Although the prospectors guild officially owns the monopoly on all deep space mining rights, they maintain such cartel due to the need for specialist expertise and equipment.(FSPC 80) Prospectors are organised into clans, who permanently inhabit their huge factory-ships moving between contracted work on moons and asteroids around the Known Worlds. The Prospectors charge good money for their services, as the only other option to a noble with an asteroid fief is to let it sit undeveloped.

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