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Ceres is a bustling port within the belt and a commercial, entertainment, and economic hub dealing with the markets of both the inner and outer planets. Ceres is home to the largest colonies in all of the belt. But Ceres is also home to the rather infamous penal colony: Lono

Lono is a massive bore hole dug around the crater which it gets it's name. It is currently managed by the Prometheus corporation as a penal facility for criminals within the belt or nearby colonies. Lono would stretch for roughly 2 miles at its current depth and would keep slowly expanding for years to come. The colony itself is dug into the walls of the bore holes with workshops, repairbays, and food services being on large elevators that are periodically lowered further into the hole.

What would make such a project economically viable? Would, for example, the silicate in such massive quantities be worth it or should Prometheus focus on maybe ores, or tholins?

Notes:

Labor is cheap due to both robotics and subsides being paid by the Hegemony to use lono as a penal facility for criminals within the belt.

The bore hole itself has particle uses later on with the possibility of a O'Neil cylinder being placed inside once the mine dries up or isn't economically viable. Something Prometheus has already done on Eros.

Most of the equipment is fuelled by either tholins or hydrogen fusion via water rumored to be within Ceres (if they discover that there isn't water Ice will do)

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    $\begingroup$ What would make it economically viable ? This is your only question and would require a detailed knowledge of the entire economic system (including pricing political factors). It's essentially opinion based. $\endgroup$ – StephenG Feb 19 '19 at 11:43
  • $\begingroup$ @StephenG my bad. I thought you guys could do a brief break down of what would be worth it and what wouldn't. I see my mistake however. $\endgroup$ – Celestial Dragon Emperor Feb 19 '19 at 13:04
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As far as I know we assume we know what Ceres and the other objects out there are composed of based on what we have gathered from falling bits of rock... or metal, and from observation of their surfaces. We also get a general idea of what the insides could be based on our estimates of mass/density due to things like orbital speed, distance, etc.

According to the Wikipedia Ceres is composed of rock and ice: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceres_(dwarf_planet)

Water is going to be one of those must have resources. So any ice mining would be profitable.

But... since at this time we just don't know... You could reasonably put any sort of interesting or 'valuable' ore/material inside any asteroid you want. Thus if there is some economic reason to exploit the riches of ____________ (fill in the blank with whatever mineral/resource) then by all means do it.

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