Mining corporations have a particularly interesting history in regards to the former Imperium. Two of the 3I's biggest corps, Ling Standard Products and Sternmetal Horizons, were originally or principally mining corps. The relentless search for minerals and a profit from extracting them drove these companies to the ends of Charted Space, oftentimes dragging the Imperium and its forces into confrontations with the locals when they overstepped their bounds. Now most mining companies generally are concerned with mining ubiquitous nickel-iron asteroids, but these companies were more interested in precious metals and commodities like radioactives, rare earths and precious gemstones/metals. Like the great Terran maritime empires, the 3I's way to power was driven by lust for gold, and its rise and demise were paved with filthy lucre blasted from the rock of ten thousand worlds.
LSP and Sternmetal, and a great many of their imitators and competitors, perished in various catastrophes over the last two hundred years. Sternmetal barely survived in Deneb, thanks to bureaucratic wrangles that delayed the assimilation of its local assets into Hortalez et Cie's corporate consolidation during the latter part of the Civil War. LSP was more self-contained, and its divisions for the most part survived the Collapse. But the prestige and power of these companies, combined with their concentration in installations and assets exposed to Zhodani instransigence, drove both of them out of business. Their places have been taken by a group of local corps, some dating back to antebellum times, that now provide the Commonwealth with most of its mining products. Four of these companies are large enough to blanket most of Deneb.
The largest Commonwealth mining corp was founded in Imperial times to exploit the Spinward Marches relatively untouched mineral wealth. The company obtained its name from its innovative electrolysis processing technology, with which it staked a major stake in both mining and gas processing. Unfortunately, the company's decentralized structure tended to encourage malfeasance on the part of its employees, and made it vulnerable to infiltration by rival corps and Zhodani agents. The latter took over an entire division, and used it as cover for building a logistics base on Fulacin/Rhylanor (Spinward Marches 2613) in what is now known as the Twilight's Peak Affair. The discovery and destruction of this base in 1105 dampened the subsequent Zhodani offensive in the Fifth Frontier War, and exposed the company to an endless round of investigations, prosecutions and asset forfeitures. After the Civil War and Collapse it almost declared bankruptcy, and had to consolidate its assets into a handful of subsectors in the Spinward Marches. By the early 1190s a series of reform minded CEOs had restored it to a picture of financial and legal health, and it began a careful program of renewed expansion. After the Crucible War destroyed the remaining few Imperial-era megacorps, Magnetodynamics bought a controlling stake in the fallen giants Spinward Marches based assets, and propelled itself to the forefront of the industry.
Magnetodynamics has mining operations scattered across the entire breadth of the Commonwealth. The majority of these are based in the Spinward Marches, trailing Foreven Sector and coreward parts of the Trojan Reach. Corporate headquarters is placed at Mirriam/Five Sisters (Spinward Marches 0333), which is the approximate astrographic center of these operations, but the company administration is decentralized into offices at Arden/Vilis (Spinward Marches 1011), Pretoria/Pretoria (Deneb 0406), Albe/Sindal (Trojan Reach 2211) and Drayne/Khukish (Corridor 0910) to provide more efficient management.
Magnetodynamics was traditionally more concentrated in processing than actual extraction, and this is still the case in sectors outside the area immediately surrounding its HQ in the Spinward Marches. It is not uncommon for the other giant mining corps to sell their ores and gases to Magnetodynamic factories for refining and processing. The company also does major business in real estate, primarily previously developed parcels or surplus/abandoned commercial and industrial facilities that the company can clear or recycle for future development.
Magnetodynamics has shed its criminal past. But it still finds the competition and marketplace daunting. To protect itself from major disruptions, it has entered into a strategic alliance with CF-Hercules, a former LSP subsidiary. CF-Hercules was once a main developer and producer of equipment and services for LSP's mining and mine processing divisions, and Magnetodynamics provides discounted raw materials to it in exchange for exclusive access to these products and their supporting technical infrastructure. Out of this initial partnership grew a third company, Port Charlotte Lines, that gives the other companies a stake in deuterium processing and transport, as well as giving Magnetodynamics a secure means of shipping mine and factory output to market.
"Axe" was originally a disreputable gang of claim jumpers that terrorised parts of Foreven Sector in the aftermath of the Fourth Frontier War. When it became clear to these people that the Third Imperium and the Zhodani Consulate were not going to tolerate their banditry forever, they incorporated themselves on Fessor/Fessor (Foreven 2814) just prior to the Fifth Frontier War. Always apt to using strongarm tactics to obtain new properties, they competed with Sternmetal and the other less reputable corps that used Foreven's Imperium friendly worlds as safe havens for their operations. The Crucible War did major damage to the company's coreward assets, and it was forced to flee to the rimward side of Foreven after Fessor fell to the Zhodani. Nevertheless the company has fattened itself on the enormous number of assets left behind by the demise of Sternmetal.
Axe is now HQed on Reidain/Reidain (Foreven 2925), which is now a regional capitol in the Kamrathi Commonality. The Commonality grew out of a region of space, positioned in both non-aligned space and the old Avalar Consulate, known for its extreme capitalism. The laws of the Commonality are still highly protective of practices of questionable legality and ethics extirpated by law and custom elsewhere in the Commonwealth, which encourages local corporate ruthlessness. Most of its assets are still located on the spinward side of the Commonwealth, and this includes a number of new mining ventures in areas of the former Zhodani Consulate just outside of the Occupation Zones. The scrutiny of authorities means that most of its assets within the Commonwealth's borders are operated scrupulously, though usually operated through cutouts or third party management firms, interestingly enough.
The company is strictly raw materials, mainly in mining of commodity metals such as Platinum group or Rare Earths. The company's name comes partially from its monopolization of copper, silver and zinc mining in Foreven Sector.
Axe is purely a mining and raw materials company with an unapologetically avaricious philosophy. Its contract firms inside the Commonwealth are mostly honest, but its divisions outside could give lessons in ruthlessness to Machiavelli. The company has made its wealth by pirating other mining companies' assets, and has little in the way of an organised corporate bureaucracy. It freely and openly hires mercenaries to defend its foreign properties, or as offensive troops in "merger and acquisition" operations. The company has an exclusive supplying partnership with the oftentimes ethically challenged McClellan Factors, whose shipping firm (Sovereign Lines) sometimes "scrubs" manifests to obscure or conceal the source of its shipments.
The sole surviving segment of Sternmetal Horizons was its Foreven Sector mining division. This segment had previously engineered the survival of SH after the Collapse, but the Crucible War forced them to abandon the remainder of the company to its grisly fate. After a decade of reorganization, it has returned to the market with a vengeance, targeting the war-ravaged mining industries of regions to spinward for acquisition and exploitation.
Sternprinz has direct assets scattered across the entire region Behind the Claw. Most of these are in areas adjacent to, rather than within, areas of the Commonwealth or its occupation forces. Like its Anaconda-AX rival, the company makes its headquarters in the Commonwealth's Kamrathi Commonality, in this case the world of Syl/Reidain (Foreven 2724). Its operations within the main body of the Commonwealth concentrate in asteroid mining operations, with the exception of a few dirtside lanthanum mines in Trojan Reach Sector. The company maintains an alternate headquarters in the Meichntid Ibl, a Zhodani culture polity with a notoriously Objectivist philosophy.
Sternprinz is purely a mining company, though it has several divisions that manufacture equipment or supplies for in-house use. Its shipping outside of the Commonwealth is handled by various firms, mostly Avalar or Meichntid Ibl firms held on long term retainer. Sternprinz does not mind dirtying its hands in more mundane extractive processes or supplying prosaic products, and it has become the largest suppliers of nickel-iron Behind the Claw.
Sternprinz is a model of corporate governance in most of the Commonwealth, and that includes the Kamrathi Commonality. Outside is a different matter, though its division managers do not stoop as low as their Anacondan rivals. Sternprinz controls several starmerc organsations, and does a little political adventurism on the side.
Discovery Mining and Processing (DMP)
Upstart mining company that emerged out of the wreckage of Corridor Sector. Discovery was originally a small corp on Drayne/Khukish (0910) when that world was recontacted by the Regency of Deneb in NE 3 (IY 1203). After the Tong of Kaasu was defeated in the Tong War, Discovery somehow wrangled the Regency Navy into reopening several mining claims abandoned since the Collapse. Before the other major mining companies could react, Discovery used these reclamation projects to make itself the largest resource extraction firm in Corridor.
DMP operates mainly in the trailing half of the Commonwealth. Still registering its headquarters on Drayne, the company controls nearly half of all active mining operations in Corridor and Commonwealth controlled regions of Provence Sector, including the Pretoria Federation and Knokseng Commonality. Its seekers bravely venture forth into the Vargr Splinters, even circumnavigating the Windhorn on a few occasions. The company has active partnerships with several client states in the Vilani March, and even a partnership with a pair of Antarean corps that have raised eyebrows in the Commonwealth government.
Mining, mining and more mining. DMP is diligent in its craft, and virtually ignores every other potential enterprise that does not apply. The company has an exclusive contract with Oberlindes Lines for transport of materials and goods concerning its operations in the Vargr Splinters and some coreward regions of the Commonwealth.
Because of its competitive advantages over the other mining companies, DMP feels it has less incentive to use their kind of violently ruthless behavior. It offers local governments generous royalties in contracts, and always seems to deliver them. This not only creates goodwill, but it also lessens the cost of having to provide security forces for its far flung operations.