The mining and refining industries take metal ores from the ground and refine them into pure metals. Since metals are the basis of the Imperial economy, this is literally making money. Mining is a low-capital endeavor, and everyone assigned to mining grabs a pick and shovel and goes to work. Refining is fully automated. The refining capacity is a measure of how many miners' output can be refined on-planet by the equipment; no laborers are assigned to refining. Excess ore which cannot be refined on-planet may be exported, albeit at a considerably lower price than its full metal content