bauxite.”
“We don’t have to process iron or phosphorous through Luna Station and that saves us a lot of money.”
“There is a market glut on those minerals right now so WE don’t make any money on them. Don’t forget we have to be able to operate this station for you to be able to use it.”
“What about these uranium deposits?” Mikhail Leonov of the Ukrainian Company asked “They seem unusually uniform, almost as if they were deliberately placed.”
“We thought about that, which is why we want you to report anything unusual, odd or just plain weird. I’ll be honest about the fact that we suspect that this asteroid might not be natural. So keep your eyes open and if you see anything that doesn’t feel right, stop and call it in.” Commander Dickerson looks directly in the eyes of every person around the table “I’m serious. If this is not natural then somebody might be looking for it or monitoring it or it might be a trap of some sort. So don’t take any chances.”
Mumbling around the room.
“If there are no further questions, you will find all of the information you need at your docking stations. You will be updated with all additional survey information as we get it and the first launches will be available at 1430. Dismissed.”
Everyone stands and starts to leave except Commander Dickerson.