Mass Effect & Mass Effect 2
As the human race expands its territory and raises the general standard of living, demand for industrial resources continues to grow. Many planets, moons and asteroids contain a wealth of resources, but many systems have barely been charted, let along thoroughly surveyed. Unmanned probes are one solution, but they are often lost due to space hazards, unforeseen circumstances, or theft by salvagers.
In recent years, AGeS, the Alliance Geological Service, has offered bounties to private individuals or teams willing to perform mineralogical surveys on the frontier. This survey data is made publicly available to further corporate development. Due to the cost of travel and the dangers of operating on hostile worlds, it is rarely a profitable endeavour.
LIGHT METALS - Metals with low atomic weight are often used in the construction of spacecraft and vehicles.
HEAVY METALS - Metals with higher atomic weights are often used to construct equipment components. The platinum group metals are particularly useful.
RARE EARTHS - Most useful materials in this category are radioactives or magnets.
gases - Various gases are required to support all known forms of sapient life. Some are commonly used as fuel.